Higher education is expensive. Graduate degrees, in particular, have a reputation for being pricy. If you’re interested in pursuing a master’s degree in accounting but concern over the cost is holding you back, you’re not alone. By doing your research, you can find a graduate-level accounting program that will fit your budget and help you reach your career goals.
A Range of Tuition Rates
When you start comparing tuition rates, you’ll find that there’s a wide range of prices for graduate degrees. Master’s degrees as a whole cost between $5,000 and $38,000 per year, CBS News reported, but Forbes found that it’s not uncommon for top-ranked business schools to charge upwards of $100,000 per year. Private schools tend to be the most expensive and public schools, the cheapest.
A higher cost doesn’t necessarily translate to a better education. For example, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a tuition rate of $62,424 per year, makes U.S. News & World Report’s list of the best graduate accounting programs. However, so does the University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, where the cost is $21,974 per year for in-state students.
One way to cut the cost of earning your degree is to study online. Another way is to look specifically for affordable schools. Among the 50 most affordable online schools, the cost of a master’s degree in accounting ranges from $6,150 to $16,495 per year – much more manageable than a program costing upwards of $60,000 a year. Scholarships, grants and student loans can help you cover the cost of these programs so you can earn the education you need to get ahead.
Value vs. Cost
When you’re weighing the cost of an accounting degree or comparing the tuition rates of different schools, remember that the price tag isn’t the only thing you should be focusing on. You want to make sure that you’re getting a great value for your tuition dollars. How do you tell if your school is a great value? Consider factors like the school’s quality ratings, reputation and the number of students receiving financial aid or discounts of some kind. You can also use rankings like U.S. News & World Report’s Best Value Schools lists as resources for your school search.
When you’re choosing a master’s in accounting degree program, consider the big-picture investment you’re making. For example, if you must stop working for two years to attend an on-campus program full-time, then consider how much money you’re losing in income as well as any opportunities you could be missing while out of the workforce. For many accountants, this amount is substantial – and a good reason to study online, part-time or both to avoid having to leave their current jobs.
A master’s in accounting degree program can cost you anywhere from $12,000 to $125,000. By carefully researching accounting schools, you can make sure you’re getting the best value in your education.