Earning a master’s degree can mean big things. It can open the door to career advancement, aid you in transitioning into a new field, it can even help you land a larger paycheck. But while a master’s degree may help you earn more in the long run, the upfront investment can still be considerable. Even though master’s programs are much shorter in duration than the four-year bachelor’s degree you have under your belt, tuition is still a big factor to consider.
This next step in your education is important, and scholarships can make enrolling possible. As a future master’s student, there are hundreds of scholarships available, just waiting to be claimed. No matter who you are, what you do, or what you plan to study, there’s a scholarship out there for you. To discover some of the top scholarships for master’s students and to learn what you can do to win the scholarship you want, read on.
68 Best Scholarships for Master’s Degree Programs
There are countless scholarships out there. From the subject-specific to scholarships intended for special student populations, there is no shortage of options when it comes to funding a degree program. Below we breakdown 68 of the best scholarships for students seeking a master’s degree to help you narrow down your search.
(ISC)² Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship(CFCSE)
- Organization name: Center for Cyber Safety and Education
- Amount: $1,000-$5,000
- Eligibility: Graduate cybersecurity or information assurance students
- Deadline: 3/7/22
Description: CFCSE provides up to 20 awards annuallyto master’s level cybersecurity students with a 3.5 or higher GPA regardless of whether they enroll on a full- or part-time basis,whether they study online or in-person, or whether they attend school in the US or internationally.
Bill Walsh Scholarship
- Organization name: American Copy Editors Society (ACES)
- Amount: $3,500
- Eligibility: Graduate students of any major
- Deadline: 11/15/22
Description: ACES offers this award in honor of the late Washington Post editor, Bill Walsh. The group awards five other scholarships (four $1,500, one $2,500). All winners are additionally eligible forfinancial support to attend the annual ACES national conference.
Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship
- Organization name: American College of Healthcare Executives
- Amount: $5,000
- Eligibility: Graduate healthcare management students who anticipate graduating between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023
- Deadline: 3/31/22
Description: ACHE provides this award to racially and ethnically diverse students pursuing a master’s degree in a healthcare management program (MHA, MPH, MBA in Healthcare Administration or similar). The group provides up to 15 awards each year.
Altman Family Scholarship
- Organization name: American Floral Endowment
- Amount: Varies
- Eligibility: Graduate horticulture students
- Deadline: 5/1/22
Description: This annual award supports students pursuing an MS or a PhD in floriculture or horticulture. Applicants must live in the U.S. and enroll in an accredited program.
Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship
- Organization name: Against the Grain Productions
- Amount: $1,500
- Eligibility: Graduate students of at least 25% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity
- Deadline: 5/31/22
Description: This scholarship supports Asian and Pacific Islander students looking to get a master’s degree. Open to students in all majors. Applicants must demonstrate leadership abilities and possess a 3.5 or higher GPA.
John L. Carey Scholarship
- Organization name: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
- Amount: $5,000
- Eligibility: Graduate accounting students
- Deadline: 3/15/22
Description: AICPA supports students from non-business undergraduate degrees looking to pursue accounting studies at the graduate level and earn their CPA license. The group offers five scholarships per year based on leadership, academic achievement, and professional interests in accounting.
Christopher Hoy/ERT Scholarship
- Organization name: American Library Association (ALA)
- Amount: $5,000
- Eligibility: Graduate master’s in library science students
- Deadline: 3/1/23
Description: The ALA offers this renewable award for American and Canadian students pursuing an MLS degree accredited by the ALA. You cannot have completed more than 12 credits at the time of application.
- Organization name: Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA)
- Amount: $3,000
- Eligibility: Students in MSN and nursing and anesthesia doctoral programs
- Deadline: 3/30/22
Description: ANCA supports graduate nursing and anesthesia students. Applicants must have previously served in any branch of the U.S. Army or have a spouse, parent, or child who is serving or who has previously served in the U.S. Army.
Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship
- Organization name: American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) – Connecticut Chapter
- Amount: $2,500
- Eligibility: Graduate landscape architect students
- Deadline: 4/18/22
Description: ASLA provides this award to Connecticut residents enrolled in a graduate-level accredited landscape architect program. You must attach transcripts, a recommendation letter, and a brief statement of financial need and why you are pursuing landscape architecture as a field of study.
American Indians Scholarship
- Organization name: Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
- Amount: $4,000
- Eligibility: Graduate Native American students
- Deadline: 1/31/23
Description: The DAR provides this award to Native American graduate students who can demonstrate financial need and evidence of a 3.25 or higher GPA. Students must also provide proof of tribal affiliation.
Dr. Wesley Eckenfielder, Jr. Scholarship
- Organization name: Brown and Caldwell
- Amount: $5,000
- Eligibility: Graduate students enrolled in programs in civil, chemical, electrical, environmental, or mechanical engineering, or one of the environmental sciences (e.g. ecology, geology, hydrology)
- Deadline: 4/1/22
Description: Students must plan to work in an environmental profession and possess a 3.0 or higher GPA. They must also provide a resume, essay, transcripts, and two letters of recommendation.
Edward C. Bryant Scholarship
- Organization name: American Statistical Association (ASA)
- Amount: $2,500
- Eligibility: Graduate statistics students
- Deadline: 3/1/annually
Description: The ASA awards these scholarships to students with a high potential to contribute to the field of survey statistics.ASA is also looking for applied experience in survey statistics and for students who perform well in graduate school. Applicants must submit a resume, personal essay, three reference letters, academic transcripts, and a headshot.
Master’s Degree Scholarships by Group
How to Cover the Cost of Your Master’s Degree with Scholarships
Now that you’ve discovered a ton of awesome graduate school scholarships, you may be wondering what’s next. Applying for scholarships can be a long process but by following the right steps and taking the right advice, you can secure the need for the degree that you want.
5 Steps to Getting a Scholarship
Ready to begin your scholarship journey? Follow the steps below for the best chances at getting the scholarship you want most.
Step #1: Start your search early
Thousands of students bank on receiving scholarships each year to help cover their costs, making it a competitive field of applicants. By starting your search early, you’re more likely to have ample time to write required essays, get feedback, and gather compelling letters of recommendation, enabling you to submit a strong application. Not sure where to start your search? Plenty of search engines exist, but we recommend Fastweb, College Board, and Scholly for user-friendly assistance and databases filled with reputable awards.
Step #2: Do your research
It’s important to not waste your time or the time of scholarship panelists. A scholarship can initially look like a great option, but upon closer inspection, you may find it’s only open to specific populations, such as to specific ethnicities or to student-athletes. By researching each award up-front, you can remove those that do not fit your needs or those for whom your qualifications do not align.
Step #3: Create a shortlist
Even after narrowing your scholarship list to only those that you qualify for, the list could still be quite long. If that’s the case, try ranking the remaining scholarships based on factors such as fit, amount of money awarded, or likelihood of winning. By prioritizing awards you think you have the best chance at receiving, you can focus your efforts on those and waste less time on awards you may not win.
Step #4: Compile application requirements
Many scholarship applications require the same basic information. By compiling all of these documents before you start you apply, you can easily access them and save time rewriting the same information multiple times. Many awards require individualized essays, but items like official transcripts, letters of recommendation, an updated resume, and a statement of research interests can transfer to multiple applications.
Step #5: Apply for a variety of scholarships
Despite best-laid plans and carefully written applications, the reality is that you won’t be awarded every scholarship for which you apply. Because of this, consider applying for more scholarships and funding than you’ll need. Even if you do not win all of these scholarships, applying for a variety of them helps increase the likelihood of winning at least one, if not more, funding.
Tips for Winning a Master’s Scholarship
Students who win the most scholarships develop a tried-and-true system for producing impeccable applications. It takes discipline, focus, and resolve to stay the course after you’ve already written tons of essays and filled out multiple applications but doing so can help you secure significant awards. Here are some tried-and-true tips for landing the scholarships you apply for.
