Securing your future with a good formal education is necessary to be financially independent as you get older. Going to university is a dream many students aspire to; however, with the potential cost of student loans, sometimes it can seem like an unreachable goal.
A Master of Arts in Communication is an ideal career choice because the earning potential is huge. You can work in media as a reporter, newscaster, writer, or public relations specialist.
Because a degree in communications opens the door to so many opportunities, financing your education without going into debt needs to be the top priority.
If you are looking for a way to obtain a Master of Arts in Communications but are concerned about adding a massive loan to your name, read on for some handy tips.
1. Shop Around for Institutions
The most popular universities are known for academic success, recognition in the educational field, and top-notch professors. Where this may be true to some degree, this doesn’t mean that other colleges are not just as good or perhaps even better. Because they are less well-known in the community, public colleges often get overlooked.
You’re shooting yourself in the foot if all you care about is the name of a fancy private school. At the end of the day, you just need a good education that will help you reach your career goals.
Some local community college tuition rates are almost 60% cheaper than private institutions, so it is worth looking around for something that you can afford. Once you know the most that you will need to pay towards your education, you can plan for it with the next few tips.
Because media and communications are such a big industry nowadays, there are many more educational institutions to choose from. Many of them are even more specialized than private colleges, so be ready to do some serious online research.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
In terms of grants and scholarships, you can get a substantial subsidy on your student fees if you ask for help. Some people don’t like the idea of asking for financial assistance; however, when it comes to your future and career opportunities, you will be glad you took the risk.
The federal Pell Grant works by assessing a student’s needs to determine the level of financial assistance. Since you have a specific career goal in mind, you may be eligible for specific scholarships that will cover the whole tuition.
The great thing about grants is that, unlike student loans, you aren’t contractually obligated to pay the money back. The state and federal governments have initiatives in place for students, yet many just don’t know where to look. One aspect to consider is if you want to work for a specific organization after you graduate. Approach that company and submit a proposal in which you agree to work for the business after university if they subsidize your fees.
The communications companies often offer grants and scholarships because they want to invest in the future of someone passionate about the industry.
3. Choose Online Options
Technology has allowed online education to become more affordable than ever. Each year data costs for internet connectivity drop, and the means of studying for a degree online are becoming easier.
Even if there is a practical portion such as working in the industry for workplace experience, all of your theoretical knowledge will be provided digitally. Degrees such as the M.A. communications allow for a fully online environment to be integrated with your study needs.
An additional benefit is that you can often finish your studies in less time than if you attended face-to-face. There will be a small practical aspect that may require you to work a few months as an intern but keep in mind that is a good step to take to secure a stable job after school.
Online education is no longer something considered extravagant of the future. Rather it has become a reality and almost a necessity for many people who are unable to afford private college tuition. Online education has many benefits, least of all more free time to pursue other things, which leads us to the next point.
4. Get a Job
You may think you need a college degree to get a job but the two often work well together. While you study online you will have a flexible schedule where you can work out a routine to include a part-time job that will help pay for your studies.
You will also be gaining valuable workplace experience before you graduate, all of which goes onto your resume. This will give you a better chance of landing a job because the prospective employer will notice your dedication to work and study at the same time. It is a desirable trait for many business owners.
If you combine all of these and get a job to subsidize the rest of your tuition, you will be one step closer to graduating without any debt behind your name. Research suggests that students who work part-time often perform better academically than those who just attend school.
It prepares you for the real world and it gives you a jump start to learn interpersonal and business etiquette skills that aren’t regularly taught in the classroom.
5. Budget, Budget, and Then Budget Some More
This will be the test of your will and restraint. For the two years that it takes to earn an M.A in communications, you can tighten up your spending belt and only purchase vital essentials. Be proactive with your budget by listing your monthly expenses. Include everything mandatory, and calculate what you have left.
The best way to not overspend is to have each cent allocated to something specific. Make sure that there is no money to waste on unnecessary items by putting it all into your expenses and savings -savings that you cannot touch unless for emergencies.
Earning your M.A communications degree is easier to achieve than it was decades ago. Take advantage of the resources at your disposal and don’t be afraid to ask for the financial assistance that you need to reach your goals.