As a recent graduate, I say with utmost certainty that the major thing keeping me from doing masters degree right away is the crazy price tag. Well, that and I want to work a few years beforehand.
If there is one trend that has continued unabated by the economy, it is the growth of tuition costs in education. Schools have announced hikes of anywhere between 4-8% for their students to meet next year; this is a staggering jump on a product that many argue is already overpriced.
So, how can we beat the high cost of an advanced degree?
There are a number of different paths you can take toward trimming down your academic expenses, let’s go over them.
1) Consider a public (state) college instead of a private one.
I know the allure of a prestigious-sounding private school can be hard to overcome, but in reality, there are an absolute ton of public schools that offer an education just as robust, at a much lower cost. Although prices are set individually by each school, it isn’t a long shot to expect at least a 30% decrease in school costs, assuming in-state status.
In addition, online schools can sometimes be less expensive than private schools. Above all else, make sure the school you plan to attend has exactly the major and concentration you want for your advanced degree; don’t settle for a school that is cheap over a school that is targeted for your career.
2) Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships!
There are a bunch of different websites you can use to find said scholarships, including ones like StudentScholarshipSearch.com and ScholarshipPoints.com. FastWeb.com and Scholarships.com are excellent excellent resources too. Bottom line, plan to set aside some time each week to look for free money.
3) Build your credit history beforehand.
Did you know that you can save thousands of dollars during your loan repayment period(s) if you can qualify for a low interest rate? If you are planning to undergo a graduate degree, financial planning is key to reducing your overall debt burden by the time you are finished.
by Gemma Maddock