Graduate Programs

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Embarking on the journey of graduate education is an enriching and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of financial challenges. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various avenues for securing financial support for graduate studies. From scholarships to assistantships, student loans to tax credits, Dr. Christopher Lewis, director of graduate programs at the University of Michigan Flint, shares valuable insights and tips for navigating the complex financial landscape of graduate school.

Avenues for Financial Support

When it comes to funding graduate education, there are numerous avenues that students can explore. Dr. Lewis emphasizes the importance of being proactive and resourceful in seeking financial support. From scholarships and grants to assistantships and student loans, each avenue has its own set of considerations and application processes.

Navigating the Scholarship Landscape

Scholarships are an invaluable resource for graduate students, and Dr. Lewis provides key insights into navigating the scholarship landscape. He advises students to look for specialized scholarships based on their academic area and demographics. Additionally, he underscores the importance of crafting a compelling narrative in scholarship and grant applications, emphasizing the need for thoroughness and personalization.

Importance of Networking and Professional Associations

Dr. Lewis highlights the significance of networking within the academic community and tapping into funding opportunities through professional associations. By actively engaging with professional networks and associations, graduate students can gain access to valuable funding resources and opportunities for financial support.

Balancing Work, Internships, and Studies

Balancing work, internships, and studies is a crucial aspect of managing the financial demands of graduate education. Dr. Lewis emphasizes the importance of time management and making choices based on individual circumstances. Whether it’s securing a graduate assistantship or pursuing internships, finding the right balance is key to a successful financial strategy.

Understanding Student Loans and Financial Aid

Navigating the landscape of student loans and financial aid can be complex, and Dr. Lewis provides clarity on the distinctions between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. He also underscores the availability of financial aid for both domestic and international students, with particular emphasis on achievement-based and need-based aid.

Exploring External Scholarships and Search Engines

To expand their financial options, Dr. Lewis encourages students to explore external scholarships available through various scholarship search engines. By setting up a profile and actively engaging with these platforms, students can discover scholarships that align with their academic and personal profiles.

Utilizing Tax Credits and Employer Benefits

In addition to traditional financial aid avenues, Dr. Lewis discusses the potential benefits of tax credits for graduate students and encourages seeking advice from tax professionals. He also underscores the importance of inquiring about employer educational benefits, such as tuition reimbursement or remission, as part of a comprehensive financial strategy.

As students embark on their graduate education journey, securing financial support is a critical aspect of their overall success. By leveraging scholarships, assistantships, student loans, and external funding opportunities, students can navigate the financial landscape of graduate school with confidence. Dr. Christopher Lewis’s insights offer an invaluable roadmap for graduate students seeking to fund their educational pursuits.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the various avenues for securing financial support for graduate studies. From scholarships to assistantships, student loans to tax credits, these insights pave the way for a successful financial strategy in the pursuit of advanced education.


Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:01]:
Welcome to the Victor’s in Grad School, where we have conversations with students, alumni, and experts about what it takes to find success in graduate school.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:00:11]:
Okay, everyone. Thanks so much for being here today. My name is doctor Christopher Lewis. I’m the director of graduate programs at the University of Michigan Flint. And I’m really excited that you are here today to learn about how do you Pay for this. How do you fund graduate education? Sometimes one of the biggest stumbling blocks for people as they’re thinking about going to graduate school is that price tag in trying to figure out for themselves, how do I actually pay for this and be able to get through this and not come out with with tons of debt? And and today, we’re gonna be talking about some different things that you may be able to do to be able to take a look at different options, different opportunities that may be available that might be able to help you along the way. I am really excited that you’re here today, and thank you for those of you that have been, introducing yourself in the chat. Feel free to keep doing that, and we may have some additional people that are joining us along the way.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:01:10]:
But, but I feel free also if you have questions along the way, throw them in the chat. There’s gonna be time at the end when we can When I can answer some further questions for you as well, but feel free to use that chat as a way to be able to to be able to ask your questions too. So, again, thank you so much for being here. Let’s jump in. So we’re what we’re gonna be covering today, as I said, graduate school can be expensive. It can be something that that you definitely have to plan for and make sure that you are ready for as you’re preparing, for that time that you will be in graduate school, whether it’s 2 years, 3 years, or beyond, depending on the degree that you’re looking at, we’re We’re gonna be talking about some different types of financial support that are available for graduate students. We’re gonna also talk about how do you find support, how what kind of support It’s out there. How do you find it? Where do you go to find that type of information? Are there tips? Are there strategies? Are there things that you can do to be able to Fund that degree.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:02:13]:
We’ll be talk talking about that. And then overarching financing your degree, making sure that you make good financial decisions as you’re going through graduate school as well. So let’s jump right in. 1st and foremost, so as we are talking about Support through graduate school, one of the biggest amounts of support that is available for graduate students, Our scholarships and or fellowships. And as you look at different opportunities, and sometimes they’re called assistantships as well. We’ll Talk about those as well. There’s a number of different ones, and I’m just gonna I’m gonna put a couple up here, and I’m gonna talk through them. So first and foremost, the FAFSA.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:02:56]:
If you are a domestic student inside the United States, as a domestic student, I encourage every graduate student to fill out the FAFSA. Even if you think you’re not going to get any type of aid, fill it out. It’s just like you probably did during your undergraduate days, but You will fill that out and that at times will make you eligible for some scholarships that are available on campus. Having that, you can always say no to any aid that is offered to you through that federal application. But you but if you don’t have it and there are scholarships that are based off of FAFSA information, you would not be eligible And you would not be considered for those scholarships. So I always encourage you that if you are a domestic student, that going and being going and Filling out the FAFSA form early before you’re planning to start submitting that to the institutions that you’re planning to or you’re thinking of attending And then looking at what the financial aid package that is sent back from the institution is is an important thing and definitely will help you to move forward. 2nd, individual scholarships individual scholarships at the schools themselves. One of the things that that every school has is individual scholarships.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:04:25]:
Some are donor based, some are school based, some are college based. You know, they are different across the board. We have specific scholarships here at the University of Michigan Flint that are Particular to specific programs or for graduates of University of Michigan Schools or if you’re an international student, there’s some scholarships that are available. And so you need to look at the individual you need to look at the individual school And the individual sites. Sometimes those scholarships are listed on the program page of your program. Sometimes you may find scholarship information on a overarching graduate school. So if the college that you’re considering does have a graduate school you would want to take a look at. Is there financial aid information? Is there scholarship information that is there? They are going to be very clear about any scholarships that are available, especially if there are additional steps that you have to take To be able to be considered for scholarships.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:05:31]:
