• Scholarships.com
  • Peterson's
  • Stamps Scholars
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation
  • Educational Advancement Foundation

When students finish their bachelor's degree program, they have the option to pursue a career or a higher degree. Those wish to continue their education may choose to work before returning to start a graduate program. Since graduate school tuition rates are considerably higher, it is important to look for as many scholarships as possible. Here are five helpful graduate scholarship resources.

1. Scholarships.com

This is one of the most comprehensive scholarship sites for graduate and undergraduate students. In addition to providing resources for general scholarships, the site lists many links to scholarships offered only to students who meet specific criteria or plan to enroll in specific types of degree programs. For example, there are scholarships for LGBTQ students, Muslim students, psychology majors, chemical engineering majors and many more. The site is known for keeping its information current, and no registration is required to view the scholarship options. There are also tips, calculators and useful tools for prospective graduate students to use.

2. Peterson's

Peterson's is a newer site with an easy-to-use interface. Prospective students can sign up for free and browse thousands of scholarship resources. Petersons.com continuously adds new scholarships. The scholarship opportunities are displayed in quick-view boxes that show the amount, the specialty when applicable and the deadline for application. Account holders can save scholarship options as they browse to apply for them later. Peterson's also provides information about different schools and offers a variety of helpful test prep resources.

3. Stamps Scholars

As part of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, StampsFoundation.org is a site dedicated to helping prospective scholars become leaders in their chosen fields with merit-based scholarships. The organization has a wide variety of partner schools, which are listed under its programs. Graduate students who plan to attend a partner school can contact Stamps Scholars to apply. There is a list of schools with each scholarship program and its corresponding application deadline. Earning one of these scholarships is a prestigious distinction. Benefit amounts and concentrations vary for these programs from one partner school to another.

4. Jackie Robinson Foundation

With its mission for equal opportunity, the Jackie Robinson Foundation offers scholarships for minority graduate students. Although the organization's signature scholarships are for high school students entering college, JackieRobinson.org provides a comprehensive database of scholarship resources for minority students seeking degrees in a variety of graduate programs. There is a collapsible list on the "Apply" tab of the site. The site's resources are free to view and use.

5. Educational Advancement Foundation

This organization is part of Alpha Kappa Alpha and thrives on donations from private parties or organizations. AKAEAF.org provides resources for both merit-based scholarships and need-based scholarships. Applicants must have already started a degree program and must be maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher to qualify. They are also required to have community involvement or volunteer in a community service program. To be considered for a scholarship from this organization, prospective scholars must submit their applications by the current deadline listed on the site under the "Scholarships" tab.

Although filling out applications and writing essays are both time-consuming tasks, they are well worth every minute in comparison with paying high tuition rates now or repaying astronomical student loans later on. A study by Granite State Management and Resources showed that about 80 percent of graduate students relied on student loans, and 78 percent were heavily burdened by what they owed. It is smart to invest time now to search scholarships and limit future financial burdens. The first step is choosing the right degree program.