Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wish I Knew Wednesday

"I wish I would have gone to state school for undergrad to save up for a really good Master's program. I got a really good undergrad education but it was insanely expensive and I really wish I had put that kind of money into a Master's instead."
Amanda R., 23, Abington, Massachusetts

So this is a tricky one, every student is different, every person's financial aid package is different, and everyone's goals are different. For example, I got a better financial aid package at my private college than I would have gotten at a state university because of my merit scholarship. However, most students would get a better "end number" at a state college because their financial aid would most likely stay the same, while the cost significantly decreases. Nonetheless, each student and each university is different, so it is important to compare the "end cost" of each institution.

One suggestion that this statement brings to mind is that you need to look at the bigger picture of what you want to do in the long run. If you want to become a teacher, doctor, lawyer, psychologist, dietitian, or many other careers, you're going to need a Master's degree or higher (M.D. for doctor and J.D. for lawyer). Because of this, you should plan in terms of finances for the next six to eight years as well. The thing about graduate programs is that they rarely offer scholarship opportunities that cover a great portion of your tuition and fees. Because of that, the primary way of paying for these programs is through federal and private loans. These loans can become a huge ring-up after six straight years of schooling and interest accruing. 

Because of all of these factors, it is necessary to look at the big picture of everything: which university are you going to get the education you want, the extra-curricular opportunities you want, the professional contacts you want, and the finances you want. You should ask yourself if you are decreasing the quality of your experience by attending a "less expensive option." 

Ultimately you need to find the institution that fits all of your short-term and long-term needs!

enjoy the chase,

P.S. Check us out on Twitter at @Chasing_College and feel free to add comments below with what you'd like to see in the future on the blog!

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