Tell us about your grad school experience

As a graduate student, you have the opportunity to borrow significantly more funds per year to cover your expenses than you did as an undergraduate student. Are you finding that you need to borrow the full amount of federal aid offered to cover your expenses?

I ask because my step-daughter is a grad school student, but has a scholarship<a href="http://gradschool.about.com/od/financialaid/a/work.htm" title="More info on working during grad school on about.com" target="_blank" Click here to learn about third-party website links so she doesn’t need to borrow nearly the full amount of aid offered to her.

She is also able to work<a href="http://gradschool.about.com/od/financialaid/a/work.htm" title="More info on working during grad school on about.com" target="_blank" Click here to learn about third-party website links a significant amount , which helps make up for the fact that she no longer has two roommates to share living expenses.

What has your grad school experience been like? Are you borrowing the full amount offered you in student loans?

Are your expenses significantly higher than when you were an undergrad? How are you managing it?

Tell us about your situation.

Caroline Hanson

About Caroline Hanson

Caroline is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Education Financial Services. Although she has been known to forget her own ZIP code, she has memorized the lyrics to every bad 1970s pop song ever written. Unfortunately, she also loves karaoke. Caroline spends her spare time at Target®. She also likes biking slowly and has participated in RAGBRAI. Caroline is a graduate of Iowa State University and has worked in journalism and public relations for the past 14 years. She lives in Iowa with her husband and has a 19-year-old stepdaughter and 2-year-old son.
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4 Responses to Tell us about your grad school experience

  1. Sandi Gere says:

    I am a wells Fargo Collections Collector employee and my son needs a fiancial aid while he is in school to be able to purchase a used car to get him to dmacc and to work when he finds employment. are there any special opportunities for children of employees

    • Caroline Hanson says:

      Hi Sandi – thanks for your question. There are a few scholarships specifically for children of Wells Fargo employees. You can learn about them through Teamworks/ Team Member Resources/Financial/Education and Family.

  2. J says:

    I am a grad student at a private university in Nebraska. Unlike in undergrad, where I had scholarships and tuition covered by my parents (there were stipulations in this deal), I had to get a 2 Federal Stafford loans (subsidized and unsubsidized) for grad school. I have noticed that my expenses for school are significantly higher for grad than undergrad. While my books for undergrad were more expensive ($600-$1,000/semester), I’m still spending roughly $400/semester for books. I took out the full amount for the Stafford loans ($20,400) but made sure that my lender (NelNet; serviced through Union Bank & Trust; Lincoln, NE) would not charge me penalties on early repayment, simply in case I don’t use it all. I have paid off all of the accrued interest on my unsubsidized loan and made minor payments to the principal I borrowed already. My employer also offers tuition reimbursement; although this will factor in to less than a quarter of my tuition payment alone. It is beneficial.
    However, I am also not the typical graduate student… I have taken 12 credits per semester and worked full time in order to graduate in under a year. Not to mention, I didn’t delay grad school… I started right after undergrad. I started this past August and will walk in May graduation. I would strongly suggest this to anyone looking into Graduate school if you don’t mind lack of sleep and (very) limited time with your significant other.
    I have found that I would have borrowed a lot more for undergrad (tuition alone was $28,000 a year) if I would have had to pay for school; because the costs for grad school are on a per credit basis where undergrad was not. Comparing myself to my girlfriend; she will graduate Pharmacy school (2 years undergrad, 4 years professional school) with nearly $150,000 in tuition debt alone… not counting living expenses, books and fees… and she had a 75% tuition scholarship for 4 years (professional school included for 2 years). So, in other words, school costs for undergrads racks up faster and is more expensive because they normally have less income and focus to much on the social aspect of college.

  3. Caroline Hanson says:

    Hi J – thanks for letting us know about your grad school experience. It sounds like you are doing everything possible to minimize your grad school costs. Good for you and congratulations on your hard work!

The Student LoanDown

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