Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

The first place M.Ed. candidates should look for financial awards is the school they are planning to attend. Most schools build aid into their budget, with nearly all funding going to students enrolled at that specific institution.

M. Ed students in particular should also check with local educational organizations, as many create award opportunities for students who plan to teach a specific subject, grade-level or school-type. Joining an honors society or teachers association in order to take advantage of their scholarship or fellowship opportunities is another option.

General or need-based scholarships that aren’t awarded by academic institutions are less available for graduate students. Below we’ve assembled a short list of education awards open to a broad pool of applicants.

  • Editor's Picks
  • Scholarships

The AECT Legacy Scholarships

Amount
$200
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Funded by the Educational Communications & Technology Foundation, this one-time award of $200 is open to currently working K-12 teachers and librarians to put towards their continued education. Applicants have until August 15, 2015, to submit all materials and letters of recommendation.

The Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship

Amount
$1,000
Deadline
December 31

Students currently in an undergraduate or graduate teaching program, who can demonstrate their potential for successfully completing their degree and their understanding of voluntary unionism, are eligible to apply for this $1,000 scholarship. Students can submit application materials between October 1 and December 31; a review committee approved by the National Institute for Labor Relations Research will select a winning essay in April.

James Madison Memorial Fellowship

Amount
Up to $12,000 annually
Deadline
August 31

This fellowship is awarded to current or future teachers of secondary school American history, government or social studies. Recipients are given no more than $12,000 annually to cover the costs of their education, and they only compete against other applicants in their states. Those who receive funding through this fellowship must meet certain criteria upon completing their degrees, or they will be required to repay the money.

Outlaw Student's Teacher Scholarship

Amount
$500
Deadline
TBA for 2016

This $500 scholarship is awarded four times a year to current teachers or those pursuing a degree with the intent of becoming a teacher. Recipients receive the money directly; the most recent deadline was January 14, 2015 to apply for this year.

Bright Futures Scholarship

Amount
$250-$1,000
Deadline
TBA for 2016

Graduate students pursuing degrees in early childhood education or a related field, whose ultimate goal is to work with students under the age of eight, are eligible for this scholarship opportunity. Prizes range between $250 and $1,000; applicants should have a 3.0 GPA or better, be enrolled full-time in an accredited program and meet the organization’s other requirements.

AFCEA Educational Foundation STEM Teacher Scholarship

Amount
$5,000
Deadline
TBA for 2016

This $5,000 scholarship is awarded to on-campus graduate students currently enrolled in an accredited college or university. Eligible applicants must be working towards a graduate degree that will lead to a career as a secondary school teacher in one of the STEM fields.

Roothbert Fund Scholarship Grants

Amount
$2,000-$3,000
Deadline
February 1

These $2,000 to $3,000 grants are open to any student in the United States. Preference is given to students in good academic standing who are pursuing degrees in education.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Amount
$4,000
Deadline
Rolling Application

This grant awards undergraduate and graduate-level education students up to $4,000 annually to put towards their degree. Interested students must be enrolled in a TEACH Grant-eligible program, have scores in the 75th percentile for college placement exams and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. They must also complete grant counseling each year they have the grant and sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.

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Loans

Whether they come from the government or a private lender, most loans must be repaid. Graduate students cannot receive Pell Grants, but they are still eligible for the Perkins Loan and other federal funds. It is important to keep in mind that all government loans offered to graduate students are unsubsidized; they begin to accrue interest the moment they are put into use. If they are your only form of financial aid, you will end up paying more in the long run.

Loan Comparison Chart

Stafford
Eligibility Requirements No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment 6 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants
Graduate Plus
Eligibility Requirements Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government
Perkins
Eligibility Requirements Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available $8,000/year; varies according to college
Interest Rates 5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/Yes
Repayment 9 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness Various Cases
Private
Eligibility Requirements Based on credit
FAFSA No
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Varies
Interest Rates Varies
Fixed Rate/Subsidized No/No (Usually)
Repayment Immediately (Generally)
Income-based repayment No
Forgiveness No

Teacher, Graduate or Research Assistant Jobs

Similar to an undergraduate work-study job, TA, GA or RA positions often provide students with a stipend, taking a set amount off of their yearly tuition. Those pursuing a Master’s in Education stand to strongly benefit from a TA position; not only will it help cut the cost of school, but graduate students will gain valuable classroom experience. The best way to apply for one of these positions is to directly contact the department in which you want to work. You may also check your school’s job board.