Finances can tend to be one of, if not the most, stressful part of any decision-making process. As we all know, college is expensive! Many people are left with college loans for years and years, and many of these loans look like a mortgage payment. It is something to seriously consider when going back to graduate school.
Personally, I paid for my degree as I went through the program. Each semester cost me around $3,000 after my scholarship was deducted from the tuition. You can pay by check, electronic or paper, which there is no fee for, or by credit card, but that has a 2.75% fee along with it.
There are many school districts which pay you back for a portion of the classes that you take. Each district is different in how much they will cover. I received around $500 back per course I completed, but there were others in my cohort that received more money back per course than I did! Overall, it was a struggle at times to pay as I went, but I made it work.
Georgian Court University offers many different payment options in order to best fit your needs financially. You can enroll in a “pay-as-you-go” monthly payment plan, which spreads your payments out over the length of the program to allow you to budget the payments into your monthly expenses. This is all done online, which is extremely convenient. You set up your plan to best suit your needs. Many in my cohort used this option and were very pleased with it. The university will also work with you when you receive tuition reimbursement from your employer.
You also can file for financial aid by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online and receiving a loan to pay for your degree. It may be a scary and intimidating thought to do this, but furthering your education and getting a master’s degree will most likely increase your salary in the short-term and your pension in the long-term. There are also programs such as the Federal (Title I) Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and the Teach Grant set in place to help either pay back some of your loans or give you a grant to help pay for your tuition.
The Office of Financial Aid at Georgian Court is very helpful with guiding you in the correct direction. Every person thinking of attending graduate school has different financial concerns and needs. Luckily, Georgian Court gives you multiple options to help you afford to advance your degree. You have to weigh out your options, see how it can positively affect your financial situation in the future, and then make the decision that is right for you!