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Farmcat1

How do I know if I can afford a program?

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Hey all, I’m thoroughly confused as to how I’m supposed to choose a school when I don’t know how much money I will be awarded for loans, etc. Is there a way to find this out before making a decision? Also, how much is normally distributed for living expenses since working during school is pretty unrealistic. Please help!

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Have you filled out the FAFSA for this fall yet? If not, you should do that. Mine gave me an estimate on how much I would receive in loans. Keep in mind that in grad school, FAFSA doesn't take into account your parents income like in undergrad. This is super helpful though because then you qualify for more money. I think mine was around 20,000 per year, if that helps you.

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19 minutes ago, 18slp said:

Have you filled out the FAFSA for this fall yet? If not, you should do that. Mine gave me an estimate on how much I would receive in loans. Keep in mind that in grad school, FAFSA doesn't take into account your parents income like in undergrad. This is super helpful though because then you qualify for more money. I think mine was around 20,000 per year, if that helps you.

I filled out the FAFSA, but didn’t see any information as to the expected award amount. I’ve been an independent student my entire undergrad (I’m 35) and only got a few extra thousand per semester to put toward living expenses so I had to work full time as well. It doesn’t seem like working more than 10 hours per week is doable while in grad school.  Was the $20,000 in addition to tuition or including? My tuition will be about $42,000 for a year :/. Thanks for the response! I’m getting excited but super nervous that I won’t be able to afford everything.

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The 20,000 was including tuition. This link may help you:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/graduate-professional-funding-info.pdf

I can definitely relate to the excitement/nervousness. We do all of this waiting to figure out if we are even going to grad school and then once we're in, we have to consider how we will even pay for it! That price per year that you listed is really high. Are you going out of state and have you received any information on GA positions, etc.? 

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To add to my response--I believe it's up to you to delegate $$ for living expenses. I think you get a certain amount and then you decide what to do with it. I could be wrong. So, you would take out as much as you need for tuition + living expenses. 

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My expected contribution to graduate school (as calculated by FAFSA) was $0. Even so, the maximum I could get per year in federal loans was $20,500 towards tuition (and that is the max for everyone). Other than that, you'd have to get private loans and Graduate PLUS loans to cover the rest of the expenses, so you'd want to do some googling around about interest rates. Good luck!

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3 hours ago, Farmcat1 said:

Hey all, I’m thoroughly confused as to how I’m supposed to choose a school when I don’t know how much money I will be awarded for loans, etc. Is there a way to find this out before making a decision? Also, how much is normally distributed for living expenses since working during school is pretty unrealistic. Please help!

yeah, I can't seem to get to any award info without putting down a deposit, but how am I gonna know if I want to put down a deposit until I know if I can afford the school? this is driving me nuts -- I got into one school that told me I have to accept or decline within the next week, but I still don't know if they're offering me an 18,000 fellowship or jack, and I haven't heard back from the other schools yet. ....none of this was at all helpful to you, but the point is I feel your pain, and I am also perplexed by this dilemma lol. Third party, please assist us! 

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I received the federal loan information one of my schools today. It is called UNSUBSIDIZED loan. I'm wondering when does the interest start to incur? From the moment I start school, or after I receive the degree after 2 years? Thanks guys!

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20 minutes ago, azure said:

I received the federal loan information one of my schools today. It is called UNSUBSIDIZED loan. I'm wondering when does the interest start to incur? From the moment I start school, or after I receive the degree after 2 years? Thanks guys!

For unsubsidized, the interest starts right away. It totally sucks...they do not give out subsidized loans for graduate school 

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From my understanding max award in loans from FAFSA is 20K. Then you can apply for grad plus which is only a couple thousand more. (All unsubsudized). The rest you’d have to get from private lenders. (Which sucks on interest) but you’d be surprised how much companies are willing to lend to students. 

Im on the same boat as you though, my total cost of attendance for 2 years is gonna be close to 100K. Which is just absolutely terrifying to me. But if this is your dream, it’s worth the investment! And there are options for loan forgiveness, plus we’ll be making a decent living after getting our degree to pay them off comfortably. (I hope lol) 

Edited by andreadls22

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9 hours ago, vinniemillay said:

yeah, I can't seem to get to any award info without putting down a deposit, but how am I gonna know if I want to put down a deposit until I know if I can afford the school? this is driving me nuts -- I got into one school that told me I have to accept or decline within the next week, but I still don't know if they're offering me an 18,000 fellowship or jack, and I haven't heard back from the other schools yet. ....none of this was at all helpful to you, but the point is I feel your pain, and I am also perplexed by this dilemma lol. Third party, please assist us! 

