One of the first questions that typically comes to mind when considering a Master of Business Administration program is: How will I pay for it?

If you fall into the category of students who are anxious over the cost of school, you are not alone. The good news is that with a little research, you will find that there are many options available to you when it comes to paying for school. Here are some options that students at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Gary W. Rollins College of Business have pursued in order to make paying for college more feasible and less stressful:

Financial Aid: Students in the Flexible MBA and 100% Online MBA programs at UTC who take 6 credit hours  or more per semester are eligible for financial aid. As a result, the Financial Aid Office is a great place to start while considering your payment options for school. Here, you will be able to gain support and insight in regards to filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will also get a better idea about how student loans operate and your eligibility for certain grants. Most schools encourage students to fill out the FAFSA for reasons other than student loan and grant opportunities, such as consideration for scholarships. This is just one of the many reasons why reaching out to the Financial Aid Office is a great starting point when coming up with your academic financial plan.

Scholarships: Scholarship opportunities are always worth seeking out and researching. Some scholarships are awarded in small amounts to help pay for various academic expenses, while other scholarships are put in place to cover most or all of your program costs. At UTC, the Graduate School takes ownership of keeping our MBA students updated with specific scholarship opportunities through the UTC Graduate School website. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check with your employer and local community organizations and search the internet to learn more about available scholarship opportunities.

Tuition Installment Payment Plan (TIPP): The Bursar’s Office at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga can aid you in understanding fee breakdowns and UTC’s Tuition Installment Payment Plan (TIPP).  Many students are unable to pay their semester fees in full at the time of registration. A payment plan option through the Bursar’s Office allows students to pay in increments that are more manageable.

Graduate Assistantships: A graduate assistantship offers a select population of students the opportunity to pursue their master’s degree while working on campus in exchange for a significant tuition benefit and stipend. Specifically, MBA students who pursue Gary W. Rollins College of Business graduate assistantships are students who study full-time in the Flexible MBA program, work about 20 hours per week within the College, and do not work other jobs outside of their assistantship. This is an excellent opportunity for students who do not plan to work outside of their studies to fund their master’s degree.  It also provides a chance to network with faculty members and other graduate assistants.

Employee Benefits: Working professionals may find that their employer offers certain educational benefits to its employees. Those who have this benefit available to them are encouraged to connect with their human resources representatives at their place of work to best understand the educational benefits that may be available. Some companies may offer tuition reimbursement, while others may offer an annual tuition allotment. Because each situation is unique, it’s always a great idea to check with your employer to see if any educational benefits are available to aid you in funding your advanced degree.

Military Benefits: Are you active duty military, a military veteran, reservist, or are you a military family member?  The UTC Veteran Student Services Office is available to help you sort through any available benefits you may use toward earning your MBA degree.  The “Getting Started Checklist” will assist you in maximizing your military benefits.  UTC Veteran Student Services’ mission is to provide the best possible support services to active duty service-members, veterans, reservists and their family members.

While it can be stressful to figure out how you will finance your Master of Business Administration program, there are many options and campus resources available at UTC to help guide you through the process. In the Gary W. Rollins College of Business, we are committed to your success in our Flexible MBA and 100% Online MBA programs and are readily available to aid you in determining the best way to fund your MBA program.


Guest blogger: Brianna Gill, Gary W. Rollins College of Business Graduate Programs Office

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