Just a quick post:
Just recently I summited my application for a school that offers a master’s degree and I can say it was pretty easy. Now I'm preparing for school and I got like less than a month. I'm not driving to a campus, but I'm doing my education online. So this update is a quick one, because I just wanted a masters in information technology and I believe that if I don't do it soon, then I would never complete it. So I guess I will explain the process in how I chose the cheapest degree I can afford. Keep in mind I have the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) and with only 12 months remaining.
When I wanted to know what graduate computer science programs CSUSM offers, there pretty few for students to pick. Then I looked at the price and it was pretty high (for me). For example, my local San Marcos University’s masters in Cybersecurity was like $32K and that was not including the fees. Someone may scoff that this is a normal price, but I don't want be in debt ever again. My budget was like under $20K. So I continue looking.
Lucky for me, I did have a link from long time ago that had a list of affordable colleges. The website was AffordableCollegesOnline.org and I had this link maybe like years in my "Things to Do" folder. So after days of researching and narrowing it down to 3, here are my results.
My criteria for my degree was pretty simple: A master's in the IT field (IT, Information Management, Cybersecurity, etc.), school accept VA Benefits, online only, and getting the degree under $20K. I came upon a few and National University in La Jolla (California). Doing a quick calculation show it was just over $20k, but this was in my maybe "I will go if I can't find a better deal".
I continue searching I found out edX offers online Master's degrees. The cybersecurity was like $10K, but the fees were like an additional $3000, so it was a good deal. Sadly I can't find if edX accepts GI Bill benefits. So I skipped this.
Just a quick note, I never knew that Coursera also offers a Master’s degree (thanks to Arizona State University) in computer science. Not interested, but it was neat that it cost like $15K.
After I found the cheapest school, I went to Veterans Affairs website and make sure the school is accredited and see if it’s in the system. By using the VA's school search, I found the information I needed. Lucky for me, the school accepted the GI Bill. However, there were a higher complains, according to the Weams Institution Search tool, that were compared to other schools that I was interested in. So I took a gamble and applied to AMU (American Military University) I hope I don't regret my decision.
ww.Amu.Apus.Edu Anyway, I will post some follow ups and will write my experience in getting the cheapest Master's degree in Information Technology. I believe it will cost me $18k, but the VA will pay the first 12 months. So I better prepare right away, because school starts in August. As in, I got like less than month and have to clear my schedule for the next 18 months.