Ashworth College Blog

When should I start thinking about how to pay for college?

Written by Ashworth College on Thursday, 06 August 2015. Posted in Why Ashworth

When Should I Start Thinking About How to Pay for College?

Thinking about going back to school? Then now is also the perfect time to start thinking about the costs and how to pay for them. When thinking about seeking a degree, students often rely on financial aid, which has to be paid back…with interest. However, at Ashworth College, we ensure that our programs are affordable and students are able to enroll faster than at other schools.

We are flexible with students, which allows for some wiggle room in case their financial situation changes while they're in school. We work closely with students to identify plans that fit their financial needs to avoid student loans or providing a significant payment in advance. As a result, 93% of our students are able to graduate without relying on hefty federal student loans.

Ashworth College has three different financial plans available and we talk through payment options with students to help them choose the one right for them. Students can pay in full, set up an auto-pay charge, or make monthly payments. Many students use our tuition calculator to see how much tuition costs so they can compare it to their budget and make an informed decision about when to start saving.

There are also two scholarships available to students. The Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship provides opportunities to students or potential students who normally would not have as much access to education. Additionally, scholarships for career diplomas and undergraduate certificates are available to graduates of James Madison High School and select Job Corp Centers.  Any Ashworth College or James Madison High School admissions representative can help you learn how to apply for these scholarship opportunities.

Believe it or not, cutting back on some daily expenses can also add up to big savings. Creating small habits like saving your change, will make saving easier in the long run. Here are some other steps you can take right away:

What you can do now

  • Get in the habit of deciphering between a "want" versus a "need"
  • Take advantage of discounts and sales
  • Buy items in bulk
  • Buy generic and use coupons
  • Cancel subscriptions you don't use
  • Bring lunch to work instead of going out and make your own coffee instead of buying expensive lattes
  • Go to the least expensive gas station, not the closest, or use public transportation instead of cabs
  • Assess purchases in terms of quality in addition to price

The earlier you start saving, the larger of a safety net you will be able to establish. If you make saving a habit, it will help provide you with financial stability later on. When distributing your monthly budget, allot a portion to savings first or set up an automatic savings program, where a portion of your paycheck is automatically deposited into your savings account. After you have started to develop saving practices, you can start to identify your goals and map out a plan in order to focus on long-term strategies for paying for your online education. Below are some tips for developing a savings goal:

Planning ahead

  • Research the cost of the program you are considering
  • Start saving early, and look for high-interest rate and low-fee savings account plans
  • See if your current bank will reward you with a better rate for customer loyalty
  • Checkout online banking options because they sometimes offer higher interest rates
  • Create a personal savings plan with established savings goals and a monthly budget
  • Map out a degree tracker to finish your degree on time and cost-efficiently
  • Payoff credit card debt and don't purchase more than you can afford
  • Ask your employer about a tuition reimbursement program
  • Look into federal grant programs and tax benefits for which you may qualify

Being proactive is the first step toward financial planning success and there are numerous tools and strategies available to help you earn your degree without student debt. Remember that when deciding which program is right for you, you should consider picking a program that matches with both your educational needs and career goals, but also your financial situation.

Check out these other financial planning resources:
How our costs compare to other schools
Costs of our individual programs

Want to read more stories like this?
What No One Tells You About Student Loans
6 Easy Tips to Save Money in College
A College Student's Guide to Staying Out of Debt

About the Author

Ashworth College

Ashworth College

Our community is full of independent, motivated, growth-focused students. Dive into our blog to explore diverse stories from our students, friends, experts, and executives. From tips & tricks to student experiences and alumni stories, the Ashworth Blog is all about celebrating our community's accomplishments and passions.

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If you’ve taken any prescription medications, you’ve no doubt interacted with a pharmacy technician. These professionals are most recognizable as the folks at your local drug store – handing you a prescription bag and ringing up your purchase on the cash register.

Retail pharmacies aren’t the only places pharm techs work, though. Pharmacy technicians work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to mail-order prescription facilities. And their job tasks can vary greatly depending on where they work.

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About half of all pharm techs work in drug stores, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In a retail environment, pharmacy technicians work under the direction of the registered pharmacist to handle a number of important tasks, including:

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Most pharmacy technicians employed in a retail setting work full time, sometimes in shifts that include nights and weekends. The median pharmacy technician salary in retail drug stores is about $30,000 per year, and demand for pharm techs is expected to grow rapidly as the Baby Boomer population continues to age.

