Funding graduate education

To Roger Coles, the largest concern with financing graduate school is the dramatic difference in tuition rates between residential students and non-residential students. Most non-residential students have the highest need for financial help.

With non-residential student numbers on the rise Coles, the interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies of Central Michigan University, started the idea of one tuition rate for all students.

“I’ve been here for four years and I have only had one U.S. student in my office looking for financial help.” Coles said.

There are many opportunities for financial assistance through the university. According to Coles, roughly 32 percent of grad students are receiving financial help from the university.

Psychology graduate student Joseph Lenneman has been paying for graduate school through a graduate assistantship. He receives $12,600 per year, which covers 20 credit hours and a bi-weekly stipend.

A graduate assistantship is very time consuming according to Lenneman.

“At times it can be a nuisance as I often have other things I should be working on other than grading papers.” Lenneman said. “I do enjoy getting to work with young students and motivating them to become excited about psychology as a subject.”

A full-time graduate assistantship includes 20 hours of work per week. Other financial opportunities include no obligations at all. Fellowships are available from the university for masters and doctoral students. The full-time fellowship is for up to 24 hours of tuition and a full year stipend as well.

“I haven’t hit any roadblocks yet,” Lenneman said. “However, as I wont be finished by May, I might run into some next year.”

A new funding method is being introduced to Central through government grants. Six new faculty members are being hired into the College of Graduate Studies for research primarily with minimal teaching through the Provost Office. These grants will bring more money into the university and hopefully more financial assistance for graduate students as well.