Behind every great degree, is one huge bill, and business school programs are no exception. The same way you wondered how you would ever pay for your undergrad, you are probably wondering how you will pay for your MBA. The good news about pursuing a higher level of education at this stage of life is you already have some experiences under your belt that you can pull from when you create your plan of action. Some companies offer the opportunity to have your MBA paid for, but not all do, and the ones with this option also typically have strings attached. Same as with your undergrad, paying for your MBA with your own plan keeps you in the driver’s seat, and gives you a chance to customize your experience to your own lifestyle and budget.
Consider Loan Options
The option for taking out student loans does not just apply for undergrads, and MBA loans are just as common. Using a private lender to take out an MBA loan, process-wise, is remarkably like what you may have experienced with undergrad. This is the time to do your research and seek out lenders that can work in tandem with any existing debt you have, and help you consolidate your debts so that you do not feel buried when you eventually borrow more. Unlike undergrad, however, you are probably only in need of financial assistance for tuition exclusively. Other variables like housing, food and transportation are likely already worked into your existing budget thus you won’t have to borrow as much as you did when you were living on campus, and going to school full time in lieu of working and earning an income. Also take the time to get friendly with the admissions office and seek out scholarships. Every little bit helps and if you have already put in the work to qualify for a scholarship opportunity than you should take advantage of that.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
If you are still in the contemplative stage of deciding whether or not you should attend graduate school and how you will afford it, consider generating a little side cash for yourself while you debate. Side hustles are great because they are almost completely customizable to your availability and level of desire. Some people have the time and energy to pick up a physical second job, like serving at a restaurant after their day job is over, or cleaning houses on the weekends. These options can generate a significant amount of money that can be stashed away to pay down your MBA loans. If your lifestyle and desire does not facilitate something with that level of intensity, consider options that are less frequent, like special events in your area that need to hire help for only one event at a time. Creating multiple avenues for earning potential for yourself might also create the cushion that your budget will need if you decide to not work while you pursue your MBA.