Potential graduate students are always wondering, is graduate school always more expensive than undergraduate school? The truth is that it doesn't have to be. Like many other myths about graduate school, the affordability of school is often overstated. Take a look at the different ways that graduate school is less expensive than undergraduate school.
Scholarships are More Available at the Graduate Level
While finding scholarships at the undergraduate level has never been a problem, the truth is that graduate school is made less expensive because scholarships are readily available for them. These can include industry-specific scholarships, scholarships based on academic performance at the undergraduate level, and more. And because graduate programs, on average, take less time to attain, the scholarships can make a huge difference in how much a program costs a student out-of-pocket.
Financial Aid Serves Graduate Students
Financial aid benefits graduate students, making it less expensive than undergraduate school. Graduate students can get help with tuition from their employers, the government can decide to work for the college as teaching assistants, or even get grants for the specific field they're interested in studying. Because graduate students are specializing in their field rather than learning about it for the first time, financial aid offers are more likely to come with strings attached, such as a work commitment or another method of service after they've graduated from school.
Dependent on Degree and Field
It's important to note that the price of a graduate degree depends on the type of degree and the field in which a graduate student is focusing their studies on; a law or medical degree will cost more than an MBA, a doctorate costs more than a bachelor's, and so on. Specialist and paraprofessional degrees also cost more than a Master of Arts, and degrees that are focused on STEM subjects include labs, which are more costly than a graduate degree in philosophy or English; inversely, a graduate English degree will cost less than an undergraduate degree in the same subject.
Part-Time Versus Full-Time
Graduate school tends to be less expensive than undergraduate school because many graduate students attend school part-time whereas undergraduates attend full-time. Graduate students supplement their time with internships, research projects, and other experiences that help them in the long run while undergraduates are tasked with learning the fundamentals of their chosen field.
Online Options for Graduates
Graduate students have more options available to them online; the most popular graduate degree, the MBA, is regularly offered 100 percent online by most schools. Because of this, graduate students have the ability to take on an online tuition rate which reduces the cost of their degree by a substantial amount. Because of this, and the fact that undergraduates who take online courses are still subject to more years of study which increases their tuition, graduate school is less expensive than undergraduate school.
For students who are wavering between attending graduate school or not based on price, remember that the price depends on the field and how much financial aid is available at the time. Price should never be a hindrance to a good education, so hopefully now that students know the answer to the question, is graduate school always more expensive than undergraduate school, they can move on to planning the next step in their education.