How Much Does Border Patrol Agent School Cost?

Strictly speaking, there is no one school that specifically trains students to qualify as a border patrol agent. Formal “Basic Academy” training is only given to newly-hired border patrol agents at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy located in Artesia, New Mexico. This is a paid training that lasts for 58 days for those who already know Spanish and 98 days for those who don’t know the language yet. Their full acceptance as full-fledged border patrol agents depend on completion of this training.

If you are contemplating on becoming a border patrol agent, a high school diploma combined with work experience will qualify you to apply, provided that you meet the other requirements set forth by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. It’s generally a good idea to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a field like criminology before you lodge your application. You will not only increase your chances of getting hired at the GL-5 level but holding this degree will also prepare you for the rigors of this career or any other field of law enforcement should you come to the decision that being a border patrol agent is not the career for you. Before proceeding further, it is worth remembering that any four-year degree is acceptable if you want to apply as a border patrol agent.

The cost of obtaining a criminology degree is no doubt one of your main considerations when deciding to go to college. How much you spend will depend on whether you go to a public or private school and whether you attend as an in-state or out-of-state student. Public schools are more affordable and enrolling in one in your state of residence is bound to be cheaper since you get to avail of tuition discounts.

The total yearly cost of a four-year bachelor’s degree in criminology varies from around $10,000 to $60,000. These include the cost of tuition and other fees, books and supplies and room and board. At the University of Northern Iowa, the yearly cost for this degree is $16,505 for in-state students and $26,001 for out-of-state students. At the University of Maryland College Park, the annual tuition is $20,572 for in-state students and $39,758 for out-of-state students. Texas A & M University Commerce charges $11,133 for in-state students and $21,753 for out-of-state students.

In private colleges and universities, the yearly cost is the same for all students regardless of their state of residence. For example, Coker College in South Carolina has a yearly cost of $33,689 while St. Anselm College in New Hampshire costs $48,894 a year. One of the more expensive programs is offered by Saint Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania which costs $53,272 annually. At the University of Pennsylvania, the yearly cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in criminology is more costly at $60,002.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time in school, you can opt to get an associate’s degree in criminology which lasts only for two years. The yearly cost ranges from nearly $9,000 to about $53,000. One of the cheaper programs is offered at Wharton County Junior College in Texas. For in-state students, the annual cost is $8,836 while for out-of-state students, it is $9,604. Paris Junior College, also in Texas, costs $9,180 for in-state students and $10,308 for out-of-state students. At Western International University, a private school in Arizona, the cost is $10,984 a year.

You can still bring down the costs of getting a criminology degree through financial aid. Be sure to visit the financial aid office of your school to ask for your eligibility to apply for scholarships, grants or other forms of financial aid. You can also apply for student loans and find part-time work opportunities to help fund your college expenses.

Career Spotlight: Border Patrol Agent

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