Grad School – Why I do it even though I’m unsure about the investment

If you’re wondering “Did she just wake up one day and decide to go to grad school” the answer is LITERALLY yes I did. I was in a rut, had a dream I went to grad school, woke up, did some research, found a program that I liked that didn’t require the GRE/GMAT, filled out a contact form, and was on the phone with the admissions officer about 20 minutes later to start my application. I’m not kidding. I did a few months of research after that morning to decide if this was the right program for me. Did I definitely want to do part time? Yes, I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of not having a salary or dropping my salary to a small stipend. Did I want to do online? Yes,  I couldn’t commit to set times to go to a classroom while in my current job. Did I definitely want a Masters instead of an MBA? That was the tough one. If I definitely wanted to get my money back after, an MBA was the way to go. I googled a bunch of MBA curriculums and found myself dreading it already. I liked Econ in college so even though I had no idea what I wanted to do I decided to go with that (do I sound stupid because this is all true and it really sounds stupid to me). My last question was, can I afford this? Scholarship options are basically non-existent for a white girl going to part time online graduate school. So I made a spreadsheet outlining what I thought my rent would be (I had already decided to move to NYC), what my expenses would be, and what my income would be (I forgot about how much higher the income tax is here though ugh) so make sure it was feasible.

If this post isn’t personal (or boring) enough, I’m going to lay out the finances for you. Each of my classes so far has been about $4500 including textbooks. The program is supposed to be 10 classes but I placed out of two classes from college so I have 8. In total, roughly I’ll pay $36,000 over around a year and a half. My company then covers $5,250 per calendar year (JUST GOT MY FIRST REIMBURSEMENT WOO). Since I started in summer and take 2 classes a semester, I have this fall, spring, and next fall (I cannot do another summer) so that falls across 2 calendar years. Math: my total reimbursement is $10,500. So if you are following, my out of pocket cost is $25,500. This is spread over 4 payments of about $9000, then I get the reimbursements back twice a year. If you haven’t noticed, I am quite INSANE about savings so I am able to make these payment from my savings (which I am continuing to contribute to with my income so it’s going up a little each month then back down when I have to pay). I also sold some stocks I had from my company to cover the first payment because I also was moving at the time and had a lot of extra expenses (and didn’t want to deplete my emergency fund).

I’d like to believe I’ll make this investment of $25,500 back. If I had invested in things other than myself (like stocks) I think I probably would have made more than what I’ll make in a salary increase. There is also a good chance I accept a job in the future making less than I do now that is more focused in Economics but who knows I might love it. Once I have a graduate degree no one can take that away from me and that is RAD. Also still trying to marry rich so this whole money thing doesn’t matter anymore…. let me know if you know a guy.

If you have any questions about all of this reach out to me! I know usually people aren’t open about this stuff because it’s super awk but I do it for the people.

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