I'm about to go into my senior year at Connecticut College. If all goes well, I'll be graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies, with a focus on Japanese, and and minor in Comparative Politics. If I'd wanted, I probably have enough credits to have had a minor in history instead, again with an Asian focus. I'm a pretty good student...I had a 3.5 GPA last semester, and a cumulative 3.34 for the past three years. I'd really like to go to graduate school, and I'm looking heavily into the University of Hawaii at Manao's Asian Studies MA, perhaps with a focus on linguistics (a field my current institution offers little in the way of courses...it's part of the Slavic Studies department it seems). There are other schools to look into still, but that's not my top concern.
The problem is paying for it. My parents have been more than gracious in paying for my undergrad education, but that's where the buck stops, understandably. For those of you doing the same as me, or who have done it, how are you/did you pay for it? What helped those out there who have assistanships get them? Is waiting a year or so before applying okay, or does it hurt your chances? Anything I'm not thinking of that I should be? How did you all figure out how to manage?
Thanks to all of you in advance for your advice and input.