As time goes on, an increasing number of employers are seeking people who have advanced level degrees to fill key positions. It doesn’t matter what field you are in, from healthcare to education, more doors are open to you if you have a graduate degree. Whether you are studying in the Norwich University Master in History program as an educator or are seeking to become a nurse practitioner, that upper-level degree is the key to your future. However, grad school can be a bit of a challenge financially. Consider the following tips for making it through graduate school on a budget. You just might make it through in one piece!
Avoid Unnecessary Expenses
Perhaps the number one mistake many graduate students make is to go into debt beyond what they can afford to pay back timely. Credit cards are among the leading culprits. It’s easy to say, “Charge it,” when you really want that new iPhone, but it isn’t as easy to make monthly payments while studying full-time. If your iPhone 6 Plus is still working well, wait another year before spending hundreds of dollars on a new phone. The moral of the story is simply this. If what you have is serviceable, keep it! No new cars. No new phones. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it! Keep those credit cards for real emergencies until you land a good-paying job a year or two down the road.
Another way to make it through graduate school on a budget is to study online. There are several ways in which this helps you stick within a limited budget. Think about the fact that you won’t need travel expenses to and from class and you certainly won’t need to eat out as often. Even school cafeterias add up to quite a chunk of change, so think about just how much you can save by staying at home. Also, you can work full-time if needed because you can pick and choose the hours you want to study and are not limited to working around class and lecture times. One final thought on studying online is that ‘most of the time’ tuition is less for distance learning than taking courses on campus.
Find Options in Student Aid
If you did well in your undergrad degree from Norwich University, why not apply for fellowships? There are several available for serious-minded students who excel in their field of study, so apply for each and every one that applies to your major. You’d be surprised at how many there are available. Talk to the department head at your college or speak with your student advisor. If there’s a fellowship out there, you might be up against some stiff competition, but if it helps pay the cost of tuition, go for it!
Remember, the reality is that education does matter. With all the technological advances within the past few decades, today’s employers are looking for top talent in any field. You may need to live frugally for just a couple more years, but remember the old biblical proverb, “You reap what you sow.” Sow the seeds of higher education now and a lifetime harvest is at your disposal.