Financial Aid For Graduate School – Educational and Financial Aid For Graduate Students

Today’s challenging economy has been very harsh for students who are hoping to attend higher education to further their studies and hopefully, get better jobs upon graduating. But often, various obstacles tend to block this route and this challenge often comes from one object: money. Due to the lack of money, a lot of students can no longer afford graduate school education, while others simply do not have the determination to attend graduate school. Moreover, just when you thought that college is the only most expensive level of learning, wait until you get to graduate school.

Pursuing your dreams after college will always remain a possibility, with or without money. The only difference is, it would be better to have your own resources for your school education. When it comes to these cases, this is where financial aid for graduate schooling can help the most. Graduate school is very expensive but if you wish to master your trade, attending it would be the best step; and in order to make that dream come true, you should consider applying for scholarships or grants. Not only do these resources provide money for its recipients, it also assists students with other career opportunities.

Financial aid is offered by various offices and government institutions, as well as universities and individuals. The application steps to become a scholar may vary from one scholarship program to another; however, there are certain programs that offer everyone the opportunity to become a scholar, regardless of their academic standing in college. Aides for students who have succeeded in fields other than academics are also offered by certain institutions.

The road to achieve higher education is easier now thanks to the newer programs that have emerged. If you are struggling to support yourself through school, apply for a graduate school program to help you become the professional you hope to be.

If you are looking for the fastest route to receive financial aid for graduate school, government societies, such as the FAFSA can assist you with the rigorous task of applying for a program. Other than the FAFSA, there are other online resources that were designed to assist graduate students with their schooling– simply put; you will never run out of options.

College Student Success & Leadership Secrets – Graduate Students & Professional Enrichment Programs

College student success & leadership secrets to embrace graduate students and professionals pursuing enrichment programs for personal development. Leadership & success secrets for college students of all ages, professions & backgrounds. A new vision to enlarge, incorporate & integrate diverse college students within the academic community.

Beyond obtaining my undergraduate bachelors degree by way of a two-year community college, followed by completing my education at UCF, I have pursued much personal and professional development coursework.

Continuing education is part and parcel of many professions and often mandatory to remain in good professional standing. As an educator, the Florida Department of Education mandates much professional development and ongoing continuing education for teachers.

As a motivational speaker and life-changing author, I both speak and write with the intention of transforming people. Because my desirable goals and outcome are measurable and quantifiable through people’s performance and productivity, I take great pride in staying on the cutting-edge academically to be a pioneer in my field.

This means I often attend very intensive professional development seminars, conferences, and sometimes courses on college campuses to further my personal and professional growth. Otherwise I would be empty as a speaker and writer. Certainly, one cannot give what they do not have. I therefore pursue bodies of knowledge with a ferocious hunger and thirst to obtain all there is to know so I can later thereafter empower my audiences and readers.

Professionals who enroll in similar professional development courses on college campuses are no different. We therefore who work on college campuses must always strive to make these executives and professionals feel at home lest they feel awkward and uncomfortable.

On the contrary, we should encourage and congratulate those who are smart enough to invest in their continual growth and development. For example, when I took a one week “Strategic Negotiations & Deal-Making” class at Harvard Business School, it cost me and the other executives who came from across the world $8,000 in tuition to attend and participate. Incidentally, the professionals participating took the course very seriously as did I.

Upon arrival at Harvard, the reception was very warm and welcoming. Our residence and living quarters was well prepared and the attention to detail impressive. This is the kind of hospitality and reception we must strive for on every college campus if we are to encourage and welcome professionals from within our communities to set foot on our colleges and universities.

If we succeed in opening our hearts and academic communities to these professionals, we shall thereby be able to endear them to our academic goals and strategically work together potentially in a multiplicity of ways to propel mutual success for all parties involved.

Graduate school, executive education, professional enrichment, and specialized training therefore should all be taken seriously by college and university administration. Certainly when the alumni are contacted to support causes on campus, the level of respect, hospitality, and services on campus throughout the year are genuine factors of consideration before donors open their wallets and pocketbooks to write a check of sponsorship and make a donation.

College and university leaders therefore must think strategically and intimately know every demographic student populace and group among them, lest they miss some great opportunities to network and friend raise. As we value people over programs; appreciate personal development over academic curriculum; and creatively design collaborate initiatives to unite our communities (academic and society) – the future shall be bright as we together bring our gifts to the table and teach one another.

This mutual respect and collaborate partnership between academia and professionals will cause us together simultaneously to achieve more success, develop more leaders, and ensure maximum impact as we together wield our influence in concert.

