If you’re thinking about getting a master’s degree in the United States, there are so many ways to make it happen. Options include scholarships and fellowships that help finance your education and tuition reimbursements, in addition to funding from alumni networks.
There are many options, but they may not be appropriate for every student. Here’s a look at some of the most common ways students fund their master’s degree in the US.
Scholarships and Grants
Of course, the most common options that would come to mind are scholarships and grants. These awards come in many forms, from full tuition to stipends and research funding. They’re merit-based, meaning they will choose qualified students who have demonstrated excellence in academics or extracurricular activities.
Applying for these grants is a lot more work than simply applying online or filling out an application with the school itself—but it’s worth it! Scholarships and grants are available from various sources, including:
- Government agencies
- Non-government Organizations
Start an Online Business
Starting an online business is a low-risk approach to exploring new opportunities before enrolling in a post-graduate course. According to Shopify, print-on-demand, dropshipping, freelancing, and even live streaming can all be profitable ventures for you. To run a part-time business, you’ll need to use your limited free time after work and classes and on weekends.
You don’t have to shell out your money for the startup funds. Online lending companies like CreditNinja can qualify you for a loan with tailored amounts, rates, and terms. From there, if you do your research, plan strategically, and stay motivated, you can succeed in both your business and studies.
Tuition Reimbursement (If Your Employer Pays For Your Education)
Talk to your manager or the HR department about possible tuition reimbursement if you already have a job and want to acquire a graduate degree because you believe it will benefit your company.
Remember that a company will want you to commit for up to several years in exchange for tuition reimbursement. The amount of this benefit depends on the type of degree program you’re studying.
In most cases, employers prefer if an employee’s education is directly related to their job duties, such as tax courses for an accountant or computer science courses for an IT professional.
In addition, several schools cover full-time workers’ tuition costs or give them free access to online courses. Think about applying for relevant positions at the college of your choosing and working there until you meet the prerequisites for a graduate program. To qualify, you must maintain full-time employment during the duration of your program.
If you want to fund your master’s degree in the United States, one way is by working part-time while studying. You can also work full-time if that’s more practical for you.
Finding a job that works for your schedule and pays enough to cover your bills is a top priority when making ends meet. Getting work you enjoy is essential for avoiding burnout and making the most of your time in the workplace.
If you can work remotely and take classes online, this could help save money on travel expenses while still allowing you time to study and focus on your future career goals! It will take longer to get your degree, but if you complete your master’s degree with fewer or no loans, you may be in a better financial spot in the long run.
Save and Invest Money
If you were able to save money before beginning graduate school, consider devoting a portion of that money to your educational needs. Banks offer some of the highest returns on savings bonds and CDs (certificates of deposit) as far as investments go, but they also come with restrictions on how much could be withdrawn if needed at any point throughout the term.
This makes them less attractive than other types of investments like mutual funds or stocks because they have lower yields over time. However, they have one advantage: no early withdrawal penalties if something happens, such as losing job status, getting married, or getting that master’s degree!
Another choice is to look into tax-advantaged retirement plans such as 401(k)s, where many employers match contributions dollar-for-dollar up until certain limits apply, which makes saving even easier since extra income will increase automatically without having anything extra added by yourself!
Take Out Loans
Taking out loans is one of the most popular ways to fund your education in the US. While this option may seem attractive to fund your master’s degree, it comes with challenges and responsibilities.
If you’ve been accepted into a graduate program at an accredited university in the US, then you’ll probably qualify for one or more forms of federal financial aid. This means that even if you aren’t sure how much money will be needed for tuition costs yet—or how much debt will be accrued once graduation day rolls around—you can apply for a student loan to help cover those costs as soon as possible before classes begin.
Aside from federal loans, you can resort to private loans. When you engage with a reputable lender, they will accommodate your payment schedule and set up a convenient automatic payment plan.
Remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and finding funding for your education can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. But with the choices and tips we’ve shared, we hope you now have an idea of which funding option would work best for you!