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Is declining my only option crazy?

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Hi! I'm working through a big decision and could use some unbiased feedback that my friends and family can't give.

I have committed to NYU's on-campus program. It's 3,000 miles away from where I live and will be about 25,000 a year in tuition after my funding. Plus cost of living. I'll be paying for cost of living and the difference in tuition with student loans. Because of this i'm looking at AT LEAST 75,000 in debt, plus 20,000 from undergrad.

I applied as a first year post-bacc student, I've gotten a 4.0 during my post bacc year and have been doing everything I can to be involved. I was rejected from 5 schools, waitlisted at one, and accepted to NYU. In the 2 months since i've gotten accepted the excitement has worn off and i'm considering rescinding my acceptance, working for a year and continuing to volunteer in the lab I work in, and reapply.

I feel that retaking the GRE, my improved GPA, and experience with the whole application cycle would give me a better shot at being accepted to a cheaper program closer to where I want to work in my career. But i'm also terrified of not getting in anywhere and wasting my only chance at becoming an SLP.

I'm also anxious to get started and turning down an offer just feels unheard of for my post-bacc friends who didn't get in anywhere.

Is it insane to do this?? I wouldn't re-apply to NYU, i'd stick to programs in Oregon, California, and Washington. Any advice or experience from someone who's done the same would be much appreciated! Same with any encouragement to suck up the debt and go to New York! (I bet there's great clinical opportunities there)

Thank you!! ❤️ ❤️ 

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Honestly? If I felt like I couldn't afford a program, I wouldn't go! It's important to consider how long it's going to take you to pay this degree off. Unless the program is offering you something specialized that you wouldn't get anywhere else I would rescind or see if I could defer my acceptance.

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I don’t think it’s crazy to rescind your offer, especially if there’s nothing particularly special pulling you toward the program. Debt is very real, and if you don’t think it’s worth it, that’s totally valid and reasonable (though if you do think the program is worth it, then that’s valid too!) Personally, I would hesitate about that much debt and would rather improve my application for reapplying to more affordable programs.

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You are looking at $95,000 in debt at minimum (combining undergrad and grad).  No, don't go - that is way too much.  Stay for another year in your current place, work, and volunteer.  I also would apply to SLP programs at state schools in the state that you are a resident.  Tuition and living expenses will be much lower than trying to go to grad school in NYC unfunded.

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Unfortunately SLPs don't make THAT much money, so honestly (even though it'll be hard to do so), you should wait until next year. It won't hurt your chances to have a year off! I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and taught English abroad for two years and believe this is partly why I was accepted to various schools. I also think that this experience (and the fact that I'm older than most in my cohort will be in grad school) will give me a different perspective! You should definitely find something related and work for a year and try applying again :) that's what I would do in this situation!! It sounds really stressful to not only have that much debt but to also go so far away for school! 

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I think that's an insane amount of money to pay to become an SLP based on the real wages of SLPs. 

Can you ask them for a deferral for a year? Then you could apply to programs next year and decide if you really want to go there badly enough to pay that much if you don't make it into any. 

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Wow so many responses!!! Thank you all so much for your input! It's helpful to have that validation that it truly is an insane amount of money. People who don't work in the field keep saying "well grad school's all about debt so who cares", but I think I do?

It'll be lots of planning, and lists, and decisions. We all know how hard the application process is for these programs, the idea of doing it all again is scary. But the idea of paying so much in loans for so long is even worse.

Keep sending thoughts if you have them!! I'll update once my decision is made. My waitlist school is cheaper and closer to home so maybe there'll be a miracle there :) 

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4 hours ago, futureSLPhopefullylol said:

Pro tip to any future applicant reading this: never apply to a school you would not be willing to pay for or cannot afford. Look up tuition before applying to any school. 