The Academic Divide: Graduate Students With Funding and Without

In many university departments, it seems like there are two separate groups of graduate students: those who have grants and assistantships, and those who don’t. Is it worth it to continue your education if you aren’t one of the select few?

In a word: yes. If you have been offered admission to a graduate program, but have not been offered funding, it is not a crisis situation. You should begin your school regardless.

If you have started graduate school without funding, you can always apply each year. You should apply for grants and assistantships (both research and teaching) each year. Some grant applications are due in early fall, so be sure to check out the deadlines of any to which you are going to apply. It might seem that you have only started school before you have to get your funding applications in.

Once you have begun your studies at a school, you have an advantage over those applicants who will be entering next year. You will know professors and be able to get references that count. Applying for funding twice will help show the department and the granting organizations that you are dedicated.

Remember that your school isn’t the only organization that can offer you funding. Check out your government websites (municipal, provincial or state, and federal) to find grant applications. Look at other organizations such as businesses, charities, and social groups that fund scholarships and grants each year.

Even if you can support yourself and pay your tuition by working during school, take the time to apply for grants and assistantships. It looks great on your resume, and will help you in the long run.

For the meantime, when you are trying to fund your first year of studies without help from the school or from outside sources, consider getting a loan to pay for your studies. You can get specialized loans designed for students, for graduate students, and sometimes even designed for particular fields of study!

Having a loan instead of working long hours will ensure that you have the time to complete the applications (which is very time consuming: it will take you days to get all of the materials written, your references gathered, your transcripts and other supporting documents). It will also mean that you are free to devote yourself to your studies. Demonstrating a keen attitude and enthusiasm for school will help you stand out in your professors’ minds. You want them to notice you, to respect you, and to help you get the teaching assistant or research assistant position that you are looking for!

In the end, if you truly want to go to school, you will be able to do it. Just carefully assess your funding options, and never give up on applications. Apply each year, and apply faithfully. It might not be fun, but in the end it could be what ends up paying the bills.

Grad School Burnout – Mild Or Severe Depression, Anxiety and Stress Symptoms in Graduate Students

Education that is “a way of life” may create vulnerability

Grad school is a long haul educational enterprise. Many Doctoral programs last 5 to 7 years, on top of the five to six years typically required to get the BA and a Masters degrees which precede it. Students who aspire to graduate degrees usually have a history of dedicated scholarship which extends back into high school or even elementary school. For many Grad students education has literally been “a way of life”… sometimes the only way of life that is well known or familiar.

Linda Curci of the Caltech Counseling Center suggests that:

“Burnout is a process that happens gradually over time. It creeps up on a person through an accumulation of random minor negative thoughts, sporadic lost hopes, and a series of small disappointments in oneself. Burnout is a painful process that includes emotional exhaustion, a loss of pleasure in interpersonal relationships, and a diminished sense of self worth. Burnout is the result of trying too hard for too long in a situation where the odds are against meeting one’s expectations. People who burn out are intelligent, dedicated people who have high expectations for themselves.”

Grad school can be an emotional and psychological “trial by fire” and burnout tends to happen when you’ve been pushing too hard for too long and

The warning signs of burnout are:

  • Loss of interest in or questioning the meaning of your studies and research.
  • Chronic fatigue – exhaustion, a sense of being physically run down and emotionally flat
  • Anger at those making demands
  • Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
  • A sense of being besieged
  • Feelings of helplessness

From the point of view of a psychologist however, there is a bit more to be seen in some of the typical symptoms.

Perfectionism – As Curci suggests, one common area of difficulty lies in the impossibility of meeting expectations and all too often these exaggerated expectations are inner demands rather than outer ones.

Perfectionism, can create an inability to start or finish major tasks. Perfectionists are their own worst critics. Nothing is ever good enough and this constant self-criticism leads to paralysis or avoidance which sabotages progress.

Perfectionism is always a defense. Individuals with perfectionistic expectations hope, (wish), need, to protect themselves from all failure or criticism. This criticism which is imagined to be emanating from others is usually coming from within. This can create a vicious circle of fear-driven effort which no amount of external evidence of success ever seems to correct… if only because the possibility of failure cannot ever be reduced to zero.

Suffering in silence – Grad students are individuals who have accepted to put themselves under the yoke of a program of training. They have often given up or put aside valid needs and desires in the name of their studies. They have left countries, communities, families, and personal relationships to follow their studies and often set aside personal interests and pleasures to fulfill program requirements.

The pain and anger caused by these losses is real but because the demands have been undertaken “voluntarily,” individuals often feel they have no right to complain… or to grieve. These strong and relevant feelings, when unacknowledged can eventually insist on being experienced psychologically and emerge as depression, or as anger and cynicism towards a program which has been responsible for so much pain.

