How Much Does Librarian School Cost?

If you wish to work as a professional librarian, you need to be ready for a lengthier stay in school. This is because in addition to a bachelor’s degree, you will need to obtain a master’s degree in library and information science or related fields to become a professional librarian. This would mean additional expenses for tuition and related fees, books and supplies. If you live on your own while earning your degree, you also have to think about the amount you need to pay for rent and food.

After high school, aspiring librarians can take a bachelor’s degree in any field since this is the minimum educational requirement to enter a master’s program. Some schools offer a bachelor’s degree in library and information science which provide a more targeted preparation if you really want to work in this field. On the average, you can expect to spend around $25,000 a year to earn this degree if you’re attending as an out-of-state student. This covers your tuition, books and supplies and room and board costs. However, the range can vary, with some schools charging as low as $12,000 for these expenses and others going as high as $35,000 annually.

If you’re planning to major in another undergraduate degree, you can expect to budget an average of around $23,000 each year for tuition and fees, books and transport and living expenses if you are attending as an in-state student at a public institution. The cost goes up considerably to about $37,000 a year if you’re classified as an out-of-state student. For private institutions, meanwhile, all students pay the same amount regardless of residency status. If you wish to attend a private school, your yearly budget for the said expenses should be about $46,000.

A master’s degree is another story. You’ll have to be ready to spend for an additional year or two in school. One way for you to lower your college expenses for your postgraduate studies is to consider a school that offers this degree online. Even if the tuition and related fees are similar to what you would pay for in a traditional school, what makes distance education financially advantageous is that it gives you the flexibility to work while you’re obtaining your master’s degree. This means that you won’t have to rely so much on student loans just to be able to pay for the cost of tuition. On the average, online programs offering the master’s of library science and related degrees can cost about $22,000 a year.

Whether you attend a traditional school or online program, don’t forget to visit the financial aid advisor of your school. Ask about scholarships and grants that could lower the cost of your tuition and other fees. Of course, there are always student loans that you can rely on to help you fund your college expenses but you should make sure to borrow judiciously since you will need to pay for these with interest later on. Take into consideration the fact that librarians earn an average of about $57,000 annually in the middle of their careers so you don’t want to be saddled with too much student loan debt.

Career Spotlight: Librarian

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