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The Ultimate Guide to PhD Scholarships and Grants

College can be expensive, and even though an advanced degree will allow you to earn more in your career, that doesn’t help you now as you struggle to pay tuition bills. Luckily, financial aid is available to ambitious students would want to earn a PhD in their field. Let’s take a look at how to earn this free money for college so you can get your degree with little out-of-pocket cost.

What Kinds of Financial Aid are Available?

Scholarships and grants are the two most common type of financial aid that students can use to pay for school. Scholarships are give to students based on merit, while grants are available to students who show financial need. Both can help you earn your PhD, but at this level of education, your options are slightly different. Rather than than scholarships, which are more commonly available to undergraduate students, you can look for fellowships. Fellowships are similar to scholarships – they are given to student based on merit – but unlike scholarships, fellowships typically come attached to responsibilities, such as working as a teaching assistant. PhD students can find grants, though at this level, it is less common to fin grants that pay for your tuition and more common to find grants that you can use to fund specific research projects while in school.

Where Can You Find Scholarships and Grants?

At the PhD level, the best place to find financial aid of all kinds is directly from colleges. Although outside organizations do sometimes offer PhD scholarships/fellowships and grants, it is more common for colleges who want you to research on-site to offer financial aid so you can complete your education. When comparing colleges, this is one of the things you may want to compare – how much financial aid you’ll get. Top students often receive full ride scholarship or fellowship offers from multiple schools.

How Can You Earn Financial Aid?

Financial aid at the PhD level is easy to earn – for some. To get the best offers, push the envelope with your research and be ambitious with your studies. Schools offer financial aid because they want to be able to say that exciting students did work while in their programs. Don’t forget to also look for your employer to help, if you’re already working in your field. Often, employers offer tuition reimbursement for promising employees who want to earn their PhDs.

Guide to Accredited Online PhD Programs

Northcentral University – At Northcentral University, doctoral students rave about the school's personal approach to the online degree. While the curriculums are just as rigorous as most other accredited universities, it is taught in an environment that is learner-friendly. The programs feature flexible weekly start dates, 100% online degrees, and faculty mentored modules.
Liberty University – For over 40 years, Liberty University has offered students a new approach to learning, based on commitment, kinship, and faith. Prospective doctoral students can select from a wide variety of online programs, including counseling, education, and seminary studies. Graduates of these programs work as professors, clinicians, or theologians.
Grand Canyon University – At Grand Canyon University, students have the option to select from a variety of doctoral degrees, including Business Administration, Education, and Philosophy. The education degrees carry with it specializations in Organizational Development, Higher Education Leadership, Effective Schools, Behavioral Health, and Instructional Leadership. These degrees are both thought provoking and innovative.
Walden University – Walden University offers more than 10 online doctoral programs with more than 60 specializations. As an accredited online university, Walden has been in the business of education for over 40 years, and strives to be on the cutting edge of innovative education. The curriculums blend theory, research, and practical application.
University of the Rockies – University of the Rockies, a prestigious post graduate school, takes a practical approach to education. UoR combines hands-on assignments and relevant curriculum to engage students and help them obtain skills they can apply to real-world situations. While doctorates degrees can be completed in three years, they do require a bachelors degree for enrollment.
Concordia University - Portland – At the Concordia University - Portland, a variety of doctoral programs are available. These programs are designed to both enhance your leadership skills and build theoretical knowledge. The university's educational model provides an environment in which students are comfortable in collaborating with faculty, both online and through in person residencies.
University of Southern California – The University of Southern California currently offers two doctoral programs, in both general Management and Management in Community College Policy and Administration. The Management program requires completion of 48 credits, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. These programs provide the student with the experience needed to serve in leadership roles in public and private organizations.

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