Fear of graduation? Grad students, as noted above, are often individuals who have dedicated themselves for most of their young adult life to a particular academic world. As the end of a program of study comes into sight questions may arise about how to live in the real world. A whole different set of competencies may be felt, frighteningly, to be lacking.

Supervisory strain – While Grad school programs are often well organized to support academic development, supervisors vary in their ability to be helpful with the more personal challenges of their students. In fact if the interpersonal relationship is not optimum the supervisory relationship may even be an additional stressor.

Ill-Health and Computer crashes… The psyche’s hardware and software solutions to stress – Even when the strain of grad school is not extreme enough to create a full-scale burnout, it may manifest itself in chronic or minor health problems, particularly those which are significantly related to stress such as headaches, migraines, stomach problems, asthma, sleep difficulties…and if it’s not you getting sick, maybe it will be your computer…

Strategically timed computer crashes can be caused by inattention and neglect as the over-stressed psyche looks for ways to create time out.

Cumulative strains – Even if you have been sailing through Grad school for the most part without excessive perfectionism or personal sacrifices, the long term stress of grad school may interact cumulatively with other stressful events such as unavoidable major losses or personal setbacks and funding crises to throw even the most balanced student over the edge into depression or burn-out

Leading a whole human life – The world needs the passion and enthusiasm of those individuals who are willing to push forward into the highest levels of knowledge in their domains, to broaden and deepen what we think and know. It is a loss to us all if students burn out or drop out in despair after such significant investments in their studies.

But the excessive and exclusive focus on their values as scholars may lead Grad students to neglect other aspects of their humanity. Often what is most needed is compassionate and encouraging human contact and reassurance that they are valuable and valued in the world as individuals outside of their studies.

Some general notes on depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • a persistent sad or “empty” mood
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed
  • loss of appetite or weight loss
  • sleep problems
  • fatigue, despite adequate sleep
  • feelings of pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • indecisiveness, difficulty concentrating
  • psychomotor slowing or agitation
  • thoughts of wanting to escape, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts

At its extreme end depression can become so severe that it can create suicidal feelings or thoughts. If you experience suicidal thoughts or feelings, it is very important to:

  • Make taking care of yourself your top priority.
  • Talk about these thoughts with someone. Don’t suffer in silence.
  • Contact your institution’s counseling center for an assessment or referral to community or other mental health services.

If these symptoms seem all too familiar, you might like to take an on-line depression screening test or contact your counseling center or a mental health professional for an assessment.


Linda Curci, (Caltech Counseling Center)

Translating Your Academic Skills Into Salary

What to Highlight when Negotiating Your Salary

You have finally finished your graduate program, and now you are faced with the “What next?” that comes after graduation. Some graduate students will pursue tenure-track positions in academia after graduation, but others may want to join the professional world outside academia. If you fall into the latter group, you will need to know how best to translate and highlight your academic skills for the professional world. The following are some things you should consider when preparing your resume to apply for jobs in the professional world as well as when you are in the process of negotiating your salary.

Understand What Graduate Degrees Signify to Potential Employers

It is easy to understand what graduate degrees signify in academic contexts, but it is more difficult to understand what graduate degrees signify outside those contexts in the professional world. For most employers, graduate degrees indicate that potential employees who possess those degrees can persevere over many obstacles and have advanced writing and research skills, both of which are very marketable in most professions. Furthermore, some specialized degrees are perfect for employers who are seeking potential employees who have specific sets of skills. For example, some employers might value a recent graduate with a degree in English Literature because, to employers, this degree indicates that the graduate knows how to use word processing programs effectively and efficiently. Even though the graduate might not be using those programs for the same purposes that he or she used those programs in academia, the graduate’s skills with those programs are still valuable to potential employers who can help the graduate tailor those skills to fit the demands of professional positions. It doesn’t hurt to bring points like this to the table when you are negotiating your salary as well.

Understand How to Present Academic Skills in Professional Contexts

Many skills that students acquire during graduate school are directly related to skills that are necessary to succeed in the professional world. For example, experience with teaching and advising indicates good communication and administrative skills, and experience in group projects indicates good problem-solving, project-management, and leadership skills. If highlighted correctly, even skills gained from doing homework and studying for tests can translate into professional skills (i.e., independent working and thinking skills) and should be used as such, especially when you are negotiating your salary. However, simply understanding how to present academic skills in professional contexts will not be enough to entice potential employers to hire you. You must believe in yourself, be confident in both your academic and professional skills, and be willing to showcase those skills properly on a CV or resume. In other words, don’t be embarrassed to say that you’re good at something, especially when you are negotiating your salary with the employer.