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How to Manage your Budget in Grad School, Part 3 By Holly D. Johnson, for Bankrate
Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert Dr. Donald C. Martin -- Graduate Study Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago, IL
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Here is the final part of this very helpful article.
Other ways for graduate students to save money
While using a budget during graduate school is smart, finding ways to earn more income and spend less can help you even more. Consider these tips to stay on budget when your income is limited during graduate school.
Fill out the FAFSA. Filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) helps you determine if you’re eligible for federal student aid, including federal student loans for graduate students, work-study programs, grants and more. You should fill out the FAFSA for each year you attend school, even if you think you’re ineligible for student aid.
Ensure you’ve applied for all scholarships and grants. The list of scholarships, grants and fellowships that can help you pay for graduate school is significant. Individual schools may offer grants on top of any funding you’ve received as part of your graduate program. Private organizations may also offer grants. Set aside time to research your eligibility and talk to your school’s financial aid office to ensure you’re not missing out on funding sources.
Work during school if you can. Consider federal work-study programs or work opportunities offered through your college or graduate program. Teaching assistant roles, tutoring and other part-time jobs may be available.
Earn rewards on your spending. Consider using a cash back credit card or rewards credit card that will let you get something back on your spending. However, only do so if you are disciplined enough to pay your credit card bill in full each month. If you haven’t built up your credit much yet, you can also consider student credit cards.
Ask your employer about tuition reimbursement. If you work full-time, check if your employer offers a tuition reimbursement program. Employers can offer up to $5,250 in tax-free tuition reimbursement per worker through 2025, according to the Internal Revenue Service. This benefit will not be included in your wages or reported as taxable income on your end, and it’s a tax-advantaged benefit for your employer, too.
Keep student loan borrowing at a minimum. Finally, strive to borrow as little as you can for your graduate degree program. While student loans may let you borrow extra to cover expenses, you’ll have to pay it back plus interest.
Resources for low-income graduate students
In some cases, the financial pressures of graduate school may be significant enough that it becomes challenging to cover essential life expenses. For example, in one small survey in the journal Public Health Nutrition nearly half of graduate student participants reported experiencing food insecurity.
If you’re concerned about your ability to buy food, pay for housing, or access healthcare, talk to your college’s financial aid office right away. They may be able to connect you with resources that can help. Many colleges have student food banks and some have emergency relief funds to help students experiencing a financial crisis.
For a list of other helpful resources, Student Training and Education in Public Service (STEPS) is a good place to start. It is geared towards undergraduates, but many of the resources are available to graduate students, too.
Some nonprofit organizations also provide help to students who are having difficulty meeting their basic needs. For example, the organization Swipe Out Hunger partners with colleges to support students who can’t afford to pay for meals.
The bottom line
Try not to be hard on yourself if you can’t follow every aspect of this budgeting advice. At the end of the day, taking some steps to minimize borrowing and save more money will always leave you better off, so aim to do what you can. Remember that you’ll probably need to adjust your budget as time goes on, and that various life circumstances will probably throw you off track from time to time.
That said, budgeting is a smart move during graduate school and for the rest of your life. Not only can budgeting help you track where the money you work hard to earn actually goes, but it can help you reach the life goals you have always dreamed about.
Be sure to check out Dr. Don’s book, “Road Map for Graduate Study, A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students,” right here on the GSRM website. For a reduced price CLICK HERE, go to The Book page, scroll down, click on the Order Now box, and use discount code GSRM.
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Name: Dr. Donald C. Martin
Group: Grad School Road Map
Dateline: Chicago, IL United States
Direct Phone: 773-549-7639
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