Top 5 Financial Aid Options for MS in Data Science in the US

48,000 US dollars!

That’s the average tuition fee for an MS in Data Science in the US.

Yeah! It’s a lot of money.

Financial Aid for MS in Data Science: Your Top 10 Options

But before you give up, take a look at the bigger picture.

The highest-paid data scientist earns $130,770, while the lowest-paid makes $77,620 annually. So, you will earn back what you paid within one year of securing a job in the US.

Okay, your concerns are valid.

Will I get a job in the US? And will my degree be recognized if I return to my home country?

Here are your answers:

Source: What international students overall say about their US degree.

  • 76% of Indians secure full-time employment in the US.
  • 74% of Indians find jobs in India after studying in the U.S.

So, a US degree won’t be a wrong decision. 

But if you’re wondering how to handle the hefty tuition fees, this article is your GOLDMINE. You’ll discover 5 financial aid options for MS in Data Science in the US.

Stick around till the end for some bonus tips!

In a hurry? Here’s financial aid for MS in Data Science at a glance:

  1. Scholarships
  2. Assistantships
  3. Fellowships
  4. Student Loans
  5. Work-Study Programs

Ready to uncover the gold, one piece at a time? Here you go!

1. Scholarships

The basics: Scholarships are financial awards that will help you pursue higher education. They can cover partial or full tuition, living expenses, and sometimes additional costs.

You get scholarships based on academic merit, community involvement, leadership, or a combination of all these factors.

Finding scholarships:

  • University-specific scholarship: Check the websites of your target universities for graduate student scholarships or Data Science scholarships.
  • Online portals: Use online websites like to find scholarships. 
  • Indian Government Websites: Check government websites like the Ministry of Human Resource Development to find government-funded scholarships.
  • Private Organizations and Trusts: Look into scholarships offered by Indian organizations and trusts such as Tata Trusts, Inlaks Scholarships, and Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation.
  • US-India Educational Foundation (USIEF): Visit the USIEF website for information on scholarships and fellowships for Indian students studying in the US.

How to get:

  • Find eligibility criteria and shortlist the MS in Data Science scholarships you are eligible for. 
  • Submit a well-crafted application, including a personal statement highlighting your achievements, goals, and how the scholarship will help you.
  • Get letters of recommendation from authority figures like professors, or mentors,
  • Submit all documents before the deadline.

Our expert suggestion for financial aid for MS in Data Science:

  1. WPI International Need-Based Scholarship
  2. American University Scholarship
  3. American Association of University Women Scholarship
  4. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme
  5. Narotam Sekhsaria Scholarship for Higher Studies

2. Assistantships

Research assistantship at NJIT

Source: Research assistantship at NJIT

The basics: Assistantships are part-time employment opportunities for graduate students within the university. 

There are Research Assistantships, where students work in research, and Teaching Assistantships, where students assist a professor.

Assistantships offer financial support, typically in the form of a stipend and tuition remission. It also gives hands-on experience in your field of study and helps develop professional skills. 

Finding assistantships:

  • University websites: Browse the websites of the universities you’re interested in. Specifically, search for financial support for Data Science. 
  • Departmental resources: Contact the Data Science department for information on available assistantships.
  • Faculty members: Contact potential advisors or faculty members in your area of interest. 
  • Networking: Connect with current or former students from the university who can help you find assistantship opportunities.

How to get:

  • Apply early, as many universities have specific deadlines for assistantship applications.
  • Highlight any research or teaching experience you have in your application. It will increase your chances of securing an assistantship.
  • Prepare a strong CV highlighting your skills, academic achievements, and experience relevant to the assistantship.
  • Get ready for interviews(if asked) by reviewing your experiences, accomplishments, and the responsibilities of the assistantship role.

Our expert suggestion for financial aid for MS in Data Science:

  1. The City University of New York offers full-time students in good academic standing, with in-state tuition coverage and tiered roles with varying service hours.
  2. Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) positions, typically requiring a 20-hour per week commitment.
  3. New Jersey Institute of Technology offers teaching and research assistantships that provide part-time work opportunities for students, with around 400 positions available annually.

