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Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)

CN: I am trying to figure out if I want to go to grad school and take out loans or go straight into working, not necessarily in my field. I would definitely go to school if money weren't a concern.

So I am stressing out big time right now. Graduation is two months away. I applied to grad programs, but I had been thinking that even if I get in, I wasn't going to go because I am sick of school. I found out last week that I was accepted into my first choice program, which I genuinely thought I didn't have much of a chance at. Now that I am in, I am really starting to go. It's a great program, and I'm accepted now. I don't think they defer admission.

My main issue if finances. If money weren't an object, I would go, no hesitation. My FI is still struggling to find a stable, better paying career job as opposed to his current retail job. If he was making more money, I think I would be more comfortable going. I have some (manageable) loans from undergrad because my parents were able to help pay. I will have to fully finance Grad School on loans. I plan to continue to work during school.

I got my offer of financial aid this morning with the amount of loans I will have to take out, and it really hit me. I am going to talk to a financial aid person this afternoon to talk about my different options, so maybe that will help me sort it out in my head a little bit.

My other option is to just start working. My undergraduate degree is in architecture, which I don't want to do. I would be going to grad school for Urban Planning. It's tough to find a position in planning without the degree, so I would probably be finding some random work to pay the bills and save money until I go back to school. I am worried though that if I do this, I might not end up going back if I am away too long.

So I could use some advice, wise words, anything. Maybe personal experience with student loans? I am worried that having the loans will affect us too much in the long run when we want to buy a house, etc...

ETA: I have to make my decsion by April 15th. And if FI hasn't had any luck by then with the job hunt, I don't know what I will do. He wants me to go and he realizes that he has to really kick the search into high gear for it to happen, so we'll see.
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Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)

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    Could you go to grad school part time and work?  That's what I did and paid for my schooling out of my own pocket.  It just depends on how willing you are to compromise and make things work, also if your field of study will let you be a part time student.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_stressing-out-vent-kind-of?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c45d6a6f-bcf4-4fc8-8545-18c0fcc1d602Post:fd968a49-c90a-4402-8981-742b8a0f5e2b">Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Could you go to grad school part time and work?  That's what I did and paid for my schooling out of my own pocket.  It just depends on how willing you are to compromise and make things work, also if your field of study will let you be a part time student.
    Posted by motoLyn[/QUOTE]

    Yes and no. It is possible to be part time, but the curriculum for this program is not necessarily designed to be taken as part time, so I'm not sure how it would work out.
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    One thing to consider is also how difficult it can be to find employment in your field once you have been out of your field for awhile. Even if you decide to work a random job- I would urge you to try to find it in your field... like an admin assistant at an architecture firm- or the city or county.
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    doubleSS07doubleSS07 member
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    edited March 2012
    Do you think you could look in to finding out if there are jobs available gov't wise that would forgive your loans?  I'm not exactly sure but urban planning sounds like you could potentially find a local or federal type job after the fact to help with that.  I think if you can swing it the part time option might be a good idea too. 

    I skipped grad school because I didn't really feel I had a certain thing I wanted to focus on and I couldn't take on more debt so I'm not sure if I am much help :( sorry but I know you'll make the best decision for you in the end.

    Edited: for spelling..geez!


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    The other thing about part time is I would like to avoid stretching it out over many years. If I go full time, it's only a two year program. I know that that shouldn't be the top consideration though if I really do want to make it work.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_stressing-out-vent-kind-of?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special%20Topic%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:136Discussion:c45d6a6f-bcf4-4fc8-8545-18c0fcc1d602Post:548d8836-7d06-44a6-82ee-37b621ba304d">Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)</a>:
    [QUOTE]The other thing about part time is I would like to avoid stretching it out over many years. If I go full time, it's only a two year program. I know that that shouldn't be the top consideration though if I really do want to make it work.
    Posted by swhite2012[/QUOTE]

