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Deciding to Attend
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Paying for School
Financing Grad School
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Graduate School is just the beginning

Financing Grad School

Financing graduate school can be tough. Here's some more information to help you find the loans and fellowships that will allow you to go through graduate school without going broke.

Search the Internet and college web sites for these loan-related terms:

Guarantee fee (the insurance you need in case you default)
Origination fee (an administrative fee)
Rate/time frame for loan capitalization
Fixed and non-fixed interest rates
Time frame for first payment (Can you pay off your principal on a monthly basis?)
Required monthly payment
Interest rate deduction for direct payment

Experts recommend that you don't exceed payments of 8 to 15 percent of your projected income when borrowing money for school.

Perkins Loan

These may not be available at all universities.

Stafford Loans

Unless exceptional financial need can be established, only unsubsidized loans may be available to graduate students. In practice this means that interest will begin accruing immediately rather than after graduation.

Business School Loans

MBASHARE-New England Loan Marketing Association-Nellie Mae

MBA Loans-Tuition Loan Plan

Medical School Loans

AAMC MedLoans-Alternative Loan Program

Medical Access Loans-Access Group

MedSHARE-Nellie Mae

Private Student Loans

Financing Grad School

Signature Student Loan-Sallie Mae

Graduate Access Loan-Access Group

EXCEL Loan-Nellie Mae (requires co-signer)

College Reserve Loan-USA Group

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

Financial Key Points

Because some forms of financial aid require you to demonstrate financial need, it's important that you or your parents not appear to be any wealthier than you actually are. Here are some tips for demonstrating need:

Have as little money in your bank accounts as possible when making an application for aid.

Be sure to separate yourself from any assets that your parents hold before applying for financial aid.

Ask your parents not to declare you as a dependent on their tax returns for at least a year before applying for aid.

Are your parents selling off any investments to help you pay for graduate school? Timing is important here. For capital gains taxes, they should do so during your junior year as an undergraduate.

Your parents can continue putting money into their home equity. This will generally not affect your financial aid status.

Last Updated: 05/25/2014