College Degrees That Actually Pay You to Study

Getting a college degree is an exciting prospect, as it provides you the opportunities for personal and career growth. However, in most cases, it is also an expensive venture because of high tuition rates, on top of necessary housing, food and supply expenses. Thus, most people still also need some sort of income to be able to study.

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There are a large amount of financial aid programs available to help pay for college expenses. However, the vast majority of these only will help cover tuition, books and fees and will not provide you an “income”. Worse yet, much of the more significant financial aid is in the form of loans – which you end up having to pay back. There is some financial aid available as grants (meaning they don’t have to be repaid), but they are limited.

A solution to this problem is to enroll in a degree program that is “fully funded”. These degree programs are available in a variety of subjects offered by many colleges and universities across the country. However, while most of these fully funded degree programs require no cash out of the student’s pocket and don’t involve student loans, only some of them actually provide you with an income. This is done by providing students with a cash stipend, the amount of which varies depending on the school and the degree program. These programs that are fully funded and provide a cash stipend are mostly for various kinds of Master’s Degrees. Also please note that most of these programs require the student to work as a teaching, research or lab assistant in exchange for the stipend. Getting accepted into one of these programs is competitive, but well worth the effort. Listed below are the best degree programs that are fully funded and include a cash stipend.

University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC)

Their History Department supports a limited number of Public History students through graduate assistantships. These can be teaching assistantships or professional (off campus work) assistantships. These assistantships, whether teaching or professional, usually require a commitment of 15-20 hours per week and usually pay a stipend of around $7,625 per semester. Accepted students will automatically qualify for the in-state rate of graduate tuition and receive a tuition grant.

University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)

Master of English Degree: Students admitted to the graduate program are guaranteed up to five years of full financial support. All admitted students qualify for Graduate Assistantships, which include a stipend paid over nine months (currently $14,125), plus free tuition for up to 15 credit hours of graduate tuition.

University of Maine (Orono, ME)

Master of English Degree: They award twenty-one teaching assistantships each fall, with approximately half of these usually assigned to new students. These students teach one section of first year composition each semester. Students receive stipends of approximately $15,600 for the nine-month school year as well as free tuition for each semester and for two summers (6 credits) while enrolled in the program.

University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR)

MFA degree in Studio Art: All students in their M.F.A. Studio Art program are fully supported. The university provides full assistantships, which includes a full tuition waiver and a stipend of $15,000 annually, plus a Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $4,000 per year, for a total package of $19,000 of cash support per year.

Kent State University (Kent, OH)

Master of Philosophy degree: Offering a limited number of graduate assistantships (with competitive stipends) and tuition/fee waivers are available. A typical total financial aid package per student is approximately $25,500, which includes a $12,500 stipend, a full tuition waiver worth $12,000, a health insurance subsidy (for students who do not otherwise have coverage), and workers compensation coverage.

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Master of Psychology degree: Financial support is available to both Canadian and international (including the US) graduate students and consists of a combination of fellowships, awards, teaching assistantship, and research assistantship. Students receive a minimum guaranteed level of support for the first two years of the MA degree of $23,000 per year.

City University of New York’s Baruch College, National Urban Fellows Program

Master of Public Administration degree: Offering a 14-month, full-time graduate degree program including two semesters of academic coursework and a nine-month mentorship assignment. Fellows receive a $25,000 stipend, health insurance, a book allowance, relocation and travel reimbursement, and full payment of tuition, in addition to ongoing personal and professional development.

Harvard University’s Zuckerman Fellows Program (Cambridge, MA)

Master’s in public service degrees: For graduate students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard School of Public Health, or Harvard Kennedy School. This Fellowship provides recipients with full tuition and health insurance fees plus a stipend of $17,000 for one year.

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