Debt is the biggest deterrent for students considering applying for postgraduate study. In the last thirty days, 133,500 users* accessed our postgraduate content to seek advice about further study. Most already have considerable loans from their undergraduate degrees, so they’re in need of postgraduate funding tips.
Use these five strategies in your communications to reassure your prospects that they can afford to continue their studies.
We’ll also share conversations from postgraduate applicants on The Student Room to give you an insight into the objections or barriers that influence students.
#1 Be clear about postgraduate degree costs
It might sound obvious, but let your applicants know how much they’ll need to pay for a postgrad degree. Sharing a realistic cost model removes the fear of uncertainty and helps your applicants plan a budget.
Include living costs and course materials in the projections. Make sure these costs are specific to your university and share local information like travel, drink or restaurant costs.
Why not ask your existing postgraduate students to talk to applicants, or to share blogs or videos explaining how they funded their studies?
Our users asked:
- Do you get a maintenance loan for postgraduate study like you do for your undergraduate degree?
- How are Masters tuition fees paid?
- Tuition fees if I change from a full-time to a part-time Masters?
- How do you afford to live while doing a Masters course?
Bonus tip: Many universities use Official Reps to open peer-to-peer conversations between existing and prospective students.
#2 Advise postgraduates about part-time jobs and other sources of income
Do you offer postgrad teaching positions or jobs on campus? Is it realistic for students to balance work and their studies? Again, it would be helpful to share examples from your existing students to reassure applicants.
You could also point out local recruiters, part-time jobs, on-campus career services or opportunities to participate in paid research.
- Working full time and doing a Masters dissertation
- Postgraduate assistant teacher role teaching undergraduate courses
- Funding or grants for students from low-income families?
- Scholarship for international students?
#3 Share expert postgraduate financing and loan advice
Signpost information about where applicants can get funding for their studies. Remember to include information for students studying abroad (e.g. Erasmus).
Using well-known trusted experts or recognised supervisors is a great way to appear impartial and build trust. The dual-branding gives applicants confidence in the information you provide and develops brand affinity.
Coming soon: Postgraduate content hub on thestudentroom
The postgraduate hub will be the go-to location for over 135,000 users interested in postgraduate degrees. You can share useful advice and content for applicants here.
- Can I have a Career Development Loan and an SFE postgraduate loan?
- Found a PhD but no funding
- How do most people fund their Masters?
- No Cambridge, no funding, no hope?
#4 Point out the perks of being a student again
Postgraduate students are entitled to many of the same discounts and special offers as undergraduates. Remind your applicants that their cost of living will be reduced when they start their course.
Letting applicants know where they can get the best student deals is an opportunity to build your relationship by providing real value.
- Are there student bank accounts for Masters students?
- Alumni discounts
- Laptops for postgraduate course in “Computer Forensics and Cyber Security MSc”
#5 Emphasise the return on investment
Students need to know they are getting value for money. Why should they pay for another degree instead of earning a salary?
Demonstrate all the benefits that another degree could offer in your messaging, with real-life examples. This could be higher earning potential, access to better careers, the chance to study under prestigious lecturers or other tangible incentives.
- What made you want to do a Masters/PhD?
- Is a Geography Masters worth it?
- Am I doing postgraduate study for the right reasons?
- What are the best masters courses out there that will practically let me walk into a job after graduating?
We can help you attract and convert more applicants
If you found this blog on postgraduate funding tips helpful, you might be interested in our other postgraduate and student insight blogs. Such as 6 answers to your questions about postgraduate applicants or Postgraduate education: understanding your audience.
The Student Room can reach thousands of prospects to boost your postgraduate course applications. We have the data to achieve your goals, whether you choose a partnership, content or a tailored marketing solution.
Call 0800 999 3222, email email@example.com or use our online form to get in touch.
*Benchmarking report: The number of users (devices and browsers) we can target who have viewed relevant content (data from Oct 2019).
Author: Katie Hale