Preparing for Graduate School
Order the "How to Afford Graduate School"
brochure from ASA.
Organize any prior educational debt:
Know the lenders and servicers of all your student
loans, and review the terms of those loans. Make sure all lenders
and servicers have up-to-date address information.
Consider loan consolidation or lump sum pre-payment
on existing student loans.
Request student loan deferment paperwork from all
lenders/servicers. Once matriculated, deferment requests should
be submitted to your graduate school for processing.
If you are having difficulty paying your student
loans, request forbearance from your lender or servicer to keep
you from defaulting.
Maintain good credit and communication with all
lenders and servicers.
If currently in default, a minimum of six months
is necessary before future eligibility can be restored.
Did you know that you might need to borrow a "credit-based"
student loan to help finance your graduate or professional degree?
Many students find that with even grants, work-study and federal
loans they still need to borrow credit-based loans to help finance
their education. What does it mean to borrow a credit-based loan?
This can vary from lender to lender, but it generally means that
a student must demonstrate that they have good credit or, in some
instances, borrow the loan with a creditworthy co-borrower.
It is important to start thinking about your credit
now, prior to enrolling in school. The first thing you should
do is request a copy of your credit report from each of the three
major credit reporting agencies (it is recommended that you do
Trans Union www.transunion.com 800.916.8800
Experian www.exparian.com 888.397.3742
Equifax www.equifax.com 800.270.3435
In the event you find erroneous information on your
report, you will need time to correct the information prior to
applying for the credit-based loan. Also, receiving your credit
report will give a you a strong sense of how many times your Visa
bill is late….or your car loan is late! By reviewing your
credit report early you may have time to establish the good credit
you will need to qualify for a credit-based loan.
Now that you have reviewed your credit report, it
may be a good time to pay off some of those outstanding debts
and prepare yourself for living on a much tighter budget! Take
time to consider what you can do without! Do you really need those
nice dinners that you have been charging or that CD player you
just bought? Being able to pay off as much debt now, and to save
as much money now, will make your life much easier when you return
Consider the essentials when creating a budget for
Expenses: (include figures for the entire academic
Tuition & Fees __________
Books & Supplies __________
Rent __________ (remember that you may be moving
to a new area)
Utilities __________ (electric, oil, water, telephone,
Food __________ (groceries)
Transportation __________ (car payment, repairs,
Insurance __________ (auto, home, life, medical,
Misc. Loan Payments __________ (consumer, student)
Dependent Care Expenses __________
Clothing __________ (will you need to buy seasonal
Recreation __________ (movies/entertainment)
Other Misc. Expenses __________ (job search)
Total Expense __________
Be sure to contact the Financial Aid Office at your
prospective school early to request the appropriate financial
aid application material.
Federal Stafford/Direct Loan __________ (subsidized
Federal Perkins Loan __________
Federal Work Study __________
Assistance from family __________
Total Financial Aid /Assistance
If you find you have a gap between your total expenses
and your total financial aid/assistance (total expenses minus
total financial aid/assistance), you may need to consider a credit-based
loan. You are encouraged to contact your financial aid office
to discuss the different credit-based loans they offer. Again,
plan ahead and apply for your credit-based loan early.
Do the following to have your credit and budget
in order prior to enrolling in school:
- Request your credit report, review and established
good credit if need be.
- Pay off as much debt as possible and save as
much as possible.
- Establish a realistic budget.
- Contact the financial aid office to request the
appropriate application material.
- Determine if you will need to apply for
a credit-based loan.