One of the main reasons professionals go back to school and pursue an online MBA is because of the increased earning potential that the advanced degree brings. However, that increase generally happens after completing the program. Your more immediate concern may be paying for your MBA tuition. Fortunately there are several financial aid options available to prospective MBA students, the first of which is the company you currently work for.
1. Your employer. Companies both large and small often help their valued employees with educational costs, especially when the coursework will help those employees in their jobs. The first place to look for funding is through your employer. Some larger companies will pay the full cost of an online MBA; others will pay a set portion.
You may need to convince your employer of the value of a Master of Business Administration degree, so have your “elevator pitch” ready. You may also have to agree to stay with the company for a given amount of time. If this works out, it can be the best of your financial aid options, if only because of its convenience.
2. Private scholarships. There are also many private scholarships available that vary in funding from a few hundred dollars to full scholarships. If you have special ties to any industry, community group, professional organization, fraternal organization, affinity group or other type of group, you can do some quick research to learn whether any of them provide financial assistance for graduate-level programs. Fastweb is a good source for scholarship information.
Loans are another financial aid option
3. Federal loans. You have two federal loan options once you decide to pursue an online MBA: the Stafford Loan and the Grad PLUS Loan. For graduate school, eligible students can receive Stafford loans of up to $20,500 per year. The Grad PLUS Loan can match the cost of attending your school of choice. Applying for a federally subsidized student loan starts with filing your personal information with the Department of Education’s FAFSA website.
4. Private loans. If your income is too high to qualify for a subsidized federal loan, there are also many private loan providers. If you choose this route, one option is to start at the SallieMae website, where you enter your personal and financial information in exchange for a list of loan alternatives. Further, if you have history with a bank, you can see if it has a loan program for graduate students. Wells Fargo, for example, offers loans that do not require a cosigner.
Finally, if you work for a larger corporation, determine if your school has a relationship with your company; that may open up another financial aid option. Sometimes schools offer a corporate discount that can dramatically decrease the overall cost of your degree.
Learn about the UT Tyler online MBA program options.
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