So for example, we have some scholarships here that are run through our Financial aid office. Many of them are are donor based or or if or scholarships that have been set up by specific individuals. And to be considered for those, there’s a specific application that you have to fill out, and you have to apply by a certain date. And if you don’t if you don’t apply by those dates, you’re not going to be considered for those specific scholarships. So you have to be very Careful and very clear about what are the scholarships, what how do you apply for them, what are the deadlines, and keeping track of those. I encourage you, and if you’ve listened to any of my past presentations before that I’ve given, when I talk about looking at different graduate schools, I talk about setting up that Google Sheet for yourself that allows for you to be able to set the program side by side and looking at All of the different cat all the different factors that are important to you. Now why is that important? Well, it’s important because you wanna be able to look at each program Apples to apples, meaning that you want to make sure that each program is set side by side next to one another with the same criteria so you can review them. And I would encourage you to put information onto that spreadsheet for yourself that also Puts in the information about scholarships.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:07:01]:
So, again, then you have the dates there, you have the process, and you know what you have to do. You know, applying to graduate school is something that you have to be very you have to be very cognizant about in regards to being on On time, on track, and preparing yourself well to be able to, know exactly what you need to be doing in doing it at that right time. So so keep that in mind, keep track of that, and stay on top of it. So The third one here when you’re talking about scholarships, fellowships is sometimes if you are working for an employer, Especially if you’re inside the United States, many employers these days do offer some type of educational benefit. It might be a tuition Reimbursement, a tuition, a a tuition reimbursement, a tuition remission, a Scholarship. You know, there’s lots of different opportunities that are out there and lots of different scholarships or educational benefits that Employers do offer. Not every employer offers that, but sometimes they are not very good at Telling their employees that they have those type of benefits. So asking your HR department, asking your employer, whoever it may be, On whether or not there is any type of educational benefits, especially if what you’re planning to study is something that you are that will help you in the role that you’re in or within the career trajectory that you’re on within that company.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:08:38]:
All of that will help and will only prepare will will show them the commitment that you have to the company itself. So look into that. If it is a tuition reimbursement, basically, what that means would be is they may say, we will reimburse you up to 3 credit hours or 6 credit hours. So that would mean you’d have to pay up front and then put in the bill to the company prob and they may Say that you have to show your grade to show that you passed it, and then that that you get reimbursed after the fact. So those are some things to think about, in regards to to those. Now there are external scholarships as well, And external scholarships can are outside of the institution that you’re thinking about. There’s lots of different scholarship engines that are out there. I’ve listed a few here, Fastweb, CapEx, iGrad, Unigo, GoGrad.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:09:31]:
There’s a lot of different search engines, scholarship search engines that are out there, And you’ll hear every once in a while company or these companies saying this or you’ll hear it in the news that there’s all this scholarship money that goes unaccounted for. And there’s some truth truth to that. Now realize though that on these type of On these type of, search engines, you’re going to be setting up a profile for yourself. They’re gonna ask you lots of questions about yourself, and they’re gonna try to match Different scholarships that might be a good fit for you. It does take time, and it does take effort. Some scholarships I’m gonna put in quotes are ones that you might have to write lengthy essays about or do some other pieces To be in competition with other students. But there are scholarships that are out there. So if you have the time, you’re willing to put in the time, Going to these external places, putting your information in, and seeing what pops up is always a good thing.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:10:34]:
And once you’re in the system, Usually, those systems will email you if there are additional scholarships that pop up as you move further toward your educational goal. So those are some things to think about as you think of scholarships and fellowships. Now I mentioned assistantships or there’s teaching assistantships, there’s research assistantships, and sometimes you’ll just see Assistantships that are out there, typically, what that means is you are going to be brought in. These are Jobs, their positions that you are doing something for your for, for the university, for the professor for a professor, for And in for the for a unit of the institution, you’re gonna be working, and they’re going to be paying you to work. Now At every institution, the rules with that are a little bit different. At our institution, we have most of our pro most of our graduate students are eligible for Research assistantships. What that basically means is that you would apply. We have a on the link that you see here, on that link, There is a listing of any research assistantships that we have.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:11:50]:
They’re called GSRA’s, graduate student research assistantships, And you apply just like you would any job. But as you’re looking through them, you’re gonna see the faculty member, the research area, what they’re looking for, And you would apply based on ones that you feel that you’re qualified for. And then the faculty member will determine, Just like in a regular job, who they feel is the best fit, and they’ll have you come on and do research with them. Now teaching assistantships, those are different. Usually, with those, you’re going to be many times, Teaching assistants are going to be in PhD programs, and they’re going to be working alongside of a faculty member, usually Teaching alongside a faculty member, or they may be teaching some undergrad courses. And as a part of their Time in that graduate program, they may have their tuition waived or they may get paid. You know, like I said, every institution is just a little bit different in that regard. And as so so as you look at that, and then there are assistantships.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:12:59]:
