An Investment in Education: Funding, Tuition and Paying for College

Josh Duke

Earning a bachelor’s degree opens up a world of possibilities for your professional ambitions. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” On top of earning more than those who hold only a high school diploma, individuals with a bachelor’s degree gain access to specialized skills, are less likely to live in poverty, and even have a longer life expectancy, according to some studies. Earning a graduate degree has even more benefits, including higher earning potential, opportunities for promotion, and becoming an expert in a field of study.

But one of the most commonly asked questions regarding college is: how do I pay for it? Plenty of people want to go to college but are not sure if they can afford it, and while student loans are an option, it is important to explore all your options to determine your best route to take. While college can be expensive, everyone should know the facts—how much it costs to go to Florida State University, what scholarships are available, and what kind of funding can you receive.

Tuition Costs

Tuition costs change over time, so it is important to know what the current tuition rates are. For the 2020-2021 academic year, in-state undergraduate students will pay $215.55 per credit hour, while in-state graduate students will pay $479.32 per credit hour. Out-of-state tuition totals $721.10 per credit hour for undergraduate study and $1,110.72 for graduate study.

FSU Student Business Services provides a comprehensive chart that is updated each year with the latest information. It includes a breakdown of tuition and fees, including rates for distance learning, specialized programs, and different FSU campuses.

With the current tuition rate, FSU is ranked as one of the best “bang for your buck” universities according to Forbes. The list considers both academic achievement and affordability, with FSU’s tuition coming in at less than the average for all higher education institutions in the U.S.


First and foremost, it is important for both undergraduate and graduate students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. The FAFSA can help determine your eligibility for federal funding.

Scholarships, which can come from private donors or businesses, can help reduce the cost of your college education. Regardless if you are an undergraduate student or a graduate student, there could be a scholarship available for you. In fact, thanks to our generous donors, the FSU College of Education offers more than $550,000 in scholarships and fellowships – more than any other college on FSU’s campus, and more than any other College of Education in Florida. These opportunities can make a huge difference in your ability to pay for college.

Scholarships at FSU are available from a number of sources. One of the easiest ways to search for scholarships is to use FS4U – Finding Scholarships for You. With FS4U, you can search for scholarships by keyword and filter results. College of Education students can reach out to Ashley Milton via email with any questions regarding these scholarships.

Graduate Fellowships and Grants

While there are plenty of scholarships available internally, there are also external funding opportunities. External funding can come from a variety of sources; however, the FSU Graduate School has created a list of governmental agencies, foundations and more that offer reputable sources of funding. FSU’s Office of Graduate Fellowships and Awards is also able to meet with you to offer advice on how to best conduct your search for funding. You can also view a list of graduate fellowships and grants on The Graduate School’s website here.

Graduate Assistantships

Finally, for graduate students especially, departments might offer funding opportunities like assistantships and tuition waivers. Graduate assistantships usually involve an employment position where you’ll work a set number of hours per week. These positions can be things like teaching undergraduate courses, assisting with research projects, or other departmental duties. In return, you’ll receive a tuition waiver, and in some cases, a stipend for additional living expenses.

In the College of Education, assistantships are handled at the department level, so you should reach out to the program you’re interested in to inquire about their assistantship application process and availability.

While paying for college can be stressful, there are ways to reduce the cost through scholarships, financial aid, and more. If you are still feeling confused, overwhelmed or simply have questions, you can always email our team or The Graduate School for more information.