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How I got my Master's Degree for Almost Free

 Most school systems pay you more if you have a master's degree. According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, "On average, a teacher with a master's degree earns $5,285 more than a teacher with only a bachelor's degree..." That's a lot of money, but so is the cost of a master's degree. Here's how I got mine for almost free.

We get tons of emails about cohorts and joining cohorts so that is where I started.  The cohorts often offer a reduced price to educators with some stipulations.  The one I joined was a 3 year distance-based learning program at a reputable state university.

Second, look into your district's tuition plan, many districts will pay a certain amount per semester for a course. I've found that district tuition reimbursements tend to be around $300, twice a year and require an A or a B for the final course grade.   One district was even willing to pay the full amount for my last 3 classes to ensure I finished the degree.  Before starting, ask Human Resources if they have a plan, what the requirements are, and any deadlines.   

The last funding came from outside grants.  Many education associations/unions/foundations offer grants for $300-$500 twice a year.  I pay ~$15/month for one association and got $500/semester in grants from them. The applications are usually 5-6 simple questions such as: how it would help my students, how much the class would cost, and why I wanted to earn the degree.  While I encourage you to be a member of an education association or foundation many do not limit grants to just members.  

If you are thinking about getting your master's degree but the cost is holding you back, look into these resources, you may find that you can get that degree for almost free.  A simple Google search in your state will turn up master's degree cohorts and education associations.


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