3. Fellowships

The basics: Fellowships are merit-based financial awards that will cover your tuition fees, along with a stipend for living expenses.

It will help you to focus on your studies or research without needing to work. They are provided by universities, research institutions, or private organizations as master’s degree funding.

Finding fellowships:

  • University websites: Explore the master’s degree funding and department pages of universities you’re interested in.
  • Research institutions and private organizations: Check their websites for fellowship opportunities in your field of study.
  • Online databases: Websites like ProFellow, or  Fellowship Finder can help you search for fellowships based on various criteria.
  • Indian organizations and government: Some Indian organizations or government bodies may offer fellowships for students pursuing higher education abroad.

How to get:

  • Eligibility criteria: Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for the fellowships you’re applying to. It can be academic merit or a specific research focus.
  • Strong application: Submit a well-crafted application highlighting your achievements, research interests, and goals.
  • Research proposal: Many fellowships require a research proposal, which should be well-structured, clear, and demonstrate the significance of your research.
  • Recommendation letters: Request letters of recommendation from professors or mentors who can affirm your skills and potential.

Our expert suggestion for financial aid for MS in Data Science:

  1. AAUW International Fellowships
  2. S.N. Bose Scholars Student Exchange Program

4. Student Loans

The basics: Student loans are funds borrowed by students to cover tuition and living expenses while pursuing higher education.

They can be offered by federal or private institutions and need to be repaid, usually with interest, over a specified period.

Finding student loans:

  • Private loans from US lenders: Some US-based lenders offer private loans to international students. Examples include Prodigy Finance, MPOWER Financing, and Discover.
  • Online bidding platforms: It is an alternative student loan option where lenders compete to provide student loans with the most favourable terms and interest rates.
  • Home country loans: Indian banks and financial institutions, such as SBI, HDFC Credila, and Avanse, offer educational loans for Indian students studying abroad.

How to get:

  • Eligibility: Check the eligibility criteria for various loan programs, including credit history, income requirements, or having a cosigner.
  • Compare loan terms: Compare interest rates, repayment terms, and other conditions across different loan providers.
  • Documentation: Gather necessary documents, such as admission letters, proof of identity, and financial statements.
  • Apply: Submit loan applications to the lenders of your choice and follow their specific application procedures.

5. Work-Study Programs

The basics: Work-study programs are part-time employment opportunities for eligible students. They allow you to earn money and make payments for your education while gaining work experience.

Finding work-study programs:

  • University job portals: Many universities have job portals listing work-study opportunities.
  • Campus departments: Visit various campus departments, such as libraries or administrative offices, to inquire about available work-study positions.
  • Off-campus employers: Some work-study programs partner with off-campus employers. Check with your department of financial support for Data Science related opportunities.

How to get:

  • Eligibility: Ensure you meet all the criteria for work-study programs, which may include financial need or academic performance.
  • Apply for financial aid: Submit the required financial assistance application, such as IWS or CSS Profile, depending on the university.
  • Search for positions: Browse available work-study positions on your university’s job portal or through campus departments.
  • Apply for jobs: Submit job applications to the relevant departments or employers, including your resume and other required documents.

Our expert suggestion for financial aid for MS in Data Science:

  1. WPI offers on-campus part-time job opportunities where you can typically earn $1,500 to $2,500 per academic year.
  2. NJIT offers degree-seeking students work-study programs in academic departments, administrative offices, and community-service initiatives that can reduce their education expenses.

As we wrap up this guide, let’s not forget some additional strategies that can be financial support for your Data Science journey.

Bonus Tips:

  • Tuition waivers or discounts: Some universities may offer tuition waivers or discounts for eligible students based on merit or financial need.
  • Internships: Gain valuable work experience and cover living expenses by securing internships during your studies.
  • Sponsorships: Research and apply early for sponsorships from private companies, organizations, or foundations supporting students in specific fields.

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