Saving Money on Going Back to School
If you’re considering going back to school, perhaps because you never completed your bachelor’s degree in engineering or because you want to retrain as a psychologist, your biggest worry is likely to be the cost of doing so.
Education in this country doesn’t exactly come cheap – that’s for sure – but there are lots of things you can do to cut the cost at least a little (sometimes a lot)…
Do It Online
The simplest way to save and save big on the cost of going back to school is by doing it online. You can find everything from criminal justice programs to accounting degrees being offered by online schools at a fraction of the cost. Of course, when you choose an online program, that makes it easier for you to juggle school and work, which means you can keep bringing home the bacon while you work on improving your education.
Look at a College’s Return on Investment
If you’re going to be potentially spending tens of thousands of dollars on a program, then it makes sense to work out if the program is worth your investment. There are a lot of schools out there, which don’t exactly have a great reputation, and there are lots of courses that are unlikely to lead to huge salaries too. If you know which they are, you can avoid them, and even if you do end up spending a fortune on going to school, you will know that it’s a good investment that will pay off in the future.
Apply for Scholarships
This one should be a no-brainer, but many older people who are returning to school either don’t think they’ll be eligible for scholarships for don’t think they’ll get one, so they don’t bother applying. That’s madness! There are many scholarships that you may be able to apply for, depending on your circumstances, so it’s always worth researching and applying.
Look for Discounted Tuition
A lot of colleges, in the US at least, offer heavily discounted tuition, sometimes even free tuition, for people over 55 or 60, depending on the institution. With so many of us living so much longer and having to reinvent ourselves at work more often, this is an offer, if you’re eligible, you simply can’t afford to pass up!
Ask Your Employer
According to federal law, employers are able to offer tax-free educational assistance of a few thousand dollars to all of their employees. So, it might be worth seeing if they’d be willing to work something out with you and help you get a more affordable education.
Try to Get a Fast-Track Degree
If you have a lot of experience in a particular field, you might be able to convince your college to give you experiential credit and therefore cut the length of your course. That means you won’t be there for as long and thus won’t have to pay quite as much.
I hope this helps you save a few cents should you go back to school.