A graduate degree can open the door to the career of your choice — but first you’ll need to find a way to pay for it. With a SunTrust private student loan, you’ll have the funds you need for your graduate school expenses. However, before applying, you should learn about all of your funding options.
The first kind of college funds you should look for is money you won’t have to pay back, such as scholarships, fellowships and teaching assistantships, or TA jobs. TA awards or research assistantships usually have an internship or work assignment associated with the award. For example, a TA often works as an assistant to a professor, doing tasks like printing out handouts and grading papers. If you receive a TA award, the monetary value could be considerable, possibly covering your full tuition and may offer you a stipend.
What’s the difference between scholarships, fellowships and teaching assistantships?
The first thing to know is that there isn’t a hard and fast label for these awards. Some people think scholarships are only for undergrads and fellowships are only for graduate students — but that is not always the case. Similarly, scholarships and fellowships are often based on achievement, but some may also have a need-based component. It depends on the particular award and the college or university a student is attending. However, in general, here are some distinctions:
|Type of Award||Features|
Assistantships(Such as teaching assistantships and research assistantships)
A good place to look for scholarships, fellowships and TA awards is the website of the school(s) you are interested in attending; most have a database of scholarships and financial awards. You should also try sites or search tools that are specifically designed for finding scholarships, like CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, which typically has thousands of graduate awards and Peterson’s Grad School Scholarships search. You can also find helpful scholarship resources here.
The federal government is one of the best places to turn for college grants and student loans. The U.S. government provides access to grant money to qualified students every year. The U.S. government, through the Federal Direct Loan Program, also provides a variety of student loans to both undergraduate and graduate students. There are multiple types of Federal Direct Loans that have similar-sounding names, so it’s good to note the differences:
As you review federal aid options, one thing you’ll notice is that there is a difference in the loans offered to undergrads and graduate students. For example, the Direct Subsidized Loan is not available to graduate students. Grad students, however, have the option to apply for a PLUS Loan. Unlike other federal student loans, Grad PLUS Loans factor in an applicant’s credit history for approval.
Key facts to know about the Grad PLUS Loan program:
To apply for federal aid, you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
If you’ve looked at other financing sources and you still need more money for school, a private student loan could be a good way to fill in the gap. SunTrust offers several private student loans for those seeking a graduate degree. Compare our private student loans.
|Loan||Loan Type||Need Based?||Credit History Considered?|
|Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan||Federal||No||No|
|Graduate Direct PLUS Loan||Federal||No||Yes|
|Custom Choice Loan (SunTrust)||Private||No||Yes|
|Union Federal Private Student Loan (SunTrust)||Private||No||Yes|
|Graduate Business School Loan (SunTrust)||Private||No||Yes|
Many employers, and particularly large corporations, offer scholarships or tuition reimbursement programs. If you’re a grad student who is employed, you might want to check with your employer’s human resource department to see if they have student aid programs. You could also potentially qualify for assistance programs through your parents’ employers.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. View and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans.
Union Federal is a federally registered trademark of Cognition Financial Corporation used by SunTrust Bank under license. The Union Federal Private Student Loan is funded by SunTrust Bank and is not offered in connection with any other lender or the federal government. Cognition Financial Corporation is not an affiliate of SunTrust Bank.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue these programs without notice. These loan programs are subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
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