A teacher studying to earn her MEd

Lower the Cost of Your Master of Education Degree

By The Room 241 Team March 19, 2018

It takes a hungry mind, passion, and foresight to decide to pursue an MEd while working full time—not to mention a heart of gold, knowing that what you learn will benefit you and your students. That said, money shouldn’t be the reason you pump the brakes.

At Concordia University-Portland, we understand that affordability is top of mind before, during, and after the application process. That’s why we created this guide: to share with you an overview of options and potential opportunities available that could help you better afford your tuition.

Lower the Cost of Your Concordia MEd

Download the eBook: Lower the Cost of Your Concordia MEd

Between scholarships, grants, and options you may not yet know about, there are plenty of ways to make your education more affordable.

Concordia Scholarships

Start with the most obvious source of funding assistance: Concordia-sponsored scholarships for those who qualify. We like to invest in our students, just as our students invest in those they teach. And as one of the largest and most respected forces in learning today, we’re able to commit to affordability with various opportunities throughout the year.

For the most up-to-date information, you can view all of the scholarships and promotions we offer. Speak with your Enrollment Specialist (ES) to find out if you qualify for any other available scholarships.

Tuition Reimbursement

Many school districts and schools provide financial support for employees in their pursuit of an MEd. For one, it keeps their great teachers on staff. And two, why wouldn’t they want their teachers to continue enhancing their skills? If you’re not sure if yours does, approach your HR office or supervisor and ask. Here are a few tips:

  1. Arrange a meeting between you and your supervisor at a time when neither of you will be distracted by bells ringing or students rushing through the hallways.
  2. Explain your plan to earn an online MEd through Concordia, your reasons for doing so, and how it will positively—and immediately—affect your work in the classroom.
  3. Ask if your employer offers tuition reimbursement. If they do, find out where you can get all of the details, in writing, so you know exactly how the process works.

Federal Student Aid

Loans, grants, the FAFSA, terms and conditions—when it comes to federal financial aid, the details can seem daunting. As soon as you apply to Concordia, you’ll be assigned a professional financial
aid counselor who will advise you on the process. Our counselors will help answer any questions you may have regarding the opportunities available to qualifying students. Here are a few federal resources to consider.

How Much a Qualified Student Can Borrow

According to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Up to $20,500 each year in Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • The remainder of your costs not covered by other aid in Direct PLUS Loans

What the TEACH Grant Does for Eligible Teachers

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides grants of up to a certain amount a year to eligible students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families. (Great news: at Concordia, the maximum amount a student can receive through the TEACH Grant is $3,752 per year.) Check out the full list of details, or talk to your financial aid counselor.

What Tax Benefits Exist for Graduate Students

The Lifetime Learning Credit allows qualified students to claim up to $2,000 per year for college or career school tuition, fees, books, and equipment required for the course and had to be purchased from the school. Visit the website for more info, or consult with your accountant to determine if this credit applies to you.

Where To Go for More Details

The Federal Student Aid’s website, Facebook page, and Twitter account are all great places to find more information about federal aid.

External Scholarships

External scholarships, sometimes referred to as “outside scholarships,” are not just for undergraduates! You may be pleased, and surprised, to know this: There are a lot of scholarships out there (not associated with Concordia) to help prospective graduate students and/or currently enrolled graduate students pay for their degree. If you qualify for and win an outside scholarship, we will apply the award on top of your Concordia scholarships for extra savings.

Here’s an assortment of what has been offered in the past. Please note, there may have been changes since this information was compiled, and each one includes specific terms and conditions not listed here.

  • Edwyna Wheadon Postgraduate Training Scholarship Fund: The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) awards one $500 scholarship per year to support postgraduate training. Applicants are required to be teachers of English/Language Arts in a publicly funded institution.
  • ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship: Recipients of this American Chemical Society (ACS)-sponsored scholarship receive up to $6,000 for full-time study or up to $3,000 for part-time study toward the completion of their MEd or secondary chemistry/science certification.
  • The Ruth Crymes TESOL Fellowship for Graduate Study: TESOL awarded one current graduate student with $1,500 and a convention registration to support their development of projects with direct application to ESOL classroom instruction.

Where to Look for Additional Scholarships

In addition to simply Googling terms specific to you and your interests, take a look at scholarships.com and fastweb.com, among others. Find more possibilities on our blog post: Scholarships and Grants To Help Teachers Fund an MEd or EdD Degree.

Even More Opportunities

Scholarships, grants, and reimbursements aren’t the only ways students can make their graduate degree more affordable. Some students consider the additional ideas listed below, depending on their preferences, needs, and circumstances.

  • Research private loans: Should you wish to take out a private loan, check out ELMSelect—a tool that provides comparisons of products and lenders.
  • Take advantage of your teacher discounts: If you feel the need to upgrade, say, your internet access, computer, or headphones, remember that many retailers offer special discounts for teachers. Just be sure to ask wherever you shop.
  • Tap into your college savings plan: Do you have money remaining in a college savings plan that, perhaps, your parents set up for you? Find out if those funds can be used toward
    graduate school. (FYI: Concordia is a 529-eligible institution.)
  • Choose our payment plan option: For students who prefer to pay their tuition costs in installments, we offer a Payment Plan option. Installments are determined when you sign up for the plan. For additional details, reach out to our Student Accounts Office.

What’s Next

Any questions? We’re standing by, and our team would love to hear what drives you and assist you in reaching your goals.

Ultimately, how you choose to fund your education is a personal decision. But if you need clarification or further information on your options, your financial aid counselor at Concordia will certainly help.

Every day, you challenge your students to seek the answers to their questions and to find solutions to every problem; we know you will do the same, and we are here to help you do what it takes to pursue your dreams, so you can help your students live theirs. We’re here to keep you on that path, so that hopefully this time next year, we’ll see you and your online peers in Portland for commencement.

Let’s do this!

Download the eBook: Lower the Cost of Your Concordia MEd

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