How to fund your postgraduate courseWhy is funding important for postgraduate courses? It is importantbecause getting a postgraduate degree requires a large financialinvestment. Not only will you be paying tuition costs and your cost ofliving, the time you spend studying a second degree is time that youcould have spent working and drawing a salary at any establishment.And if you already have your undergraduate debts to pay off, or havejust finished repaying them, funding is essential. So the next questionthat comes up is what are the current funding options available forpostgraduate students?
1. Pay out of your own pocket:While this is not exactly a problem for the trust fund babies outthere, regular Joes tend to have a hard time coughing up all thatdough. If you have parents who can afford it, a job where you’ve saveda substantial amount of money, or a family heirloom you can sell orpawn, you can afford to pay the tuition out of your own pocket. But itwill definitely pinch. The only bright side to this is that when youemerge with a degree, there will be no debt and no high interest ratesto repay, and you will be able to take up a job that you want, instead oftaking up a job just to pay off the loan. 2. Get a scholarship, bursary or grant:Whether the educational institution you apply to is a public or a privateconcern, there is always some sort of financial help available. Whilegetting a full scholarship is pretty rare nowadays, there are many thatcover fifty percent of the tuition costs, or pay for the food and livingcosts, etc. Search in great detail to locate one that suits you and onethat you are suitable for. And never neglect to pursue a scholarship ifthe amount or the percentage of the costs covered, seem to be verypaltry. When it is a matter of money every single cent counts.
3. Get an educational loan:Banks offer educational loans with various terms, conditions andinterest rates attached. Be sure to go through the repayment optionsin great detail before signing the documents. Depending on the amountof the loan, you will need the signature of a co-guarantor and/or willhave to put up something of sufficient value as collateral. 4. Work part time:If there is no other source of income to help supplement your studies,or you need more than what your scholarship is covering, you need totake up some form of part time employment – whether it is tutoring orflipping burgers – to help pay your way through graduate school. 5. Find charities or individual sponsors:If you are associated with any charities or know any wealthy individualswho help out students by financing their postgraduate study, you couldappeal to them. However, these differ from person to person and mosthave very stringent criteria, so this is not the best option to bank upon.
6. Convince your employer:This is one of the hardest things to do, but one that will bear the bestresults. If you can convince your employer to give you a year or moreoff work to pursue your academic aspirations, sponsor the whole costand have your job waiting for you when you come back, or better yet apromotion, you will have achieved an educational coup. If you areacademically excellent, if the establishment you are working at is in agood financial situation and most importantly if you have a greatrapport with your boss, you might just be able to pull it off.