You are worth the investment.
You’re likely considering graduate school because you have a passion–to advance or maximize your career potential, to contribute to a larger body of knowledge, or to develop and hone you professional skills. Realizing this passion, however, will require resource investments of time and money.
Furthering your education, even if it’s just taking one graduate-level course, should always give you a positive lift. You may now understand how to solve more complex problems. Perhaps you’ve learned a new coding technique that gives you a leg up for the next promotion. Maybe you’ve harnessed the power of critical thinking to become a premier thought leader at your organization. The positive outcomes are endless.
Where do I start?
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the terms you’ll see as you begin to research the cost and benefits of a graduate degree. Here’s what you may see when exploring BU’s programs. Keep in mind that institutions may define these terms differently, so you should always ask for clarification.
- Tuition: the cost of one or a series of courses, a program, or a degree; these costs will vary by institution and program
- Fees: additional charges for a specific purpose (eg. student activities fee)
- Cost of Attendance: the total cost of your education includes direct expenses for which you are billed, such as tuition, fees, and charges for room and board, as well as estimates and allowances for indirect expenses such as books, supplies, transportation, dependent care, costs related to a disability, and incidental and personal expenses.
- Institutional Scholarship/Grant: funds credited directly to your student account to defray tuition; does not require repayment
- Assistantship/Fellowship: paid to you via a paycheck; often requires research, teaching, or other services to the institution; taxable
- Loan (federal and private): funds that are deposited into your student account for educational and living expenses; requires repayment; interest accruing
- Outside Funding: funding that you apply for externally (i.e home country, national organization, employer benefits) and use to help fund your education
- Other: institutions may have other types of aid that vary from those above
A few helpful hints.
- Many master’s and professional programs offer partial scholarships, and most PhD programs offer full tuition scholarships with stipends.
- Fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and any other institutional forms. These may qualify you for need-based federal and/or institutional aid.
- Look for jobs on campus. Many offices hire graduate students to work on campus, which helps you defray cost-of-living expenses.
Need details or have questions?
At BU, you’ll find that your school or college can provide the best and most relevant financial aid information and advising. Each school and college has its own financial aid staff members that can help understand your individual circumstances.