It’s no secret that the cost of an undergraduate degree has continued to steadily climb in recent years. An undergraduate is considered the “minimum” for many white-collar jobs, so most students don’t look further. This growing cost has driven undergraduates to seek new avenues of improving their lifetime earnings, even though number of graduate degrees awarded has doubled since the 1980’s. While the average cost of a graduate degree is 4,000 per year, several unique benefits are driving students to seek a higher education. Let’s examine the cost of grad school, and try to understand why the numbers of students enrolling continues to climb.
The Cost of Graduate School Tuition
As previously stated, graduate school has a seemingly steep cost of $40,000 per year. This cost may seem outrageous, but it’s one that needs a frame of reference to truly understand. The average in-state public university is $9,000 per year, $30,000 for out-of-state students learning at a state college, and $40,000 or more for students seeking education at a private facility. When compared to the other options available, graduate school isn’t that expensive. This is one reason graduate students continue to rise in number.
Increased Lifetime Earnings
The other major drive for fueling graduate students is the potential to earn more money in their careers. Studies have shown that a graduate degree enables someone to earn $400,000 or more during their lifetime when compared to someone with just a bachelor’s degree. The thing this statistic does not take into account is the personal skill or success a person may experience after graduating. Their earnings could be quite higher, which is another alluring factor.
Funding: A Major Obstacle for Graduate Students
Unlike undergraduate programs, student loans for graduate school must be taken in the form of more conventional loans. This means government-sponsored grants and loans are few and very far between.
This factor, combined with other costs such as the cost of books and lodging, represent one of the biggest detractors for seeking a graduate degree. This is also why the number of students seeking a graduate degree have not increased exponentially.
Getting a Free Ride
The idea of personal talent is one that competitive businesses take seriously, which is why some companies will foot the bill for grad school. Given the availability to get a degree in law and other in-demand studies utilizing online courses and other non-traditional means, some businesses may be even more willing to give away that “free ride”. Click here for more information on non-traditional colleges like these.
Making the Most Out of an Education
Graduate degrees represent one of the higher steps in higher education. They can set you apart from others and may be just enough to increase your earning potential and job enjoyment.
While graduate degrees are an investment that can be difficult to make, there are many factors to consider that can make them desirable for your situation.