Paying for Grad School

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Ms Kitty Cliche
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am

Paying for Grad School

Postby Ms Kitty Cliche » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:57 am

I just got accepted into a grad school program next fall so I can pursue becoming a CPA. I'm super excited but a little bit worried about the cost.

Now, I'm pretty lucky in this - my employer offers 100% reimbursement for tuition and fees, so I'm just looking at the best way to cover the incidental costs.

Looking at what I'm going to need to do this, it comes out like this:

Transportation approx 212 per month
Will likely drive 2 days per week to work due to the clash between class schedule and train schedule. This will cost the following:
1) Parking - 12 for work, 10 for school is the cheapest option per day. This I can put aside in a flex spending account at work and pay pretax - $128 per month
2) Gas - about 3 extra gallons per week, -$36 per month.
3) Wear and tear on car - about $48 per month assuming .15 per mile

Books pprox 100 per month
1. I'm assuming $150 per class since I'm willing to buy used, borrow from the library etc whenever and wherever possible

Childcare approx $400
1. At least 10 extra hours per week, not including if I need extra for studying, paper writing etc.

That works out to $622 per month that I'm in school, or $6842 per year.
Honestly, I don't have enough disposable cash to pay that out of pocket. I could definitely come up with some, although I don't want to stop putting money in my efund and end up back on credit.

I'll defer my loans while I'm in school but still pay interest, which frees up about $100 per month, or 1200 per year. The question is, what is my best option for financing the rest? Obviously I could take out another student loan - at 6.8%. Credit is a bad option. I have no home equity. Is there some other good option I'm not considering?

And then the second question, should I take out an amount like say $ 3500 per semester, then payoff whatever I don't use on the loan at the end of the semester, or is that a bad idea? That's what I did during undergrad - I actually borrowed about 22000 but ended up paying back 8000 of that because I didn't need it (over the course of 4 years).

I'm not going to not go - I think it would be crazy to give up the paid for tuition.

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Re: Paying for Grad School

Postby peachy » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:38 am

How many classes are you taking per semester?
The reason I ask is your book costs..100 a month seems like a lot when that is a one time purchase. It's too bad your work isn't covering books because they can get pricey.

Another thing to think about or ask, is whether the teacher will let you buy the international version of the book. Sometimes the content is exactly the same, but the price is a lot better.

I wish I knew a way you could pay for your expenses out of pocket (again, this is why you need(ed) an emergency fund). I guess you're going to have to get loans.

I am currently in grad school for my MBA and I am really enjoying it. I hope you do too.

Ms Kitty Cliche
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am

Re: Paying for Grad School

Postby Ms Kitty Cliche » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:48 am

I'll be taking 2 per semester, but I'm pricing it high for books because accounting text books are generally updated each year because accounting laws change. And because international and US accounting standards differ, I'd be cautious about buying an international version for many of my classes.

I'd rather budget extra and be pleasantly surprised. I wish I could come up with out of pocket but honestly right now I have about $300 per month between truly discretionary stuff and money I'm putting in the efund, it's no where near enough.

I was just trying to think of something. There really don't seem to be any scholarships for part-time grad students.

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Re: Paying for Grad School

Postby camping » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:45 pm

In my entire (and all too lengthy) undergraduate/graduate career, I spent $150-$200 on books for one class regularly because science books are expensive like that---and of course, every textbook needs a lab book.

I will say that I did purchase an international version of an organic chemistry book once---not only was it soft cover (thankfully, because the book was huge) but it was exactly the same. You can usually find reviews ahead of time to see if they are the same or not. Pretty sure they're technically---illegal?---though. But like you said, it might not work out in your case.

I would still file for financial aid anyway and look for anything your school might offer in terms of scholarships/help. One of my schools used to have a scholarship for moms going back to school---maybe they'll have something for you. Check out the financial aid/scholarship office.

I did take out a loan once, which was mostly for living expenses. It sounds like you know you are going and if that's what you'll have to do, then so be it. I would just make sure I knew all of my loan options before I took the plunge. After the first semester, you'll at least have a better idea of how much extra money you need around.

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Re: Paying for Grad School

Postby RayinPenn » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:43 am

Went back to school almost 30 years ago and did an MBA and Then an MS in tax. Best decision I every made- opened so many doors. Do it!

Even all those years ago there was a limit on how much my employer would pay. Does your employer have limit? For me they didn't cover the entire cost so I racked up about 8 grand in debt.

Funny My wife doesnt have a degree on finance but she helped me pay it off in no time also taught me to have a healthy dislike of debt. I would say cash flow as much of the expenses as you can. A graduate degree with no attached debt is far sweeter than one with 20 grand or more waiting to be paid back.

Good luck

“If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

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