The earlier you are aware of these options, the sooner you can take advantage of them possibly allowing you multiple sources of funds to continue your education.
Scholarships - many schools operate similarly to Clayton State University's financial aid department in terms of scholarships available. Typically, there is a set of scholarships available to that institution's students only. Once accepted, you can apply to them. Often, they are listed on the school's financial aid website. Those for Clayton State University can be found at http://www.clayton.edu/financial-aid/scholarships.
- Other types of scholarships that exist are national or local. Some such websites to search for these include fastweb.com, http://www.supercollege.com/, and http://www.studentscholarshipsearch.com/.
- Also, many Fraternities, Sororities, and Religious Organizations offer scholarships to their members, thus reducing the number in competition for them.
Assistantships - are a form of work available to graduate students on campus. Grad students are traditionally allowed to work for professors as their "assistant" in teaching classes, labs, or conducting research. In turn, compensation is provided in the form of pay as a stipend, tuition remission or some such combination.
Fellowships - typically offered by private groups or professional organizations to encourage research and development in their specific field of work. Funds are offered to graduate students to help pay for their studies.
Federal Financial Aid - see http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ for details.
Work Reimbursement-some jobs may offer reimbursement for part or all of your tuition as a benefit in addition to salary and other compensation packages. Some employers require a minimum time commitment to the job after graduation, most require the maintenance of a certain G.P.A. to qualify, and some may want you remain part-time throughout your studies. All will vary according to employer.
Private Loans - may be obtained per individual student based on credit score and eligibility and proving your history of reliability in paying back previous loans and debts. Be careful of interest rates and predatory lenders. Review http://www.nclc.org/issues/student-loans.html to learn more.
Grants - Grants are sometimes available for those who have access to or they themselves have a strong writing ability. Traditionally, grants require an extremely focused purpose and function in terms of the use of funds.
A good way to determine which methods may be more likely received for your area of study may be to research or ask the Program in which you are interested how most of their students tend to fund their education. You may learn of even more creative ways to create a package that serves your needs!