That really is a great point! I'd been given that advice but ignored it and hoped for more funding than I ended up getting :) 

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43 minutes ago, Felice said:

I know that I'll be taking on around $60,000 in debt but for me that's not too crazy...Am I crazy to think that? I think with my wage combined with my husband's wages will allow for me to pay off my loans in about five years. 

I went into the process hopeing to come out with 60-80, I think that's okay and typical. I'm looking at 130,000+ which just isn't. 

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13 minutes ago, nwslp said:

I went into the process hopeing to come out with 60-80, I think that's okay and typical. I'm looking at 130,000+ which just isn't. 

Ah I see! It is definitely alright to wait a year! The time will go by fast :) Good luck. 

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Let's take a look at this financially and assume the following. 95,000 is loans is borrowed at the current standard rate of 6 percent for unsubsidized graduate loans.

Over 10 years, that's a monthly payment of $1,054.69. In addition to the 95,000 dollars borrowed, you'd be paying $31,563.37 in interest. You could elect to pay the loans over 25 years at a monthly payment cost of $612.09. Doing so would result in your total interest being $88,625 or nearly double the amount you borrowed.

 

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6 hours ago, nwslp said:

Hi! I'm working through a big decision and could use some unbiased feedback that my friends and family can't give.

I have committed to NYU's on-campus program. It's 3,000 miles away from where I live and will be about 25,000 a year in tuition after my funding. Plus cost of living. I'll be paying for cost of living and the difference in tuition with student loans. Because of this i'm looking at AT LEAST 75,000 in debt, plus 20,000 from undergrad.

I applied as a first year post-bacc student, I've gotten a 4.0 during my post bacc year and have been doing everything I can to be involved. I was rejected from 5 schools, waitlisted at one, and accepted to NYU. In the 2 months since i've gotten accepted the excitement has worn off and i'm considering rescinding my acceptance, working for a year and continuing to volunteer in the lab I work in, and reapply.

I feel that retaking the GRE, my improved GPA, and experience with the whole application cycle would give me a better shot at being accepted to a cheaper program closer to where I want to work in my career. But i'm also terrified of not getting in anywhere and wasting my only chance at becoming an SLP.

I'm also anxious to get started and turning down an offer just feels unheard of for my post-bacc friends who didn't get in anywhere.

Is it insane to do this?? I wouldn't re-apply to NYU, i'd stick to programs in Oregon, California, and Washington. Any advice or experience from someone who's done the same would be much appreciated! Same with any encouragement to suck up the debt and go to New York! (I bet there's great clinical opportunities there)

Thank you!! ❤️ ❤️ 

I had a similar convo with my cousin. She got into NYU, but for nursing. She decided not to go bc of the price and she ended up getting a scholarship somewhere else. TBH, the debt is REAL. I'm on my year off and currently trying to pay off my loans and its a struggle. I decided to go to a college that was expensive and it's just not worth it. I would suggest to take the year off to improve your application so you can get into a cheaper school. 

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1 hour ago, Warelin said:

Let's take a look at this financially and assume the following. 95,000 is loans is borrowed at the current standard rate of 6 percent for unsubsidized graduate loans.

Over 10 years, that's a monthly payment of $1,054.69. In addition to the 95,000 dollars borrowed, you'd be paying $31,563.37 in interest. You could elect to pay the loans over 25 years at a monthly payment cost of $612.09. Doing so would result in your total interest being $88,625 or nearly double the amount you borrowed.

 

I'm not allowed to react anymore today with hearts, says the website. But I just wanted to thank you for putting it into perspective like this. It's super easy to just say yeah it's debt, we all have it, but when its real money and real time. My current undergrad loans have already been 200 a month and I feel the weight of that all the time. Thank you ❤️ 

