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We want to tell you about another interesting aspect of higher education, it is assistantship. If you want to pursue higher education in a university you should aim at getting some financial assistantship. When you get financial assistantship, the University pays for your education either partly or fully.

It is not as difficult as it sounds to get some kind of assistantship. In this article, I will discuss a few aspects of assistantships. There are 5 different kinds of assistantships that you can aspire to while applying for higher education:
  • Scholarships from external agencies
  • Fellowships
  • Research Assistantships
  • Teaching Assistantships
  • Tuition Fee-Waiver
Scholarships are generally offered by third parties to bright students. They can cover either your education or some expense related to education. Placementor.com itself has a scholarship scheme to encourage students. There are many resources available where serious students can recoup most of the money spent for the application procedure. Fellowships are generally given to students whom the Universities feel will be assets to their departments. These are paid the money (tuition fee + stipend), without any strings attached. This is of course the best possible form of assistantship you can get.
However, the competition is going to be stiff.
In a Research Assistantship (RA), you assist a specific professor in doing research, writing papers etc. Here, you are expected to put in 10 - 20 hrs every week, other than your own studies, to get paid. The RA may partially or totally cover your tuition fee and then give you a stipend.

A Teaching Assistantship (TA) demands that you help a professor with his/her teaching responsibilities (conducting tutorials, correcting homework etc.). Again you have to spend 10 - 20 hrs per week towards this.

Generally, professors look for English speaking proficiency for this assistantship and a good score in TSE (Test of Spoken English) can be a strong point in your favor.

Finally, sometimes you may get a full or partial tuition fee waiver if you are a bright student, but the department does not have much funding to support you. In such a case, you are expected to find a job on campus to support yourself. As there is a lot of dignity of labor, you need not hesitate to work in the canteen, library, computer lab or any other place in any job. But even here you are required to put in a given number of hours in addition to your studies.

Now that you learned all about assistantships, let us see how you use the three pillar approach (choosing the right university, providing good academic record and building a convincing application packet) to get the assistantship that you deserve most.