How to Pay for A Masters Degree: and Other Things College Forgot To Teach Me

I promised there was a post coming about loans! Get excited! Everyone keeps talking about how our generation is going to be mired in debt forever. At least we’re mired together!

 I paid for a small part of Baylor with student loans. Somehow those loans seemed to just appear. I filled out the FAFSA, typed my pin number into some magical internet box and voila Baylor was paid in full. Seriously, that was all I did. Paying for my masters has not been magical and there have been no boxes.

Once I decided I was moving to New York I knew I needed to take out a loan not only for school but also for some of my living expenses – yes I know this is a horrible idea, yes I know I’m not supposed to do that- because New York is expensive and I just paid for Baylor. I also knew I needed to get the ball rolling on the loan application since I waited until June to pick a school.

This post is about to get mildly boring.

The first day of Loan Catastrophe Twenty Twelve was filled with comparing different types of loans. To make a long story short I knew federal government loans were better in the long run but surprise my school had their own special application and no one would return my calls or emails. So I applied for a private loan with a moderate interest rate that is allowed to skyrocket as high as it’s little heart desires when the Chinese buy us.

Day 5 of Loan Catastrophe Twenty Twelve: The school still has not approved the loan so I send a nice inquiry email. I also leave for Europe in 24 hours.

Day 6 of Loan catastrophe Twenty Twelve: School emails saying federal loans are better. I email back. T- minus twelve hours until Europe.

Later in Day 6: I ask the financial aide person to please just certify my private loan since I will not have the capabilities to fill out the federal application in Europe. This confuses her and we email back and forth for a while.

Day 8: Find out my loan still has not been certified and my housing complex is angry. I send a reminder email.

Later Day 8: I get a response asking why I don’t want to fax the federal application from Europe. I scream at the computer to JUST CERTIFY THE PRIVATE LOAN ALREADY. Then type up a nice response.

Day 12 of Loan Catastrophe Twenty Twelve: My loan is finally certified and I can move into my apartment! Yay!

But it’s a short lived yay. Because I know I probably should have figured out a way to make the federal loan work. Because I’m nervous that I have a loan at all, and because I still don’t even have a Lehman email address so am I really a student there?

I probably picked the wrong loan. No one ever taught me what to look for in a loan, I barely understand how interest works.

Now I loved Baylor, and really comparatively I had amazing education. But I was required to take only one math class and it involved counting blocks into fractions. No lie. I’m horrible at math so this seemed like a blessing! Blocks I can do.

Kind of. In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you I got a C in Ideas of Mathematics (yes that’s really what it was called). I never admitted that while at Baylor because as you can imagine, the class is somewhat of a joke. But I like you guys.

After Loan Catastrophe Twenty Twelve I wish someone had taught me more about finance and less about fractions.

And that is how and why we, collective generation y (are we y or x? They should just call us GenFacebook or something) , are on a debt ship. But like I said at least if it sinks we’re together! :)

2 thoughts on “How to Pay for A Masters Degree: and Other Things College Forgot To Teach Me

  1. I actually did not take the GRE, none of the masters programs I applied to required it. But thank you. And no, I actually picked a very good loan, it just took a really long time to figure out and read all the fine print :)

  2. Oh my goodness, girl. Doesn’t the GRE have math on it? How did you manage? Anyway, I think you are very smart even if math is not your strong suit. I just hope the interest on the loan you got is not compounding monthly or anything!!

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