Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Investing in your future

Is a SAIS education worth the price?

Here's the view of a recent Bologna Center graduate:

"SAIS, or any American grad school program for that matter, isn’t cheap," said the young woman, whose initial excitement upon admission to Johns Hopkins SAIS was tempered by the cost of her two-year masters.

After admission she applied for scholarships with different foundations and organizations, and eventually won a grant covering a share of first-year tuition.

"Coming from a northern European country where good education is offered at a very reasonable cost, I spent a long time debating whether the money would be worth it," she said.

"Weighing the education and opportunities SAIS would offer me, I finally decided that it would be."

She noted that an array of financing options are available to students, including a low-cost loan offered to many European students at SAIS Europe through an Italian bank. Many U.S. students are eligible for government-subsidized loans.

Less than six months from her graduation from SAIS, this Energy, Resources and Environment concentrator said she feels "a healthy amount of pressure" to take her job search seriously, adding:

"Two years after being admitted to SAIS, I still believe it has totally been worth the investment."

This woman's feelings are common among SAIS students: the thrill of admission followed by the realization of the seriousness of the commitment and then the conviction that it is worth it.

If you have applied to SAIS or are contemplating doing so, consider the program an investment in your future. The notion of private investment in education is foreign to citizens of many countries. Johns Hopkins, like many leading universities in the United States, is funded primarily through student tuition.

In exchange, a SAIS student receives a top-notch education; a chance to study with some of the smartest students in the world as well as leading academicians and practitioners, and an exciting range of international career opportunities.
"Two years after being admitted to SAIS, I still believe it has totally been worth the investment."
The SAIS price tag can seem daunting to some: tuition at SAIS Europe this year is 31,533 euros. Keep in mind that SAIS offers financial aid to many students. Many will combine SAIS grants with scholarships from outside bodies, loans, savings or part-time work. (For information on SAIS financial aid, click here. For a partial list of potential sources of outside funds, click here.)

There is no one strategy for making ends meet. What SAIS students do share in common is an appetite to learn both in the classroom and from one another, and the belief that a commitment to one's own education can be the best investment in one's future. Our alumni around the world agree.

We will come back to the matter of finances in coming weeks. In the meantime, here are some past posts:

Financial Aid: The Student Mosaic
The Cost of Graduate School: Investing in your future
Spending Wisely
Financial Aid

Applications for financial aid for candidates applying to start in 2014-15 are due by February 15. Forms are available in the online application.

Nelson Graves

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