“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” said Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. That has always been and will always be true. Instead of asking, “How much is court reporting school?” you should be asking, “Can I afford not to go to court reporting school?”

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) predicts a shortage of court reporters by 2018. If the laws of supply and demand hold true, that means court reporters and their skills are becoming more valuable – and salaries should rise accordingly. High school graduates who want a short-term education, but need a professional career with opportunity for long-term lifestyle adjustments, have found that court reporting offers them variable career options to work as much or as little as they need. Many people who are already working in another career are making the switch because of the job opportunities and versatility of working as a court reporter. You can, too.

The most reputable organization for court reporters is the NCRA. Some individual states also have court reporter and stenographer associations that provide continuing education and opportunity for its members, but the go-to for most continues to be the NCRA. So you should “go to” their website to find accredited schools for court reporting. It provides a key to tell you what programs these schools offer; for example, D = Day program, N = Night program, and A = Associate degree. You may need to balance your work and family life with day and evening classes. Try to find a school that offers the program you need at a nearby campus.

Stenographic Equipment

Student stenographers seem to fret most about what kind of equipment they need, but it’s not that difficult. You can contact your school’s department for court reporter education and ask what they recommend before classes begin. You can spend anywhere between $100-$2,000 (for a stenograph machine). For example, a used manual reporter model with a 30-day warranty can be purchased for $85. A student may opt to rent a machine for about $25/month. A used computerized model may give you several years of service for as little as $400 total. A new student stenograph machine with tripod can be estimated at $1,775; it can serve you as a student and later, as a professional.

One of the most popular online stenographic suppliers offers new and used equipment, peripherals and accessories for court reporters. Forms of payment include:

  • Leasing
  • Steno-layaway
  • Rent-to-own
  • Short-term, in-house financing
  • PayPal® financing

Tuition and Classes

Once you meet with your financial advisor, you’ll have a better idea of the costs of court reporter school. Using a net cost calculator, you can find the approximate cost of court reporter school in New York City.

Student Loans and Grants

We’ve all heard horror stories about graduating from college with a debt the size of a small country’s net worth. A good school will work with you to minimize the debt you will have after graduation by offering you payment options that you can live with now. Don’t hesitate to explore every avenue of financial aid available! Student loans and grants include:

  • Department of Education Federal Student Aid – Several financial assistance programs are available to active military and veterans. You can also check out Military OneSource for more information.
  • Pell Grant – This Federal program is based on financial need and does not need to be repaid. An approximate maximum of $5,775 per year is available to eligible students.
  • SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant) – This is offered in addition to the Pell grant, and the maximum award is $4,000.
  • Stafford Loan – This Federal Direct Student Loan is available to most students and the interest on the loan may be subsidized to lower your costs.
  • Parent PLUS Loan – Parents of dependent students may be able to borrow a Federal Direct Student Loan to finance the full cost of your education. Eligibility depends on a good credit history, but even with a bad credit history, if an endorser supports your parents’ financial stability, this loan may be available.
  • New York specific Financial Programs
    • TAP (New York State Tuition Assistance Program) – TAP does not need to be paid back. Depending on when you apply, your TAP award can be as high as $5,165 per year.
    • Federal Work Study Program – There are a limited number of part-time jobs on or near NYC campuses to help pay the cost of your education.

How Much is Court Reporting School?

With the right court reporting school, you get more than you pay for, because guaranteeing your future success is priceless! Instead of considering the price of this valuable education, consider it as an investment in your future: You are literally paying it forward!

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