Returning to School? 7 Ways to Prepare Your Money ...

There are several practical ways to prepare your money for returning to school. If you're not happy in your present career, or if you're looking to climb the corporate ladder, returning to school can provide the education you need. If you want to finish school as soon as possible, you may consider quitting your job or reducing the number of hours you work to devote most of your energy to school. But before you do this, you have to prepare. Here are seven ways to prepare your money for returning to school.

1. Ask Your Employer about Tuition Perks

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Some employers offer tuition reimbursement, and taking advantage of this benefit is one of the best ways to prepare your money for returning to school. If eligible, your employer might pay for certain classes or your degree, if you agree to continue working for the company after completing your coursework or getting a degree. Speak with your employer to see if this is an option.

2. Grow Your Cash Reserve

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If you're planning to return to school, use this time to build your cash reserve. This is especially important if you plan to quit working while attending school, or if you plan to replace your full-time job with a part-time job. Funds in a savings account can cover expenses until you're working full-time again.

3. Spousal Support

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If you want to return to school and focus entirely on studying and coursework, speak with your spouse. As a couple, run the numbers to see if you can afford to live off only one income. Having spousal support can be the answer to your prayers. Your spouse can cover household expenses with his or her income, allowing you to finish school faster.

4. Look into Online Courses

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Realistically, not everyone can quit their job or work part time while going back to school. Therefore, consider programs or universities that have online programs. This is extremely convenient since you can complete coursework at your own pace and convenience. Some adults who return to college attend online classes at night or on the weekends.

5. Ask about Financial Aid

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There are several ways to pay for college, including grants, scholarships and financial aid. Visit the college or university's financial aid department and discuss your options. You may qualify for federal student loans, or you might be able to get a private student loan through a bank or credit union.

6. Pay off Credit Cards and Other Debt

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The less debt you have when returning to school, the better. Plan ahead for this transition and pay off your credit cards, and any other debts you might have, such as personal loans or auto loans. The less you owe, the easier it'll be to work less while attending school.

7. Move Back Home with Your Parents

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This might be the last thing you want to do, but if you're serious about returning to school and getting a degree, moving back home can help.You can reduce your monthly expenses and devote more time to schoolwork.

The decision to return to school is a big one, and since getting a degree requires a lot of your time and energy, you might have to work fewer hours to complete your education sooner. What other tips can you offer those returning to school?

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