You’ve done the hard work of obtaining your bachelor’s in Project Management or another strong business degree, and you are ready for the next step. Getting your MS in Project Management can be a very exciting time in your life, but you may be leery about taking out additional student loans. And, you’re already busy. You don’t have time to take on another job while already working full time and pursuing a master’s.
There is good news. There are a variety of ways graduate students can get the financial help they need to pay for their Master of Science Degree in Project Management. Here are some examples that could help you:
Talk to Your Employer
Did you know many employers are willing to pay for their employee’s graduate degree? Because your employer will likely benefit from your enhanced education, many of them will pay for a master’s degree — or at least help you defray part of the cost. The key here is to demonstrate the value this degree will bring to the company. This includes advances, innovations, and perhaps even a larger scope of skill for your company. Plus, employers often receive financial incentives for providing their employees with these types of benefits.
Employer tuition reimbursement programs like this can also be offered as a repayment plan. Some employers will pay for the cost of your master’s education. Then, you can enroll, obtain your degree, and continue working for the company. You pay back all or some of your education over time, making it possible to keep your out-of-pocket costs low.
Consider Scholarship Opportunities
Project Management degrees could qualify for a wide range of scholarships. Your best place to start is local. Talk to local organizations and associations you may be a part of that offer scholarships. Your employer may also offer scholarships even if they do not offer tuition reimbursement.
There are some scholarships specifically for project management degrees. For example, these offered by The Project Management Institute Educational Foundation Academic Scholarship Program. This member organization offers a number of potential scholarship opportunities for eligible students. Here is a look:
Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarships
For those who are pursuing a degree in project management, the Dr. Harold Kerzner Scholarships may be ideal. It can be used for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Providing as much as $7,500 to students, it is one of the most lucrative of the options available to returning students.
Charles Lopinsky Memorial Scholarship
For those in Orange County, the Charles Lopinsky Memorial Scholarship from the PMI Orange County Chapter may help you. You may qualify for up to $3,000 annually if you are obtaining your master’s degree in project management. You will need to be enrolled at least half-time to obtain this scholarship. You can learn more about this scholarship and the qualifications by visiting Project Management Institute Educational Foundation Academic Scholarship Program.
Bishop Kloch Memorial Scholarship
The Bishop Kloch Memorial Scholarship provides an annual scholarship of $2,500 for those who are pursuing their education in an accredited school. Individuals in the Baltimore area are eligible for this scholarship option.
Ana Alvarez-Holmberg Scholarship
For those who are living or working in the Twin Cities area, the Ana Alvarez-Homberg Scholarship is available each year. The scholarship offers $2,000 towards education in this field and requires individuals to be in good academic standing and be a member of PMI or a candidate recommended by someone in the organization.
Carl Pritchard Scholarship Fund
This particular scholarship option gives you $500 if you are working to build your project management degree in the Greater Pittsburgh area. The Carl Pritchard Scholarship Fundcan be used to cover the costs of any tuition expenses for masters or doctoral education.
Students interested in obtaining a scholarship from this member organization should consider turning to the local chapter of the Project Management Institutes Educational Foundation. Other options exist including those for applicants in very specific areas.
Obtaining the Right Loans
Even with a bit of help from a scholarship, you may find yourself still needing a bit of financial help. If you plan to attend graduate school, you may be able to see an increase in your salary or the quality of work you do. And, it may be worth obtaining a low-cost loan to help you pay for it.
Federal Financial Aid continues to be a good option for many students. Direct PLUS Loans are one of the best options for those who are entering into graduate programs. They can offer the highest amount of direct unsubsidized loans, up to $20,500 each school year. Some students may also benefit from Federal Perkins Loans. They provide up to $8,000 per year but are based on financial need.
A final option is a private loan. Private loans tend to be available for those who are entering into master’s degree programs, but they generally have a higher rate of interest than other options. Still, you may qualify for the Sallie Mae Graduate Student Loan. It is important to consider the cost of these loans against others before choosing them to pay for your education.
In addition to these methods to pay for your master’s degree, consider turning to local organizations. You may also benefit from local or state grant or scholarship options. Some states also offer low-cost loan programs.
Getting your Master of Science in Project Management can be an exciting opportunity. You may find that online courses allow you to get your education in a cost-effective manner and do not require you to stop working to do so. Most importantly, it is essential to consider the value of enrolling in a high-quality school to advance your career. Even if you are already paying for your bachelor’s degree, advancing your education further makes you the ideal candidate for higher paying jobs in the future.