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NWR: Grad School Financial Aid

So I'm wondering if I can get any input from you ladies.  I know I'm anxious about financials as it is and have always been anxious about the cost of PA school (especially at a private university - EEP) and I'm sure I just need to wait for the process to work it out before I worry too much but the process moves slowly!

A little background, this will be my second Masters. I already have one and some post-grad work, so I'm no stranger to the lack of aid for graduate students.  I know the rules are different.  I've been working in my field for 8 years and have spent the last year in an administrative role making more money than I would be in direct service but still not enough to make it worth sticking it out in Mental Health/Substance Abuse.

I did my FAFSA yesterday and it's basing my aid estimate on my 2015 taxes but the trick is I won't be able to work in my program, so I will effectively have no income come the fall.  I have contacted financial aid about this but the woman for my program has been remarkably unhelpful and has essentially just repeated herself telling me that I won't get need based aid because I already have a Bachelor's Degree.

I'm working on setting up a phone conversation with her because I think wires are getting crossed in email but she isn't very receptive.  My question for you ladies is has anyone else experienced something similar?  I'm looking for additional types of aid (grants/scholarships) but so far have only found old grants that aren't opening for 2016 and grants for people who are in their second year of PA school.  I definitely intend to keep looking but if anyone out there has had an experience I can learn from I am interested.

Thanks!

Re: NWR: Grad School Financial Aid

  • atomicblondeatomicblonde The Shire
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    For short term, have you considered TA or research assistant positions?  When I was in grad school, I was on a stipend through the University, although I went a whole year before I actually saw any of that money (long story), so I spent that first year as a TA.  If I recall correctly, I was able to get the stipend because I was a graduate research assistant, so technically I worked for the University while I was pursuing my degree.  TBH, though, I don't really remember much about the stipend.  Grad school was a really horrible experience for me, and I've done my best to block it out.  Still, it can't hurt to talk to some professors and students who have been there a while and find out how they're paying for their education.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

  • Check with the department and see if there are TA/GA positions you can be considered for. In my field they were only open to PhD students, but this varies significantly by field. You will likely qualify for Grad Plus loans; they're open to grad students who aren't dependents of their parents and they estimate your need by the costs of tuition and expenses (less any scholarships or waivers your receive) not your income. You still need to fill out FAFSA every year, but as long as your are a full time student you should qualify.  
    tigerlily6
  • Check with the department and see if there are TA/GA positions you can be considered for. In my field they were only open to PhD students, but this varies significantly by field. You will likely qualify for Grad Plus loans; they're open to grad students who aren't dependents of their parents and they estimate your need by the costs of tuition and expenses (less any scholarships or waivers your receive) not your income. You still need to fill out FAFSA every year, but as long as your are a full time student you should qualify.  
    The bolded -- this is what I'm mostly living on right now. The FAFSA doesn't often list them as an option, but they are. Talk to your department first about looking for a TA/GA position (those are definitely worth getting if you're able!), but also talk to the bursar or a financial aid counselor at your program about Grad Plus loans. 
                        


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    Grad plus loans aren't based on income and you'll most likely qualify for them.  In fact, I don't think you can technically do the same types of undergrad loans as a grad student. You still have to fill out the FAFSA though.  I'm using grad plus loans right now.  Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of grants for grad school, at least, not like there were for undergrad.  


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