Graduate school is notoriously expensive. In fact, someone with a master’s of science will walk away with an average of $50,400 in student loans. While getting an additional degree may help your earning potential, an increased salary isn’t always a guarantee.
But if you’ve been wondering “how much does a master’s degree cost?” and if it’s worth it, it’s important to know that there have been some major shifts in the industry. A well-known and respected university has begun offering a master’s degree program for just $7,000.
Find out more about the program and how to determine a master’s degree worth.
How much does a master’s degree cost?
The cost of a master’s degree can vary widely, depending on your course of study and where you go to school. The average master’s degree costs between $30,000 and $120,000, and that’s on top of any money you spent on your undergraduate degree.
But there are ways to get your master’s degree much cheaper — without sacrificing the quality of your education.
Georgia Institute of Technology’s program
In 2014, Georgia Tech launched a new program. Students could go to school online and get a master’s degree in computer science for just $7,000. The master’s in computer science was the first of this “massive online” format.
Cheap online degrees aren’t new, but most have been from little-known schools or for-profit institutions. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, is a large and well-respected university. They rank No. 7 among public universities in the nation and have the ninth-best computer science graduate program according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Similar programs at the University of Southern California and Syracuse University cost about $57,000 and $43,000, respectively. Georgia Tech’s program is just a fraction of what other schools charge. And while schools like Syracuse offer online versions, too, their programs cost the same as their residential programs.
Initially, Georgia Tech accepted only a small group of students, about 500 in all. Two years later, the first students are graduating from the program, and the school is looking to expand its online degree offerings.
Georgia Tech’s program is intensive. Course videos are high-quality and well-produced and an external company monitors exams remotely.
Should I get a master’s degree?
At just $7,000, Georgia Tech’s program is a bargain compared to getting a master’s degree elsewhere. But it’s still a lot of money to spend outright. Before pursuing a master’s degree with Georgia Tech — or anywhere else — it’s important to consider your degree’s return on investment (ROI).
In some fields, and in some locations, a master’s degree is just not necessary. Getting one will only add debt. But in other cases, a master’s degree can be a lucrative investment.
One of the biggest factors to consider when deciding whether or not to get a degree is the difference in salary. PayScale is a great resource for seeing your potential ROI. You can see what other people in your area, at your level, and with similar education earn.
For example, let’s say you’re a computer programmer in Philadelphia and you have just one year of experience. If you had a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Tech, you could expect a salary around $65,000.
But if all of that information stays the same and you boost your degree to a master’s from Georgia Tech’s computer science program, you salary jumps to $74,000. In this case, a $7,000 investment in your education gets you a $9,000 return, netting you $2,000. The salary increase alone would pay off your education costs.
Pursuing a master’s degree
When figuring out the cost of a master’s degree, make sure you look at all of the factors. Checking your ROI on any education decision is an important step to take before enrolling in a program. It can help you decide if it will pay off in the long run or if will cause you to be in debt.
If you’re thinking about going to graduate school but need more information, we’ve got you covered. Check out this article to find out if graduate school is worth it.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|