Money Matters: Financial Knowledge in Graduate School

Tuition and textbooks, rent and car payments, food and student fees… there is no denying that college can be fairly expensive! When I started my undergraduate career, I made the mistake of avoiding educating myself about the differences between student loans, scholarships, and other means of paying for college. I had a great merit-based scholarship, but turned to loans to cover the leftover tuition cost. By senior year, I had taken charge of my debt situation and sought to educate myself on what to do post-graduation. You’ve already read about my graduate school search and eventual decision, but what I haven’t mentioned before is that financial aid played a fairly large role in why I chose Warner. Every student’s circumstances are different- some work full-time, some come straight from undergrad, some are parents, some are educators themselves but financial knowledge can never hurt when it comes to graduate school!

  • Warner offers competitive scholarships to highly qualified students. Additionally, we partner with different organizations to offer outside scholarships if students prefer.
  • I also took a look at the list of available graduate assistantships, and circled the ones that sounded like positions that would not only be a great fit for me, but also those that would add to my knowledge about systems within higher education in general. There are both paid assistantships and those that offer tuition discounts – it is important to look into both!
  • Additionally, it is possible to work full or part-time during the day, and then attend our courses in the evenings given that The Warner School offers most courses after 4 p.m. to accommodate working students. That sense of convenience was a major deciding factor for me when I was looking into graduate institutions.
  • In the Financial Aid office, counselors are trained in working specifically with graduate students. I spoke with one at the beginning of the semester, and she told me that, prior to graduation with my M.S., I can consolidate my loans from receiving my B.A., too. The UR website also offers other resources such as a net price calculator: you can input items like personal assets and estimate what you would pay as a first-year student.

It can seem overwhelming at first, but the University has the tools to help us as we navigate our way through graduate school!

As always, feel free to email me at with any additional comments. What have you learned about finances as a result of being a graduate student?


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