Tip #1: Treat your scholarship application like a job application
Think about how many hours you spend carefully writing your cover letter, reviewing application requirements, and asking friends to check for any mistakes when applying for a job. By applying that same amount of effort to a scholarship application, you can ensure readers only get your best work, thereby increasing your odds of being chosen.
Tip #2: Consider retaking courses that you did poorly in
Does your undergraduate transcript not fully demonstrate what you’re capable of academically? Consider retaking the courses that do not show you at your best. In addition to raising your GPA, taking this extra step shows your dedication to academic excellence and doing your best.
Tip #3: Ask for help with your essay
Whether you’re applying for a master’s in creative writing or a master’s in engineering, asking for help with your essay can provide perspectives you didn’t consider. Passionate and well-written essays can help sway scholarship panelists and give you an edge over the other applicants. Just make sure you leave enough time for your reviewers to give thoughtful feedback and choose reviewers you know will do so.
Tip #4: Get letters of recommendation that showcase your dedication
Not all recommendation letters are created equally, making it important that you ask the right people. When asking someone to write you a recommendation, ensure they can speak knowledgeably about your experience as a professional and a student. Give them a list of your accomplishments so they can incorporate these into the letter.
Tip #5: Tailor each application
Many scholarship applications require you to write unique essays or supply specialized information. Bypassing this step to turn in generic materials is one of the quickest ways to get your application on the bottom of the pile. By tailoring each application to the requirements of each funder, you can more easily stand out from the competition.
Expert Advice: Winning a Scholarship for Your Master’s Program
Mark Kantrowitz is the publisher of PrivateStudentLoans.guru, a free website about student loans. Mark is an expert on student financial aid, scholarships, 529 plans, and student loans. He has been quoted in more than 10,000 newspaper and magazine articles about college admissions and financial aid. Mark has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reuters, U.S. News & World Report, MarketWatch, Money Magazine, Forbes, Newsweek, and Time. Mark is the author of five bestselling books about scholarships and financial aid, and he holds seven patents. Mark serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Student Financial Aid, the editorial advisory board of Bottom Line/Personal, and is a member of the board of trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education. He holds bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and philosophy from MIT and a master’s in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Q. What’s the biggest mistake students consistently make when submitting scholarship applications?
The biggest mistake students make when submitting scholarship applications is not proofreading their applications. The scholarship selection committee evaluates a candidate based on how they write. If the application is filled with grammar and spelling errors or other problems that make it hard to read, the selection committee will form a bad opinion of the applicant. They want to make sure that the scholarship recipients will reflect well on
the scholarship provider.
Q. If you could provide any advice in this area, what would it be?
Start searching for scholarships and fellowships as soon as possible, to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines. If your application is rejected, ask for the reviewer’s remarks. Some fellowship programs will share them with you. If you address those comments in subsequent applications, it can improve your chances of winning. (Some fellowship programs will allow you to apply twice, once as a college senior and once as a first-year graduate student.)
Also, print out a copy of the application, so that it looks different than on the screen. Then, read it out loud, marking it with an X whenever you stumble. Such disfluencies can be a sign of problems. After you are done reading the application, fix those problems, and repeat
until you can read it from start to finish without stumbling.
Q. How do scholarship applications differ from undergraduate to graduate? What are panelists looking for at this level?
Fellowship applications are more likely to ask for a statement of purpose, where you state your academic goals and describe the relevant background that will help you achieve those goals. They want to see you weave a tapestry, connecting the past, through the present, and on to the future. Do not be wishy-washy in this essay.
Q. Why is it important to tailor each application to the funding source?
You are trying to argue why the scholarship sponsor should invest its money in your future. By tailoring your essay to their goals, you will make a stronger case for why you are the best candidate for their fellowship.
Q. Where can students go if they need help with their applications?
Most colleges have a writing center where they can review and critique your fellowship applications. Some even have an office that specializes in helping students win scholarships and fellowships. You can also ask your academic advisor for their help.
Most scholarship search sites include fellowships within their award databases. So, you can use Fastweb.com to search for graduate fellowships in addition to undergraduate scholarships.