Graduate students still have options for financial aid

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In today’s job market, bachelor’s degrees aren’t enough to set an applicant apart from the crowd. Master’s degrees are often considered the new bachelor’s degree, meaning there may be a new standard for getting a better job with better pay. 

Earning a Master in Business Administration (MBA), or any other master’s degree, may give an applicant a competitive edge to getting a job with better pay. Unfortunately, graduate degrees from top universities also come with a hefty price tag ranging from $60,000-$100,000. This may seem out of reach, but many resources can lessen the financial burden.

Funding for Graduate School

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA®). The first step when looking for financial aid is always FAFSA®. Some students are eligible for federal grants. However, if you’re not eligible or don’t get enough grant money, federal student loans are also an option.

Federal student loans may be ideal for some students as they do not have to begin repayment until 6 months after a student stops attending school.

Tuition Reimbursement. Many companies and government agencies encourage personal and professional growth through programs that help employees further their education. If an employee enjoys their current field and wants to pursue a degree in a related field, they may be eligible for tuition assistance or reimbursement. 

This often comes with a contract that would require an employee who receives tuition assistance/reimbursement to remain with the funding organization for a designated amount of time.

Scholarships. Many people believe scholarships are only available for undergraduate students, but many are for graduate and Ph.D. programs. Scholarships are merit-based, so gaining relevant work and volunteer experience is key to obtaining financial assistance in scholarships. 

Information regarding available scholarships is generally located on a university’s website or through its financial aid office.

Other Things to Consider

There are many factors to consider before choosing a university for graduate school. Almost all university graduate school programs require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). However, some universities will waive that requirement if the applicant maintained an above-average grade point average (GPA) or has substantial experience in a related field.  

Prospective students should also conduct in-depth research before choosing a school to apply to and choose the university that best suits their needs. Private universities offer loans directly through the university at a lower interest rate than personal or federal loans.

Online or distance learning programs often have lower tuition and offer flexibility that enables students to hold a full-time job and study when their schedule permits.

 

Going to school to acquire an MBA or other post-graduate degree is becoming necessary if you want a higher paying job or better job opportunities. The cost should not be a deterrent as many options can save money and lessen the overall cost of receiving an education. 

Student loan debt is a nationwide problem. Knowing the various sources of financial aid, exploring all available options, and making sound financial decisions are the best ways to set yourself up for success.