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Any alternatives to student and private loans?


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I am looking to go back to school this upcoming year and have been looking at my options to pay for school. I really should have thought about this prior to obtaining my undergraduate degree and was curious if anyone had experience in this area? My parents funded my first undergraduate degree, and as for my second I had to take out loans on my own. I was wondering what are my options in terms of graduate study? How can I pay for school? I do not want to have more debt that just accumulates interest in the future. Anyone have any thoughts in this area?

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Generally, the rule is that you should plan to only accept a funded offer (i.e., tuition is covered and a stipend is included). These are pretty much expected when there is a good match between the candidate and the program, so if you're right for a program, you will get funding. This may or may not be enough to cover most living expenses, but either way it will help you financially. You might be paid for working as a TA or instructor as well, but other jobs (outside of the university) are generally not allowed, and you wouldn't have time for them anyway. You'll need to fill any gaps with loans or savings.

If money is going to be tight, consider working for a couple of years first. You can also see about getting your existing loans deferred when you return to school.

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