Not too long ago (maybe within the last decade) many companies helped pay for tuition for those interested in earning an MBA. But times have changed. In today’s tougher economic times, not many companies are willing to pay for your continued education. If you’re one of the lucky ones who work for an organization that offers a tuition reimbursement program, you should take full advantage of the benefit. If not, then obviously you need to consider options for underwriting your own MBA.
Another factor to consider is the amount of time it takes to complete your MBA program. Some MBA students choose to work while they attend college, which greatly decreases tuition costs—since these people earn an income in order to help pay for school. With so many people working while they attend college, MBA programs offer part-time courses (night or day) as well as classes on the Internet. Try doing a search on your computer for online MBA curriculum. You’ll find that many colleges have programs that allow you to work on from home.
As an MBA student, you should be aware that financial aid is widely available to help pay for your degree. For example, many students use grants, scholarships, and federal student loans to fund their education. In addition, there are plenty student loan programs available for funding. Different types of loan programs and grants are covered in subsequent articles, but you can also search the Internet to find one that fits your needs.
During your search for MBA funding, hopefully you’ll discover that the process is much easier than you envisioned. Don’t let a lack of money get in the way of accomplishing your goals and dreams. An MBA degree provides an enormous opportunity to increase your salary after you graduate, and you can think of it as an investment in your future.
Paying for MBA College with a Grant
Unlike student loans, an MBA grant offers free funding, making it a wonderful way to pay for your education. The biggest advantage of college grants is that you can choose from a variety of funding sources, including federal and state governments, schools, and private organizations. As you look for funding for your MBA, keep in mind that Pell Grants are no longer available for those seeking an MBA. But don’t fret; there is still plenty of money available through government and private sectors for those wishing to continue their education.
Student grants are awarded based on a number of factors, including your financial need, ethnicity, record of achievement (or grades), and special interests. Obviously, a student with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher stands a much better chance of receiving a grant, but the government and other agencies consider other criteria when awarding grants to students. Although several business schools across the country provide grants for their students, MBA grants are also available through private, government, and non-profit organizations.
Much like other types of funding, some MBA grants are funded through the state or federal government. MBA grants are also funded through private (or public) institutions, colleges, schools, and universities. Other grant programs offer financial aid for various populations, such as Asian Americans, women, disabled Americans, and graduate students.
When it comes to applying for a grant, you may want to perform a simple search via the Internet or contact your local financial aid office as soon as possible. Many schools and financial aid officers have a limited amount of funds available for grants at any given time.
Companies may also offer financial assistance programs for your education. All you need to do is fill out the proper forms and justify your need for higher education. If you’re currently working, check with your employer about tuition reimbursement programs. You can also contact your school’s financial aid office regarding any grants that may be available. You may also need to fill out a Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) form. Find out more at http://www.financialaidtips.org
Not too long ago, professionals only needed a bachelor’s degree in order to obtain an executive position within a company. More recently, however, career advancement has changed significantly, and with so many applicants in the workplace, the competition and requirements for a higher position is much more difficult than ever before. MBA grants offer a great alternative to pay for your education and further your career.
Finding MBA Scholarship Programs
In today’s economy, many people seek higher education but still face difficult financial situations. As an MBA student, you may need to pay for books, tuition, accommodations, and other related expenses. In addition to grants, scholarships are also available to help pay for expenses. The difference between a grant and a scholarship can be confusing when both are intended to help pay for schooling. The major difference between scholarships and grants is that scholarships tend to have more rigid requirements for selection, but both are considered “free money” in that you are not expected to pay them back.
MBA scholarships and financial aid are available through the government and other organizations to those needing it. If you’re interested in attending an MBA college but don’t have the money, don’t hesitate to seek funding. With so many different MBA scholarship programs available, you’re bound to find a program for funding your education.
If you’re considering an MBA degree in the near future, it’s a good time to start applying for scholarship programs. If you qualify for a scholarship, the amount you receive will more than likely pay for your tuition, as well as all other fees associated with your education.
