When you are attending graduate school, you may have to borrow money in order to meet your expenses. The government does not offer Pell grants to graduate students. However, you should try to avoid loans as much as possible. There are resources available to help pay for the cost of graduate school. Before you go back you should consider these graduate school questions to make sure it is the right choice for you.
First, you should apply for grants, scholarships and other funding when you are applying to graduate school. This should include teaching assistantships and research assistantships. The TA and RA positions will usually pay for the cost of tuition and fees, as well as give you a stipend to live on each month. Some of the scholarships will do the same thing. The assistantship positions may require that you do not take on additional employment. The book Debt Free U recommends considering the cost of your tuition and your financial assistance when choosing your school.
Next, you should fill out the FAFSA application. Although you will not qualify for a Pell grant, you do still qualify for Stafford loans. These are the best loans to take out if you have to take out loans. The interest rate on the loans is better, and the repayment options are better than private student loans.
Then you need to set up a monthly budget so that you can determine your living expenses. Add this amount to your tuition and fees. This will give you the total amount that you will need to borrow in order to pay for graduate school. If you are paying for a more expensive program, such as medical or law school you will need to find a large amount of money to cover the cost of tuition. You may want to look into employer reimbursement programs as well.
Once you have determined how much funding you will receive, you need to consider how much money you need to borrow. You should start with using your Stafford loans, and then turn to private lenders if you have to. Be sure that you are going into a field that will make the degree worth having. It doesn’t make sense to borrow $60,000 in order to raise your current salary by only a few thousand a year. You want your salary to be able to handle the student loan payments for you.