You’ve decided that you want to take an MBA course in order to further your career, but you aren’t sure that you can afford to pay for the full MBA program right now. The worst thing you can do is put it off until another month or another year because that only delays you in moving forward with your career.

What should you do? It may feel like you are at a stopping point where there is no easy way to get the education you know you need, but things may not be as difficult as you think. If you are seriously interested in moving your career forward through an MBA program, there are some ways to find affordable programs that will fit into your budget.

Check Your Employer’s Programs

If you are currently working for a business large enough to offer tuition assistance and other types of programs, ask if there are any of these opportunities open to you. Many companies will now reimburse you for your MBA program tuition as long as you attend a reputable program and it is something that could help you become a better employee and qualify for higher positions.

If you work for a smaller company and you know that your MBA course will improve your performance on the job, you can still ask your boss if they would be willing to pay any percentage of your tuition for a good MBA program. Some small employers will pay at least a small percentage as long as you attend a reputable course and use it to make yourself a better employee.

Don’t ever tell an employer that you intend to get your mba course underway so you can qualify for higher paying positions with other companies. They might pay for you to educate yourself and become a better employee for them, but they won’t want to pay for it if you are going to quit as soon as you get the education.

Compare Online & Offline

Once you have determined how much of your MBA program tuition your employer may be willing to reimburse you for, it’s time to start price shopping for the most affordable MBA course. This is not the best way to shop for an MBA program, but if you are working with a really tight budget you don’t have a lot of choice, do you?

You want to find the best MBA program that is still of very high quality. The MBA program must have a good reputation with companies in your area or they are just a waste of money, no matter how cheap they may be.

In most cases, you will find the most reputable and affordable MBA courses online, so do not limit your search to local programs.

The Turtle’s Pace

Some MBA programs will allow you to take the coursework at a slower pace, paying for just one class at a time rather than everything upfront. This is most likely to be through community colleges and other schools that work with your local community. This may be a much slower way to complete your MBA program, but at least you will get it done.