What Types of MBA Scholarships Are Available?
Depending on your qualifications, there are several different MBA scholarship programs for which you can apply. Some are based on merit, while others are solely based on financial need. The biggest advantage of scholarship programs is that you don’t have to pay them back.
The Government Finance Officers Association offers the following scholarship programs for MBAs:
- Public Employee Retirement Research and Administration Scholarship ($4,000)
- George A. Nielsen Public Investor Scholarship ($5,000)
- Daniel B. Goldberg Scholarship ($10,000)
- GFOA Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship ($5,000)
- Frank L. Greathouse Government Accounting Scholarship ($3,500)
One way to find out more information about MBA scholarships across the country is to search for them on the Internet. If you’re interested in finding information about scholarship programs in your local area, try searching Google or other search engines using the keyword “scholarships,” as well as the name of your city, state, or area of interest.
Since many MBA Colleges have deadlines for scholarships, you should start searching right away. Keep in mind that most college scholarship programs have application deadlines, so it’s never too early to start the process.
The following are a few tips to help you succeed:
- Apply early.
- Enter all the correct information on your application.
- Target scholarship programs that aren’t heavily advertised.
- Make sure that you qualify even before you apply for a scholarship.
If you’re lucky enough to work for an employer that offers tuition reimbursement and/or scholarships, you may be able to get your boss to pay for either part or all of your MBA program. Just keep in mind that every employer handles sponsorships differently, and chances are you’ll need to justify your educational needs before you can get approval for funding.
In addition, you may be required to work full time while attending school, which can be difficult at times. In some cases, you may even be required to stay with your same employer after graduation. If you decide to apply for an employer sponsorship program, you may find there are always a few strings attached.
Financial Aid Programs
If you’re thinking about going back to school for an MBA degree, you’ll soon find that costs can add up quickly. A traditional MBA program typically takes two years to complete, and costs can range anywhere between $30,000 or much higher, depending on the program you choose. In addition to tuition fees, you’ll have to pay for books, living expenses, computers, and more. Also, if you decide to study full time, you might have to also consider a reduction in salary over a two-year period. Aside from buying a home, financing an MBA can become the most expensive investment of your life.
On the positive side, an MBA education is well worth your effort, since graduates average over $90,000 per year, but if you’ve decided to pursue the degree, you have to pay the costs. The good news is that plenty of financial aid is available as long as you know where to find it.
While you may want to fund your education through a variety of financial aid programs, your individual circumstances will help you determine the best financial aid program for you. The following are a few tips to help steer you in the right direction:
- Apply for scholarships and grants.
Scholarships and grants offer free funding your education, and you can choose from a variety of funding sources, including federal/state governments, MBA Colleges, and private companies.
- Find out whether your employer provides a tuition repayment plan.
In order to help reduce the burden of tuition fees and other expenses, some employers offer sponsorship programs at a number of MBA Colleges, allowing you to study for your MBA while you work. Contact your Human Resources department to find out your employer’s requirements.
- Consider how much you could contribute from your savings and/or income to help finance your education.
Applying for Financial Aid from Additional Sources
Once you’ve examined the options from 1 to 3 above but still need more money for your education, you may want to consider applying for additional financial aid. The form you use to apply for financial aid is called the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA), and you can fill out the form online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/
It’s important to ensure that your FAFSA application is complete, accurate, and filed promptly in order to get the help you need. If you have any questions about filling out the form, be sure to contact your financial aid office at the business school or university you wish to attend.
Obtaining an MBA degree can be an expensive venture, but with all the financial aid available (in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships), the task becomes easier. As with any long-term goal, it pays to do your research and explore the different options available to help fund your education.
Obtaining MBA Student Loans
MBA loans are usually readily available because lenders feel that MBA students will soon have the ability to pay the money back. If you’re thinking about getting an MBA, you’ll find that federal, state, and private lenders are willing to help fund your program. As a student, obtaining a loan many seem like a good idea at first glance; however, there are a few things for you to consider before you take the plunge and borrow thousands of dollars for your education.
