How Much Does Legislative Assistant School Cost?

Legislative assistants play a vital role in helping politicians fulfill their duties to the public they serve. By taking care of some administrative tasks, doing research and acting as the communications coordinator and representative of the congressman or senator they serve, legislative aides are able to review issues and pending legislation more thoroughly and at the same time allow them to give more opportunities to interact with their constituents. This is a very exciting yet demanding career for those who are interested in politics, lawmaking and government.

Before you can become a legislative assistant, extensive educational preparation is needed and naturally, this means spending quite a bit for tuition, fees, books and supplies. You also have to factor in school-related expenses like your rent, food and transportation while you’re earning your degree. Legislative assistant school actually means getting a bachelor’s degree in political science, public administration and other related fields.

The average yearly cost of tuition and fees, books and supplies and room and board for an out-of-state student seeking a bachelor’s degree in political science and government is close to $37,000. However, the range can vary widely depending on where you go to school and whether you are classified as attending in-state or out-of-state. Some schools charge as low as $9,000 a year for these expenses while others go as high as $62,000 annually.

One way to really bring down the cost of your college expenses is to look for a public school in your state of residence. Public schools typically give substantial discounts on tuition fees to residents. That means if you are attending as an out-of-state student, you can expect to pay more. Private schools, on the other hand, charge students the same amount for tuition regardless of their residency status.

While a bachelor’s degree is enough to meet the minimum requirements for an entry-level job as a legislative assistant for a member of Congress, it may not be enough to compete with the qualifications of other applicants. They typically hold postgraduate studies such as a master’s degree or complete law school before they get their first stint as a legislative aide. Again, things like your residency status and the school you choose will matter greatly in the final amount that you can expect to spend for graduate school. The yearly cost of tuition and related fees for a master’s degree in political science may be similar to the amount you would spend for a bachelor’s degree but the overall cost is going to be a bit cheaper since master’s degree typically take only a couple of years to finish. If you plan to go to a top law school in the country, expect to shell out more since tuition costs alone can set you back around $40,000 a year.

No matter which school you choose, don’t forget to talk to the financial aid advisor to ask if you are eligible for scholarships and grants. These can greatly help bring down the cost of your college expenses. Of course, student loans are also available but it would be good if you exhaust other financial aid options first since you will need to repay any loan you take out in the future.

Career Spotlight: Legislative Assistant

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