How Do I Pay for My Master’s Degree?

If you are interested in pursuing an advanced degree, you have no doubt spent many hours researching the most affordable and convenient options available to you. Of course, even the most affordable programs will still require a significant financial investment, and, as with most products, you get what you pay for. As such, a cheap master’s degree often leaves graduates without many of the skills employers demand. Yes, you have a master’s degree, but you are unable to put it to use.

Don’t settle for a sub-par program simply because it costs less. At the Graduate School of the College of Charleston, we prepare our students for the workforce. Upon graduation, you will have the knowledge, experience and credentials to fulfill your career aspirations. In fact, our MBA program was ranked #1 in the country for job placement after graduation. Yes, the cost of a master’s program at the College of Charleston may be overwhelming to you, but there are a lot of financial aid options available.

Funding Opportunities

Assistantships – Full-time, degree-seeking students are eligible for assistantships, and these are a wonderful opportunity to offset the cost of tuition. A full-time graduate assistant works roughly 20 hours per week, earning $6,300 per semester. Out-of-state students who are awarded an assistantship are also eligible for an abatement, meaning you would pay in-state tuition rates. So, the money earned each semester would just about cover tuition. Every program has a limited number of assistantships available.

Scholarships – The Graduate School has a handful of scholarships awarded to exceptional students each year. These range from $1,000 to $10,000 per year. While we only offer a few scholarships, there are countless scholarships available for the taking. The criteria for these can be as obscure as your zombie apocalypse plans or conducting research on potatoes. It will take time and effort to research what is available and to apply for each of them, but if you are dedicated, you could absolutely earn enough scholarship money to offset the cost of your master’s degree or even get it funded entirely.

Tuition Reimbursement – Many employers are offering tuition reimbursement to encourage their employees to continue their education. Even if your company does not have a policy established, it would not hurt to approach your boss with a proposal requesting financial assistance to complete your master’s degree. I mean, the program will benefit the company, too. It should be mentioned that this tactic typically requires a commitment on your part to stay with the company for a specified number of years after graduation. So, do not approach your boss if you are planning to use your degree to change careers.

Loans – For many this is a last resort or even a deal-breaker. We get that you don’t want to graduate saddled with a large amount of debt, but many master’s degrees are worth the investment. If you are smart with your financial planning, taking out a student loan will not be a problem. To help, the Council of Graduate Studies created GradSense, a resource with an abundance of information about taking out loans to pay for graduate school. They even have a tool to estimate the value of your graduate degree.

We do not want the price of the program to be the one thing that prevents you from choosing the College of Charleston. So, please contact us so that we can help you find some funding and discuss options that you are comfortable with.

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