    I went to grad school for Environmental Studies, I had several classmates that were Urban Planners.  I can tell you they worked full time and went to school in the evenings.  They stayed focus and on top and finished their programs in 2 years and 2 and half.  Just letting you know it can be done, but you have to be very very diligent about staying on track.  That's also how they met their future employers because several teach professors were actually there as a add on to their regular day jobs working at planning firms.  But it depends on your school and program.  I'm just glad that my school had more flexibility.  Because there was no way I was going to take out more school loans.  I would never have been able to afford my undergrad loans on top if a mortgage payment and saving for a wedding.
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    I went straight into the work force after graduation with the intention of going back to grad school in a couple years and, while I do think that was the right decision for me at the time, going back to school is hard.  It's now been almost 5 years since I graduated and I haven't taken any concrete steps toward grad school yet. 

    So, if getting that masters degree is important to you, I would advise you to do it now and not later.

    However, you do have some time to think it over.  April 15 is over a month away.  Give yourself a week or two free from thinking about it.  Clear your head.  Make a decision when you're not feeling pressured to make a decision, if that makes sense.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_stressing-out-vent-kind-of?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c45d6a6f-bcf4-4fc8-8545-18c0fcc1d602Post:a25f740f-692a-4e49-864d-889852a7cf17">Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of) : I went to grad school for Environmental Studies, I had several classmates that were Urban Planners. <strong> I can tell you they worked full time and went to school in the evenings.</strong>  They stayed focus and on top and finished their programs in 2 years and 2 and half.  Just letting you know it can be done, but you have to be very very diligent about staying on track.  That's also how they met their future employers because several teach professors were actually there as a add on to their regular day jobs working at planning firms.  But it depends on your school and program.  I'm just glad that my school had more flexibility.  Because there was no way I was going to take out more school loans.  I would never have been able to afford my undergrad loans on top if a mortgage payment and saving for a wedding.
    Posted by motoLyn[/QUOTE]

    I wish I could do this, but looking at the class schedule it looks like classes are usually M-Th from like 9am-1pm. There is a program that I got into that is much more flexible and has evening classes, but the caliber is nowhere near that of my first choice.
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    If it were me I would try to figure out a way to work and go to grad school. Everyone in my grad. program is working and going to school.

    Out of curiosity - what program did you get into?


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    edited March 2012
    My first choice is University of Michigan. The other one I mentioned is Eastern Michigan. I also applied to University of Colorado but haven't heard back yet. Plus I think it's off the table because we can't afford a relocation in addition to Grad school.

    And yes, my goal is to continue to work during school, it just wouldn't be full time. I'd still have to take out the loans though and I don't know if part time work would be enough to make payments and pay for other necessary expenses.
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    Are there any private scholarships you could apply for with professional societies or other groups? I'm a grad student in engineering and, for example, the Society of Women Engineers gives out TONS of scholarship money
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    Married! :) 5/19/12 The Domesticals

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_not-engaged-yet_stressing-out-vent-kind-of?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:136Discussion:c45d6a6f-bcf4-4fc8-8545-18c0fcc1d602Post:630928f8-575f-42a9-b74a-c654f3f7b88e">Re: Stressing Out (Vent, kind of)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Are there any private scholarships you could apply for with professional societies or other groups? I'm a grad student in engineering and, for example, the Society of Women Engineers gives out TONS of scholarship money
    Posted by mookow86[/QUOTE]

    I'm not immediately aware of any, but I will definitely check into it.
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    I applied to grad school in senior year of undergrad wound up not going, worked for 3 year then went to grad school full time in a 13 month program. It really depends how much more in loans you would need to take out, over/under a certain amount, and do you feel comfortable with that. What are the jobs that you would consider taking now paying, are there a lot of jobs available?  Is the pay you will receive after the masters degree significantly more? If it is then it might be worth it for another 2 years to go to school and take out the loans.  My income tripled after grad school so I paid back my loans pretty quickly.  I hate having any debt of any kind though.  

    I hope this helps and I've given you some questions to think about.  You already got some good advice as well.

    Anniversary

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    Thanks everybody. I've got a lot to think about and you all have given me a lot of food for thought.
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