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You can defer for a year and take your time to think this through. I'm going to NYU as well and I understand the fear of taking out loans to cover living expenses and tuition expenses. I left a teaching position to pursue this and going down to a one income family  is terrifying. I have 3 kids to support. All total, I will have about 150,000 to pay off. Most people automatically say no way to an expensive school, but here is my take on this. The field is so wide open with opportunities right now.On the East coast there are many job opportunities. My plan is is to work a full time job when I graduate and pick up some part time or per diem work to help pay down my loans faster. I had cheaper options for schools, but I just couldn't give up my dream of attending NYU. I have been told by professionals in the field that many school based positions won't be picky about which grad program you attended. However, if you are going for a job at a major medical center, that more impressive school may edge out the competition. I would reflect on what your goals are and then compare how the other schools you may apply to stack up against NYU. This is a huge investment financially and of your time. You have to do what feels right. Having family close by to support you during this time may be a good thing. Grad school is a tough 2 years! Good luck with your decision. This process is crazy, but will all be worth it! ?

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I am in your shoes of only getting accepted into one school and it'll expensive since I'll be paying for out of state tuition. 

This is probably a very unpopular decision, but I decided to attend this program even tho it'll cost over $100,000 and I'll be in debt. The way I see it is time vs. money, I personally don't want to waste any more time applying and waiting around for my results, especially if it's not a guarantee I'll get an acceptance. I rather start immediately, graduate, get a job and start working on paying off my debt. 

Good luck! :)  

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Do you plan to practice in the northwest?  If so, I'd pass on NYU (or defer)?  If you are going to take on an astronomical amount of debt, you want your alumni/professor/hospital network to be strongest in your preferred region.  That can make the job search process smoother and/or faster. 

I'm in a different field, but I'll echo a previous poster: debt is no joke.  With graduate loans, interest begins accruing the day after each loan is disbursed...even while you're a student.  I realize that demand for SLPs is high, but if there's even a slight hiccup with your job search 2-3 years from now, that debt can really spiral out of control once interest capitalizes upon graduation.  As a prospective student, you may not fully appreciate that now.  But, you will once you graduate (or approach graduation).

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Woah, i'm in a crazy similar situation i'm gonna message you!! We even have similar usernames haha

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I was in a similar situation last year but chose to accept my offer. For me, it felt like I would be leaving too much up to chance if I declined my only acceptance. Sure, I could've re-taken the GREs again and aimed for better scores, but I was uncertain if that alone will that be enough to get me accepted in a different school. Also, given that I'm a horrible test taker, getting a better GRE score was not a sure thing either. I live in a competitive NYC area where everyone's vying for spots, so even though the school that accepted me had a higher tuition, I chose to take their offer. The decision was hard though, but now that I'm a year into my program, I'm glad I went with something that was guaranteed. 

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Why did you apply if you had no intention of going? I would take the offer.

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On 5/9/2018 at 7:00 PM, nwslp said:

It'll be lots of planning, and lists, and decisions. We all know how hard the application process is for these programs, the idea of doing it all again is scary. But the idea of paying so much in loans for so long is even worse.

 

I got a partial scholarship, but I'm out of state, so I will still be taking out a small fortune in loans. As much as I dread the extra debt, I think I would hate reapplying, and I don't know if my LOR writers would even do it again--my undergrad was online, and they didn't really know me very well. I'm also not a spring chicken anymore (32 next week) and I decided that loans or no loans, I'd be ready to start my CFY in two years, no ifs ands or buts.

That being said, that is my situation. Everyone's is different, so I say ultimately go with your gut on this one.

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I ultimately chose a school that was $25,000+ cheaper. For me I wanted to be responsible and take out as few loans as humanely possible. I think its mature that you are considering the debt and the weight of that. 

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4 hours ago, Auuudriana said:

Why did you apply if you had no intention of going? I would take the offer.

That's a super fair question!! I definitely wouldn't say I had/have no intention of going, I have already paid the deposit, flown out to visit the school, and am really impressed with the program. It's more an issue of just getting a little less funding than I had hoped and a friend who i'd planned to move in with ended up leaving the city so my housing isn't as cheap/secure now.

Short answer, life has a way of spiraling a bit :) Definitely don't regret applying! Just trying to weigh my options

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