For many students returning to school to complete their Master's degree there is a lot of financial pressure, especially if they have families and are working and attending school full-time. For some students, working is not an option given the huge time demands of the specific programs, so finding the greatest number of scholarships and financial aid programs is important. While there are many graduate level scholarships, there are very few, "full scholarships," at the Master's level unless an employer is providing this type of funding. Some of the most common full scholarships are for degrees in education, medicine and technology.
If you are enrolling in a Master's level degree program and are also a minority, there are several scholarship options. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program provides up to 1,000 scholarships per year for students of African American heritage at the masters and undergraduate level. Scholarship awards are based on financial need, demonstrated academic ability and an interest in leadership within the community. The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) offers several annual scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students attending a college or university partnered through HACU. Native American students at the Master's level can take advantage of the Catching The Dream Scholarship, which can be applied to tribal leadership, business, economic, legal or social issues. The scholarships are granted to any Native Indian student to be used in any accredited, United States university or college. The student must be at least 1/4 Native American and will need to attend school full-time.
Women also have specific, Master-level scholarships available to them. Many of these scholarships are offered through professional women's associations or are memorial scholarships from women in business or within a particular field of education. One organization is Women's Independance Scholarship Program, which offers a scholarship for women working to achieve their Master's degree in any field of counseling, training or support of women.
There are a large number of scholarships and grants available through the Federal Government for Master's degree education. One avenue to consider is the Boren Graduate Fellowships, designed for students completing graduate studies to prepare for work within the field of language. There are also several awards through the American Cancer Society Scholarship for those interested in reaching their Master's degree in cancer nursing.