The cost of earning your Master of Business Administration (MBA) might discourage you from going back to school. However, paying for an MBA doesn’t have to be a daunting task. MBA students have a number of options for financial aid.
1. Tuition assistance from employer
Some employers offer a tuition assistance program to help their employees in paying for an MBA. Companies may offer to pay your tuition in full, or may have a cap on how much tuition they will offer. In some cases, the employer might have you sign a contract to pay back the tuition if you leave the organization, or might require you to make a certain GPA in order to apply tuition reimbursement benefits. The program is a win-win because you are acquiring the training you need and want, and your employer is gaining an employee with more advanced knowledge about strategies and techniques to help the business.
Scholarships are a great way to get help with paying for an MBA. Business schools may offer awards based on merit, which some institutions call fellowships. The type of scholarships will vary by school and even may vary from year to year. Schools may offer a certain scholarship one year, but not the next. So don’t stop looking while you are enrolled in an MBA program.
Scholarships for MBA students are not as abundant as other disciplines. It is important to start looking early for MBA scholarships and work to be a strong candidate. Many other students may be applying to the same scholarship, so try to find things that make you stand out.
Taking out a loan may help in assisting you through your MBA program. Getting a loan may allow you to make payments on your tuition after your graduation. There are two main types of loans to help you get through graduate school: private loans and government loans. Private loans can offer lower interest rates, but often do not have the same consumer protection and repayment options that government loans have. Government loans offer different programs, such as Pay as You Earn and Income-Based Repayment (IBR), which can allow you to pay back different amounts based on your salary throughout your career. Researching the loans and talking to a financial aid representative can help you decide which loan is best for you.
4. Working while in school
Another option to help assist you in paying for an MBA is working while you are enrolled in an MBA program. Online MBA programs may be a good option because they can allow you to work on your MBA on your own schedule. Working may be able to give you some of the money you need to pay for an MBA program, but may also cause some stress. Weigh your options to find the right balance.
5. Military assistance
Military Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. This assistance is not considered a loan nor does it have to be re-paid. Rather, it is viewed as money the service member has earned. Tuition will vary from school to school, but the military may cover up to 100 percent of the cost. This is a great incentive for students who are military veterans or on active duty. Tuition assistance is also available for students enrolled in online MBA programs. For active-duty service members, earning an online MBA may be beneficial, allowing them to continue serving and complete their degree at the same time.
Getting tuition assistance can help you earn your MBA and advance in your career. Remember to look at your options and weigh the pros and cons of each payment option. Starting early is the key to getting the help you need.
Learn more about UT Tyler’s online MBA program.