Looking to return to school but don’t want to spend a fortune? There are ways to earn a degree without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more about how to get a degree for free or close to it.
Scholarships And Grants
The first place you should look is for scholarships and grants. While there may be certain requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for these awards, they are essentially free money.
Talk to the financial aid office at the school you are considering attending. They should be able to provide information on any available scholarships and grants.
In addition, search online for any other external sources of scholarship money that may be available.
You can apply for:
- Academic scholarships
- Athletic scholarships
- Government scholarships like the Pell Grant
- Identity-based scholarships
- First-generation scholarships like the Gates Millenium Scholarship Program
Another great way to get a degree for free (or close to it) is through employer assistance programs. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs as part of their benefits package.
This means that if you take courses related to your job, your employer will cover the cost of tuition up front, and then reimburse you after successful completion of each course. In some cases, they may even pay the full cost up front if they feel strongly enough about their employees earning an advanced degree in their field.
Talk to HR at your job about what options might be available for tuition reimbursement programs and how you can take advantage of them.
One final way you can get a degree for free (or close to it) is by taking online courses from accredited universities or colleges instead of attending classes in person.
Attending classes online can save thousands of dollars in tuition costs over traditional classroom-based learning because there are often no fees associated with taking online courses beyond the cost of books and materials needed for the class itself.
Check with your college or university’s admissions office to see what kind of online course offerings they have available and how much those courses typically cost compared with regular course offerings on campus.
Find A Grant That Best Suits You
Earning a degree doesn’t have to mean shelling out thousands upon thousands of dollars in tuition costs. There are plenty of ways students can get degrees without breaking the bank if they know where and how to look.
Grants, scholarships, employer assistance programs, and online coursework are all viable options when it comes to getting a degree for free (or close too). Consider each option carefully before making your decision so that you can make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck – or lack thereof.
When applying for a scholarship, you don’t have to apply to only one. Read our guide on how to apply for multiple scholarships at once.