By Lara Turner
There are many forms of financial aid that graduate school students can use to help pay for their education. These consist of grants, scholarships, and fellowships, assistantships, and tuition payments from employers, federal and private student loans, early withdrawals from IRA's, and work-study. Each plan is effective, but depending on what type of situation you are in depends on what plan you need. Grants, scholarships, and fellowships are when the government gives you money so you can accomplish a certain purpose while you are in school. This money is not a loan and does not need to be paid back. An assistantship is when a student's university offers him or her money to help pay for their schooling, but in return that student must aid their institution with teaching or performing research. Tuition payments from employers are when employers pay for the schooling of their employees, but sometimes employers attach certain terms to this benefit, such as requiring passing grades or obligating their employee to work for them for a certain amount of time. A student loan is when the government gives you money, but you have to pay it back with interest at a later time. Early withdrawals from IRA's are pretty self-explanatory and work-study is when the government give you money and in return you must get involved with the community. When looking at all these different plans think about what kind of situation you are in now and where you want to be when you finish school.