Managing Student Loans

There are many ways to pay for graduate school, including scholarships. If you determine that grad school is necessary to enable you to reach your professional dreams, here are some ways to pay for at least part of that education…

1. Work and save money. There’s nothing wrong with taking off a couple of years between undergrad and graduate school. Earn some money, have some fun. Take your time to figure out which grad schools have programs that are particularly well-suited for your needs. Get a job that will burnish your application credentials. Most importantly, use your job to see if you like the kind of work you will be training for in grad school.

2. Get your employer to subsidize your graduate work. Most medium and large employers will pay for coursework related to your paid work. You will have to get approval from your supervisor and fill out a few forms, but it’s typically very easy. If you like your job, you might as well keep it and have your graduate work paid for by someone else.

3. Scholarships. The idea that launched this topic. Sure, go for it. Do your research online first, and ask your favorite undergrad professors for glowing recommendations and any tips about how to look like a great scholarship applicant.

4. Loans. Nothing wrong with loans. You have to have the discipline to pay them back, as the government is now cracking down on loan deadbeats. But one assumes that your graduate work will lead to getting a job, which will enable you to pay loans.

5. Student teaching. All universities have opportunities for grad students to be student teachers. Compensation can include free tuition and even a small stipend, too. Before you decide which schools to apply to, figure out if it’s likely you can get student teaching assignments. (And if you are single, there’s no better way to meet that attractive undergraduate who looks up to you as a genius!)

6. Other on-campus work. Maybe you don’t want to be a student teacher. You can earn your tuition in other ways on campus, such as working in the admissions department, being a researcher for a professor, etc.

So, don’t let the cost of graduate school be a deterrent. Pursue your academic dreams, and you will be happier and more fulfilled in your career.