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Private Loans - Dilemma

Mmarshall876Mmarshall876 3 replies2 discussions Forum Champion
Hello Everyone,

I plan to attend a private college upstate NY for the dietetics coordinated program, but unsure how I can fulfill the financial aspect. For starters, the program is a BS/MS program (Total cost about $33,000), however since I already have my bachelors degree, I will pursuing my MS. I lacked one class for entrance as a MS students, so the school has my status as an undergrad until I complete it. In the meantime, I only received $12,500 in stafford loans. I attended a city college in NYC and racked up $12,900 in loans and maxed out my State grants. This school has awarded me about $6550 in scholarships and grants and fed. work study ($1500) but there is still an $11,500 gap. My mother cannot directly finance my education but has agreed to cover my books, transportation and spending costs. PLUS loans are not an option as my mother has already done this before for me ($2500). Fafsa states that because I already have a degree, I don't qualify for increased loans as an undergrad. I'm thinking once the school updates my status to graduate, I could possible increase my loans to $20,000, but I'm not sure. In the meantime, I have applied for numerous scholarships and plan to find a job once I'm settled into the new school. Additionally, Since the school is upstate, I will be quitting my job, however I have managed to save quite a bit over the years and hope to use that money towards necessary living expenses, I'd pay the $500 out in payments)? if so, who could you recommend, based on service and rates? any help would be more than appreciated, thank you!
9 replies
Post edited by Mmarshall876 on
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Replies to: Private Loans - Dilemma

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    My son's SO was accepted to a master's program but lacked two UG courses that she had to take before formally entering the program. She did them on a part time basis, deferring admittance to the program for a year. She starts the masters in the fall, now that she has satisfied the pre reqs. Can you do that? Talk to the the program director and see if you can take the course needed somewhere cheaper, maybe this summer? That way you can start out as a graduate student and borrow for the program as such.
    edited May 2013
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator 47 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    If you lack one class for entrance as a MS student. Have you considered just taking the class in the city over the summer at CUNY and paying out of pocket (especially since you are working)? Bite the bullet and get this class out of the way so you can start the fall as a grad student. Brooklyn, Queens, Hunter and Lehman all offer nutrition courses. See who offers the course that you need, take the course over the summer (summer session starts next month). Bite the bullet and pay out of pocket or like CPt said, defer your admission until next year, work, pay for the course out of pocket and take it before you start grad school.

    As a grad student, you will be considered independent and should be able to borrow the entire cost of attendance as a grad plus loan.
    edited May 2013
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  • Mmarshall876Mmarshall876 3 replies2 discussions Forum Champion
    Sorry the post was done in a rush. It should say...

    ....Additionally, Since the school is upstate, I will be quitting my job, however I have managed to save quite a bit over the years and hope to use that money towards necessary expenses (food, clothing, phone etc.). In the meantime, I have applied for numerous scholarships and plan to find a job once I'm settled into the new school. My question is would it be a good idea to take out a private loan for the $11,000 (I'd pay the $500 out in payments)? if so, who could you recommend, based on service and rates? I’ve also considered taking out a loan towards my 401k but have X’d it out completely due to the ramifications of such a loan. any help would be more than appreciated, thank you!


    My reply:
    Thank you for your insights. I have thought of both of those ideas, however, I’d rather take it there for a few reasons: They are allowing me to take the class along with courses needed toward the graduate degree, Also it is a Biochemistry course which can be strenuous to cram into one summer course (been there done that with organic chem). It would also cost quite a bit to take that course since I am a non-degree student, which according to CUNY, it will be double the price per credit with no financial aid. Although I work, my check does not stretch that far to pay upfront for a $3000 class with no payment plan. My ultimate reason for pursuing the degree here is that they offer the coursework and internship together. If I stay in the city, I will have to pay twice, once for coursework, then find an internship on my own and pay again. Seems like I’m at a road block and I’m leaning more towards just taking the loan out because I honestly feel like it’s a great opportunity despite the circumstances. I was unaware you could take out a PLUS loan for grad education, I thought PLUS loans were limited over a lifetime, so that gives me a greater outlook for next semester. Thank you both for the info, I REALLY appreciate it! :)
    edited May 2013
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator 47 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    I don't understand why you would want to take on this expense of moving upstate and taking the course when you can take the degree at CUNY for a fraction of the cost up state (I have a friend who is working a full time job and finishing her nutrition degree at Hunter at night

