Best Masters Degree Scholarships and Grants: The Art of Financing Your Education
Sources of grants and scholarships for graduate work are not as plentiful as for undergraduate degrees. However there is a multitude of professional associations who underwrite small scholarship programs to encourage minority graduates in their professions or to assist graduate students in going the extra mile. In the healthcare and education fields where there is a chronic shortage of qualified personnel, there are a number of loan forgiveness programs that are offered in exchange for working in areas where teachers and health care workers are needed.
The range of available college grants and scholarships available to college students in general is remarkable. In the field of graduate education however there are some specialty Masters Degree grant programs, some of which take the form of loan forgiveness programs for people who have borrowed to complete a graduate degree in a profession where people are needed. Several states have instituted loan forgiveness programs for teachers; the American Federation of Teachers maintains a loan forgiveness database that provides details on these programs. The U.S. Department of Education funds several grant and fellowship programs for students seeking graduate degrees in education that are administered by the states.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Foundation (IEEE) Foundation provides several scholarships, grants and fellowships to both schools and students. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation underwrites several annual scholarship programs that reach thousands of students, both undergraduate and graduate. The Federal Cyber Service is a scholarship-for-service program for undergraduate or graduate students studying information security. The scholarships are provided in exchange for two years' work with the federal government. The National Society of Black Engineers sponsors scholarship programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.
The National Health Service Corps, an agency operated by the federal Health and Human Services agency, has an excellent scholarship and loan forgiveness program for graduate students in the medical fields. In exchange, the graduate nurse practitioner or physician assistant puts in a few years of service in communities that are underserved by the medical profession. The Nurses Educational Funds is a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to RNs enrolled in Masters Degree or Doctoral programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has a comprehensive list of scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for graduate nursing students.
Cornell University Graduate School has an excellent database of scholarships and fellowships available on an international basis. You can sort their information by study area, deadline, and location. This resource requires further research, but it casts a broad net and there are hundreds of entries to review. The U.S. Department of Education scholarship database is searchable by academic keyword and degree level. Many of these scholarships are only available at the institutions which offer them, but once again it's a broad-based search engine with a massive number of records. Their scholarship matching wizard may help to short circuit your search process.