Ross Correspondent: Financing Your Undergraduate Biz Degree

College isn’t cheap. In fact, it’s one of the biggest investments that most people will make in their futures. For out-of-state students, the price tends to be even higher. While many would agree that college is a worthwhile endeavor, it’s just as easy to be scared off by the cost that comes along with it. Taking into account textbooks, extracurricular activities, social events, and other miscellaneous costs, the total price can skyrocket. With this in mind, Michigan Ross students find innovative methods to afford their top-tier education.

Diana Gaspar is using scholarships, private scholarships, and summer jobs to pay for school

When considering colleges that I wanted to apply to, price was never a factor that I heavily considered. Not because my parents had the means to pay for college out-of-pocket, but because I assumed that somehow, I would find the resources to attend any university that I wanted. Even though I was applying as an out-of-state student for every college, other factors such as location, academics, and study-abroad opportunities weighed more heavily. However, after receiving acceptances, and seeing the prices associated with a quality business school education, reality hit. I would have to find a way to pay for my education.

Eventually, through a mix of University of Michigan grants, governmental financial aid, scholarships, and work study, I was able to attend the school of my dreams. Michigan was really good about making sure that the price wasn’t a barrier and allowed me to constantly apply for and accept scholarships and grants until I could afford it. Students also utilize other University of Michigan opportunities such as the resident assistant program which provides free housing and a stipend. But like many students, financing still remains a constant concern, and it’s up to every individual to find a way that works for them.


Alyssa Ayyash is a HAIL Scholarship recipient which awards full tuition to high achieving students

Diana Gaspar, BBA ‘21, found that using a mixture of different sources to finance her business degree was the most effective method. “I’m paying for college through a mix of U of M scholarships, private scholarships, and the summer jobs I worked during high school,” she says.

Through the HAIL Scholarship, a scholarship that provides full tuition to high achieving students, in addition to babysitting and tutoring jobs, Ross freshman Alyssa Ayyash is also able to pay for her education with no student loans. “I value a college degree very highly as neither of my parents went to college,” Ayyash says. “Because of that, I am dedicated to doing everything I have to in order to finance my degree and set myself up for success in the future.” This dedication to funding higher education comes directly from Ayyash’s background and upbringing. “As a low-income student with a disabled parent, I have grown up knowing the real value of a dollar,” she says. “Even when money is tight, my father always tells me to keep my priorities in check. A large part of that is obtaining a college degree from the Ross School of Business — a goal that I hope I can proudly say I have achieved in the next four years.” This diversified approach to seeking funds is the route that most Ross students take. Using money saved as well as assistance from different sources is a surefire way to cut the cost of receiving an education.


Jaclynn Spryshak is launching her own business to help pay for school

For some Ross students with the entrepreneurial spirit, launching a business has been another option to fund their education. “I have a friend who started a small business selling sunglasses in high school and used the money from that to help supplement his Ross financial aid,” Gaspar says. “Students can get really creative when it comes to paying for college.”

Jaclynn Spryshak, BBA ‘21, is one of those students. Combining her love of veganism, baking, and business, she will be opening her company GroovyNut in May of 2018. GroovyNut is a business that intends to sell energy balls made with simple, yet tasty ingredients. “I really want personal connections to be the core of the business,” Spryshak says. “Where people can interact with whoever is selling to them and get a really incredibly fun experience.” However, to Spryshak, it’s not just a business venture or a way to fuel her entrepreneurial ambitions. GroovyNut will help fund the things she wants to do during her college career. “I’m planning on having it as a ‘side hustle’ to help pay off loans and fund my study abroad,” she says. “Also, I think having entrepreneurship experience will really help me put what I learn at Ross into action.”

These are just some of the many ways that Michigan Ross students fund their education. With a mixture of initiative and resourcefulness, they find ways to make sure they can continue working towards their business degree. It can seem like a daunting and never-ending endeavor, but with help from the administration and personal efforts, Ross students show that it’s something that can be done.


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