The face of American business is changing. There was a time when you could go far with nothing more than a high school diploma and a strong work ethic. Currently, you need a bachelor’s degree get hired at all, and a master’s is necessary if you want to start climbing the corporate ladder. Getting an MBA is a great deal of work, but the biggest challenge of all can be paying for the degree. Before you sign up for a program, consider tapping some of these sources to cover the high cost of education.
Trim the Personal Budget
Student loans are the obvious answer when you need to pay for school, but paying them back when the time comes can be costly. Rather than setting yourself up to lose a large chunk of your new income later, trim the personal budget now. The less you have to finance now, the more financially secure you will be after graduation. Make a few sacrifices by eating out less, brown bag your lunches and limit your gourmet coffee house visits every week. Pay cash for as many of your college expenses as possible. It’s a smart choice now, and it will create healthy habits for a lifetime.
You want to attend a solid reputable school, but you also want to choose one that is more affordable. Once you have a list of schools you feel good about, start looking at the tuition for each school. One university could cost tens of thousands of dollars less for a comparable education. Be sure to review a few colleges in your state to save money with in-state tuition breaks.
Free is a Good Thing
There is free money available through grants and scholarships, even if you are a grown adult returning to school. From grants for single moms to assistance through your employer, there are funds available for you. Take the time to search around for free money that will reduce the amount you must borrow. While there isn’t as much available for MBAS as there might be for those working on bachelor’s degrees, it’s still an avenue worth pursuing.
Limit Your Borrowing
It’s easy to borrow money for school, but you want to limit your borrowing as much as possible. Far too many students fall into the trap of living off student loans. They use their FAFSA payouts to buy computers, cover the utility bills and even pay the rent. While this makes life easy while you’re in school, it makes things nearly impossible when you graduate. Borrowing more now will saddle you with higher payments later, so it’s wise to live frugally while in school. It will take more self-control, but you will have the finances after graduation to start living your dreams.
Paying for an MBA can be challenging, but you will be greatly rewarded for limiting your borrowing. Live frugally while in school to avoid borrowing money, and take advantage of any scholarships or tuition programs you quality for. Between finding the best prices and limiting your borrowing, you can afford to get an MBA and start improving your life.
Lucy James writes full-time for education blogs nationwide. She writes for higher ed web sites where you can find out more about top mba programs here http://www.businessmba.org/programs/mba-rankings/