I know personally, when I went through my master’s degree, I was in a program that required assistantships because I was in a College student personnel administration program. So I was working in higher education. So I worked for the office of admissions as a graduate assistant, And my tuition was taken care of, and I was paid at for the work that I was doing. So Every institution is just a little bit different. What they offer is a little bit different. Depending on your program, depending on the the the Requirements of the program, you have to look at all of those different factors because all of those will impact how you can pay for your graduate school. So I already talked about this, but a graduate assistantship is a salaried student employment opportunity. And then I already talked about that as well.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:13:56]:
So let’s move on. So as we look at other types of financial support that are out there, There are grants, sometimes research funding. So as you as you look at the different opportunities, different schools, different programs, You’re gonna find that there are grants, which is free money, money that is offered to you from the institution that you do not have to pay back, and there at times could be research funding. Some units will have Research grants that are happening, and they have money to hire students to be able to do research. Those could be through a GSRA type position, or they could be something else at that institution. But, again, each Individual program is going to be a little bit different, but you do need to look into that, and you need to ask these questions As you are going through this process. So if you don’t see the information, ask the question. Say, are there scholarships? Where can I find out information about scholarships or assistantships? Is there research opportunities available? Will those research opportunities be paid or not? These are all good questions and ones that you should be asking As you’re going through the process of identifying the school, but also as you’re trying to whittle down what the True Price is going to be for you if you do attend a specific school.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:15:31]:
So Student loans and financial aid. I already talked about the FAFSA form, so I will, I will talk a little bit about that. But a couple things that you wanna definitely keep in mind is that there are loans that are available for domestic, for international students. Individual institutions may have loans available for international students, some may not. Some, some international students are able to access international loans through outside vendors, but it depends on if the institution those vendors as well. So those are all things you have to be be thinking about. And domestic students, definitely, You want to put in your FAFSA. If you want student loans from the federal government, you have to fill out the FAFSA form.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:16:22]:
So those pieces are definitely important. The biggest thing that you definitely want to make sure that you understand is your loan limits, especially if you are a domestic Students, as if you took out large amount of loans in your undergrad and you’re now looking at taking out Large amounts alone for your grad, there are loan limits that apply. And I have a link here, and I’m gonna share this this presentation With you so that you have it and you’ll have these links. But it is important to understand what those limits are because you don’t want to hit that cap and then not be able to, cover the cost that you have coming before you. So as we’re talking about loan limits, you’re looking at a 138,500 for domestic graduate or professional students. No more than 65,500 of the of that can be subsidized loans. The benefit of subsidized versus unsubsidized. Subsidized have have a better they’re being subsidized by the federal government, so that means that the amount that the Usually, the interest rate on those loans is gonna be much less, because they’re being subsidized.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:17:38]:
So, and then that graduate aggregate limit includes all federal loans received for your undergraduate study as well. So you need to keep all of that in mind because too often students are are they’re coming up on that limit for the federal loan limit, And then they’re having to look outside for other loans, and you just want to make sure you have a plan to be able to to be able to Cover everything and be able to then afterwards be on a plan for repayment to be able to get through your graduate study. Okay. So let’s talk a little bit about, again, how financial aid works. So financial aid is split up in between 2 different categories based on the reason the money is awarded. So it’s important to understand that. So you have achievement based aid. So the that aid that’s typically awarded based on merit, your skill, talent, ability, and and It may be grades, you know, etcetera.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:18:42]:
