The cost of tuition is on the rise, especially with the current state of the economy.  Students throughout the Western hemisphere are finding themselves having to choose between a debt filled education or simply avoiding the college process altogether.  This decision is especially critical to graduate students, who may already be in significant debt after college itself, then have to pay even more to go to graduate school.  Just earlier this month, it was reported that administrators from McGill University in Quebec had raised tuition prices a considerable amount, with the majority of the price hike affecting MBA students.

If attending a graduate school to achieve an MBA is what you’re striving for, MBA financial aid is more important than ever.  Do not think that just because universities are raising their prices that there isn’t a countless amount of financial aid funding available to you…you just have to apply!  Do not wait until the last minute to do so, as financial aid is not unlimited.  Applying early will keep you ahead of the game, as well as ahead of other financial aid contenders.

Getting started:

  • There are 6 financial aid sources for MBA students: grants, loans, work study, tax credits, state aid and scholarships.  All of these can significantly reduce your tuition costs, making grad school a much more realistic option.  Apply for as many as you can as early as possible.
  • Fill out the FAFSA as early as possible.  Even if you don’t want to apply for federal aid because you may end up finding a financial aid program that fits for you, and pretty much all require that the FAFSA be filled out on time.
  • Most grant money from graduate schools isn’t openly advertised.  This is money that you do not need to pay back, so make sure you ask the school’s financial aid office about it as soon as you get accepted.
  • There is a ton of loan money available to MBA students, so don’t hesitate to inquire about it.  Stafford, Perkins, School-Based and Private loans are all frequently used loan programs by MBA students.
  • The 2 tax credits available to MBA students are the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.  With both of these you will receive the full amount of credit that you qualify for, so make sure to check them out.
  • The best way to find out about scholarships and work study is to contact the financial aid office at the grad school of your choice.  They will know the best options available for MBA students.  Hiring a financial aid consultant may not be a bad decision either if you’re struggling with the process and need some extra help.

All of this being said, do not give up on getting your MBA because of high tuition costs and fear of debt.  There are many options out there to help make your education affordable, which will in turn make you a more marketable candidate for a well-paying career in the future.

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