Financial Aid is awarded to student in 2 different forms.
- Fellowships (or Scholarships)
Lets looks in detail about different types Assistantships and Fellowships available and how they are awarded.
Ph.D. and Master’s students are awarded assistantships, which fall into four general categories:
- Teaching Assistant (TA)
- Research Assistant (RA)
- Graduate Assistant (GA)
- Graduate Research Assistant (GRA)
These awards are typically administered by fields and departments.
To get assistantships, generally students will work as teaching assistant or take part in research.
Students with assistantships typically receive the following benefits
- Monthly Pay
- Tuition Fee Waiver (or Instate Fees)
- Health Insurance Coverage
Teaching Assistants (TA)
A teaching assistant is an academic appointment in support of the teaching of a course. Teaching assistants may assist in the teaching a section of a course, lead discussions, and/or lead laboratory sections.
For International Students High TOEFL Scores of TSE (or equivalent) scores is required to get apply for TA’s.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs):
A GRA is an academic appointment focused on thesis or other degree-related research of a type that is required from all candidates for the degree. The research project for a GRA directly supports the student’s thesis or dissertation.
Because a student devotes considerable time to thesis or dissertation research, the time devoted to the graduate research assistantship is expected to be significant.
An RA is an academic appointment for research that is not directly thesis-related, 15 to 20 hours per week, averaging no more than 15 hours per week. For example, a RA appointment might include data analysis on a faculty research project not directly related to the student’s dissertation topic. As with other assistantships, there is no separate application. Students are appointed by departments, fields, or individual faculty.
Graduate Assistantships (GAs):
A GA also can be related to doing work in other departments not related to thesis or projects for your course work.
Example – Data analysis on a faculty research project not directly related to the student’s dissertation topic.
Working in Computer Labs of other departments.
Fellowships are generally merit-based awards intended to support a student in a full-time course of study.
This includes stipend and Tuition Waiver.
Students are not required to work like TA’s and GA’s in this case.
Students are not required to pay back the money.
Fellowships and Scholarships sometimes refers the same, but there could be fine distinctions between them.
Comparing this to student loan, where it has to to paid back with interest, with fellowships there are no obligation for students to pay back the money.
Fellowships vs Scholarships
Scholarships – Financial Aid given for Bachelors Degree students
Fellowships – Financial Aid given to Post Bachelors degree students.
Questions About Financial Aid?
Do you have any questions about Financial Aid? Post them in the comments below.