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For those of you who made it through graduate school in the USA, how on earth did you pay for it???

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The military will not take me, due to medical conditions I've already tried to enlist.

So I've been looking at the in state rate for a pharm D program in my state at a public university. Total cost of attendance for the 4 year graduate program is $158,422.00 of that tuition is $73,000.00



I cannot get enough federal loans, scholarships (looked at a few I could surely get from major retail pharmacy chains), grants, work/study etc to even come close to covering this, so how the heck is everyone else affording graduate school?

Please only answer if you actually made it through graduate school.

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I had a partial tuition waver and a work-study position (20 hours a week, very low amount of money per hour). I only lasted a semester before I transfered all my credits back home to Australia and finished my Masters here. I couldn't deal with the finances, especially since I had to take out normal bank loans in Australia to pay (no hiatus on payments until the program is over, literally had to pay back the degree while I was still studying it), because our student loan schemes are only for domestic unis. :(

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For a PharmD, can't you get loans similar to what med students take out?

In my case (still in school), I applied for all the major fellowships and won one, guaranteeing me three years' support. If I had not won it, I had two funding offers from other schools to do a PhD there, and in retrospect it was a good thing I didn't go to those schools since I've realized a PhD is not for me. Granted, not the same situation, but that's all I've got: apply to everything under the sun, hope something works out.

If that doesn't happen, then I guess postpone graduate school until you've worked for a few years, saving everything you can.

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  • 2 months later...

I had a teaching assistantship and research assistantship, which provided tuition waivers and a small stipend.

I know not all programs provide this possibility, especially ones where they assume that you will score a high-paying job immediately (med school, pharmacy school, etc.).

I would seriously re-think going to school if the amount of debt is overwhelming to you. It's truly an indentured servitude, and one that causes people great pain and hardship. Grad school does not ensure a decent job or decent wage (although I know nothing about pharmacy school), so my general advice to people is to think long and hard about the potential effects of a decade of indebtedness will have on your life goals before going back to school.

Sorry to be a bummer.

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Whether it's worth it or not depends on whether the debt you take on is reasonable for the salary you will earn after graduation.

For me, I'm in a M.S. program now that gave me a stipend and a partial tuition waiver (only needed to pay 1/2 instate tuition vs out-of-state) my first year, then a stipend and full tuition waiver for my second year. I owed just 10 hours a week as a research assistant. I did have to take some loans to fully cover my living expenses though. For the M.A. that I expect to start this fall, I've been offered a full tuition waiver and a nice stipend, amount dependent on whether or not I win the fellowship they nominated me for, and likely funding for continuation towards the PhD. I wouldn't go to grad school with out that kind of financial support, because even the little loans I took out in undergrad and for my post-bac year add up, and I want to avoid any more debt. Especially in the field I'm in, there's no way I'm going to pay out-of-pocket for the degree; the funding is what is making it happen.

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