How to pay for Masters degree?

HLRSHLRS Banned Posts: 142
I wonder how people pay for masters if no tution help from employer or financial aid. Are taking out loans the last option?

Comments

  • kevozzkevozz Member Posts: 305 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Loans mostly. A few people I know are paying for one class per semester out of their own pocket.
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    What is the point of obtaining a Master's Degree if you can't afford to pay for it out of your pocket? I mean, if you are ready for a graduate degree, you should already have a job that allows you to live comfortably, right?
  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
    @sratakhin,

    I'll have to disagree with you. A lot of people obtain Master Degree's hoping to get that higher paying job.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,265 Admin
    Schools have a financial aide department to help students explore the options. Low-interest student loans (e.g., Sallie Mae), scholarships, and grants are part of the typical course of action. A bank (credit union) load is also an alternative. You want as long-term, low-interest as possible. If you make only the minimum monthly payment, expect to be paying on a student loan for 10+ years.
    sratakhin wrote: »
    What is the point of obtaining a Master's Degree if you can't afford to pay for it out of your pocket? I mean, if you are ready for a graduate degree, you should already have a job that allows you to live comfortably, right?
    Unless gifted the cost, most of us who need a degree to earn more money will not be able to pay for it outright. If you can pay for a $50K+ degree out of pocket then you are already doing quite well financially and don't the degree to increase your financial success.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    How much money are we talking about? Graduate degrees vary greatly in cost. Are we talking $5k/semester or $30k/semester? Unless you are on the lower end of cost, tuition assistance from an employer isn't going to help much anyway, as most employers' programs top out at $5250/year, since after this level they are obligated to add it as addition salary (and I think they must pay additional employer-side FICA, as well). My employer gives us a nice round $5/year, but they gave me an additional $5k/year for the past two years because of the partnership that they have with my school. This essentially covered my tuition.

    Now, for my preferred program, an MBA from Notre Dame, their tuition assistance isn't going to amount to much... less than 20% of the total. People have a variety of options with these costlier programs, I suppose. Saving up is always prudent; some states offer 529 programs that give you a state tax credit for deposits, which is a good incentive. Some schools offer fellowships (which are the graduate school version of a scholarship). Beyond that, you can borrow from retirement savings for college expenses without penalty, or you can take out a loan.
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  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Member Posts: 968
    I do something different. I got a job at a Uni as a part-time Lecturer and in return I tap into the staff development program. So I teach for them for 6 months and I study with them for 6 months. It's harder as this is in addition to working my full time job and doing the normal professional certifications to keep them current.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    NinjaBoy,

    That is a good point. Some schools offer different educational incentives to employees. I know that my alma mater offers free tuition to employees. A former colleague of mine that I ran into again while in school was having a hard time finding work (he was switching from IT into economics as his third career, started out as a police officer), and he applied to be part of the campus police. He would have full police powers within the county and he would have had free tuition. I think he ended up passing on it because he thought that they had a pretty poor operation.

    Sometimes they even have agreements with other universities, as well, where they offer reciprocal tuition programs. So, you could get a job at one university and get a discount at another; typically you don't get free tuition in these circumstances, but maybe 50% tuition.
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