This is a very interesting read. Most graduate schools, you need to have the diploma. If you are going into your master’s of nursing, you need to have taken out the loans and graduated. There is no “free online option”. In your case, having a masters in computer software, maybe there could have been a free option. But you just dont have the certifications employers are looking for. If this is not needed for a job, then I agree with you taking out the loans for a masters degree is pointless.