How Do People Afford Graduate School?

Your job sucks. You’re not making much money at all. You’re tired of your dead end job. You need to pay off your student loans and make real money. You want to switch things up. You want more out of life.

You want to reinvent yourself by going back to school and earning your graduate degree. You know the benefits of graduate school and you want to experience them because you’re tired of your current situation.

We looked at the top law schools in the country last month. I received a common question about this post. How do you actually afford graduate school? I wanted to answer this question after asking around and getting in touch with friends that have gone to graduate school.

Are you supposed to get into further student loan debt just to go back to school? What do you if you want to increase your qualifications without increasing your debt? Is there financial aid for graduate school?

How do people actually afford graduate school? How can you pay for more education without being in debt for the rest of your life?

Funding from your school.

One of the setbacks of graduate school is the expensive price of tuition as all students can attest to this. The good news is that some programs and schools have funding for graduate programs. Financial aid for graduate school is actually pretty common at most colleges. You just need to find out what your options are and go after them. The financial aid for graduate school also depends on your program. Some programs will require you to do tons of research that’s valuable to the school and thus the school will be more accommodating in terms of funding.

All I know is that you need to look into the tuition funding options available at various schools before you even apply to graduate school.

Your employer pays for it.

Many companies see their employees as their most valuable assets. This is why it’s common to find financial aid for graduate school at your own place of work. One of my friends told me that his firm paid for him to earn his MBA. There’s just one issue with this. When someone invests so much money into you, they obviously expect something in return. You usually have to sign a contract that stipulates that you have to work for the firm for a specific amount of time once you earn your credentials. If you hate your place of work, you might not want to be stuck there because you took their money.

You study part-time.

If there’s no financial aid for graduate school in your field or you want to do it on your own, you can study part-time while you continue to work in your field. This option isn’t easy, but many others have done this already so it’s definitely not impossible. It’s also going to take a bit longer. However, this is the ideal option if you want to study at your own pace, still work in the field, and not get killed with student loans.

You save up for a few years if there’s no financial aid for graduate school.

The final option is that you save up for a few years. You take some time to gain experience, pay down your student loan debt, and save up for the future. This way you can attend graduate school without requiring the further assistance of student loans. This route might take a bit longer, but it’s going to be worth it in the long run if you follow through with it.

Those are the main ways that you can afford a graduate school degree without going into further student debt. How do you plan on paying for graduate school?

3 thoughts on “How Do People Afford Graduate School?”

  1. SavingfromScratch

    Unfortunately, I fall into the last category and have been saving for grad school for the last few months. I plan to start my MBA in fall of 2013, and I should have over $20,000 saved by then (which should help).

    Who knows? Perhaps by then I’ll work for a company that will help fund it!

  2. I’m just finishing up a MS in agriculture and I got a tuition waiver and got paid to do research for my advisor. I will only have invested a little over $1000 in my education and actually came out money ahead in the end.

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