    It absolutely would not be a good idea to take out an 11k private loan. Just left my class where we are reviewing financial aid and how crippling debt can be in the life of a young person. My original advice still stands; you should keep your job, find a more affordable school and go at night. I am pretty certain that there are down state programs (Hunter, Stony Brook, NYU, Columbia, Cornell med) that are better programs than the one that you are pursuing upstate.
    edited May 2013
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    I agree. Yes, it would be more ideal to do it the way you want to do so, but you can't afford it. And it's highly unlikely to pay off in the end. My SIL is in your field, and it's not exactly one that guarantees employment, much less a lot of money.

    Sometimes getting into a CUNY/SUNY, any public school program is very difficult, Sybbie. My son's SO was turned down everywhere for the state programs 2 years in a row. She finally got into a private program (not in this field) for the fall, and will be paying top dollar for her master's but it should pay off. But she took a gap year to take the two prereq courses part time while she worked full time. Now she'll be working part time and going to school full time for the master's program.
    edited May 2013
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  • Mmarshall876Mmarshall876 3 replies2 discussions Forum Champion
    If CUNY could offer what this school could then I would gladly take it in a heartbeat, but just as CPTofthehouse stated, CUNY is public and much more competitive. In NY state, there are only two schools which offer a coordinated dietetics program and I'm happy to be accepted into one. It would be great to stay where I am, but with all of my personal circumstances and the future outlook, I just cannot. I will try my best to find a way but I do appreciate both of your insights, this has been extremely helpful and a major wake up call.
    edited May 2013
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    But really, Mmarshall, if you can take that one course and go whole hog as a grad student at the private, it could save you a lot of money. It looks like you can't afford to go the route you want to go. You can see if you can get someone to cosign a loans with you through Sallie Mae, but you are really piling on those loans.

    I have kids who are not making much money after college, and if they had loans on their plates, it would truly be an even tougher life for them. It's not easy making the money needed to live on one's own here in NY, and to throw loans in the mix is deadly. My DS's SO is doing this because she would get an immediate $10K upgrade at her current position with her master's and she is getting some tuition assistance in doing this, but she and DS will be living on ramen noodles and having no extra money for the next three years which is what it will probably take unless she really goes into overdrive for it. But she is not borrowing either. Iwish to god she had gotten into a public program in either of two states, but she did not, but at least she is paying as she goes. It' taking double to the time for her to do this as a result but better than being in debt for years thereafter. She's has to practice austerity now in order to get the full payback later.
    edited May 2013
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  • Mmarshall876Mmarshall876 3 replies2 discussions Forum Champion
    @cptofthehouse my career focus would be in Community Nutrition which might hold possibilities to get through loan payments, granted I find employment immediatly which the school has a good record of helping with. This is also a public health position, so I'm hoping to reap some govt. benefits as well. Coupling that with a move further down south to where my mother will be retiring, i'm hoping for a lower cost of living as well. You bring up a good point though, I would hate to survive on ramen lol. I'm going to contact the school and try and renegotiate my package, if that does'nt work, I will reconsider taking the course and reapplying. thanks.
    edited May 2013
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 252 replies0 discussions Junior Member
    Good luck. My older kids and their friends are all struggling terribly in trying to find jobs that pay enough so that they can live comfortably. My one son has moved to the midwest where costs do stretch his pay more. Upstate NY is not bad either in terms of housing costs, but jobs are a big problem. Mine have always worked but finding anything that pays more that $15/ hr seems to be the problem for them. My son's SO is in a field where finding work is pretty easy but climbing the pay ladder is the issue, and for her, a master's is essential. But there is high demand for her work. They don't need that many dieticians in a place and really with nutrition, holistic diets all becoming hot topics of interest, there are a lot of people going into the field. My SIL is does personal counseling with high income, high profile folks in nutrition, plus works for a major gym, getting referrals from there, but she doesn't make a whole lot. Not a whole lot of demand, and her name is out there, and she couldn't cover what it cost per year for her to get the degree (NYU) with what she makes. Sobering.
    edited May 2013
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