Five Ways to Pay for Business School

August 28, 2012

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, business school costs continue to increase. Private business schools, such as Harvard Business School and Wharton, are even more expensive. Most students agree that a prestigious business degree from a good school can mean better job prospects, but it can also mean big financial setbacks if you don't have the funds. With financial aid, you can pay some of these costs, but it's not always the best idea to choose a private school to get an education. In fact, MBA degrees for about half the cost can also help a student develop his own business or gain a top position at a good company. Many business students use loans to pay for their degrees, but that isn't the only way. Here's an explanation of some ways that students have lowered the cost of business education.

1. Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Business students usually already work for a good employer that has a tuition reimbursement program. These are designed to help students get a higher degree and transition into a better position at the company. While some students still have to pay for the education upfront, they will be reimbursed upon completion of the degree from their employers. You may have to sign a contract deal in order to get into one of these programs, but most employers are willing to pay for someone's education who has proven to be an incredible asset to the company. If not in full, even partial tuition reimbursement can combine with financial aid and loans to make a business degree program more affordable.

2. Grant Assistance

The top way that many students get financial aid is through grant programs. These are the most desired types of financial aid because it doesn't have to be repaid. Grant money can also be used for tuition, fees, supplies, books and living costs. There are multiple academic and need-based grants available, whether through federal programs or your college. The Federal Pell Grant is probably the most well-known program for undergraduate business students.

3. Scholarships and Fellowships

Like grants, scholarships are also free money for school. There are merit-based and need-based scholarships, as well as scholarships that have simply odd requirements, such as being left-handed. There also scholarships that focus on athletics, arts, music abilities, and group affiliations. Business students should start with scholarships that focus more around a business career. AACE International Scholarships, Anna B. Spangler Memorial Scholarship, Adelante Fund – MillerCoors Brewing Company Scholarship, and the Mabel Snoeyenbos Scholarship are just a few of the scholarships specifically designed for business students.

4. Federal Student Loans

If you do need to pay for your schooling through loans, you want to get the best available, which are federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans. By filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you can sign up to receive loans, and if you qualify, you can receive up to $10,000 annually for college. The interest on these loans is much lower, and the repayment options are better, particularly that you can easily defer or enact forbearance on any loans if you are having a hard time paying you graduate.

5. Work Study Programs

Paid internships for business majors are a gold mine, but they can be hard to find. You can look on Internships.com for the latest business internships. In addition, you should also apply to join work study programs for your school. This will increase your financial aid package and can give you a couple thousand more to pay for tuition and fees. Work study programs are also included in the FAFSA, so be sure to check mark that you want to sign up for a program at your school if you qualify.

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