A postgraduate degree can enhance your employability and increase your earning power, as well as fulfilling your academic ambitions. With so many benefits associated with postgrad study, it’s easy to see why so many people want to undertake further study. However, the cost of completing a postgraduate course can be a barrier. If you want to achieve your goals without financial stress, take a look at these five ways to finance your postgrad degree:
1. Apply for Scholarships and Grants
Many course providers and independent institutions offer a limited number of scholarships or grants a year. Some of these are aimed at specific demographics, such as mature students or students from underprivileged backgrounds, whereas others are awarded based on the submission of projects or other types of works.
By researching the range of scholarships and grants available, you might be surprised at how many you’re eligible for. However, don’t make the mistake of submitting the same application to numerous schools or organizations. Instead, tailor your applications each time, so that the content is aligned to the specific award as this will increase your chance of success.
2. Seek Sponsorship
If a company sponsors your postgraduate degree, they’ll typically pay the course fees and provide you with a stipend to cover your living expenses. It’s not unusual for employers to offer this type of sponsorship to employees who want to enhance their professional skills, so it’s well worth talking to your manager to find out if any similar opportunities are available.
Before you agree to being sponsored, however, be sure to check the terms and conditions. If your employer is sponsoring your postgraduate course, you may be required to stay with the company for a set amount of time, for example, so that they get some of the benefit of your enhanced knowledge. Alternatively, a sponsored student may be required to pay back some or all of the funds if certain conditions aren’t met.
By checking the details carefully and verifying anything you’re unsure of, you can ensure that the sponsorship offer works for you and that you’re able to fulfil your duties under the contract.
3. Study Online
One way to finance your postgraduate studies more easily is to reduce the cost and studying online is a viable way to do just that. No matter what type of program you want to enroll in, you’ll find reputable courses are available online. To get a glimpse of the high caliber online programs available to nurses, click here for more info and take a look at the range of qualifications available. Of course, it isn’t just healthcare professionals that can benefit from online postgraduate studies.
As the remote learning revolution takes hold, virtually every subject or topic can be studied partly or wholly online. Whether you’re a qualified lawyer, a certified engineer or an experienced IT manager, you’ll find industry-specific, accredited online postgraduate programs that can enhance your career.
When you study online, you’ll find that course fees are typically much lower than if you were to study on campus, but this isn’t the only financial benefit. By studying on a part-time basis, you can continue to work while getting your postgrad qualification, which enables you to maintain your income. Furthermore, you won’t need to relocate in order to attend classes as you can study remotely from anywhere. As a result, choosing an online postgraduate program can be a great way to reduce your costs and finance your degree.
4. Take Out a Loan
Student loans are a popular way to finance undergraduate degrees, but they can also be used to fund postgraduate study. Although direct subsidized loans aren’t typically available at postgrad level, you may qualify for a direct unsubsidized loan. If so, you can borrow up to $20,500 per year to fund your postgraduate studies.
However, you may only borrow a total of $138,500 in federal loans, including any loans received to fund your undergraduate degree. If the cost of a postgraduate program would take you over this aggregate loan limit, you may need to look elsewhere for funding.
Although the term ‘student loan’ is commonly used to refer to federal loans issued by the U.S. Department of Education, commercial loans are also available. Some banks and lenders even have dedicated loans designed for postgraduate students and many of them have competitive interest rates. Although you will pay more interest than you would on a federal student loan, this can still be a viable way to fund your postgrad students.
5. Start a Side Hustle
Lowering your costs and accessing financial support are both effective ways to fund a graduate program but starting a side hustle could help you to increase your income too. This may enable you to pay for any additional costs you incur, or it could even give you the ability to pay your course fees in full!
If you’re looking for great ideas for a side hustle, begin by thinking about the skills you already have. When you can leverage your skillset to generate extra income, you can start making money straight away. Similarly, look for a side hustle that requires minimal input when it comes to time. If you can generate passive income from your side hustle, you won’t have to devote a lot of time or resources to boosting your cash reserves.
Whether you publish your own eBook, earn money via advertising on your blog or provide consultancy services to companies within your industry, you’ll find that a side hustle can offer professional as well as financial benefits.
Is a Postgraduate Qualification Worth It?
Although enrolling in a postgraduate program does require commitment and financial investment, it can be one of the best decisions you ever make. As well as giving you the opportunity to learn more about a subject or sector you’re passionate about, a postgrad qualification can transform your prospects and put you on the right career path. With the potential to increase your earning potential and fast-track your success, enrolling in a postgraduate program is an investment that can offer exceptionally high returns.
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