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Mason Grad Insider

Student Loans: Know Your Options

April 15, 2016

By Kelly Pedersen

Editor’s Note: The following information was provided during a “Financial Well-Being Workshop” held on April 11, 2016. This information is not financial advice, but rather general information about types of loans, key terms, and resources.

When it comes to attending graduate school, everyone is excited for graduation day, the culminating moment after years of hard work. You’re finally finished, but for many of us, something else is just beginning: student loan repayment. It’s important for students to understand what kinds of loans they have and their options for repayment. Below, find some information about student loans including key terms and links to help you decide what your …

Taking Care of Your Well-Being

April 8, 2016

By Lewis E. Forrest, II, M.Ed

Being a graduate student can be challenging mentally, emotionally, and even physically. It can also be extremely rewarding, filling you with new ideas, information, and energy about the field you are studying. As all students, graduate students have complex lives: many of us work and attend school, have families and other responsibilities that require a level of flexibility that can be challenging.

So, how are you taking care of yourself in the midst of classes, family, friends, work, and life in general? I can remember being a graduate student in 2003, working full-time, married, and my wife and I expecting our third child. Looking …

George Mason University Appreciates You!

April 1, 2016

By Kate Shaw

Next week, April 4-8, 2016, is Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week. In case you didn’t know that there was a week of appreciation for us hard-working graduate students, many university offices take time to honor Mason’s 10,000+ graduate and professional students in a number of ways. As part of appreciation week, Graduate Student Life, University Life Arlington, and other units across the campuses are holding events for graduate students. All events are free and open to all graduate and professional students at Mason. Here’s a complete list:

Monday, April 4

3:00-5:30 pm

It’s Sweet to Be a Grad Student

Johnson Center, 240K (Women and Gender Studies …

Get Involved in the Graduate Student Community with GAPSA

March 25, 2016

By Kate Shaw

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) is George Mason University’s primary association for graduate student advocacy and for students to come together as part of a graduate community. The central purpose of GAPSA is to create a forum through which graduate students can address issues that affect the graduate student population at the university.

In partnerships with other university units or student groups, GAPSA often takes part in a number of events, including Welcome Week activities such as Gradstravaganza, happy hours near each of the campuses, Mason Lobbies, educational workshops, and other events that allow graduate students to socialize with one another. All graduate and …

Graduate Student on a Budget: Low- or No-Cost Activities for Mason Students this Spring

March 18, 2016

By Kelly Pedersen

Graduate students often joke about their lack of funds for leisure activities. Although many students work outside of class time or live on stipends, budgeting while getting an education can be difficult. If finding money for fun means resorting to ramen for dinner, check out the free or low-cost activities for Mason graduate students to participate in this spring.

Within George Mason

Participate in an Outdoor Adventure

Mason Recreation provides programming and support for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in learning more about outdoor recreation through the new Center for Outdoor Experiential Education located at Skyline Fitness Center on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Learn skills related to rock …

Looking to Beat that Writer’s Block?

March 4, 2016

By Kate Shaw

Ask almost any graduate student, and they’ll tell you that writing is one of the most important aspects of their graduate studies. For some, it may also be the most challenging aspect of their studies. It can become difficult for many of us to defeat the twin demons of procrastination and writer’s block, and often writing at home or somewhere on campus may lead to loads of distractions.  So, what is a graduate student to do? That’s where write-ins come in. A write-in allows students to bring their projects, papers, laptops, and/or writing goals to a typically quiet space that allows for total concentration in a …

Introducing the Office of Graduate Fellowships

February 26, 2016

By Dr. Kay Ágoston

It’s spring, when graduate student minds turn to thoughts of… funding!

Or at least they should. Many fellowship programs have fall or winter deadlines, which means that spring is the right time for organizing, planning, and getting a head start on the applications you will be working on over the summer.

There are many different types of fellowships, scholarships, and grants for graduate students, including:

Fellowships to launch students in graduate school by funding the early years of their graduate education and training. Grants to support the cost of graduate research, fieldwork, or conference travel. Stipends for the final year or writing and defending the doctoral …

Tips for Staying Financially Healthy During Graduate School

February 11, 2016

By Kelly Pedersen

Being a graduate student isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to finances. Many students are forced to discontinue working full time when they decide to pursue graduate study. Some are living off stipends or student loans. Living with limited resources can be tough, but we often make it harder on ourselves when we aren’t conscious of our spending habits. Budgeting and tracking where your dollars are going is the first step toward financial well-being in graduate school. Below you will find some tips on how to start budgeting.

Track Your Purchases

First you have to figure out where your money is going. Spend one to three …

Meeting the Challenge: Learning How to Better Manage Your Time During Graduate School

February 5, 2016

By Vicki Dominick

Time management in graduate school presents students with a variety of new challenges. By learning about these challenges and following the recommendations below, you can successfully manage your time in graduate school.

Challenge: Increased academic rigor

You should expect to be assigned a great deal more reading than during your bachelor’s degree. In addition to the amount of reading, the complexity of the concepts presented will be greater as well. Also, you will be expected to write lengthier papers and take on larger, more complex class projects.

All of this takes more time. For a typical 3-credit graduate class, you should set aside 9-12 hours per week …

Taking Advantage of Mason’s Recreational Resources

January 29, 2016

By Kate Shaw

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to start taking advantage of the health and fitness opportunities at Mason. According to Mason’s Student Health Services, the benefits of being active are numerous, including improved heart, muscle, and lung health, stress reduction, and increased muscle strength. If becoming more active is a resolution of yours, a great thing about being a Mason graduate student is that we have a number of resources, facilities, and activities available to us to get some exercise in a variety of fun ways!

The use of Mason’s Fairfax recreational facilities is free for all full-time master’s and doctoral students. Part-time master’s, doctoral, and …