Once you have an undergraduate degree - it can be helpful for your future to get a graduate degree as well, but of course that may mean more loans and more debt. So before you jump into this plan, be sure you have your current loans organized and a plan to repay them. And of course, be sure you are getting a degree that will increase your chances of getting a good paying job!!! Check HERE for a list of good jobs and good careers to consider.
Here are other thoughts related to getting a graduate degree.
1. Start thinking about your graduate school finances early.
Before you even begin applications, you should understand what loans you already have and consider what your financial situation might look like as a graduate student. If you’re considering graduate school at the same institution you attended for undergrad, look for opportunities to get graduate credit while you’re still an undergrad. Sometimes as an undergraduate senior, your university will allow you to take graduate courses that counted toward your master’s degree. This can save you thousands in future tuition expenses.
2. Learn about the different types of federal aid for graduate students.
3. Seek funding opportunities at your particular university or graduate program.
Individual schools offer a variety of graduate funding options such as scholarships, graduate assistantships, and graduate fellowships. These are sometimes a more significant source of aid for graduate students than federal aid. When you’re trying to decide on a graduate program, make sure you compare the types of funding offered to students. Once you commit to a graduate program, proactively seek funding opportunities from your program or university.
4. Be proactive and stay on top of everything.
Story's like this can happen to you: "I enrolled in a graduate program at the same university as my undergraduate study, so I expected a smooth transition. A few weeks after I committed to my graduate program, I received a notification from the university saying I was ineligible for financial aid. After a moment of panic, I realized there was no way that this could be true. It turned out that there was confusion in the school’s computer system because I was enrolled as both an undergraduate and a graduate. The problem was easily fixed when I called my school’s financial aid office. Despite submitting my FAFSA and all other paperwork correctly and on time, I still ran into a few speed bumps." With grad school, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that everything is submitted correctly and to follow up when necessary. Being proactive can make the financial aid process go much more smoothly.
Sometimes it's better to work for a few years before going to graduate school. You can take your work experience into your classes and they might be more meaningful. There are also many opportunities for students to get their jobs to help pay for graduate school. Even if the job offers to reimburse 20% of the cost, that's real money! And it might be more. Sometimes the reimbursements are based on your grades - so be sure to confirm that in advance. And sometimes the reimbursements require you to stay at the job for a specific period of time once you graduate. If you don't like the job - then this may not be a good option. But having the work experience and the financial commitment from your employer can be a huge advantage for you.
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