As a member of the Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions finance coaching team, I absolutely love talking to employees who are excited about starting or continuing their education!
Many of the employees I speak to have an idea of the program that they would like to pursue, and perhaps even a school or two that might meet their needs.
Occasionally, I will speak with an employee who has already decided on a particular school and program. Sometimes they even may have applied to, and been accepted by, the school. When that is the case, I ask the employee, “What does the program cost?” While most can answer this question, some cannot. These employees have already spent time and money applying to a school and program that might not be a good financial fit for them.
If you are considering going back to school, and if cost and finances are part of your decision-making process, I suggest the following steps before applying to a particular school and program:
- Consider your educational goal. Why do you want to go back to school? Are you planning to complete a degree that you started previously? Are you pursuing a higher degree? Is this education job-related? Is it required for your existing job, or do you hope to get a promotion after completing this program? Will your salary or pay increase after completing this program? If so, by how much?
- Consider the program cost. If cost is a factor in your education, research the actual school and program costs carefully before making your decision. One program with a lower cost-per-credit may cost more than another program with a higher cost-per-credit when factoring in the number of credits each program requires.
- Consider the cost of borrowing. If you plan to finance any part of your education, know what the total loan costs are, including your estimated monthly payments, before committing to a program.
If you follow these simple steps, you can find the program that is right for you AND know exactly what it will cost you BEFORE YOU EVEN SUBMIT YOUR ADMISSIONS APPLICATION!