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MASTERS--do you work?


rllnyc
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Masters students out there--do you work while you attend school? Do you have a part time job? Full time job? Attend school full or part time? Do you have any loans taken out to help with living expenses? 

 

My program requires students to attend full time so I don't know how I'm going to keep my job/get a new one/support myself. Major dilemma and I'm really freaked out.

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I'll be starting my MA in English this upcoming fall and I do plan on working part time once classes start. I'm going to work like hell full-time until August and try to save up as much money as I can but inevitably, some of my student loans are going to go to living expenses. I've been really stressed about doing this too but since I'll be taking 9 hours of courses and am looking at thousands of pages worth of reading a week, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to work any more than 20 hours per week. I work at Panera though so they're pretty flexible with hours and scheduling.

 

I would definitely recommend saving as much as you can now and trying to work at least a little bit while in your program to offset some of those living expenses. Are you getting in-state or out-of-state tuition? I'll be getting in-state so I'm looking at about 7K a year in tuition in fees, and I'm thinking I'll need at least about 5K in addition to that for extra living expenses and whatnot. It really kills me that I'm going to be taking out (almost) the equivalent amount for living expenses as tuition itself. Maybe I'm crazy and making a bad decision. I just don't know how else to make it work.

 

I'm really curious what other people think about this situation too.

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Personally, my husband is employed full-time so we bill share which certainly helps.  That being said, one of the best ways to pay your way through school (in my opinion) is to land TA and/or RA positions in your department.  I know at my school and in my department these are very lucrative and equal out (after taxes) to be about $6000 a term.  This helps hugely in paying tuition and other expenses.  There are also similar paying positions that are other jobs on campus, and they're designed for grad students.. so look around and see what kind of paying opportunities your school/program has.

 

Other students in the same program as me have taken out loans to make up the difference between their earnings and bills, while still others work a few part time jobs.

 

Also, I've obtained a scholarship for my second year, which helped out even more.  While some of the major awards have passed (OGS and SSHRC) you still may be able to apply to some awards.

 

Not sure this is helpful, but just a bit of information about what I've done!

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my plan is to work part-time and be a student full-time my first 2 or 3 semesters, then be a student part-time and work full-time (or close to it) in my last semester or 2. it's extremely daunting, but my loans and rent aren't going to pay themselves off... if anything, i'm hoping it will make me a great time manager, although i'll have to trade many hours of sleep and sanity for that.

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I'm planning on working as many hours as I can during the summer to get as much of a cushion as possible, but I'll be working part-time during the semester as well. The problem is finding a job in a new city, since I'm moving several states away. I'm planning on about 25 hours a week, but we'll have to see how it goes. I'll definitely be on the lookout for TA/RA positions for next year!

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Part of my funding required me to do TA work, but in addition I hold a pt position, working one or two shifts a week at a cafe to be able to afford groceries and stay out of debt. Thankfully my PhD funding is enough that I will get to quite that job at the end of the summer :) It's really hard to juggle everything, although for me it's better than the alternative.

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I worked full time (40-50 hr/week) as a director of Public Relations and went to school full time when I got my Masters...all of the classes were in the afternoon/evening.  My boss was understanding as he was pursuing a PhD.  I used vacation days before big exams and was at school every day after work and most weekends. 

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