The cost and ROI of graduate school

Posted on February 02, 2022

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If you’re considering a graduate degree, you probably have questions about how you’ll finance your education, and if there will be a good return on your investment. Here are some options and insights to consider as you make your decision.


Financial Aid

You can apply for federal financial aid for graduate school. You can apply for a loan by filling out the FAFSA before you’re even admitted in to a program.

  1. Apply by visiting
  2. Create an account and enter all necessary information.
  3. Once admitted, you will receive a notification from the UNCG Financial Aid Office that you have been issued an award offer. You can accept this offer after you have registered for classes.

Watch this video to learn more about the FAFSA.

Employer Assistance Programs

Many employers offer at least partial support for education, so consult your human resources representative to learn what benefits your organization may provide.

Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Students can be offered a GA position in the Bryan School to work with a faculty member, in a department or an office. GAs are required to work 18 hours per week within the school and receive a stipend of $7,000 per year ($3,500 for fall, $3,500 for spring). Students are paid monthly by direct deposit.

You can be offered a scholarship to go along with your GA. These are merit based, as referenced in next section.

To apply for an assistantship, contact your program director.


Some of the Bryan School’s on campus, full-time programs offer scholarship opportunities to students. These are typically merit-based, and students are awarded these scholarships based on their graduate school applications. Talk to the program director for the program you’re considering to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

If you are a current UNCG undergraduate or graduate student, you can use the Spartan Scholarship system to research scholarships. Keep in mind—there are also scholarships through a variety of community organizations, so be sure to do your research for every available opportunity. You may also want to explore the Graduate School’s website for a list of scholarships and fellowships managed by that office.

Veteran’s Benefits

You may be able to use the GI Bill to pay for graduate school. Contact the UNC Greensboro Military-Affiliated Services office to learn more about support for veterans.


One immediate benefit of the Bryan School’s graduate programs is our relatively low cost of attendance. Flexible, online programs can also make it easier to maintain a job while going to school so that you don’t have to consider missed earnings as you calculate costs.

To consider the return on your investment (ROI), it’s important to consider your long-term career goals and learn about expected earnings in your field and in the geographic area where you plan to live. Talk to our program directors about graduate placement rates and starting salaries so that you get a realistic picture of what you might expect upon graduation.

Good resources include the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, and the cost of living calculator at CNN Money. Be cautious of articles that speak in generalities – the starting salary for an MBA graduate is much different in Greensboro than a large city like New York or Chicago!

Ask Questions

Pursuing a graduate degree is a significant decision. Our recruiters and program directors will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We can also connect you with alumni who can tell you about their experiences. Gather the information you need so that you can make the decision that’s right for your future.

To learn more about the Bryan School’s graduate programs, contact our recruitment team at


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