Guest Author - Elizabeth Stuttard
Many people wonder how much their education will cost them. Each of you must calculate how much your education will cost based on which school you want to attend and which program of study you are interested in. Tuition is not standard across the United States or Canada or even across any area of the country. Costs will also be higher for you if you want to study a program that requires 8 years of study rather than 4 years of study.
Here are some of the factors to consider about your education and its cost.
1. You need to determine what career you are interested in. If you do not have the resources or the time to study for your first choice, some careers have related occupations that you could consider. For instance, if you are interested in law but cannot pay for law school or spend 7 years becoming a lawyer, then perhaps you can consider a career as a paralegal. In a field such as nursing, you can become a registered nurse with an associate’s degree, then work in the field to get some experience and earn some money. Next you could complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), and then finally, the Master of Science degree in nursing to become an advanced practice nurse (APN).
2. Next you need to determine how much you can afford to pay for your education. When making this decision, you will need to discover how much money you can receive as a grant for your education, how much it is possible to receive through scholarships, and how much you and/or your family have available to pay for the schooling. You can possibly get a student loan for a good portion of the cost but you need to remember that loans must be paid back when you have finished school, so you will have to determine the most you are willing to take on as a loan.
3. Next you should compile a list of the schools that have the program you are interested in and whose costs fall within the total amount of scholarships, plus grants, plus your personal money, plus loans that you are willing to incur. Do not forget to include all costs – tuition fees, books, application fees, insurance fees, all the other incidental fees that are collected by a school, and the cost of your housing, food, and other living expenses. Consider distance learning at an online school which may not have as many costs involved such as housing.
4. Make your final decision on a few schools and apply to them.
These factors are some of the basic ones to help you make a decision about how to get an education without running up a large amount of debt when you have finished your degree. There are always exceptions to these suggestions since everyone’s circumstances are different. Perhaps you want to be a doctor and do not want to wait until you are fifty when you might be able to afford it. That is fine as long as you are aware of the costs and the debt you will incur if you are not able to pay for much of those studies. In my next article I will talk about some ways to save money on the cost of your education that may not be as obvious as applying for grants and scholarships.