Graduate scholarship and a graduate assistantship – FAQ

Difference between a graduate scholarship and a graduate assistantship

Graduate Scholarships sometime also called graduate fellowships are “free money”. Small graduate scholarships ( usually $500 to $3000 per year) are available in many schools but will not help you very much financially.

Big graduate scholarships ($20,000 per year or more), while possible, are highly competitive and very limited.

Let’s face it, if you are not a sport’s star or a very good academically or if you do not have some talented professional skills or gifted outstanding features, then you probably only have a slim chance to get any Big graduate scholarship, this is especially true for International Graduate Students for most (at least 90%) graduate fellowships are available only to US citizen.

Unlike graduate scholarships, graduate assistantships, open to students of all nationalities, are not “free money”, assistantships actually are hard working opportunities.

Usually students work with the professors in the department or other research setting, and receive a stipend (monthly salary) plus partial or full-tuition waiver.

The Big financial supports offered by schools to the majority (95%) of the International Graduate Students are Not graduate scholarships but graduate assistantships.

Big financial support means that the total funding is Big enough to cover at least 80% of school tuition and living costs.

Amount of Money earned through Assistantship

It is hard to say, depends on the school and program. But generally speaking, the total amount of funding ranges from $25,000 to $35,000 per year. The funding will cover most of your school expenses (tuition & living), if not all.

Can one get both a graduate scholarship and a graduate assistantship?

Yes, it is possible. In fact, students often receive the financial aid package, which may be some kind of combination of scholarship, assistantship, free room, …etc.

Must I have a TOEFL and GRE/GMAT to receive the assistantship?

Depends on the requirements of the program you are applying. In fact, many programs do not need GRE/GMAT at all, as for the TOEFL, it depends on your education background and the instruction language used in your university in your home country. In some schools, a phone interview may be needed to replace the TOEFL score.