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Financial Aid


Most of our first-year students are awarded assistantships and we take care to match you with assistantships that fit your career interests. You will automatically be considered for an assistantship when you apply to the program unless you request otherwise. (For example, you may not wish to be considered for an assistantship if you plan to pursue the degree part-time while continuing to work full-time in your current job.) Also, assistantships are rarely available in the spring semester for students who begin the program in the spring.

As a graduate assistant, you will pay substantially reduced tuition and receive a health insurance subsidy. Please consult the Graduate School’s website for the most up-to-date information on rates.

You will also receive a salary as a graduate assistant. Currently, first-year assistants earn $11,374 for the fall and spring semesters. Second-year teaching assistants earn $13,724 for the fall and spring semesters. As a graduate assistant, you are expected to work 15 hours each week during the fall and spring semesters. You also have the opportunity to serve as a graduate assistant in the summer, and these positions typically pay $1,500 for 10 hours of work each week during the twelve weeks of summer session.

First-year assistantships include:

Teaching. First-year assistantships focused on teaching generally involve helping students one-on-one in the Writing Center. You will develop your communication and leadership skills as you gain experience teaching students from undergraduate and graduate programs. You will work with students who seek help writing at all stages, from generating ideas through revising. (The Writing Center is not a proofreading service.) You will receive special training for these positions and will work 15 hours per week in the Writing Center.

Production. MATRF staff members manage and facilitate use of our state-of-the-art multimedia facility. With training, you will quickly become a proficient user of software and equipment in order to assist with video editing, document design, podcasting, animation, and much more. You will also work one-on-one with actual clients to produce deliverables. Most deliverables are websites, though some are print publications. You will staff the MATRF facility for 10 hours per week and work 5 hours per week on your assigned client deliverables.

Research. Some first-year students work one-on-one with a faculty member on research projects. You will develop a working relationship with a faculty member and gain hands-on experience with research methods and results. In most cases, you will have a role in shaping the research project and analyzing the results. You will work 15 hours per week.

Program management. Some first-year students work one-on-on with a faculty member on administering a program. For example, the MAWRM program director has a graduate assistant who helps with communication-related activities such as recruiting students, keeping in touch with alumni, planning events, writing website content, and so forth. As a program assistant, you will gain communication and leadership skills and produce deliverables that can be part of your portfolio. You will work 15 hours per week.

Second-year assistantships involve teaching English 1030, the undergraduate composition course. You will receive extensive training prior to teaching and will be supported with a practicum and mentor program while teaching.

For information about loans and fellowships, please consult the Graduate School's website. Students who are not South Carolina residents and do not receive an assistantship should also look into the Academic Common Market, which may enable them to pay in-state tuition.