Most people attending graduate or professional school qualify for and receive some kind of financial assistance. The quantity and kinds of financial assistance vary by field and between academic graduate study and professional graduate study.
How to Find Aid for Grad School
Ask each institution to which you are applying about its own financial assistance options including institution-based grants.
Check with all associations related to your chosen field of study to see if they offer assistance for graduate/professional study.
Find out if your employer helps employees with graduate/professional study.
If you are a member of a specific population, check with groups or associations of that population to see if any financial aid is offered.
Many financial aid application deadlines fall long before general application deadlines for graduate and professional study. Some financial aid may require a certain score on a graduate admissions exam (such as the GRE), so begin researching sources and take the relevant exam earlier rather than later.
Consider Public and Private Schools
Don't rule out private schools since they tend to be more expensive. Private institutions often have more money to help students. Until or unless you have to, do not eliminate appropriate options. Sometimes students use one institution's offer to get a better offer someplace else. You can't anticipate what financial aid package you'll be offered, so leave your options open!