Grad School & Financial Aid

Learn more about UT’s Graduate Programs and Funding

  1. Carefully assess your current indebtedness and thoughtfully weigh your future debt load. Would it be wise to work for a few years and pay off or pay down current debt? According to the Financial Aid Office, you can pay for a while but stop the payments if you decide to go to graduate school as a full time student.
  2. Aggressively explore financial aid opportunities for your graduate programs. Apply early. Read all materials carefully and check for references to graduate fellowships (free money; no work requirements) and graduate assistantships (usually require teaching entry level undergraduate students or assisting in graduate research efforts in your program). Some fellowships and assistantships also include partial to full tuition remission. This could solve many of your financial problems. Fellowships and assistantships are given out early. Apply as soon as possible. The applications for these opportunities are sometimes separate from the application for the program so make sure you are actually applying for the assistantships. To receive information contact your graduate department. Also, check the spot on your admission form for interest in fellowships and assistantships. Apply for federal student loans.
  3. Explore on-campus work through the university Human Resources office, Center for Career Development, Financial Aid, or the academic department you are applying to. Check for a website.
  4. Explore off-campus work through the newspaper, Center for Career Development, temporary services, etc. Remember, graduate study is labor intensive. If you work 30-40 hours per week, you will probably not be able to carry a full load. A full load is required for enrollment in many graduate programs.
  5. Work at least the summer before graduate school, and save money for a cushion. Emergencies happen, and it is very hard to save money while you are in graduate school.
  6. Set up a budget and stick to it. The last thing you need in graduate school is financial stress.
  7. Strongly consider on-campus housing and meal plans. They are usually less expensive and cut down on transportation costs and wear and tear on your car. Apply early. Space is usually very limited. Sometimes you can find good housing deals through your program’s list serve and by rooming with others in your program.
  8. Establish residency if you are considering an out-of-state university. This can save you a huge amount of money if you are paying tuition yourself.


On Campus

Pros Cons
  • Usually less Expensive
  • Easier access to classes and library
  • Do not have to move vehicle
  • Convenient to food sources for meals (sometimes)
  • Quality (low)
  • Noise (undergrads)
  • Feels like undergraduate experience

Off Campus

Pros Cons
  • Privacy
  • Extra amenities – pool, air conditioning
  • Stress reduction – off campus
  • Cost
  • Inconvenience
  • Commute Time