Money We’ve spoken before about the incredible savings that are possible with online study, as opposed to on-campus study. And we know that cost is an incredibly important part of deciding how, when, and with whom to study.
Here are some of our tips when planning your budget for studying:
1. Know the costs
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, many online courses charge extra for exams, assessment centers or resits, and you may also have to pay out extra for course materials and textbooks. A lot of institutions also charge international students an inflated price.
However, at the University of Essex Online, all of your course materials are included in our learning platform, and there are no added fees when it comes to exam time. We also charge the same tuition fees for both UK and international students.
Want to know more about our fees?
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2. Look into student loans
This one is a no-brainer if you’re eligible. Government-backed student loans are an incredibly cost-effective way to pay for your higher education, and all of our courses are designated for undergraduate or postgraduate student loans in England. These loans can pay up to the full tuition fee for a course.
Residents of Northern Ireland may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan.
For more information about eligibility, repayments and application process, check out our student loans page.
3. Talk to your employer
If the content of the course you are hoping to study is applicable to your job role, why not approach them to see if they are willing to cover the costs of your course, or subsidize it at least. Many employers will see this as evidence of your commitment to your field of work and will be willing to discuss payment options.
You can also take a look at your HR policies to see if there is any provision to cover personal or professional development fees.
4. Consider spreading your costs
If you’re self-funding, you may not be able to pay the full tuition fee for the course you choose in one lump sum. Instead, look for courses that offer the ability to spread your costs throughout the duration of your study. At the University of Essex Online, we offer exactly this – a simple monthly payment plan that allows you to pay as you study.
5. Look for discounts
Some online course providers offer discounts on some of their courses. For example, we offer two different discounts:
- if you pay the full course fee annually or up-front, you will receive a 10% full payment discount off the cost of your tuition
- if you are a graduate of the University of Essex or University of Essex Online, you will receive a 10% alumni discount on full postgraduate courses
Discounts like these can really affect the price you need to pay for studying, so it’s always worth looking into the options that are available.
6. Find a scholarship
Scholarships are another incredibly effective way to reduce the cost of your studies. Awarded based on merit, you will normally need to write a statement in support of your scholarship application or provide other evidence.
At the University of Essex Online, international students can apply for a 10% part-scholarship towards the cost of their fees, and our MBA applicants may be eligible for our Executive Scholarship of £6,000 towards the fees for studying an MBA with us.
Find out more about our discounts and scholarships.
7. Look at external funding
If you’ve found the course you want to study, it might also be worth looking around at career services and funding bodies relevant to your current role or your future industry.
For example, members of the armed forces may be eligible to receive funding for ELCAS towards any their study (all of our courses are eligible for this funding). Those planning on studying healthy subjects who are based in the UK may be able to find the funding they can apply for through the Health Course website.
Try doing a search for “undergraduate degree criminology funding” or a similar term depending on what course you are looking at.
8. Consider all your options
Working out how to pay for your studies is just as important as figuring out which course to study! It’s important to do your own research, work out how much you can reasonably pay up-front or each month, and find a course that you can afford.
Luckily, you’re not alone – our knowledgeable Admissions Advisers are happy to discuss your options with you and help you work out what the best decision for you is. You can speak to them through email, phone or LiveChat.