Many teachers have a love for education, so it isn’t surprising that more than half of public school teachers continue their education beyond a bachelors degree. For most it isn’t about whether or not they should continue their education, but more so about how to pay for it. Going back to school requires a big investment, both with your time and your wallet. Before you make the commitment, you should consider these things:
Why do you want to continue your education?
If you have a love for learning and don’t want to stop, then by all means, keep going! However, most individuals continue their education with the belief that once they have completed their degree or certification, they will make more money. If this is the case for you, be sure that you research how much more your district will pay you once you have earned your new credentials. Compare this to how much continuing your education will cost you. Is it worth it?
Your Best Resources
Many educators want to move up in their careers and become principals, administrative professionals, and even superintendents. If this is you, decide what you want to do, and plan out the steps you need to get there. If you want to be a principal one day, your best resource is your current principal. Make your plans known, and they can help guide you in the right direction. After all, they have been in your shoes before.
Another great resource is your district’s Education Foundation. This is a team of people who are dedicated to helping make your job easier. They raise money with the help of the community to reward innovative teaching grants, teacher scholarships, and much more. Find your Education Foundation and use all their resources that you can – It’s free!
Paying For Continued Education
The biggest kicker when it comes to continuing your education – actually paying for it. The rule of thumb when it comes to paying for education is to look for scholarships first, grants second, and financing last. Your first step should be submitting a FAFSA application. Once completed, this will tell you whether you automatically qualify for any scholarships and grants from your school. It’s essentially free money.
Next, look for all the scholarships you can. Go back to your Education Foundation and see if they have any teacher scholarships available. Teacher.org also lists several scholarships throughout the year that are available for educators.
Once you have submitted applications for all of the scholarships and grants available to you, you can research loans. A great option is our Professional Development Loan. You can borrow up to $10,000 with a rate as low as 1.99% APR*. Remember to never borrow more than you need.
Most Importantly – Never Stop Learning
You don’t have to go back to college in order to learn more. School districts and Universities constantly offer professional development classes to their teachers – for free. Region 4 also offers many free classes for educators, and you can view their upcoming sessions here. If you are finding yourself stuck on something, find a mentor in a seasoned teacher who knows the ropes. And most importantly, once you become a seasoned teacher yourself, reach out and mentor the new teachers who are just beginning.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: *APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Certain credit qualifications may apply. Member must present valid work contract, paycheck stub, or other proof of school district employment at time of loan origination. Only one classroom supplies loan may be originated at a time. No loan discounts. Payment Example: 12 monthly payments of $87.87 per $1,000 borrowed at 9.99%.