Thursday, June 29, 2006
More Bang for Your Buck: Graduate Degree
Call it the grad snag. Many professionals worry they don't have enough money to get their masters. But in tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we found there are ways to make education less expensive.
WSVN--Working at a PR firm, Angie Bettercourt knows getting a masters degree can be very marketable in the corporate world.
Angie Bettercourt: "I think it will definitely give me a competitive edge. I think it will enhance and add onto what I alredy know."
But like many professonals, she worries how she can afford her cost of living and pay for an education.
Angie Bettercourt: "I really want to have my financial footing down, my budget in order to make sure this is something I can take on."
To take on the tuition, angie and other grad students cannot rely on the same resources they did as under-grads.
But funding can be found if you're willing to work for it.
Carla Lord-Hardy: "A lot of students think 'just because im not an undergrad, I don't get free money anymore'."
According to Carla Lord-Hardy with Nova, the best option is to see if your employer offers a reimbursement plan. Or to see if a plan is offered through your field of interest.
For instance, both the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association offer financial aid.
Carla Lord-Hardy: "Ask, what are you planning on doing with that degree? How are you going to give back to the community?"
You also may be able to secure a discount if you want a degree in an industry that's suffering.
Right now, many colleges are offering small breaks to teachers.
Carla Lord-Hardy: "You"re going to be specialized in this. You're actually becoming an expert in the field."
But even if you can't qualify for aid, you can apply for a fellowship.
This way, you're almost working a second job as a teacher's assistant or research assistant.
It is too time consuming for most professionals, but it does pay the billls.
Carla Lord-Hardy: "The research that you're doing, the papers that youre writing, it's rewards for you to get funding."
Finally, don't forget you can always apply for various scholarships.
Best advice is to begin applying at least six months before you enroll.
And you can always secure a student loan.
This July, the government's even introducing a low interest graduate plus loan.
Carla Lord-Hardy: "You can't beat the interest rates or the payback terms."
Angie's starting to consider her options.
She's resaerching schools and scholarships in hopes of being enrolled next year.
Angie Bettercourt: "I think it's going to be interesting as what I'm going to learn. I think it's definitely going to help me in the future."
Also, this week is your last chance to consolidate your student loans before the rate rises July 1st.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Nova Southeastern University