Grad School, Special Projects

How to fund a post-baccalaureate degree

The cost of pursuing a post-baccalaureate degree may be what stands in the way of someone continuing with their higher education, however, there are plenty of options to fund future academic endeavors.

Apply for financial aid

At Long Beach State, 71% of the student body, including undergraduate and graduate students, is currently receiving financial aid. Applications can be filed at the financial aid office’s website, but there are some things to be aware of.

In the event that a student does not successfully complete a course and must repeat it, a recalculation of aid eligibility will be made and the student will have to pay out of pocket for said course.

There are multiple forms of aid, not just Free Application for Federal Student Aid. In 2013 the California State University established new limitations on the State University Grant, determining who can receive aid and who cannot. Eligible students must qualify for FAFSA or the Dream Act and must maintain enrollment of at least four or more units per semester for graduate students.

Students must also be meeting the university’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards, including maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a pace of academic progress of 67% or higher and being on track to complete their academic program in a reasonable time.

Students submitting their FAFSA application must answer if they’ve ever been convicted of a drug-related crime. Failure to answer accurately may result in denial of aid and up to a $20,000 fine. If convicted once receiving aid, a first-time offense may lead to ineligibility for one year from the point of conviction. A second offense may lead to ineligibility for two years, and any subsequent charges will lead to indefinite ineligibility. Students may have the opportunity to regain eligibility if they complete a drug rehabilitation program or pass two random drug tests administered by a drug rehabilitation facility.

If a student were to withdraw from their studies within the first 60% of the semester, a
recalculation would occur, and they may end up owing some of the funds they were awarded back to the source of their financial aid.

Graduate assistantships

Becoming a teaching assistant or graduate assistant allows students to pursue their degrees in higher education to not only pay for their studies, but also get exposure and experience in their prospective fields.

Students can currently apply for positions within the College of the Arts, College of Business Administration, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Health and Human Services, College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The CSU Forgivable Loan and Doctoral Incentive Program

For over 20 years, the Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program has created a streamline between graduate students and teachers at the California State University.

Up to $30,000 is made available to those who are pursuing teaching credentials that
ultimately want to teach on a CSU campus.

Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Program

For students who are unsure if graduate school is the right fit for them or those set on pursuing a Ph.D., up to $3,000 and a funded summer research program are available through this program.

Those looking to apply must be upper-division or master’s degree students at any CSU campus, have a faculty sponsor and a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or a DACA recipient.

Get an employer to pay

Some companies encourage their employees to continue their education, especially if it’s related to the field of work. Students should also contact human resources to see what options are available.

Larger companies like Starbucks offer up to 100% tuition reimbursement for their employees.

Information from Long Beach State’s Graduate Studies Office and Student Loan Hero.

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