Selecting a Program That Meets Your Education Goals AND Your Budget

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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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
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