The first point to consider is that you have to pay the loan back at some point. Also, the interest rate on your loan accumulates while you’re in school, so you end up paying back much more than the original loan amount. As a result, it’s in your best interest to calculate exactly how much you’ll owe at the time of graduation. In addition, you should also have a pretty good idea of how much your monthly payments are before you sign on the dotted line.
When you apply for a loan, it’s important to become an informed borrower. Be sure to read the fine print on all of the loan documents. Also, be aware of hidden fees that may be tied to your loan.
What Types of Loans Are Available?
Generally speaking, student loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized.
If you choose a subsidized loan, the government will pay the interest while you’re in school (and sometimes after graduation). With an unsubsidized loan, you can pay the interest before and after graduation. Also, the qualification criterion for a subsidized or unsubsidized loan is based on your income and financial need.
Federal loans, such as Stafford and Perkins loans, offer low interest rates and deferment options. In order to obtain a federal loan, you’ll need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and sign a promissory note (or promise to pay back the loan). If you decide to finance your education via a federal loan, be sure to submit your application as soon as possible in order to receive the amount of aid you need.
Although scholarships, grants, and federal student loans are often the best way to finance your MBA college education, private/commercial loans also offer some great alternatives. These types are loans are offered through your local bank or lending institution. As always, be sure to read the fine print on the loan documents, and be fully aware of how much money you’re borrowing (including interest rates, monthly payments, and hidden fees) before signing the dotted line.
How Do You Apply for an MBA Loan?
Over seventy percent of all students receive some type of financial aid, and nearly everyone pursuing an MBA (or other type of degree) is eligible. If you wish to apply for financial aid, you’ll need to complete a FAFSA form. The financial aid department at your school or university can help you fill out the form, if needed.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Your MBA Education
If you’re one of thousands of people in the U.S. who feel underemployed (or even unemployed), then chances are you’ve been thinking about pursuing a higher education degree in order to get the job you’ve always dreamed about. An MBA degree can offer you flexibility, advancement, and growth opportunities, but the cost of a higher degree from an accredited MBA college doesn’t come cheap. In the early 2000s, the cost of tuition exceeded inflation by a long shot. If you’re thinking about attending a private school, for example, you can plan on spending somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000 within a two-year period of time.
Consider the Costs
Professionals from every industry in the country view an MBA degree as a means to provide greater career flexibility. Chances are your employer also views graduates from MBA Colleges as good candidates for higher management positions. Although an MBA degree will undoubtedly give you plenty of opportunities in the future, it’s important to assess the costs of your education.
For starters, you can expect to pay at least $30,000 per year (or $15,000 a semester) for your tuition, and it typically takes two years to complete an MBA on a full-time basis. You can add an additional $10,000 per year for boarding and books. Keep in mind that many programs also require that you purchase a laptop (assuming that you don’t already own one).
Additionally, if you earn $60,000 a year and decide to quit work and go to school, a full-time MBA program can tack on another $120,000 in lost income.
The following is a summary of expenses for an MBA degree:
- Tuition = 60,000
- Books/Board = $20,000
- Other Expenses = $40,000
- Income Loss = $120,000
- Total = $240,000
If you are thinking about attending an upper-echelon business school, the costs go up significantly. For example, in 2008 the average cost of the top ten business schools in the U.S. was $94,900 for tuition in a two-year MBA program.
What Are Some Alternatives for Cutting Costs?
You can undergo a part-time or evening MBA program that allows you to keep your full-time job. The program takes longer to complete, but you can use the program to supplement your education with on-the-job learning experiences. As a new MBA graduate, you can add three years of work experience to your highly regarded degree.
Work for a Major Company and Get a Free MBA
If you’re one of the lucky individuals who works for a Fortune 100 company, you may be a candidate for full or partial tuition reimbursement.
In some cases, you can also consider online programs for much less money, but you have to keep in mind that some employers don’t give them much credence. Before you shell out a few thousand dollars for such programs, you should consider every option available to you.