There are a lot of things you will need to consider if you want to take your education further. For example, how will you find the time to fit it in? Will you need to give up your day job to complete it? How are you going to fund it? These are all issues that will need to be overcome before you can embark on your study program, but finding the money to pay for it can be the biggest one. However, with a little forethought, this can be overcome. Here are some ideas about how to finance a DNP program.
If you have been working for a while already, you may have saved up some money and you could use this to pay for your education. The advantage of this is that it takes care of the payment without you having to get into debt. This is going to be one of the cheapest ways to pay for it because you won’t incur interest charges like you would if you had borrowed money. However, the downside is that you won’t then have the money available to pay for anything else. For example, if you had been saving up for a car or put the money aside for a rainy day, you will now need to get that money from elsewhere.
If you do not want to start the program immediately, you may decide to save some money over a few years and start the course when you have enough money to pay for it. This sounds like a sensible option, but it could backfire on you. For example, if you need to pay an unexpected bill, you might be tempted to dip into your savings, which will mean it will take you longer to save. You may never get to the point where you can start your course if you do it this way.
Speak to Your Employer
If your qualification is work-related, it is worth asking your line manager or HR department if they would be willing to pay for it. If they say no, then you are no worse off than you were before, but if they say yes this will take a lot of the pressure off you. Some employers will offer to fund the full cost of a work-related course whereas others will offer you part of the money towards it. Whatever their policy, if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
There are grants available in the USA for people who want to return to studying. These can be offered at the national, state, or even county level, so it is worth checking all your options and applying for anything you think you might be eligible for. This can cover all or at least some of your course depending on the type of grant offered and could save you a lot of money.
Work and Study
You don’t necessarily have to give up work to study, as long as you choose the right study program. A course such as the DNP executive leadership program from Baylor University can be completed online. This means that you can fit your studies around your work schedule, and you can carry on earning the money to pay for the course as you are getting your qualification.
Friends and Family
Your family or friends may be willing to finance the course for you, so it is certainly worth asking the question. They may want the money to be repaid at some point, but their terms are likely to be a lot more generous than you would get from the bank. Before you borrow money, check if they are giving or loaning the money to you. If it is a loan, find out what their terms are and when they want the money repaid and stick to them. The closest relationships can be destroyed when one person owes another money, so beware of the pitfalls.
A bank loan will definitely come with terms and conditions attached. You will need to pay the interest set by the bank as well as repaying the money you have borrowed, and you will be expected to make payments once per month until the loan is cleared.
There are two types of bank loan. An unsecured loan is made at a higher interest rate. If you default on the loan, you could be taken to court and made to pay costs as well as the money you owe. This can get expensive, and it can harm your credit rating. Make sure you will be able to keep up with the repayments on an unsecured loan for the duration you have it rather than only worrying about the immediate future.
A secured loan may be available if you own your own home. The loan you are offered will be secured against your home and the interest rate will usually be cheaper than an unsecured loan. This is because the bank is taking less risk as they can repossess your home if you do not keep up the repayments. This could leave you homeless, but you will still owe the bank money plus interest and legal fees. Make sure you are happy with the risk you are taking as you could be signing your home away if things go wrong.
Credit cards are an option to finance your DNP program. However, because the interest rates are higher than for other types of borrowing, they are not as suitable as a long-term solution. If you want to pay your fees and know that you will be able to clear your debt within a short space of time, they can be a good option though as credit cards are easy to access and the repayments are flexible. However, if you are unable to pay the debt quickly a loan is a more cost-effective option.
These are just eight ways of financing your DNP program. If you are determined enough, you will succeed and then all you need to do is complete the course.