Whereas you have then need based aid that is provided the students who demonstrate in some way some type of financial need, whether that’s through the FAFSA form or some other type of, way that the institution is determining or looking at financial need. So you have merit achievement based or merit based, And you have need based aid. Now financial aid programs do provide support Or I do provide support for students to help them meet the cost of obtaining their education, But you have to also realize that funding for the programs are provided by the federals federal and state governments, but and but also There is some funding that comes from colleges or universities that they’ve set up specifically, like I talked about, in regard to university based Scholarships in that regard. Okay. So, I kind of already mentioned some of these already. I’m just kind of remaking sure that you that I hit these points home, that there are different types of scholarships that are available. Like at our institution, we have a whole list of those scholarships that you can apply for and that you can be considered for. Now it’s a long list, and it will take you quite some time to go through and look at the criteria and be able to tell.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:20:09]:
You don’t have To go through, you don’t have to specifically apply for specific scholarships, but there is a process at our institution at least that you apply by a certain date to be for any of those scholarships that are that you’re eligible for as a graduate student. You can also go through and see the different scholarships, see how many Scholarships are out there. Look for specific criteria. See if there’s scholarships for those criteria as well. So In that list in the top link there, there are specialized scholarships that are based on your academic area, Demographics of yourself, because individuals or companies or, Or units on campus have developed these scholarships specifically for specific groups of individuals. And it might be You’re just a grad student, but it could also be you’re a student going into physical therapy or a student going into computer science, And you decide that you are going to, that you are going to, Make sure that you are, are eligible for those different types of scholarships too. Definitely reach out to the financial aid office if you’ve got any Questions along the way. If you are are a little bit lost in trying to figure that out for yourself, I highly, highly encourage you to, I highly, highly encourage you to, to reach out to your financial aid office.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:21:38]:
They are more than willing to Talk with you, to work with you, to help you, to understand the process, and understand what type of what type of financial opportunities may exist for you as a student as well. So let’s walk through these different opportunities, different ways, and Strategies for funding your graduate education. So 1st and foremost, you want to think about the, I talked about external scholarships. So there’s the scholar those scholarship search engines. Take the time prior to applying, prior to even going out there. Look and see what kind of scholarships are out there, and especially once you’ve determined what type of program you want to go into and you know a little bit more on that regard. Build some relationships. Make sure that you’re networking, that you’re building relationships within the academic community in the area that you have an interest in.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:22:32]:
By doing that, You may be able to tie to tap into other things. Sometimes professional associations will have specific scholarships. And as a student, you could join as a student member and potentially have access to that. Sometimes those scholarships are going to be for individuals only once they’re in a program. But, again, even as a Post 1st year student, you could take advantage of funding opportunities through those professional associations or other Entities that are offering scholarships out there for people going into the field that you have an interest in. So making sure that you do look at that is also going to be important. You’re going to want to look at how are you going to be balancing your work, your internships, your studies, because as you’re going through your graduate education, there’s going to be a lot thrown at you. And if you are going to also have an assistantship, you you just have to figure out that balance for yourself to figure out, okay.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:23:40]:
Yes. I need the funding. I’m going to take that assistantship that was offered to me. That’s 20 hours a week. Well, if I spend 20 hours a week here, How am I going to get my studying done for my classes? How long is that going to take? Do I have other Opportunities to get involved in other things along that, among or with that or not. Those are all questions that you need to be asking, and you need to really create kind of a a time management or a a kind of a sheet for yourself of the week To be able to know what you know, how you’re going to be able to fit everything in because because that sometimes there’s students that will decide, I’m not gonna take that Assistantship. Yes. It was gonna help me, but I just can’t balance it with my family, or I can’t balance it with this other thing.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:24:28]:
And or Or they they make other decisions based on those those same type of internal dialogues, but also external dialogues with others. You want to make sure that you have a budget and that you’re managing your finances well. Too often, we see students that are maxing out on loans if they if loans are available, they’re and And because they’re they’re available to them, and the problem with that is that then At the end, you come out with a vast amount of debt that becomes hard to pay off in the end. Now if that’s the case, you know, if as you’re going along, you wanna make sure you’re making good decisions. So Budget your money. So if you are taking loans out, if you’re if you’re getting paid for an from an assistantship, just like you would budget within your own life And and looking at the you know, what is what are you paying out? What is coming in? And How can you budget that the best that you can to spend as little as you can to be able to get through everything And not come out with a large amount of debt. So being able to budget throughout, we, here at the University of Michigan Flint, We we’ve worked with different agencies that that provide different opportunities for students to be able to, to get some really good insight into budgeting, into preparing, making sure that you’re not maxing out a credit card on top of that. You know, putting things on, you know, taking out other loans, you know, doing doing things to try and pay down other things as you can, even if it’s incremental, so you’re paying down as you go along.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:26:24]:
