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    How Much Does a Master’s Degree Cost?

    By Savannah Dawson

    Prior to coming to Scholarships360 for her first internship in 2022, Savannah utilized her campus publications by joining various fashion publications that are offered at Ohio University. One of those publications is Thread Magazine, where Savannah has had the opportunity to work on articles related to world-wide related fashion news and events, as well as articles closer to home, such as a fashion piece on Athens hometown-hero Joe Burrow. This year, Savannah also had the opportunity to be a content writing intern for Aiken House, as well as a section editor for Southeast Ohio Magazine. In 2023, Savannah served as the Chapter President of her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. These collective experiences, as well as her experience currently working for Ohio University’s Undergraduate Admissions, has led her to Scholarships360 and aided in her passion for helping students better understand the college admissions process and financial aid. In her free time, Savannah enjoys horseback riding, watching Formula One races, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family. Savannah will graduate from Ohio University in May 2024 with a degree in Journalism News and Information and a certificate in Italian Studies.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: May 2nd, 2024
    How Much Does a Master’s Degree Cost?

    If you are thinking about applying to graduate school, you might be wondering, “How much does a master’s degree cost?” As you might be discovering, earning a master’s degree can be a great way to dive deeper into your studies, make connections within your field, and advance your career. In this article, we help you break down how much a master’s degree costs, what you might pay for outside of tuition, and some ways that you can find financial support to fund your degree. Let’s dive in!

    How much does a master’s degree cost?

    Just like an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree will vary from university to university, ranging from $56,000 to $75,000. Some will be much lower than this cost, and others will be much higher. Some factors that can change the price of your master’s degree are:

    • The college you attend (Location? Public or private?)
    • What you’re studying
    • The length of the program
    • The number of credits taken

    What costs are not included in tuition?

    Remember, there are costs included in a master’s degree other than tuition that are not usually covered. These can include, but are not limited to:

    • Technology fees
    • Lab fees
    • Library fees
    • Academic advising
    • Travel or lodging
    • Thesis fees
    • Graduation fees

    As you can see, there are many things to consider when trying to estimate the cost of a master’s degree. It is important to weigh the pros and cons, especially before signing for student loans. The Department of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Handbook is an excellent resource to look up current data projected new jobs, growth, and salaries for nearly every career. 

    Related: Is a master’s degree worth it?

    Are master’s degree students eligible for financial assistance?

    The short answer is, yes, master’s degree students are eligible for financial assistance. There are opportunities for federal aid, grants, graduate assistantships, scholarships, and more.

    Financial aid for graduate school

    Graduate students do not qualify for the same federal aid opportunities as undergraduate students. Graduate students are ineligible for need-based Pell Grants, but are eligible for federal loans (which should always be last on the list to fund any degree). 

    Grants for graduate school

    Through the FAFSA, you can apply for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant (for those going into education), Federal Work Study (FWS), and Federal Pell Grants.

    Graduate assistantships

    Graduate assistantships are a form of financial aid for graduate students. This financial assistance comes in many different forms, which can include tuition scholarships, stipends for housing, transportation, and other things related to earning a master’s degree. Most often, graduate students will work as teaching assistants or research assistants for professors in exchange for the assistantship. 

    Scholarships for graduate students

    While not as plentiful as scholarships for high school and undergraduate students, there are scholarships to fund your graduate education. Scholarships at this level are competitive and often dependent on the undergraduate GPA (so if you are looking ahead, keep those grades up!). Make sure that you research college/university specific scholarships at the universities you are thinking about applying to. 

    Closing thoughts for aspiring master’s students

    Overall, in the last five years, the number of people who are going to school for their master’s degree has risen. Ultimately, whether or not a master’s degree is right for you depends on what kind of student you are, what your goals are, and  whether or not it makes sense for your career. 

    Related: Top 15 companies that offer tuition reimbursement

    Additional resources for students

    Ready to apply for a master’s program? We’ve got you covered. Check out our guide on graduate school financing options, our top scholarships for grad school students, and, when it comes time to write your application essays, don’t miss our guide on how to write an essay about yourself. Be sure also to check out our guide to the GRE and a comparison between the GRE and the GMAT. Best of luck, and make sure that you apply for all the scholarships you qualify for! 

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    Frequently asked questions about the cost of a master’s degree

    Can I get tuition reimbursement for my master’s degree?

    There are many ways to receive tuition reimbursement for a master’s degree. There are hundreds of companies that offer tuition reimbursement for both undergraduate and graduate programs.

    Is a master’s degree worth the cost?

    The honest answer here is that it depends on your profession and what kind of person you are. It is all what you put into it. Whether or not your degree is worth the cost comes down to what you study. There are certain degrees that have higher salaries, and some jobs are easier to get with a master’s degree. For example, STEM related careers are more likely to require master’s degrees than others.

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