Paying for college is always a struggle for students, and Ph.D. programs can be particularly expensive. The good news is that there are financial aid options available for Ph.D. candidates. Many of these options do not require a student to pay back any money as long as they are able to successfully complete the degree program.
Consider a Fully-Funded Ph.D. Program
One option for paying for a Ph.D. program is by choosing a program that is completely funded by the school. These programs are funded by the school in exchange for work from the student in the form of a fellowship. Students are typically required to act as an assistant to a professor in their field of study. The professor may be teaching undergraduate or graduate classes, and teaching assistants often complete tasks like grading papers or providing guidance to other students.
Finding a school that offers a fully-funded Ph.D. program is not difficult. An excellent resource for universities with fellowship programs is ProFellow. Potential students can search through the listings on this website to find a funded program in their desired area of study.
Change Your Area of Study
It is important to stick with an area that you want to study, but you may need to adjust your goals slightly in order to fund you education. Fellowships and paid Ph.D. programs are more likely to be found in fields related to science and math. Some universities even offer free tuition and a housing stipend to every student who is accepted into a Ph.D. program. Start by searching U.S. News and World Report for a school that offers your desired area of study.
Some schools offer incentives to students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. program. Learn more about the opportunities that are available at specific universities here.
Go For a Long-Term Payoff
This method of paying for a Ph.D. requires you to fund your education through loans and other traditional forms of financial aid in the present. However, choosing a specific Ph.D. program with a high rate of return can make it easier to pay loans off in the future.
NBC News notes that employers that are searching for employees in very specialized fields have been having difficulty finding people who are qualified for open positions. People who hold a Ph.D. in unique areas including informatics, biostatistics, predictive analytics or demography can expect to easily find a job after graduation.
Internships and Scholarships
Elite internships that are available to Ph.D. candidates offer big rewards. For example, the National Security Agency offers a fellowship program to students that provides competitive pay and benefits. Scholarships may also be available through universities or organizations related to a specific field of study. Visit Daily Finance to learn more about Ph.D. scholarship programs.
Paying for an education is difficult, and many people who have already paid for an undergraduate degree and a Master's degree do not want to take on more debt to pursue a Ph.D. Fellowships, internships and scholarships can help student pay for their education.