There are a variety of expenses to consider as you apply to a graduate/professional program, including exam prep, exam fees, application costs, and other fees that may arise in your process. It is important to know that, not all, but many exams and applications offer fee reductions or waivers. It’s helpful to plan and create time to research fee waiver/reduction information, as well as scholarships and grants that support you with funding both your application process and your time in graduate/professional school.
Funding Resources for Graduate School Preparation:
The following programs offer a strong amount of services, including advising, mentorship, and various forms of financial assistance, throughout your process of pursuing graduate school:
Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT): IRT addresses the lack of diversity in the nation’s teaching faculties by recruiting outstanding students of color and other scholars committed to diversity, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study. IRT graduates have enjoyed remarkable success securing jobs as K-12 teachers, counselors and principals, as well as professors, university administrators and leaders.
McNair Scholars Program: The McNair Scholars Program prepares selected UC Berkeley undergraduates for graduate study at the doctoral level. Each year, up to 30 McNair Scholars are selected to participate in both academic and summer activities. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the number of underrepresented students in doctoral programs.
Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship: The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program at UC Berkeley targets students with exceptional academic promise in the humanities or social sciences and potential for academic careers that will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in the academy. The program supports Fellows by providing mentorship and the environment and resources to strive for the highest academic goals. Berkeley’s MMUF program guides the intellectual and professional development of Fellows to realize their greatest potential as graduate students. The MMUF program prepares Fellows to become successful faculty members and role models for future generations.
Haas Scholars: Each year, twenty highly qualified, academically talented undergraduates with financial need come together to build a supportive intellectual community during their final year at UC-Berkeley. Haas Scholars come from all walks of life and every major on campus, but they are united by their desire to strive for excellence--both in their individual academic pursuits, and as an interdisciplinary cohort. (International students and undocumented students are welcome and encouraged to apply.)
Many, but not all, graduate/professional schools allow for the waiver of the admission application fee based on need. Call each program you are applying to and inquire about this option.
Cal Student Central can provide low-income students with a Letter of Low Income Verification that can be used for admission application fee waivers.
Funding Graduate School
Apply for scholarships and fellowships before entering a program as well as throughout your time in the program
Apply to scholarships through professional organizations related to your field
Student loans, loan forgiveness programs
Talk to prospective university/college AND program of interest for other opportunities
Graduate Assistantships, Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships
Private & professional organizations (student grants, travel grants, scholarships)
Google your identities plus the word “scholarships” (i.e. “scholarships for women”)
Look into websites, such as: