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Financing Your Education: Business School Edition



Financing your Education: Business School Edition


These are times of economic distress and MBA programs offer graduates exactly what they need, i.e., good paying jobs. According to Business Week, a student can get a return on investment as high as ten times for every dollar they spend on their education. Thus, if you are thinking of entering the world of business schools, you may be looking at a great deal.

That was the good news. Let's temper it with some reality. For many students who are already working, pursuing a business school education may be difficult. If they miss time off work, they face the possibility of lost income. The ones who are fortunate to be working for a company that provides employer-based education assistance may not have to come up with all the cash they'd need.

So, what should the other aspiring business students do? If they knew where to look, they could find various options for financial aid and assistance. Are you looking for financial aid to complete your business school education? Want to know more about the options available to you? Here are a few:

Look for Employer Reimbursement

As mentioned briefly before, some companies will reimburse their employees for the tuition, fee, and other school expenses. Your company may have a similar policy at work, so don't forget to ask. Let your current employer know you are interested in reimbursement options. If you are about to land a new job, then you may want to ask your future employers about it as well. Just remember that at times, reimbursements from other sources can make you ineligible for government programs, etc. Therefore, make inquiries before finalizing any arrangement.

Individual Circumstances Matter

As students looking for financing options, we tend to run online searches for the best loans and those easiest to pay off. However, when we use such search queries, we forget an important detail. Individual circumstances matter! You and the other students who found a certain loan helpful may not have much in common. Since you don't share the same resources, you may not find the debt level in a loan comfortable to pay off.

Moreover, the decisions you make regarding your career post-MBA and your living costs will affect your ability to repay a loan. Other factors that may come into play would be what your credit situation would be like and how much you have saved. Therefore, don't look for a solution that doesn't fit you too well. Pay attention to your individual circumstances. Then talk to the financial aid office. They will help you come up with a solution that suits you best!

You may suit a particular kind of scholarship more than the others. Or you may satisfy most of the conditions linked to a specific grant as compared to other students. Don't lose such opportunities! The two examples below may help drive this point home:

Women and Minorities Scholarships

If you belong to either of the two groups, you may have scholarships specifically aimed at your demographic! The main reason business schools and financial sponsors do this is so more women, and minorities will choose business careers. Check out the options awaiting to ease your path through school:

·         Female Students

·         Minority Students

International Students Financial Aid Options

There are many advantages to studying in the U.S. However, there are some options that international students cannot avail while here. One of them is applying for a federal loan to finance their MBA education. If you are in the U.S. for your education, look into the options for MBA scholarships and grants within your own country. Chances are, you may find it easier to satisfy the stipulated conditions for such a grant. Additionally, when you join the pool of fellowships in your host country, you compete with its domestic students as well. Your chances of winning that grant reduce even further unless it is specifically aimed at international students!

Go Federal and Apply for their Work and Study Assistant Programs

The Federal government's Work-Study program allows your school to pay you for part-time employment. Look into it. The government program bases whether to award aid to students on their need for it. You can visit the website and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you want to apply. Although, before you send in your application, we'd suggest you complete all the requirements, including checking which documents to submit, etc.

Another option for you would be the graduate assistant program your school administers. Such a plan can help you earn money that you can legally only spend on your educational expenses.

Grants

Students should prioritize looking for grants because unlike a loan; they don't need to pay back the money from a grant! Grants that can help finance a student's education in business school are available. Usually, the amount offered on a grant differs on the educational level of the student, i.e., undergraduate or graduate. You can find some great options listed here.

You won't have to borrow much for school if you can manage to get into either of those two programs. Now you know the various financial aid options open to you. Does that mean you are headed to business school? Best of luck!