Paying for graduate school can be a daunting task. You might ask if the effort and cost is worth it. The question about the value of going to graduate school can be looked at through the lens of the American unemployment rate.
According to the Department of Labor, people with master’s degrees have an unemployment rate of only 3.4 percent versus 7.5 to 11 percent for people with a high school diploma or less. But African Americans with a master’s degree still have an unemployment rate of 6 percent. In other words, if you plan on working to provide for yourself and others then a graduate degree is becoming the standard minimum to maintain employment and you can add an exclamation point to that if you are African American. Now that I have established the value of a graduate level degree let’s move on to the problem of paying for that degree.
College is costly, and for the privileged few their parents cover a large portion of that cost, but what about the rest of us who do not have that option> In reality, there is only three options, which include: being given the money, earning money that goes directly to the cost of paying for your education, and loans. These options have been listed in the manner of most desirable to least desirable let’s discuss each.
First of all, I should note that information on how to pay for graduate school can be found at Office of Student Financial Assistance. With that said scholarships are your best option. The first thing to do is to determine if the school that you attend or planning on attending offers scholarships and apply for those. You can also look online and find many scholarship opportunities that do not require you to write an essay. Although it may seem like earning a scholarship may be like winning the lottery your chances are considerably higher for earning a scholarship.
Another option is to get a student part-time job in which the pay will go directly to your educational expenses. These can be jobs that include assisting faculty members to working for the admissions department, some of these jobs can be at the site of your educational institution or off-campus. If you are a full-time employee then another job on top of graduate school, family, and your full-time job might not be a viable option.
The last option is the dreaded school loans. I would argue that school loans are not that bad, everyone complains about paying back the loans, I have even heard President Obama speak about college loans. The point I am trying to make is that most people take the loans and gamble that they will make enough to pay them back, if you look at the unemployment rates listed above then it seems highly likely that if you take out student loans at the graduate level then you should be able to obtain employment to pay them back. Good luck, in your future graduate level education.