I first heard of the graduate assistantships from one of my best friends at Niagara when I was completing my undergraduate degree. We had begun thinking about graduate school, and where we were headed in the future. She encouraged me to apply for a graduate assistant (GA) position so that she would have some friendly competition. When I researched into the GA positions a little further, I couldn't dismiss what a great opportunity it would be.
I interviewed with three different offices offering assistantship positions, and ended up being offered the one in the Graduate Education Office. I accepted immediately; it was definitely the one I wanted most. I began training during the second-to-last week of summer, and started working my regular hours the very first day of classes.
A graduate assistantship from Niagara University is not just a scholarship; it is a door that opens up experiences in the professional world. Not only am I receiving a full schedule of courses tuition-free for two years, but I am also gaining more knowledge and experience than I could have hoped, through firsthand work experience at the university.
As a GA, I work approximately 20 hours per week. In return for working those 20 hours, the university pays for nine credit hours per semester, and provides me with a stipend as well. With the cost of a higher education, I don’t think I would have been able to afford to enroll in graduate school if I hadn't received this generous financial award. So far, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am eagerly looking forward to recruiting season this month!