How to Pay for a Master's Degree in Higher Education

Deciding to seek a master's degree in your chosen field involves a great commitment of money, time and work.It is important to know of the myriad of options available to help you pay for your degree; the time spent researching these may save you thousands of dollars in the short and long term. Here you will find how to pay for a master's degree in higher education.

Paying for a Master's Degree in Higher Education

Consider private loans. Although these must be repaid, the money will be made available to you in a timely manner given that you successfully qualify. Every private loan lender has different interest rates and repayment terms, so it is vital to make an informed decision if you seek this option.

Apply for school-specific grants and scholarships. Most schools offer a selection of scholarships and grants depending on such factors as financial need, academic merit and availability. The sooner you apply the better your chances for getting them.

Complete a Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to become eligible for federal grants and loans. The interest rates of federal loans are generally much lower than their private sector counterparts, but also must be repaid. Federal grants, on the other hand, do not have to be repaid provided that you fulfill all requirements.

Apply for fellowships within your school of choice. These are much like work-study jobs, except they usually involve a higher degree of commitment and responsibility. Fellowships can provide anything from partial tuition reimbursement to full tuition coverage, depending on the program.

Secure a job that offers tuition reimbursement as a benefit. Many companies regularly include some degree of tuition reimbursement in their employee benefits packages, although these may also come with stipulations.


  • Even if your employer has never made a tuition reimbursement known to you, this does not mean it doesn't exist. Discuss this option with the human resources department.


  • Adhere to all deadlines for scholarship, grant, loan and fellowship applications. You don't want to disqualify yourself by waiting too late.