Life After Undergrad: MBA Edition | 04.09.10
These days, it seems like everyone is getting an MBA. What was once just a ticket to a higher salary is now becoming almost a prerequisite for a job in the marketing or accounting fields. If you’re goal is to hit Wall Street or you just want to run your own business, a Masters in Business Administration might be the way to get there.
Before you decide on an MBA, you have to determine how much it could actually help you. First, if you currently have a job, ask around to find out what kind of salary bumps or promotions are available to MBA recipients. Many companies may even offer tuition reimbursement to an employee willing to advance his or her degree.
The school and degree you decide on will also determine the value of your MBA. An MBA from a more prestigious program will likely earn you more, as will completion of a specialized program such as investment banking.
One great option if there are not enough hours in the day is an online MBA. If your job already runs you 40-50 hours a week and/or you have a family to take care of, an online degree is flexible enough to help you get your degree. For more information, visit Edvisors.com.
How much will it cost? The average cost of an MBA is about $40,000 per year. So a standard two-year program will cost you upwards of $80,000 and that’s before other expenses. This figure can vary greatly. More generic MBA degrees at smaller schools will be slightly less, while the programs at bigger schools are much more costly. (Read on for a look at the top MBA programs and how to afford them).
So how do you go about paying for it? Here’s how:
Scholarships. Your first stop in any financial aid search, scholarships are great because they are essentially free money to pay for school, and there are fortunately a good number of MBA-specific scholarship options out there. For more information, visit www.StudentScholarshipSearch.com and use the search term “MBA.”
Federal loans. You will be happy to learn that many of the same federal loan options that you used as an undergraduate are still available for an MBA. Just fill out a new FAFSA application as an independent student to determine your financial aid need. You can borrow up to $20,500 ($8,500 of which can be subsidized) and the loan carries a 6.8 percent interest rate. You can also file for a Grad PLUS loan, which allows you to borrow up to the cost of education minus any other financial aid. The Grad PLUS loan carries an 8.5% interest rate.
If you are pursuing an MBA, you might have obtained enough credit to get a decent interest rate on a private student loan. These types of loans allow you to borrow the lesser of $70,000 or cost of attendance minus other aid.
Of course, like with your undergraduate loans, you want to consolidate once you graduate. For a complete breakdown of your MBA loan options, visit www.MBALoans.com.
ScholarshipPoints code: MBA0410
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