Author Topic: Paying for Grad School  (Read 3036 times)

Frugalteacher

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Paying for Grad School
« on: September 30, 2013, 12:04:28 PM »
Hey,
     So as you may have guessed from my name I'm a teacher. In order to maintain my teaching license I must begin pursuing a masters degree within the next year or I my license will be suspended ( which means I can't teach). I love my job, but I really don't want to take on any more student loan debt. My plans as of now are to apply for Pell Grants and a research fellowship through my university. Also, once I have some grad school classes done I might try and get a part time TA gig to help supplement the cost. Any other ideas or suggestions to avoid taking on more loans?

Thanks


rebel100

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 12:27:47 PM »
Pell Grants are for Undergrad degrees only so your not going to see any cash there.

I would highly recommend looking into an affordable, regionally accredited, school such as Western Governors University.  http://www.wgu.edu/education/online_teaching_degree?&gclid=CLvH5OXc87kCFSgS7AodyhIAFQ

Your looking at $3200/semester which is a full 6 months long.  Being self paced if you apply yourself you can finish in 2-3 semesters without killing yourself.  I doubt you will find a comparable program as cheap anywhere....and there is opportunity to be quite mustachian in your Graduate Degree approach.

....be sure your system/employer is cool with the online WGU approach....though I'd be shocked if they had an issue with it.

Another option that's online and quite affordable is the MAT from Morningside Collge.  If you took the core during their 1 year rotation and used VESI courses for the remainder the degree should be sub $10K (maybe 6-8K???)  http://grad.morningside.edu/programs.php#mat_pe

Daleth

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 12:31:10 PM »
Hey,
     So as you may have guessed from my name I'm a teacher. In order to maintain my teaching license I must begin pursuing a masters degree within the next year or I my license will be suspended ( which means I can't teach). I love my job, but I really don't want to take on any more student loan debt. My plans as of now are to apply for Pell Grants and a research fellowship through my university. Also, once I have some grad school classes done I might try and get a part time TA gig to help supplement the cost. Any other ideas or suggestions to avoid taking on more loans?

Thanks

What area do you teach in? What range of master's degree subjects would work for these purposes?

HappyHoya

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 12:37:58 PM »
Although I do not teach anymore, my first career was in teaching and I did a Masters degree in my subject area to keep my job. I worked part-time at the university where I did my degree to get partial tuition remission. Obviously, if you are teaching full-time, this isn't easy, but it's a good gig if you can get it. Tuition is often so expensive that even a 25 or 30% tuition discount ends up being worth more than you can earn during the same time. I also tutored on the side. If you have an in-demand subject area specialty this can be very lucrative. Study skills and writing are always necessary. I go through a service that takes a % of what your student pays in exchange for connecting you with student jobs. I find it very easy and totally worth it to not have to do my own marketing. Just set your rate with their cut in mind. If you want more info on this service, send me a message and I can get you a referral.

nico demouse

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 01:13:07 PM »
I did my masters in education and paid for almost none of it myself, with the exception of books and fees. We also had a penalty if we didn't start graduate work -- I think we had five years to move up the pay scale or our pay would be frozen.

In my area, you are given tuition waivers for supervising student teachers. The university the student is from issues the waiver. It's like a coupon for credit hours. I did this as much as I could, whenever I could. I also put the word out that I was in grad school. Often there were colleagues who supervised student teachers who didn't need the waivers. I was pleasantly surprised by how often people would pass along their waivers to me when they weren't using them. I NEVER asked, but accepted anytime one was offered. Then I just planned my grad classes based on how many waivers I had. It was usually 1-2 credit hours for supervising sophomore and junior clinical students. Those are easy, they seemed to mostly be there to observe. Supervising a senior student teacher is WORK, but we were given considerably more credits -- maybe six? I can't remember. You earn them, though.

I also kept my eyes and ears open for scholarship opportunities. In my area, our local legislator offers teachers scholarships for summer graduate work. It was competitive -- I had to write and essay and answer some questions, but it paid for a semesters courses. I took a full load that summer!

I also transferred in as many credits as my program would allow me. In my area, many of the free/low cost teacher training programs you might do to earn CEUs offer optional graduate credit for an additional cost. There was additional work involved as well. Often, that cost was much less than the cost of credit hours at the university I was pursuing my degree. So, I did as many of those as I was allowed to.

It took me a little while to finish, but that was fine. Look into the specific details of your contract -- I only needed 15 hours in addition to my BA to move up the pay scale and avoid the pay freeze. So, you may only need a few classes to fulfill your contractual obligation and then you can finish the rest as you can afford.

Teaching masters programs tend to be different from a "normal" masters in that they are designed for working people who pursue coursework in the evening/summer/weekends. You most likely will not be signing up for a semester's work, but rather taking a course or two at a time until you're finished.

JR

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 01:36:53 PM »
Hey,
     So as you may have guessed from my name I'm a teacher. In order to maintain my teaching license I must begin pursuing a masters degree within the next year or I my license will be suspended ( which means I can't teach). I love my job, but I really don't want to take on any more student loan debt. My plans as of now are to apply for Pell Grants and a research fellowship through my university. Also, once I have some grad school classes done I might try and get a part time TA gig to help supplement the cost. Any other ideas or suggestions to avoid taking on more loans?

Thanks

How quickly do you have to finish the degree once you start? Have you priced out the program at different schools? My wife finished her advanced degree this year and it only cost us $10,000 per year (two years) at the local state school (our public university costs are higher than the national average). She could have stretched it to 4 years if she wanted and it would have only cost around $5,000 per year.

Daleth

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Re: Paying for Grad School
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 04:25:04 PM »
Also check out Harvard Extension School. If they have a master's in a subject area that would work for you, you could do it almost exclusively online (maybe spend half a summer in Boston for the non-online part), and the total tuition is about $20k. And yes, it is a *Harvard* degree!