Going to graduate school
If you have decided to pursue a secondary degree, and graduate school is on your horizon, you’ll need to give yourself the time to research the schools you're interested in, apply for admission, take the required entrance exams, and get your financial aid in place.
Although the financial burden may make you feel like graduate school is out-of- reach that may not be the case. There are many options available today to help partially or fully fund your graduate degree. With a little time and perseverance you may find that you are able to find the scholarship, financial aid or potential employer that will help cover the costs of graduate school.
Deciding on financial aid packages. Before you take that next step, have you considered employment options within your college or university? Seek out positions available as an RA, TA or Research Assistant. If you've exhausted your other options, research different financial aid packages carefully to find the lowest possible interest rate with a realistic pay-off time-frame. You can start by talking to your school registrar, your bank, as well as searching online for different rates and options at websites like http://www.financialaid.org/.
Working while putting yourself through school? Many universities have graduate programs set up specifically for working adults. Classes meet in the evenings and on weekends, and courses are often taught by professionals in the industry, so you're gaining real-world experience from someone who lives what they teach. You can also explore online education as an alternative:
Explore the possibility of your employer footing the bill.
Start by going to Human Resources to find out if tuition reimbursement is something your employer is willing to consider, whether partially or entirely. Sell yourself. Explaining the rewards your employer will gain from your continued education will help them see past the short-term expense and focus on the long-term benefits. If they agree you may need to sign an agreement guaranteeing them that you will stay with the company for a certain length of time after you earn your degree - which could ultimately benefit you both.
Delaying graduate school into the foreseeable future?
Seek out employment early on with the types of companies known for encouraging their employees to develop themselves while helping them fund it. Start with articles like Fortune Magazine ® 100 Best Companies to Work For" which typically highlights these companies and the types of extraordinary benefits they offer their employees.