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Some pharm techs don’t want to interact with the public as much as required in a drug store setting. If that sounds like you, then you may be interested to know that hospitals employ many pharmacy technicians “behind the scenes” to prepare medications for patients. Like their retail peers, hospital-based pharm techs also work under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, but they may perform more complex tasks, including:

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Working in a hospital is tops for pharmacy technician pay: the median salary for these professionals comes in at nearly $37,000 per year.

What Does a Pharmacy Technician Do in a Mail-Order Facility?

Many people receive their medications through the mail these days, and while it’s true that big machines count and package those pills, the prescriptions still must be processed by someone who has passed a pharmacy technician exam.

In a mail-order pharmacy, a pharm tech might:

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Pharmacy technician hourly pay in a mail-order facility might run as high as $15.50, for a median annual salary of about $31,000.

Other Places Pharmacy Technicians Work

Pharm techs work in other settings, too, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, where they may package and dispense medications to patients.

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

If you’re interested in learning more about how to become a pharmacy technician, our Admission Advisors can put you on the path to enter this this fast-growing field. Learn more about the online pharmacy technician program at Ashworth College. Call 1-800-957-5412 or request free information today!

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In our GO AFTER IT blog series, you'll meet fellow students and grads who committed themselves to chasing their dreams and proving it pays to GO AHEAD toward better opportunities -- no matter the obstacles to be overcome.

When Dan Brennanhusen* attained his role as the new director of safety and security for a major school district, his qualifications included nearly two decades of law enforcement and corporate security experience. He had also earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Ashworth College and is a strong believer in the power of education to achieve success.

“I believe higher education is a leveraging tool to seek higher positions,” says Brennanhusen, “and with higher positions you typically are better compensated.”

While Brennanhusen was rewarded with better compensation, he feels that his Ashworth College program provided him with something much more valuable than the promise of higher pay. Even after working as a professional in law enforcement for so many years, he learned new concepts and techniques from the books and lessons in the Master of Criminal Justice Degree Program. He also discovered the practicality of his education, since he is using what he learned every day in his new job.

“I found the program to be contemporary and directly applicable to my profession. The core principles and components of my studies positively impact my career daily,” he says.

The quality of the program was unquestionably relevant to Brennanhusen’s career, but there were other benefits of an Ashworth College education that drew him into attending in the first place.

“Because I had a really busy work and family life, including two kids, I had to find a flexible program. I had been promoted to new assignments and divisions so life was as busy as it could possibly be. Ashworth College offered the accreditation and flexibility I needed to attain my objectives. The cost was also a plus.”

One might ask why a successful criminal justice professional who was already promoted would want to continue their education. According to Brennanhusen, the answer was twofold: career advancement and personal growth. At the time, he was a police sergeant and wanted to become a member of his department’s executive leadership team by working his way up to chief. After being promoted to commander, Brennanhusen realized that he would need a master’s degree to be considered for the next step up. And he knew that a higher-level degree would help him in his role for future promotions.

Says Brennanhusen, “Hiring someone always comes with some risks. I view degrees and higher education as an important piece of the puzzle. Having ‘missing pieces’ may cause a potential employer to find someone who has a more complete puzzle.”

As Brennanhusen completed his educational “puzzle,” he took his time. Aside from his competing priorities of earning a living and caring for a busy family, he says he didn’t want to merely pass assignments – he wanted to get good grades, do well and truly learn. He even paused his studies for a while so he could regroup and refocus.

Congratulations to Brennanhusen on completing his master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and the opportunities it has afforded him. If you’re interested in this field, or other fields of study, we recommend you contact an Admissions Advisor at 1-800-957-5412 who will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have.

* At the request of the student in the interest of job privacy and security, a pseudonym is being used; otherwise, all quotes and information in this blog are actual and verifiable.

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Wouldn’t you love to star in your own graduation video, dressed in a gown and mortarboard like these students? We would certainly love to see you walk the stage at our live commencement event to receive the certificate, diploma, or degree you earned at Ashworth College.

Learn more about the many flexible, afforedable programs available to help you start turning your dream career into a reality: Talk to an admissions advisor today!

 
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