If you are thinking about going back to school to continue your education, you might be worried about everything from balancing your schedule to paying for your tuition. Fortunately, school might not be as expensive as you think, especially if you do things the smart way. Here are three easy ways to save money on continuing education so you graduate ahead of the game.
1. Ask About Tuition Reimbursement
These days, more and more employers recognize the importance of workers who continually push themselves, which is why many businesses offer tuition reimbursement. These programs are typically designed to help workers to advance in the career they already have, encouraging employees to improve their education while they boost their resume.
To find out if the company you work for offers tuition reimbursement, talk with your human resources representative, and ask which schools the program covers. Keep in mind that if you take advantage of tuition reimbursement, there may be strings attached to the benefit, such as a contract stating what you can major in, how long you will work for the business or the grade-point average you need to maintain to receive reimbursement.
However, if you are eligible and can maintain the standards, tuition reimbursement could help you to get the schooling you need for less.
2. Borrow Money the Smart Way
Oftentimes, people forget to factor in the price of interest when they calculate the cost of college tuition, a mistake that can be especially damaging if you plan to use credit cards to fund your higher education. However, you can save a significant amount of money by borrowing money the smart way and only taking out low-interest loans from the federal government.
In addition to being easy to apply for and available to people with no credit history, student loans offered by the federal government typically carry an extremely low interest rate, which can help you to save money on your education. In fact, research has shown that students who took out loans in the 2015-2016 school year paid an average of 4.29% interest, while privately funded loans were as much as three times that price.
ICT offers a private loan option, with competitive rates, for those qualified through Peachtree Credit Company. To help students graduate with as little debt as possible, ICT offers payment plans.
3. Claim the Lifetime Learning Credit
Although most people are familiar with the fact that the federal government offers tax credits for the first four years of a college student’s education, these conditions don’t apply if you have been in the workforce for years and are thinking about heading back to school. Fortunately, you may be eligible for an alternative credit that works for continuing education called the Lifetime Learning Credit.
This tax credit reimburses students up to $2,000 of their eligible tuition costs per year, provided they were enrolled at an eligible institution and not filing separately from their spouse.
If you attend school, always keep track of the tax forms sent to you by the IRS and give them to your accountant at the end of the year. Unlike a tax write-off, which reduces your overall taxable income, tax credits are applied directly to your net tax total, which means you could earn an additional $2,000 on top of your normal return.
When you are ready to make a change for the better, think about enrolling at the Interactive College of Technology. Whether you are thinking about becoming a medical administrator or you are passionate about computer programming, ICT can help you to make your dreams a reality.