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Financial Aid

There are several types of financial assistance that can be used to support the cost of a graduate degree: Student Loans, Graduate Assistantships, and Scholarships and Fellowships. An article appearing in the ASHA Leader discusses changes in the Federal Student Loan Program that may benefit graduates and graduate students. Additional information may be available from the University’s Financial Aid Office or from the USC Graduate School.

South Carolina Teach Loan Program
The South Carolina Teacher Loan Program loans money to speech-language pathology students who intend to work in the South Carolina public schools upon graduation. The loan is forgiven at the rate of 20% per year of public school employment (i.e., 5 years of school employment means the loan is forgiven).

Stafford Federal Student Loans
Stafford loans support both undergraduate and graduate students. There are two important facets to this loan. First, graduate students (unlike undergraduates) are considered independent of their parents. Thus, they are eligible for these loans irrespective of how much money their parents make. The federal government will provide loans to graduate students of $20,500 per year (the first $8,500 is subsidized - meaning the government pays the interest). Second, repayment of Stafford Loans may be deferred if the student works for three years in a federally designated teacher shortage area. For information on teacher loan forgiveness, click here.

Federal Work Study
The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides funds for part-time jobs which allow students to earn money needed to pay for educational expenses. Work-Study awards are a form of federal financial aid. Positions are available both on and off campus. Students are encouraged to find positions that provide work experience in their field of study or provide valuable service to the community. Jobs are advertised on this Web Site. For more information, click here.

Graduate Assistantships
A graduate assistant works part-time in a variety of capacities, depending on the nature of the funding. The student may be hired by a faculty member to perform research related to a grant-funded project or by a department to assist in various clerical duties. Graduate assistants must be full-time students and are considered either quarter-time (10 hours of work per week) or half-time assistants (20 hours of work per week). However, given the extensive scheduling of clinical practicum in the MSP program, COMD students are discouraged from pursuing a 20-hour assistantship. The only exception would be if the assistantship permitted the flexibility to complete work requirement during weekends. Importantly, while the amount of money paid by an assistantship varies slightly depending on the source of funding, assistantships allow all students to pay lower in-state tuition rates, regardless of their residency.

These Graduate Assistantships may be found by contacting directly faculty members having active research funding, or departments on campus. Information may also be available from our Graduate Admissions Counselor, Teresa Boyett