When you undertake the coursework of a master’s degree program, you have already completed your bachelor’s degree and have quite a bit of experience in being a student. You’re also older and have made a conscious decision to continue your education. Whether you’re about to embark on a completely different career or expand the scope of your knowledge of undergrad work, it’s still quite an investment. So how much does it actually cost to earn a master’s degree?
The average debt of a master’s degree student upon graduation can range anywhere from $30,000-120,000, according to FinAid.org. When you pursue a master’s degree program, you are increasing your earning potential within your field and making yourself a more desirable candidate to many future employers. This is just one way a master’s degree is quite different than a bachelor’s degree, but it’s not the only reason. That’s why it’s a bit tough to estimate an average cost for a master’s degree. You see, there are many different programs, each of which have a very specialized set of requirements, fees, and duration. The various factors that go into a master’s degree program regarding cost should be considered before you commit yourself to the master’s degree program.
Length of Master’s Degree Program
While some master’s programs can be done in just two semesters, others can last for a few years and unfortunately this can cause further debt in your bank account. But never fear, for you are making an investment in your future, especially since you’ve likely elected to take this program and further your education. Before you enter into a master’s degree program you should check out the length. You can start as early as while you’re pursuing your bachelor’s — many major have a five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s program. In most cases, this saves the student at least one year of tuition.
Type of Master’s Degree Program
Depending on the type of master’s program you are pursuing, there may be additional fees. For example, a health care program may require additional lab or clinic fees to cover the cost of materials that will be used throughout the course of the semester. It’s not just about tuition here. Other programs may have other fees so it’s important to research what else you’ll need to pay for beyond the standard cost of tuition.
Type of School
Whether you attend a public or a private university or college, you’ll be sure to be faced with a different cost to get a master’s degree. Public universities generally cost less, especially if you are paying in-state tuition. There are many public universities that have state-of-the-art equipment and specialized programs that are well-known and respected within their field. It’s to your advantage to research all possibilities — especially if it could save you a few thousand bucks.
Additionally, some online master’s degree programs may not only be more flexible, but they may also be more cost-efficient. Unlike brick-and-mortar classes, these online master’s classes allow for the same material to be taught at a lower cost due to no overhead and fewer classroom materials.
No matter where you pursue your master’s degree, you’ll likely get a great education. But it is considering a few important factors that you can perhaps help defray the cost of earning a master’s degree.