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How to pay for your online MBA

Practical funding strategies for online candidates.

4 min read


How to pay for your online MBA

King University Online

This post is sponsored by King University Online.

You know the benefits of getting an MBA online and how to be successful once you’re enrolled, but what about paying for your graduate degree?

Funding your MBA is a key consideration. Data from the Graduate Management Admissions Council shows that cost is the biggest concern for potential students, with 46% saying they are worried that they will have to take on greater debt in order to complete their education. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. A few steps can help you get out ahead of this issue.

First do a quick cost-benefit analysis:

  • Understand tuition costs and debt loads. The cost of an online MBA degree, such as the one offered by King University, varies widely, so look closely at tuition, fees and expenses for each program on your short list. This gives you a clear sense of the financial requirements, and helps you make decisions about payment options. It’s also useful to research the debt load of newly minted MBAs from your chosen programs.
  • Assess benefits and value adds. Next, consider the benefits of your degree. According to the Online College Students 2018: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences report, “Factors that increase the perception of an institution’s or program’s value include program convenience (28%), institutional reputation (23%), or offering the best content (21%).” With these additional benefits, you may decide it’s worth it to pursue a higher-priced program. 

Use this information to determine the financial realities and potential upsides and make decisions about affordability and monetary need. Then try one or more of these ideas to help you afford graduate school:

  1. Get tuition support from your employer. According to the SHRM 2018 Employee Benefits survey, 49% of employers offered financial support for graduate school. But there may be strings attached. Some organizations require you to remain in their employ for a specific amount of time after completing your degree or you have to pay them back. 
  2. Investigate scholarships and grants. Talk to admissions counselors about scholarship and grant options available from the program, then check out other resources like Sallie Mae’s Graduate School Scholarship Data Base.
  3. Get a loan. In some cases, taking out a student loan for your MBA may make sense. Complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid form to apply for federal education loans. Since taking out a loan is a serious consideration for you and your family, make sure you understand the terms and financial implications before applying. The SHRM report shows that a scant 4% of employers offered student loan repayment.
  4. Understand tax credits. Under certain circumstances, you can get a tax credit for continuing your education. Review the IRS website to see if your online MBA tuition and expenses qualify for the Lifelong Learning Credit or American Opportunity Tax Credit. Then talk to your CPA or financial advisor to confirm your eligibility.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional financial, accounting, tax or legal consultation; it is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Always consult professionals when you have specific questions about any financial matter.

About King University Online

King University’s online MBA program prepares students to be effective leaders and managers in a variety of business settings. The online MBA degree is a 36-semester hour program designed for students with a minimum of two years work experience and seek to enhance their business administration knowledge and skills. Our online courses are the same courses as those delivered on campus. Find out how you can propel your career forward with King University online.