As you may know from your experience pursuing a bachelor’s degree, financial aid is money that helps students pay for tuition expenses and other education costs while in school. Just as in undergraduate education, graduate school financial aid may cover expenses like books, supplies, and student housing, also known as room and board.

Graduate school can be an expensive investment; so many students rely on financial aid to finance their master’s degree. As with undergraduate education, you’ll need to understand the difference between scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, and loans offered to graduate school students.

If this is your first experience with financial aid, we’ll tell you how and where to apply. To find the option that’s right for your graduate school plans, you’ll need to research the many types of financial aid available to you.

Keep reading: Step 1: Applying for Financial Aid