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How to Afford an MBA

Ana-Marcela Lopez / Abound: MBA »

Earning an MBA is a tried and true way to advance your career and increase your earning potential, but the initial costs can make it an intimidating decision. Every MBA program varies in price, but on average, they can amount to $50,000 a year! But that shouldn’t scare you away; an MBA has one of the highest returns on investment. So if you are ready to take on the challenge of an MBA, consider the following ways to afford your degree:

Scholarships and Grants: When thinking about how to afford an MBA, start with applying for as many scholarships and grants as you can. These financial awards are crucial, as they do not need to be repaid. Take the time to research your options; you’ll be surprised to discover how many scholarships and grants there are out there for MBA students (and adult students in general). 

Part-Time Classes: If you can’t afford a full-time course load, you’re not alone. More and more students are pursuing MBA degrees part time. Consider enrolling as a part-time student or completing an online degree. The flexibility of online or part-time classes allows you more time to work. Think about how you might be able to balance classes alongside work, which can help you pay for your program while in school to reduce the amount of debt you have by graduation. Keep in mind that online degrees tend to be cheaper than traditional programs, so if you think you can handle the autonomy of an online course, consider it as an excellent option.

Employer Tuition Assistance: Employer tuition assistance is becoming increasingly popular, as employers are beginning to realize that an investment in their employees pays off in a big way. Ask your employer how they might be willing to help pay for your degree. 

Student Loans: It might be stressful to think about taking out loans, especially if you’re still paying some off from your undergraduate education. Taking out student loans is a serious decision, but if you’re strategic, you can find some within your means. 

There are two main types of loans: federal and private. While you can certainly have a mix of both, Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates and flexible repayment options.

  • Direct PLUS loans: With these loans, the U.S Department of Education is your lender. The maximum amount of aid you can receive is the cost of attendance as determined by your institution. Any other aid you receive is also taken into consideration. A key benefit of this loan is that you don’t have to start making repayments until six months after graduation! 
  • Private loans: Federal loans might not be enough to cover the cost of attendance, so your next step will be a private loan. These loans vary based on your lender and credit, so do your research and talk to your financial advisor to find the loans that are right for you.

Write It Off: Many people underestimate the tax incentives associated with higher education. From the lifetime learning credit to student loan interest deduction, there are several options to make your degree pay itself off. Eligibility for these incentives varies on a few factors, so discuss your circumstances with the financial aid office at your institution. 

One of the hardest parts about an MBA program is figuring out how to pay for it. These programs typically cost a pretty penny, but there are ways to get creative. Before you sign on to more student loan debt, apply for all the free money you can, pitch the investment to your boss, and write it off on your taxes. And if you still need student loans when it’s all said and done, stay informed and get strategic. 

An MBA degree has multiple benefits, one of the most important of which is an increase in earning potential. And we’re here to help you make such a sound investment in your future! Abound: MBA narrows down your options and gets you in touch with schools that we can confirm are Accessible, Affordable, Accelerated, and Advanced. Take a look at the schools we trust and find the program that works for you.


More Helpful Guides:

How Can I Benefit From an MBA?

Everything You Need to Know About an MBA

Getting College Credit for Life Experience You Already Have

MBA Programs That Also Help You Find Employment

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