Financing Graduate School

Most graduate school students are funded by loans and scholarships. The following information about student loans and scholarships will be most beneficial when it comes to financing graduate school.

Check the following terms related to your loan:

  1. Cost of the guarantee fee-(insurance against your default)
  2. Cost of the origination fee-“Administrative Fee”
  3. Rate/time frame for loan capitalization
  4. Fixed vs. non-fixed interest rates
  5. Time frame for first payment/guidelines- Can increased principal be paid monthly?
  6. Possible interest rate deduction if set-up for direct payment?
  7. Payment required on a monthly basis?

Here are a couple of websites that talk in detail about aid for financing graduate school:

***Key Point***Experts recommend 8-15% of projected income should not be exceeded when borrowing for school.

Perkins Loans

May be unavailable at some schools for graduate school.

Stafford Loans

Subsidized vs. unsubsidized. If exceptional need cannot be proven then a graduate student may be eligible only for the unsubsidized Stafford loans. Consequently, the student would have to cover the interest accruing on the loan once the loan is distributed.

Loans for Medical School

AAMC MedLoans- Alternative Loan Program

MedSHARE-Nellie Mae

Medical Access Loans- Access Group

Loans for Business School

MBASHARE-New England Loan Marketing Association-Nellie Mae

M.B.A. Loans/Tuition Loan Plan

Business Access Loan Program-Access Group

Loans for Law School

LawLoans-Bar Study Loan, Law Student Loan, Federal Stafford Loans

Law Access Loan-Access Group

Law SHARE-Nellie Mae

Private Student Loans

Signature Student Loan- Sallie Mae

Graduate Access Loan-Access Group

EXCEL Loan-Nellie Mae-cosigner required

CollegeReserve Loan-USA Group

American Express Alternative Loan- American Express/California Higher Education Loan Authority

Financial Key Points

  • Separate yourself from your parent’s assets to qualify for more financial aid
  • Have limited funds in your checking and savings account at the time of your application
  • Have your parents transfer their money away from their checking and savings accounts
  • Don’t be claimed on your parents income tax forms prior to application for at least a year
  • If a parent is going to sell an investment to support graduate school, they should sell during the junior year of undergraduate prior to January due to capital gain taxes
  • Parent’s should contribute more money into home equity, because this is not under consideration when calculating financial aid in most cases
  • Financing graduate school can take a lot of ingenuity and some sacrifice, but it's worth it.

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Last Updated: 05/25/2014