Last time I wrote, I answered three big questions I get a lot in my job as program manager in online graduate programs.
But there was one question I left out on purpose…because I knew it needed a post of its own! When prospective students come to me to pursue a graduate certificate or degree, nearly all of them ask the same thing: “How am I going to pay for school?”
Most of these students are working professionals, looking to take one course at a time. Unfortunately, most financial aid won’t cover graduate certificates or part-time students, and many of us simply don’t have the time or freedom take at least two classes, or six credits, a semester.
So, where does the money come from for part-time students?
There are a few possibilities you can explore. Some of them might even pay for the majority of your program. Check them out:
- Tuition reimbursement at your company. We all receive an employee handbook when we first start at a new job, but have you looked at yours lately? Now’s the time to dig through it and see if it mentions anything about a tuition reimbursement policy. Many organizations see the value in employee development and offer to foot some of the bill for their education. Talk to your manager or director about opportunities for professional development, and see if advanced education is covered in business unit funds. Remember: what you learn in class by night, you’ll use on the job by day, with immediate benefits to your organization.
- School or department scholarship programs. Many schools and academic departments offer their own scholarships to students who qualify. It’s worth exploring your prospective school’s pages to learn more about this opportunity. For example, at WPI, our Career Development Center helps part-time graduate students find funding toward their programs.
- External scholarships. There are also tons of organizations and funds across the country that exist to help students pay for college. WPI CPE’s Student Success Team has compiled a list of some of these sources of funding. Click here to see if you apply!
Paying for part-time graduate school can seem tricky, but with these tips, you could be on your way to your next degree.
Still have questions?
Email Amanda or leave a comment below!