Schools can't make you respond before April 15th!! It's a national date that schools must follow. There's a place you can report the school if they are not allowing you to wait until the 15th.

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A general rule about student loans is to not borrow more than one year's salary.  Speech Pathologists are starting around $50-60,000 a year.  At 6%, the payment is about $110 a month per 10,000 borrowed for 10 years.  Loan forgiveness is hard to get and comes with a big tax bill if you use it.  Spreading the loans out, leaves you smaller payments but paying much more interest over a longer time.  

  On a related note, defaulting on your federal loans can mean suspension of your license in some states.   

Edited by Pronounce

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I'm freaking out about this as well :/ I am familiar with getting loans because I've done that throughout my undergraduate degree. Thankfully I don't owe an insane amount, but stacking on more loans is not fun. I tried to apply to schools that have scholarships/assistantships, but unfortunately they don't usually offer much money and it's pretty competitive. One schools I'm looking at has a scholarship for about half of the tuition, which makes it a lot more affordable. But the other programs don't offer much :/ I know with my undergraduate degree I received a grant through FAFSA for having a low income. Will they do that for graduate school as well? Ugh I guess we just have to put the seat deposit down and see what funds we get. 

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5 hours ago, 2020slp said:

Schools can't make you respond before April 15th!! It's a national date that schools must follow. There's a place you can report the school if they are not allowing you to wait until the 15th.

Small note here: The April 15th rule only applies to schools that offer you a stipend package. It doesn't apply to schools offering no package- those deadlines vary unfortunately.

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Molloy wanted me to respond by March 15th

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Montclair's deadline was 14 days after the date on the acceptance letter, which was dated February 1st.

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A graduate student can borrow up to the full cost of attendance (COA) each year in Direct PLUS Loans, and there is currently no lifetime borrowing limit. (That may change as of July 1st, 2019, if the PROSPER Act is pushed through Congress this year, but those of us starting our programs before that date will be borrowing under the current, more favorable terms.) COA includes tuition/fees, books and supplies, room and board, personal expenses, transportation expenses, and a health insurance allowance.

More information is here:

https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans/plus

Whether someone is comfortable taking on this amount of Direct PLUS Loan debt is another question, and a deeply personal one.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:39 PM, Farmcat1 said:

Hey all, I’m thoroughly confused as to how I’m supposed to choose a school when I don’t know how much money I will be awarded for loans, etc. Is there a way to find this out before making a decision? Also, how much is normally distributed for living expenses since working during school is pretty unrealistic. Please help!

I was told by my schools financial aid office that getting about 20,000 in loans is standard in grad school. Definitely fill out fafsa if you haven’t. Also email the financial aid offices for the programs you’re looking at for more details, they might be able to point you to scholarships, etc. try getting a work study job, I have one as an undergrad student and make $12/hour (I don’t work many hours during the week) but there are strict regulations about how many hours you can work so you won’t be spread thin.

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On 3/9/2018 at 5:16 AM, 2020slp said:

Schools can't make you respond before April 15th!! It's a national date that schools must follow. There's a place you can report the school if they are not allowing you to wait until the 15th.

thanks! turns out Chapman doesn't have financial packages done for anybody, yet, and we're all calling and asking the same thing, so they're doing an across-the-board extension until March 30th. and if the money info isn't ready by that date, they're going to extend it again. so I may lose my mind in the interim from the waiting to find out if I got any scholarship, but at least I definitely won't lose my spot while I wait lol 

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On 3/9/2018 at 10:27 AM, speechpathy said:

I'm freaking out about this as well :/ I am familiar with getting loans because I've done that throughout my undergraduate degree. Thankfully I don't owe an insane amount, but stacking on more loans is not fun. I tried to apply to schools that have scholarships/assistantships, but unfortunately they don't usually offer much money and it's pretty competitive. One schools I'm looking at has a scholarship for about half of the tuition, which makes it a lot more affordable. But the other programs don't offer much :/ I know with my undergraduate degree I received a grant through FAFSA for having a low income. Will they do that for graduate school as well? Ugh I guess we just have to put the seat deposit down and see what funds we get. 

There are no state or federal grants for grad students...the only “free money” available are scholarships or financial awards/packages given by the school 

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5 hours ago, BeachySpeechy said:

There are no state or federal grants for grad students...the only “free money” available are scholarships or financial awards/packages given by the school 

Ugh, I figured! Just thought I'd ask anyway

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2 hours ago, speechpathy said:

Ugh, I figured! Just thought I'd ask anyway

It really sucks because a masters is necessary to work as an SLP. It’s not just an extra degree to make extra money. 

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