Many are interested in pursuing graduate studies – however, some are discouraged by its cost. The tuition fee and living expenses while studying, and most likely not working, is not cheap. Studying abroad is another conversation because then you’ll have to worry about your accommodation. In the US, the cost of a master’s degree program in a public university is somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 yearly. For private institutions, it can go as high as $200,000 annually.
With all these to consider and the pressure of attending your dream school, you can still get that master’s degree by preparing yourself. That means acing your GRE and saving enough money early on. You can study diligently and take some of the best practice tests for GRE. If you want to further your progress, check out My GRE Exam preparation for some of the best prep courses to take. However, it will also take some discipline to earn and put aside money for your studies. Hence, here are some tips on how to fund your future education.
Find a Scholarship and Grants
The first option to cut up costs is by applying for scholarships and grants. Though both are types of financial aid, the former is geared towards students with proven competent abilities. Grants, on the other hand, are based on your financial needs. When you have a solid academic standing, exceptional skills, or any impactful activity, you have a great chance of clinching a scholarship. However, every offer has different requirements. So, you have to check where your credentials fit.
The most known type of scholarship is merit scholarships or based on academic performance. Usually, universities and colleges themselves offer this for students who graduated top of their class. There are also scholarships tailored for your research work. You should highlight impeccable research skills that can be beneficial to the institution.
Other schools consider artistic or athletic excellence, with some requiring you to play for their varsity team. You have to showcase your skills and impress the critics or scouts. There are scholarships aimed towards marginalized groups, such as racial minorities and students from low-income families. Then, there are ones available for any international students, usually funded by private or non-governmental organizations.
You may have seen some of these online “donation drives”. You will set up your crowd-funding page and anybody interested can chip in. A key to convincing people to donate is telling your story or a compelling reason for financial aid.
Make a dedicated savings account
It is ideal to make a separate account for your studies fund. Putting it together with the rest of your money will not only be potentially confusing, but it increases your tendency to spend it. It is also better if you can find a deal that gives you increased interest. That way, the value of money will not rapidly deflate.
Give up Luxuries
You have to assess your purchasing behavior. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while, but you have to set your priorities straight. Try to avoid spending on things and services you do not need. Lessen going out on Fridays for drinks, or buying new clothes when you have enough to wear on your rack.
Live with Relatives or Trusted Friends
Housing is typically one of the biggest expenses and reducing it will provide significant savings. If you have nearby friends or family, you might want to consider living with them. If you have relatives who have extra space in their home, this might be cheaper than renting out on your own. If you don’t, you can ask friends to share an apartment and split the rent.