Some people just aren’t well-suited for the demands of collegiate programs. In some cases they simply don’t want to continue going to school when they could start working instead. Or they may have learning disabilities that make academic coursework more of a struggle than it is for other students. But if the reason you’re not chasing your dreams of earning a college degree has to do with the fact that you’re lacking in funds, you should know that an MBA program isn’t out of your reach simply because you’re low on cash. Even broke students can find ways to continue their education, better themselves, and increase job prospects and earning potential by completing college. Here are just a few low-cost options to help ensure that you finish school.
The place to start when you need money to help you pay for tuition, books, and living expenses is with scholarships and grants. Even if you’re unable to obtain them immediately coming out of high school (where your grades were perhaps less than stellar), there are other things you can do in the meantime to boost your chances for getting free money down the road. For example, you could start out at a community college that feeds into the school you ultimately want to attend. If you apply yourself in this setting you can not only save a ton of money completing your first two years of school (i.e. general education and applicable prerequisites), but you can also apply yourself to get the kind of grades needed for transfer to your school of choice, as well as greater potential for scholarships. Plus, you can use sites like FastWeb, CollegeBoard, or Scholarships.com in the meantime to apply for thousands of scholarships ranging from just a few bucks to tens of thousands of dollars.
Your next option is to take out student loans. This is not necessarily an easy process, but for the starving student determined to finish school, it is a good choice since it can help to cover all of your costs with no onus for repayment until you’ve finished school. And with low interest rates, to boot, it is an option that most students can live with. Of course, you could cut down on the amount you have to borrow by working while you earn a degree, and you might want to seek out programs that are designed with work study in mind. Although MBA programs can be intensive, especially when you’re into post-graduate study, some take into consideration that there are students who need to work and they compensate by making work part of your program.
You should also look into opportunities to study abroad as it can not only expand your options for admission, but also your chances to attend a good school and pay less to do it. Although getting there and back might not be cheap, you could apply for scholarships specifically for international students and potentially get part or all of your education paid for when you’re willing to earn your MBA overseas. Of course, you needn’t travel all over the world in search of affordable schooling; you could also opt to skip the campus and earn your degree online, potentially creating a more flexible schedule to accommodate a job and saving some money on tuition, transportation, and other associated expenses. Whether you opt to go for the University of Maryland’s MBA in Marketing, you seek out foreign schools, or you earn a degree from the comfort of your own home, it pays to understand the many ways that you can cut your costs during the process and emerge with a master’s of business administration that will help you get a great job and turn your financial situation around.