Grad School Hesitation | 03.13.07
I was chatting with a friend this past evening, and the topic of grad school came up. (As it tends to at my current age) We both agreed that grad school was a great idea – a somewhat necessary tool to advance in ones career. I’ve been rather excited about the prospect of going back to school for some time now, but my friend had some hesitation in his voice. Not because of the application process, or getting back into the swing of class life – but more so over the issue of payment. How do you pay for the normally pricey grad school courses?
Many students still have remaining debt from their undergraduate program, and the thought of taking out more student loans can be rather daunting. But fear not, there are options available and steps that can be taken to help mitigate some of the impact.
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, consolidate your federal student loans from your undergrad program. This will lock in your interest rate, and provide greater monthly savings – more cash flow available for normal living expenses. Not to mention, that you can defer your consolidation while you are attending grad school.
Next, if you have any private student loan debt – consolidate that as well. Wait until after you have completed your federal student loan consolidation – as it will help your credit, and private student loan consolidation is a credit based program.
Consolidating your existing debt will help you become more financially stable – now you can focus on generating money to pay for grad school. Scholarships and fellowships are a great place to get some additional help for funding. If you need additional funds, there are a variety of low interest graduate school loans that can help pay for your courses. These include the Graduate Stafford loan, Private alternative loan, and the Graduate PLUS loan.
The reality is, that most people will have to utilize some sort of additional student funding for grad school. The important thing to remember is to take advantage of the many different, helpful options available on the market, and try to get financially stable right from the start.
Stay tuned for some quick post graduate budgeting tips…
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