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FREE ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES: 5 DIFFERENT OPTIONS

 FREE ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES, Many people’s lives have been transformed by online learning, especially after the COVID pandemic prompted educational institutions to think outside the box and move all of their classes online. Before the epidemic, there were already a number of organizations and universities that offered entirely online degrees; the good news is that there are now many more! Online learning is adaptable, allowing you to work around your current schedule or devote time to your family or hobbies while studying. It can also save you money because you won’t have to worry about housing or transportation to and from a campus.

FREE ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES

The expense of pursuing a master’s degree is a major concern; millions of students finish with a mountain of debt hovering over their heads. Surprisingly, US students graduate with an average debt of $57,000 USD, with nearly a quarter owing up to $100,000! Many people have been driven to hunt for more cheap alternatives as a result of this. 

Free online master’s degrees are difficult to come by, but there are some possibilities to consider and some helpful hints for making your studies more cheap. Here, we’ll go over some of the greatest free online master’s programs available, look at the schools that provide them, and give you a checklist to help you pick the appropriate one.

Free Online Education

To begin, we must define the term “free.” While it is difficult to locate entirely free programs with no costs, it is feasible to find programs that offer free tuition. You may have to pay for extras like learning materials, exams, applications, and some courses if you are enrolled in a program.

On the other hand, some tuition-free programs exist, such as those in which you are given course materials and are expected to “teach yourself.” When compared to completely free tutor-led programs, there are more free or low-cost tuition-free programs available online. 

There are various elements that influence the cost of an online master’s degree, and they are frequently the reason why free programs are difficult to come by. These elements include:

  • School rankings
  • Student support services
  • Availability of financial aid
  • Type of accreditation
  • The quality and experience of faculty members
  • Student to faculty ratio
  • Size and influence of the student body
  • Instruction format for online programs

While finding a completely free master’s program at one of the most prestigious universities with the top school rankings is unusual, it is not impossible. After that, we’ll go over how you can get an online master’s degree for free (or almost free!)…

Free Online Master’s Degrees: 5 Different Options

There are a few ways to approach a free online master’s degree, depending on what you want to do with it.

1. Financial Aid

The best way to earn a high-quality, certified master’s degree without paying is to apply for financial help. Scholarships are a common way to receive money for a master’s degree if you can’t afford to pay for it yourself. Applying for numerous scholarships with a solid, in-depth application takes effort, but it’s well worth it if even one of your applications is accepted. It may be tempting to solely apply for larger scholarships with more money, but a combination of smaller awards can go a long way. Try looking through the following scholarship databases:

Grants can be awarded to ‘deserving’ students in full or in part, and they might be targeted at specific students, such as Scholarships For Women or the Davis Putter Scholarship Fund for students pursuing social and economic justice studies. Students with a low combined family income may also be eligible for grants. Before applying for a grant, make sure you are eligible for the program’s conditions. This will save both you and the grant source a lot of time.

2. Military Or Naval Academy Degree

If you join the US military or naval academy, you may be able to earn a master’s degree for free. This is a significant advantage, but it is not a decision to be made lightly. Joining the military just for the goal of receiving a free education is not a good idea, as it benefits neither you nor the service. Before making this decision, talk to your friends, family, or anybody else you trust.

If you opt to join the military, you can use the G.I. bill to pay for your tuition and living expenses while you study. Check to see if the bill is available in your state, as it is only available to residents of a few states. Other than that, military members might benefit from a variety of tuition assistance schemes.

3. Degrees Funded By Employers

Certain jobs and firms may provide employees with the chance to pursue a master’s degree while still working for them. This benefits both you and the firm since you gain additional, specialized skills and knowledge that will help you advance in your career and make you more valuable to the company you work for. 

Companies, particularly huge corporations like Intel, P&G, Bank of America, and BP, may already provide comparable programs. There are often requirements, such as working for the company for more than 6 months or a year. Looking for employment that offer tuition aid later on in your career can be a terrific route to go.

Alternatively, if you’ve worked with your company for a long time and it’s large enough, you might be able to ask your boss if funding for a master’s degree is an option for you. Making a case for an online degree will strengthen your case because you’ll be able to continue working while you study, which is a significant plus for employers.

4. Work For A College or University

Working for a college or university often comes with the benefit of being able to take courses or entire programs for free. Work Study programs, Residence Director programs, and even Research Apprenticeships are all possibilities. While online choices may be more limited in this scenario (and if you already work at the college, studying on-campus may not be too difficult), they are not impossible to come by. 

If you find a job in a college or university, or whether you already work there, talk to your boss to see if this is something you can do. One of the major advantages of this option is that you are already enrolled in university and have access to all of the connections and prospective networks that will assist you in obtaining the job you desire after completing your master’s degree.

5. Tuition-Free Master’s Degrees

There are a number of prestigious universities that provide completely supported, tuition-free master’s programs with full accreditation. Here are a few examples:

  • University of the People is a fully accredited online university that offers free degree programs. It was the first non-profit, American-accredited online university when it opened in 2009. Their MBA program is quite adaptable, and it is suitable for graduates from a variety of fields as long as they have at least two years of work experience.
  • MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) was founded in 1861 and is a well-known private research university. They provide free online courses through MIT Open Learning as well as fully sponsored programs like the MIT Media Lab’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences.
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is a technical college that provides a variety of online courses. It was listed among the top ten public universities in the United States (US News & World Report).
  • Columbia College was founded in 1851 as a non-profit higher education institution. Online programs are promoted as being of the same caliber as on-campus programs, and they have routinely received excellent rankings.

Free Online Master’s Degree Checklist

  1. So you’ve made the decision to pursue a free online master’s degree? Before you sign up, make sure you read the program details thoroughly. Here’s a handy checklist to get you started:
  2. Although certain online programs can be studied on a phone, having a laptop and a high-speed internet connection is recommended. 
  3. If you’re applying for financial help, double-check that the program is eligible (including grants and work-study courses). 
  4. Examine the program’s substance and quality by carefully reading the course details. Has it been well-written? Does the information appear to provide you with what you’re looking for? Is there enough student help available? 
  5. Examine academic performance and school rankings — choosing a recognized and approved college or program will increase your chances of finding a better career and receiving a higher pay grade after graduation.
  6. If you’re applying for a scholarship or grant, look for a school that has auto-renewing scholarships so you don’t have to reapply every year (but it’s not the end of the world if you do!). 
  7. Keep in mind the type of career you desire once you finish your master’s – while some employers are unconcerned about where you earned your master’s degree, it will matter to others. Before enrolling in classes, you should think about the reputation of the degree provider. When contrasted to degrees received from tuition-free universities, ivy-league college degrees, for example, will stand out.
  8. Warning: ad-supported websites that promise free online degrees are unlikely to provide you with a recognized credential. Individual courses are more likely to be offered for free than entire programs, and the credentials may not be accredited. Before signing up for studies, make sure to critically analyze a site – you don’t want to squander your time!

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