All of those things are things that you can do that will make big impacts in the future. K. So as you are, as you’re thinking about grants and scholarships, many times oh, hold on. Many times when you’re going through grants and scholarships, there’s going to be opportunities for you to be able to do some writing. And as you’re going through these types of, these types of scholarship applications or grant applications, You want to be able to make sure that you are are are taking the time to craft A good narrative that will help to tell your story. And and you don’t wanna do this you don’t wanna wait till the last minute. You want to take the time to be able to proofread, have others proofread, and really think about your answers And come up with a very solid answer. Sometimes you have a a a large number of words to use.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:27:33]:
Sometimes it’s a very short amount of words, so you have to be very succinct in in what you’re saying. So couple these are a couple of different writing tips, some things to think about as you’re thinking about Graduate school and, grants and scholarships for graduate school. So as you’re answering these questions, You wanna develop a format on whatever prompt is offered to you to be able to allow for you to organize your thoughts. It might be an outline, you know, where your bullet pointing the different things you want to hit. But, again, this is a narrative. This is you telling a story, And you want to make sure that it flows well because when someone reads it, you want them to follow the narrative And follow the story from beginning to end, and you wanna lead them along from beginning to end. You wanna make it your own? Don’t use the, you know, cliche, cliche or boilerplate language. Use your own Experiences your own language.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:28:38]:
Please don’t use chat gpt to try to write it Because, you know, they wanna see your personality, and they want to understand who you are. So by even using AI, that’s not going to help in in bringing out your own personality. If they are asking specific questions or they specifically say they want to hear the following things, Make sure that you address all the questions. Make sure that you’re answering the prompt. You don’t wanna copy and paste an answer from a previous application that doesn’t answer it. So that’s why I say take the time. Even if you think you could tweak something that you’ve used before, Really read that question again. Have someone else read the question and have them read your answer too because you wanna make sure that you’re answering the question fully.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:29:35]:
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. I’m gonna say that many as many times as I can because and and I always, when I’m proofreading, I’ll write it. I’ll have someone else read it. But then I also read it out loud because many times when you read something out loud, You will catch things that you didn’t catch the 1st time. So that’s also important and and definitely something that People can get not selected for scholarships or for grants because of their writing Or because of, not answering all the questions, you know, so paying attention to detail and making sure that you’re being You’re being consistent in that regard.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:30:21]:
So, again, take your time. Give yourself at least a week to work on a personal statement. So that’s not e so that that’s a personal statement for applying to to college, but also personal statements or answers to questions for these types of scholarships and grants as well. So let’s talk a little bit about aid and how it’s determined. So, typically, when we’re talking about the cost of attendance at a school, what that Includes is your estimated family contribution or your EFC. And the federal government here in the United States just changed EFC, but I still use it because I think it I think it makes a little more sense. But EFC estimated family contribution. So what Typically, you are going to be able to you and your family are going to be able to put toward your education.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:31:16]:
Many of you are beyond the age of, of when your parents would consider you on their taxes, Especially if you’re domestic. So if that’s the case, then the estimate the expected family contribution really becomes what you can contribute. And then it’s gonna look at scholarships or other resources, things that the institution is offering you or that, that they the institution has been has been told that that you have been awarded through other agencies. And then those 2 pieces combined will equal Your need of aid. So it might they may say, hey. This student needs $30,000 for the year. And if it and that would be the need for aid. So then they’re going to the look at, okay, how can we package that, and offer something to a student.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:32:10]:
