How I Did Graduate Studies for Almost Nothing  

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Graduate Studies can cost quite a pretty penny but I figured out a way to get three of them for almost nothing. Read on to discover how I did it!

Graduate Studies

I completed my first degree at the University of the West Indies – Kingston, Jamaica and set my sights on completing graduate studies.  I wanted to do it abroad BUT I did not have a lot of money to do so. I started researching and realized that if I played my cards right, I could actually get a free ride –  or almost free ride in my case. My background is in Library and Information Studies but this can work for any area of study if you are willing to do the work. These things can take a lot of time so be prepared for some frustrations but it will all be worth it in the long run.

I started out by doing the GRE since most schools in the USA were asking for scores. If you can get a great score from the GRE, top schools will actually contact you. Unfortunately my scores were not that great so I had to go to plan B. I applied to schools just in TX at the time because from my research I realized that they were very kind to International Students and even had specific scholarships for persons from the Caribbean – The Good Neighbor Scholarship https://world.utexas.edu/isss/students/financial-aid/gns.

I took up the offer from the University of TX@ Austin because they have a very good International Student Department.

 

International student identity card in a back pocket of jeans

I did not wait until I got to TX to start looking about funding. I contacted the school as soon as I was accepted to let them know that I needed help and that I could not attend without the help. I was given a graduate student assistantship that allowed me to work 20 hours on the campus with health insurance that covered my daughter and myself. This assistantship significantly reduced my tuition to something I could better manage. Another reason I chose University of TX was they have a great paid internship program. I got an excellent one at IBM that paid me $21 per hour and that was in 1999. International students are expected to do at least 3 subjects per semester but the great thing was one of the subjects could be the internship so you actually got paid to go to class.

I completed that Masters Degree and returned home then went back to Louisiana State University for an Advanced Masters degree using the same pattern I used at the University of Texas. The third graduate degree I got for free because I worked with Devry University and you are allowed to do any of their programs for free so I did the Masters in Educational Technology and would have done more if I had stayed with the company.

So if you want to do graduate studies and you are low on cash; all is not lost. If an International Student from Jamaica can do this then anyone can. It takes research and patience but there are lots of places out there that can help you to realize this goal. Again I am no expert but I have been there and done that and can give some pointers so send me a message.

© 2016  Mardene Carr

Mardene R. Carr is a tech-savvy Librarian with over 15 years of experience in Jamaica, USA, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Dominica. For more on her work please visit

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mardene_Carr

https://ucc-jm.academia.edu/MardeneCarr

 


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37 Responses

  1. I am very impressed! I have been lucky to not rack up any debt yet, but its hard to save enough!

  2. That is a great way to work the system in your favor. I bet it saved a lot in tuition.

  3. Liz Mays says:

    Now that is the way to make the system work for you. Truly impressive!

  4. Esme Sy says:

    You are an inspiration. It’s true this is possible, but you really have to be resourceful.

  5. Education is so very valuable. And a free one is no less valuable than an expensive one

  6. michelle says:

    thank you for sharing your experience. unfortunately, i have met so many people who are not willing to look or ask for help with funding. i worked so hard to find the funding for my schooling and the thing is if you do the research and handwork you will find opportunities to make this happen

  7. I too got a Masters without paying a dime! You are write in your response to a visitor that you have to be willing to relocate and live in a different culture often times to get these benefits. I went to the Ukraine. 🙂

    • LOL…Claudette now I know we are related…I will relocate for education and work as long as it is worth my while. I saw a lot of persons complaining that since they graduated they cannot find work as Librarians so I asked if they were willing to relocate and many were not. We have to do what we have to do…

  8. Amber says:

    That’s awesome! I’m looking to go back to get my graduate degree. I so far haven’t had to pay my student loans. When I graduated I got into a non profit organization so as long as I work with them for ten years or work for a school district I get my loan forgiven. Thank you for this awesome advice. I will definitely be sharing this.

  9. top5life says:

    It is good to know that these schools provide such programs. Very motivating,

  10. Maddie says:

    I’m glad there are schools that offer these types of programs. This was inspiring.

  11. Elizabeth O. says:

    How very motivating.. It’s good to know that there are schools who offer programs like this, because education is really important. Thanks for sharing your experience, I hope this will inspire my kids too.

  12. That’s awesome! Congratulations to you. As a teacher, I’m a big proponent of higher education!

  13. Ana De-Jesus says:

    You guys are so lucky I just graduated and I will need to pay 40 grand back!

  14. Tina says:

    This is great! It’s so important to do research before jumping into anything you endeavor. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

  15. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    My husband has 2 masters degrees and didn’t pay a dime thanks to the GI Bill. His son is now following in his footsteps.

  16. Really love your fashionable librarian title as some are described as looking drab. Congratulations on earning your well deserved graduate degrees you worked hard for. This proves you are not just ‘a pretty face’ as sometimes people say. It is good to study globally as the world is your oyster. Student exchange programs can help mutual understanding of the global society if well organised. Thank you for following Godshotspot.wordpress.com God bless you.

  17. My question is why is it so hard for local student’s to get these benefits here in Jamaica instead of actually having to be at the mercy of Student Loan Bureau?

    • I wish I could answer that…sometimes you have to take the high road and apply for international funding to study abroad. That is what I had to do and it paid off…being willing to relocate does help sometimes. Many times there is funding that goes unclaimed. I will be putting together a list of funding sources for International Students soon.

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