The cost of a Masters degree can greatly vary depending on the institution, the type of program, and how long it takes to complete it. Some programs are shorter, require less semester hours, or are offered at cheaper institutions. No matter how you look at it though, obtaining an advanced degree and seeking higher education is no small feat, it is a huge financial undertaking. Here are some things to consider before you make the commitment.
Sure it would be wonderful to get your graduate degree at an Ivy League school, but those big name schools come with big price tags to match, and unless graduate level funding is provided to the student by the school, often it requires student loans to cover the bill. You can quite possibly get the same degree at a much more affordable and still reputable establishment. If you have your heart set on a certain big name school, you just need to be realistic and understand the financial commitment you are making.
Take a look at what options are available to you online as far as the particular degree that you are pursuing. Getting your degree online can help motivated students work around a tight schedule and maintain a job or a family life while going to school. Online degrees come with a variety of different costs based on the school and program; some are much more affordable than others. Scrutinize all options before committing to an online school, and remain results oriented by determining the value provided by the program ensuring the degree can be put to good use upon graduation.
Consider the length of the program you are thinking about applying for. You are going to end up shelling out a great deal more money for a 3-4 year program than you would for a 30 or 40 hour program. Also, consider the impact that reduced income Look at the length of time it will take you to earn your degree and what other sacrifices you will have to make during that time to help you to gauge how practical this Master’s degree really is.
Consider your ROI or return on investment when you are thinking about heading off to graduate school. Is the amount of money you put into getting your advanced degree, borrowed or not, going to be quickly returned upon graduation, or will it take many years for your income to rise? Are you going to be able to get the kind of job and income that would be expected as commensurate with your degree enabling loan repayment and affording a reasonable cost of living? Using student loans to pay for an advanced degree requires a reasonable understanding of ROI for the program to help solidify a debt exit strategy.