Three Ways to Pay for An Advanced Degree

Rapidly advancing technology requires more employees to gain additional education and update job skills. With advanced degrees costing between $30,000 and $120,000, finding ways to pay for additional schooling becomes an important consideration. Here are three ways to pay for the additional training you need.

Find free money. Financial aid is not exclusively for undergraduate students. Begin by completing the FASFA each year to identify free money available. Companies, foundations, and organizations offer graduate students scholarships and grants through the financial aid office or the program department. You may also identify private scholarships you qualify for through online websites such as Another resource to investigate is your company benefits, which may offer a tuition reimbursement program.

Reduce tuition costs. Fellowships, typically sponsored by the department or school you want to apply, can pay 100% of the cost of tuition in addition to a stipend to cover living expenses. Fellowships require working on research projects or student teaching and renew each year until degree completion provided you meet the degree progression requirements. Employment at your chosen university can also lower or eliminate tuition costs. Both options require you to work while attending school, but can reduce or eliminate the need for loans.

Borrow funds. Student loans may not require financial need, and in some cases, do not require excellent credit. You may qualify for government sponsored programs that keep interest rates low, defer payments while in school, and provide extended repayment options.

Obtaining an advanced degree can increase job opportunities and raise income, making it a wise investment. However, if you finish with thousands of dollars in student loan debt, that requires repayment the remainder of your career, it could eliminate much of the benefit. Finding ways to lower loan balances is an effective way to keep costs in check.