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How Much is Too Much?

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After reading a post below (about a student deciding not to attend NYU after fully processing how much it would cost), it got me thinking:

(1) How much money do you believe is too much to spend on your tuition + fees (for both prerequisites + Masters)?

(2) How much do you think is typical for living expenses (specify if for a larger city or smaller city)? 

Obviously the answer will vary widely depending on the person, but I'm curious about what the general perception is.  I'd made my piece with spending nearly $25,000 for a post-bacc degree this coming year, when a friend told me how stressed she was about taking $8,000 out for nursing school.  It made me realize that what I had thought of as just "normal" might really be much too risky/costly to others.

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I would seriously look at the amount and how  many years it will take you to pay the money back.  Also, how much  a month it will cost you.   Find out how much an apartment is where you would like to work and average salary would be.   That way you can see what your expenses will be and then how much you will have in loans.  Figure out how much you will have left to spend on other things like a car, food , entertainment.  If it is enough than great.  If you won't be able to do anything because all your money will be going to rent and loans. That way you can make an informed decision.

good luck.

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I am about to spend the same amount for a post-bacc year. Personally, I am willing to spend whatever for the highest quality experience. I could have spent half as much money taking online pre-req courses, but I would not have had access to the abundance of resources that the university I'll be attending offers. When I say resources, I mean the ability to work in a lab, to have labs as part of courses, to have face-to-face networking, to be able to join student organizations, to be able to have class discussions (that's not so easy online), etc. Participating in the things I just listed will increase my chances of getting accepted to grad schools too. To me, that's worth the money. Also, I realize that I come from a place of privilege and if all fails I can probably get help from my family to pay for some things. If I grew up in a family that barely scraped by pay check to pay check, I think my mind set would be different. 

Currently, I live in Pittsburgh and it's extremely livable. I live in a spacious two-bed, one-bath apartment in a nice neighborhood that is in walking distance from everything you could need and about a 30 minute walk from the university (but you can take the bus for free if you're a student). I live with two other people and we each pay 300 dollars a month for rent/utilities. Between food and entertainment, I probably spend 150-175 per month. So like 5500-6000 per year? Other smaller cities  may be more and big cities may be triple the cost or more. 

Edited by cakcak
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25k for a post Bach is super steep imo.  You aren't in grad school yet and some people don't get in so 25k for pre reqs is a lot, shame on that program!

I think anything you can't pay off in 2 years is too much ( not taking into account undergrad loans) Interest starts accumulating instantly for graduate loans so the day your aid is dispersed is the day your interest starts climbing.  

Rent where I went to school and home averages 900-1,800 a month for 1 bedrooms so I'm thinking about cost of living when looking at loans.  I'd also like to own a home one day which is impossible to save for when you have debt.  

Plus take a look at salaries where you want to end up I'd say 50% of the girls in my program had an unrealistic view of what their salary would be and how quickly they'd get to that level.  

I went to a top ten ranked program and it did not cost a lot at all...quality does not have to come with an insane price tag.  I'd just say look at tuition costs before applying.  

Good luck!

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