So the cost of attending, your budget, it it so what you see and I say on SIS, It’s really your student information system. So we use a system called the SIS banner, but there are many different systems depending on the school that you attend. And the budget is based off of an estimate of the cost of attending Here at U of M Flint, and then it it may have different amounts based on Room and board, whether you’re because there’s gonna be questions of are you living on campus? Are you living on your own? Are you living with your parents? You know, those type of things, and they’ll they’ll adjust The overarching budget that they use to consider for each student and, and then dependent dependent students. Like I said, most most graduate students are not considered dependent students. But if you were considered a dependent student, they may be asked to provide a lease agreement if, to document that. Okay. So, how your aid is Also, how in how your aid is determined when you’re talking about the estimated family contribution. This for for dependent students, if you are a dependent student, the The parent contribution is still a part of this.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:33:26]:
Otherwise, it’s looking really at your contribution. It’s gonna be looking at and if you’re married, it would be the family contribution As a whole, or if it’s just you, you know, they will look at your just your individual contribution and determine But your estimated family contribution could be when it comes to your finance the the the financial aid or the package that is provided. They also are going to be looking at scholarships. And we do encourage students to to look at scholarships and to Consider scholarships whether it’s here at U of M Flint or other places, as, you know, because and then also One of the questions on the financial aid form is whether or not you are willing to, be considered for work study. That’s not as common with grad students, but sometimes there may be some work study available. So if you are a domestic student and you fill out the FAFSA form, make sure that you click yes. It doesn’t mean you have to take it, but if you click yes, then it makes you eligible for work study. The Benefit of work study is that you would get paid like any other student for the position that you’re in, But it’s a it’s it’s allows for some federal money to be used toward paying you.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:34:49]:
And it then allows for more students to be able to work on campus because you they are taking a portion of the burden off of the institution to pay, And instead, it’s a joint effort between the federal government and the the institution to pay you as a work study student. There’s some great cost calculators that are out there that will help you to calculate your own estimated family contribution, that I would encourage you to take a look at. These are 5 different ones that are out there. There’s a number of other resources that are available for students when they are, when they are, That, you know, based on whatever your your personal needs are, on our financial aid page at the University of Michigan Flint, we do offer quite a few different resources that I encourage you to check out as well. So As we’re as we’re looking at, aid and thinking about aid, typically, at your institution and I’m gonna give you information about Our school, but at most institutions, you’re going to need to be able to show that you have a minimum of 4 credits that are counting toward your degree to be eligible for loans, and and that includes Grad PLUS loans. Now When we look at this for aid, you could see there’s a difference between undergrad and graduate students. So for full time graduate students, it’s over 8 credits, whereas at for an undergrad, it’s 12 credits. So the expectation is different.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:36:34]:
And we say that you need at least 4 credits, which is half time To be considered as aid eligible. So if you are looking at a graduate program where you’re going to be going part time, You’d be looking at anywhere from 4 to 7 credits that you’d be taking, which would make you aid eligible for most, for most scholarships that have that criteria in place. So it’s important to understand that as well. Other thing, that I wanted to point out here is that, especially for domestic students as you’re thinking about, about different types of Loans, and scholarships, but also the cost of college that as a graduate student, you may be eligible For either the lifetime learning credit or the tuition and fees deduction on your taxes. So You have to kind of talk to your tax person about that, because if you do have any taxable income from Scholarships or fellowships, and you receive some type of a stipend that may end up, getting getting having to get placed on your taxes. So when you’re looking at these 2 things, couple things to keep in mind, lifetime learning credit refunds 20% of up to $10,000 of qualified expenses, providing, you with up to about $2,000, on your taxes. And then there’s a tuition and fees deduction, which allows you to deduct up to $4,000, but It depend you have to look at the definition of what higher education expenses are. So that typically is going to be Your books, supplies, other, well, not books and supplies.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:38:27]:
So it’s it’s typically your tuition, whereas books, Supplies, other equipments are not usually deductible. So room but room and board, in room and board, insurance, medical Medical expenses, personal expenses are also not usually qualified expenses. So usually it’s gonna be your tuition for the most part. Well, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time today. Thanks for being here, and wish you all the best. The University of Michigan Flint has a full array of masters and doctorate programs if You are interested in continuing your education. Whether you’re looking for in person or online learning options, the University of Michigan Flint has programs that will meet your needs.

Dr. Christopher Lewis [00:39:05]:
For more information on any of our graduate programs, visit umflute.eduforward/graduateprograms to find out more. Thanks again for spending time with me as you prepare to be a victor in grad school. I look forward to speaking with you again soon as we embark together on your graduate school journey. If you have any questions or want to reach out, Email me at [email protected].