Here’s an email we received recently:
After undergrad, I worked for a couple of years before deciding that I wanted to go back to school to get my MBA. After doing a lot of research, I realized that the cost of going back full-time could be as much as $150,000 for two years. Many of the best business schools also offered part-time MBA programs with classes in the evenings or on the weekends. I made the decision to enroll in a program which allowed me to continue working while getting my MBA. I talked to my company about getting them to sponsor me and they agreed to pay 50%. Many companies will pay for your MBA if you agree to keep working for a period of two years after you graduate. Getting my MBA while working was a great idea because I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom at my job. After graduating, I had no loans whereas many of my friends who enrolled in full-time programs had as much as $100,000 or more in loans. I also had two additional years of work experience whereas they had to find jobs and go through the recruiting and interview process all over again. Looking back, it was a great investment and I would highly recommend it for those who want to graduate without the burden of excessive student loans.
The person who sent this to us did their MBA at Yale. Here’s a few things to note from how this worked:
-After having already invested in an undergraduate degree, this person got a return on that investment by seeking employment. This allows one to not just get experience, but set aside savings to put toward continuing education later.
-This person focused on the ‘big win’ which was exchanging 2 years of promising to stay with their current company for sponsoring half the education costs.
-If we assume that half the tuition was $75,000 [based on the numbers in the email], then it means this person had 2-3 years to save money, and also seek scholarships. With focus and dedication, this is actually very reasonable (with emphasis being on focus).
-Most companies will reimburse some portion of your education costs. This is an easy way to get a head start. Yes, it means not doing grad school immediately after graduating, but (as this email shows) plenty of people are able to be quite successful going this route.
-If this person had opted to take a loan and do it right out of grad school, they would have started their career with $100,000 burden hanging on their heads. Imagine trying to get married and start a family with that type of a debt.
Check out our free ebook, A Practical Guide to Debt and Personal Finance for Muslims, for a fresh look at how we view student loans in the Muslim community – enter your email below to get a copy.