Financial Aid Options
A limited amount of financial support is available to those accepted into the graduate program. The Graduate Coordinator is currently working on avenues to expand and optimize these resources. Exact amounts for each student are difficult to predict from year to year, but we are very cognizant of student needs to offset the cost of instruction.
A. Graduate Teaching Associates (GTAs)
Several students will be hired each year as official instructors of record for classes that include Principles of Geology Lab; Earth Time and Life Lab; Field Methods; Optical Mineralogy Lab; and Natural Disasters. These classes involve a significant time commitment in terms of course preparation and instruction. Also a flexible work schedule is required because most classes meet at odd times of the day. Typical teaching salaries vary from $1800 to $3600 per course. Depending on the time spent on preparation and grading, this is equivalent to a rate of $20/hr to $30/hr.
B. General Graduate Assistantships (GAs)
As our graduate program gains momentum, a certain percentage of faculty-generated revenue should return to the Geology Department to be earmarked for general Graduate Assistantships. Tasks include assisting faculty with research, training students in use of equipment, tutoring undergraduate students, website development, filming of lab or field activities and preparation of course materials. Students are paid at a rate of approximately $18/hour. A typical Graduate Assistantship might vary from $3000 to $6000/year.
C. Project-Specific Graduate Research Assistantships
Several faculty members have written grant proposals that build in funding for Graduate Research Assistants to work on specific projects. Funding levels vary from year to year and some proposals are still pending, but the amount of potential student support is significant.
D. State University Grants
Graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply for a State University Grant that potentially might cover significant tuition costs. These grants are based on financial need. To get started you must file a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) available at the following web site: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
E. Student Loans
All matriculated graduate students at Cal Poly Pomona are eligible for student loans. There are a couple of options that offer very low interest rates. Students apply through FAFSA (see above).