“Ninety percent of life is just showing up.” — Woody Allen
Unless you’re in one of the vanishing set of countries where they’re publicly provided, one of the biggest problems with getting a degree is paying for it. My doctorate will be no exception. The University of Memphis is a state university, and like most state universities it has different tuition rates depending on whether one is from that state or not. I’m definitely not, in fact despite the fact that it borders my home state of Virginia, the only time I think I’ve ever been in Tennessee was about a dozen years ago when I drove from Northern Virginia to Phoenix, Arizona.
While rates for those out of state are very high, fortunately the University of Memphis is also part of the trend among public institutions to offer in state rates (or something close) to those who are only taking online courses. In fact, because of this, my experience with them is likely to be less expensive than it would have been to attend a local university.
Of course, that’s a long way from it being free. Distance learning graduate students don’t have the same assistantship opportunities that those attending full time on campus do, which means my primary avenue to fund my continuing education is to take out student loans. While that will certainly cover everything, I’m well aware that a loan is something that must eventually be repaid with interest, so I’ve also been on the lookout for scholarships. It seems there really aren’t that many out there for part time adult learners. Most of what I’ve found on various scholarship search sites are lottery-style “scholarships” that are from companies that seem primarily interested in developing a list of prospective students that they can repackage and sell to for-profit and other marketing-driven schools.
But I’ve entered those lotteries anyway — why not? And I’m staying on the lookout for scholarships for which I may be qualified. I’ve seen that there are a number out there for those in the dissertation phase of their programs, and I’ll be sure to go after those once I get to that point. But in the meantime, well, suggestions are definitely welcome!