OK, so tell me about financial aid for grad school.

As I mentioned in another thread, I eventually want to get to Korea to teach English. I’m also making plans to attend grad school next semester, especially since I’ve gotten an idea of just how long the paperwork to get to Korea takes.

I’ve gotten loans from Sallie Mae before when attending grad school for my MLIS, and I was wondering if it’s still possible to get loans or other financial aid. I’ve heard different things about how easy/hard it is to get them, but I don’t know the absolute skinny, and my lack of knowledge about the financial world is such that the business news might as well be written in hieroglyphics.

Can anyone shed light on this? FTR, My plan is to get in one full-time semester in grad school for my masters in education, go to Korea for a year to earn money, and then go back to school and complete it. From the standpoint of FA, how realistic is this? Are loans for school still being granted, or is this a false hope?

Many thanks for your answers.

Stafford loans are doing exactly as they’ve always done. You fill out the FAFSA, see what you get. My Stafford loans come from several carriers (incl Citibank, wheee!) but there hasn’t been any trouble getting the $$ I qualify for, nor have the terms of qualification changed.

Are you looking at a school where Staffords will cover the tuition? If so, as long as you come in under the lifetime limit of $138,500, you’ll be fine. Staffords are all but an entitlement, especially at schools with direct lending progras.

  1. There is often funding available from or through your department or university. Do not be shy about asking the faculty about this.

  2. The faculty probably went to grad school in another era and may be from a different social class; they probably do not understand what it means to be poor. Do not be shy about asking the faculty about money.

  3. Grad school can be much longer than undergrad; don’t worry about taking a year off to work in the middle, it won’t kill your academic career.

–Dr. Drake, who did not take the above advice and has horrific students loans.

If your school has the option, apply for finical aid through them. Follow their instructions.

If they don’t then fill out a FAFSA and then apply for Stafford loans. Then check if your state offers any assistance.

Take out as little as possible.