Many graduate students who are looking for financial assistance may have to turn to loans as a way to help them meet some of their graduate school costs, which is a common occurrence for undergraduates as well and has been an issue that many students and educators have debated for quite some time. The cost of attending a college or university is almost impossible for the average student to meet out-of-pocket, but when financial aid resources that offer scholarships and grants do not meet the entirety of these college tuition payments, loans are seen by many to be almost unavoidable.
However, a graduate student may be in a position where college loan costs will be even more expensive and, as a result, this has prompted many to begin looking for scholarships, grants, or even fellowships that may be available to help them pay for college. Recently, as part of our nation’s debt ceiling debate and the subsequent deal that resulted, students have found that if they take out loans for graduate school the subsidy that is currently in place is set to be removed and this will no longer allow students to defer interest rate charges while they are in school.
Obviously, any type of loan is made more problematic when interest is factored in, so these young men and women who are pursuing a master’s degree or PhD may find that if loans are indeed necessary for their situation they will be meeting higher overall costs when they repay these debts since the interest rate can potentially build while they are in school and, since no payment may be able to be made, students will be facing higher charges overall.
This has had some students who were thinking of graduate school reconsider their plans but it needs to be remembered that even in graduate school financial aid options may be able to meet all of a student’s tuition and fees. Students need to remember that focusing on types of financial aid that are not only general or from an institutional scholarship program but also for a specific area of study need to be explored by students to ensure that they have the best opportunity at getting the financing that will be helpful for not only helping them pursue their degree but keep college loan debt charges to a minimum or nonexistent.
This could require some students to delay their entrance into graduate school, but if students turn to financial aid counselors, online research, or simply look for opportunities that may be available in their particular field of study to help young men and women who are pursuing a specific degree, there may be more options available in terms of free sources of college financial aid and, as is the case with undergraduates, this could help reduce the need for these college loans. However, some students may be in a position where they cannot escape the need for a student loan, but if this is the case these men and women must make sure that they do all they can to keep their borrowing to a minimum and, if possible, work to pay down this debt while they are in school.