Student loans for graduate school can be a source of stress and cause of concern. Well, they don’t have to be! It’s 2020, and so many people are attending graduate school compared to in previous decades. Whether you are pursuing a master’s, Ph.D., PsyD, law school, or any other form of graduate work, we have everything you need to know to make studying and preparing ten times easier. With a few simple steps, we can make the process so much easier and less stressful, because if you are applying to graduate school, you are under enough stress as it is. Let’s get started on everything you need to know!
Ever since applying to colleges in high school, we are all probably getting a little tired of hearing about FAFSA. FAFSA stands for free application for federal student aid, just in case you were not aware. It is very time consuming, but just like our taxes, we have to do it. Everyone’s financial means and financial support are different and filling out the online FAFSA for your academic institution will leave you with everything you need to know before getting in too deep. Loans, scholarships, and other personalized education awards will be given through FAFSA, once filled out.
Of course, this is the part everyone dreads hearing about: paying back your student loans begins six months after you graduate. Most, if not all graduate schools require you to pay all interest rates, and some loans have a borrowing limit, whether it is per semester, or per year.
3. Do Your Research
When it comes to taking out a loan, especially for a long-term commitment like graduate school, it is important to do your homework, and know which company will be a good fit. Obviously credit scores matter, but if your credit isn’t great, it isn’t the end of the world because you can most likely get a co-signer. Wells Fargo Private Student loan serves as a great option and many of these borrowers are lenient with their minimum credit score.
4. Credit Score
Hmm, I’m sure we all have had to pay attention to our credit score at some point or another. If your credit score isn’t perfect, and I mean who’s is, don’t panic. Just be mindful of the fact that a lot of companies you will borrow from require a minimum of let’s say 590 (for example), credit score. Like I said, don’t panic. You can always get a co-signer, or enroll in auto-pay for paying off other debt to ensure your credit score will increase over time.
5. Give Yourself Time
When it comes to graduate school, and I’m sure you know this, it is important to consider all options, from all angles. This means, think about the location of your graduate school. If you are going out of state, and your loans are therefore higher, consider looking at schools closer to home. You have to factor in travel time and travel costs, including when you may plan to come home during breaks and other holidays. For example, if you live in the South, I would not encourage going to graduate school in Maine. The amount of time and money you’d spend traveling back and forth would not be worth it, so it is just food for thought.
6. Know What You Are Paying For
When it comes to student loans for graduate school, it sometimes can be like purchasing a new car. The price and deal may seem great, but once you look closer, there are high-interest rates, and so on. It is important to know exactly how much you are paying in interest, how much you’ll pay once you graduate, and so on. You need to know how to budget accordingly. I would suggest using an excel spreadsheet, and consider cutting down on some costs. A lot of borrowers will throw in annual fees and other costs that you may not be aware of. Student loans for graduate school are the first step to achieving your goal, through that school!
7. Know The Difference Between Federal And Private
This may be obvious, but there are two different types of student loans for graduate school. Private loans and federal. Once you have stated your estimated income, and so on and so forth, next would be the time to apply for private.
8. Apply For Scholarships
This was stated previously, but one of the easiest things to check for to ensure you don’t overpay is to apply for as many scholarships as possible. There are so many websites to check and see if you even qualify for a scholarship, and it can’t hurt to explore these options. Apply for a wide range of scholarships and potential awards, to cut down costly expenses the best that you can. It is worth it!
9. Stay Calm
Okay, this may seem a bit typical. But seriously, school (undergraduate, graduate, and high school) is a huge source of stress for students and families for a number of reasons, not just financially. It is important to stay calm, and remember that all of your hard work has paid off, you WILL get your dream job! Keep calm, and graduate school on. I mean, seriously, you have your whole life to stress, so just enjoy the spot you are in right now!
In previous years, roughly 70 percent of students were enrolled in a master’s program or graduate field of study. It seems a necessary step to continue your education to achieve your goals, whether it be in law, communications, teaching, or the medical field. Student loans for graduate school are of course a source of stress, but they don’t need to be. I hope this article gave everyone a little bit of insight into their upcoming journey. Thank you so much for reading, and please feel free to comment on what you plan on studying in grad school! I hope everyone enjoyed reading these 9 tips to help prepare you for graduate school!
Featured Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/840484349183905713/
Senior at UMass Dartmouth with a minor in communications, writing has always been a part of me. I believe writing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I couldn't have found an internship more aligned with my goals to pursue a career in this field.