Only about 13% of the US population have a graduate degree, compared to about 30% with bachelor’s degrees. That’s relatively small compared to other countries, where education is more accessible (IE, affordable).
If you’d like to become one of the 13% but are struggling with the cost, you’re in the right place. Given what teachers in the US make, it’s smart to take out as few loans as possible.
Applying for grants for Masters in Education makes that possible. We’re listing some frequently asked questions and popular grants, below.
What’s the Difference Between Grants and Scholarships?
Both grants and scholarships give you money for the sole source of education, without needing to be paid back. The difference is that you win scholarships based on performance (an essay competition, grades, athletics) while you are awarded grants based on financial need.
Both scholarships and grants have a finite budget or number of people they can help, which is one reason applying early is so important.
It’s up to the grant-giver to decide who gets a grant and who doesn’t, solely based on their own criteria and the adherence to their application requests.
What to Know About Funding Grad School With Grants
The first thing you need to know about getting a grant for graduate school is that it’s unlikely to find one that will cover your entire education. Grants are more like the minor scholarships you applied for in undergrad and they’re almost never a full ride.
Another thing to know is that these grants can change at any time. This list is as up-to-date as possible but refer to the official grant pages for the most accurate information.
When applying for grants, deadlines are fixed and final. Do not wait to apply for these grants for your master’s in education!! The sooner you get started the better, as some of the applications are more complicated than others.
Tracking the Grants You Apply To
When you’re applying for multiple grants, things can get confusing fast. The best course of action is to make a spreadsheet with the grant name, its due date, the grant amount, and any accessories or notes about the application. When you do apply, note when you submitted the application on this spreadsheet as well.
The Best Grants for Masters in Education
Now that you know the basics about applying for grants, let’s go over some of the options you have. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back to it when you’re making your spreadsheet. Grants are listed in no particular order.
1. The American Association of University Women Career Development Grant
If you’re going to grad school to further your career or are changing fields, you may qualify for this grant. It rewards up to $12,000 – but only for students who are studying education, along with a few other choice subjects.
According to the website, your last degree must have been finished on or before June of 2014. They state that they give special consideration to those pursuing their first graduate degree or women of color. Applications traditionally open in August and close in November.
2. James Madison Graduate Fellowship
This grant comes with some heavy competition and a heavy stipulation, but for $24,000, it’s worth it. This is one of those grants where you have to agree to teach after graduation in order to receive the funds.
The grant further stipulates that you must teach American history or social studies, for your first-year post-grad teaching.
Only one grant is awarded per year, per state. That means that there are 50 spots, so assume that competition is high. If you’re applying for this grant, spend a long time on your application and check every single box.
As you tell your students, do your best work.
3. TEACH Grants
By far, this is the most popular grant for students pursuing their Masters of Education. It, like the grant above, stipulates that you must teach in a public school if you receive it. But instead of stipulating one year, you must agree to teach for four years in a high-needs school.
The grant will give you $4,000 a year for school if you’re deemed eligible and attending a TEACH grant-enabled school. If you have a passion for underserved students, then this is a no-brainer.
4. California State University Grant Program
California has a grant program for graduate students who are California residents, but they’re not the only state. While most state-sponsored education grants are focused on bachelor’s degrees, it’s worth finding out which, if any, grants your state offers.
Establishing residency in California takes 366 days if you’re considering graduate schools in the state.
5. Math for America Fellowship Grant
If you’re pursuing your Master in Education in order to be a math teacher, you may apply for this grant. It’s a one-time grant that dispenses $100,000 over five years. Only one of those years is meant for your education, the rest is to support you as you become a math teacher. Furthermore, you must be a math teacher in “secondary school” according to their site.
The Knowles Science Teaching grant is a similar grant, stipulating that teachers must choose science or math as their subject specialty in order to receive the grant.
Applying to Grants for Masters in Education
Teachers and educators are the backbones of America. If kids are our futures, then surely the people who teach them are just as important. If you’re called to teach, we salute you.
Applying to grants for Masters in Education will make this worthwhile pursuit more realistic and affordable. We wish you luck!