How to Pay for a Masters Degree

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How to Pay for a Masters

A Discussion about Tuition, Financial Aid, and Earning an Online Graduate Degree

In a recent webinar titled, “How to Pay for a Masters Degree,” McGeorge School of Law’s faculty explained everything you need to know about the funding we offer, special financial assistance options, scholarships, and more. Clémence Kucera, Assistant Dean for the Graduate, Online, and International Programs, was joined by Katjana Wurschum, Assistant Director of Graduate & Online Programs, and Joe Pinkas, Director of Financial Aid. While the subject can easily appear overwhelming, we’re here to break it down piece by piece. 

Designed for Flexibility in Both Content and Cost

At McGeorge School of Law, we calculate the costs of both the MSL and LLM programs with a per-unit rate, meaning that you only pay for the particular units you are enrolled in each term. No matter how you decide to divide and conquer the course load for your degree, it can be part-time and paid for in manageable increments. If you’d prefer to take longer to complete your degree and eliminate the need for loans, that’s absolutely fine as well. 

You shouldn’t feel boxed in when brainstorming how to pay for grad school. Our curriculum is purposefully designed to offer you flexibility with the number of units you take on each term. There is no penalty for allotting three years to your studies as opposed to just two: just keep in mind that there is an extra $90.00 per semester wellness fee if you decide to extend your scholastic timeline. 

That being said, most students choose to take six units per term. Including fees, books, and supplies, it’s wise to budget $9,000-$10,000 when determining how to pay for your Master’s degree at McGeorge (unfortunately, law school textbooks tend to be quite expensive.) 

Scholarships and Funding Options

Once you submit your application, you’re automatically considered for scholarships. No separate application is required. Recipients are notified of an award in the letter of acceptance. If you receive a scholarship, it applies to your first two terms. We will distribute the amount evenly across the two. If you have any other questions, we’re more than happy to work with you to find more opportunities and solutions.

McGeorge offers some encouraging funding options. First, we have Employer’s Tuition Assistance. Find out if your employer has a program in place; you may be surprised by how many options exist for employees through their HR services. We’re always ready to provide any requested documentation or arrangements to support you and your employer as you negotiate tuition assistance. 

Also, if you are a Federal Health Employee of Sutter Health, you automatically get a 10% discount on any of the University of the Pacific Graduate Programs. If you work for a company or nonprofit that you think might be interested, we welcome the opportunity to partner with more businesses. 

Financial Aid Answers

Wondering about how financial aid works? Assistance with moderate living expenses, with room for personal expenses, is available if necessary. And don’t wait until you’re accepted to submit your FAFSA application! The financial aid process always begins with the recompletion of the FAFSA application, which, by the way, goes live for the 2023-2024 school year on October 1. 

Once accepted, you’ll receive an award letter detailing what you qualify for and the next steps.

Joe Pinkas encourages students to think all the way through the program when making financial aid decisions, as opposed to simply term-by-term. Remember, always feel free to contact us at the Financial Aid Office; we aim to always provide a high level of service. Also, if you’re a veteran, know that McGeorge is part of the Yellow Ribbon Program, meaning that we’ll cover up to 100% of your tuition. 

If you would prefer not to take financial aid, you can reach out to our student business services to arrange a repayment plan that works for you. 

Do you still have particular questions about paying for your Master’s degree? Joe Pinkas can answer them. Get in touch with him at jpinkas@pacific.edu. He’d love to work with you.

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