View Poll Results: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

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  • Lower interest rates and subsidize interest

    9 36.00%
  • Raise interest rates

    2 8.00%
  • Provide more government aid to needy students

    6 24.00%
  • Raise taxes to make all education essentially free

    5 20.00%
  • Raise tuition to generate revenue for the gov.

    0 0%
  • Decrease funding for undergrads and increase funding for grad students

    1 4.00%
  • Do nothing/other

    13 52.00%
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Thread: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

  1. #61
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    i was lucky enough to get an assistantship while obtaining my masters or i'd probably still be paying it off. or worse, my parents would have gone broke trying to help me.

    i'll admit that a big part of the reason i haven't gone back for a doctorate is that the idea of being flat broke for the next eight years and horribly in debt for twenty years after that is incredibly unappealing. the current costs of many of these programs have limited basis in reality.

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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helix View Post
    i was lucky enough to get an assistantship while obtaining my masters or i'd probably still be paying it off. or worse, my parents would have gone broke trying to help me.

    i'll admit that a big part of the reason i haven't gone back for a doctorate is that the idea of being flat broke for the next eight years and horribly in debt for twenty years after that is incredibly unappealing. the current costs of many of these programs have limited basis in reality.
    This is exactly why I am reluctant to pursue my Masters. I want to get to the highest pinnacle with a Ph.D. but I refuse to do it at the risk of being is monumental debt. What good is obtaining the degree if you spend the rest of your life paying for it?
    Libertarian and Atheist...wow I'm a hated man.

  3. #63
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by AreteCourage View Post
    This is exactly why I am reluctant to pursue my Masters. I want to get to the highest pinnacle with a Ph.D. but I refuse to do it at the risk of being is monumental debt. What good is obtaining the degree if you spend the rest of your life paying for it?
    see what kind of help you can get from the institution. at the time i got my masters, a lot of masters programs were suffering from lack of enrollment (because most just wanted to go ahead and get the PhD.) my academic record and GRE scores were good enough to get me an assistantship, which helped immensely and even gave me a small stipend.

    it was worth it in my case because when i was up against candidates with bachelors degrees, i had the extra level of education to put me at the top of the heap. if i had it to do over again, i might have more seriously considered a PhD, but maybe not. that would depend on how much it was going to cost.

  4. #64
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    When I graduate pharmacy school I will be $150,000-$200,000 in student loan debt.
    Holy crap man....I thought I had a lot of debt. (80-90k for 2 degrees at state universities) Where do you go to school?

  5. #65
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    I think the cost of both undergraduate and graduate school, is far too high. Education should be available to those who can complete the courses with high competency. There should be less reliance on ability to pay tuition. The first year of college should be covered by government funds and students who maintain a certain GPA should be handed vouchers to continue attending the college of their choice.

  6. #66
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The interest rate is 6.8% and accrues immediately (upon borrowing) with a 1% disbursement fee. Grad plus loans are put into play after a student has borrowed $31,000 through stafford and has a 7.9% interest rate accruing immediately with a 4% disbursement fee. There is no pell grant, state aid (at least in my state), or much of anything else outside of very small (and rare) outside scholarships for graduate/professional students.
    Ouch! With interest rates where they are now you're getting 6.8%? That hardly seems fair. Is your school private or public?

    You may get an opportunity to reduce that once you're out of school. I was able to consolidate my much lower debt to 2.9% - so low that it's a disincentive for paying it down (given that any extra money I might pay toward the loan will earn me greater than 2.9% return on investment, and every other loan I have or will have will likely take precedence).

    Triple-digit debt numbers are a good incentive to get that education done early and quickly, so that you may make the best of what remaining years you have to earn income. Do you have any idea as to the typical age at which a pharmacist/physician hits the break-even point?

  7. #67
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by AreteCourage View Post
    This is exactly why I am reluctant to pursue my Masters. I want to get to the highest pinnacle with a Ph.D. but I refuse to do it at the risk of being is monumental debt. What good is obtaining the degree if you spend the rest of your life paying for it?
    Many PhD programs are state subsidized and therefore place no excessive burden on students. Master's programs are often paid by the student - to anyone out there who's decided on a Master's- but think you might want to earn a PhD - you may as well start with the PhD route. If it's not for you - you can still come out with a (much cheaper) Master's. The focus will likely be more academic than applied - something to think about. Apply to as many schools as you might wish to consider - if you're accepted, many/most are likely to fly you out, put you up in a hotel room, and do their best to try to woo you. Talking to those already in the program, you'll get an idea of what the school's like and what sort of burden it will place on you financially. If I remember correctly, our tuition was paid by the state, and we earned a stipend of roughly $17k working research or teaching assistantships. Still had to pay fees, books, professional dues etc.

    I know students who were able to get through their PhD with very little or no debt - most through parental support or through internships (double bonus of being good for your career). I put myself through undergrad and graduate school and finished about $30k in debt - 8 or 10 of which carried over from undergrad. I could have made it through grad school without any loans, but decided to make things easier on myself so that I could focus on school. When I finally broke down and bought a car, I took out a low-interest student loan as quick as i could and paid it off - so if you discount the money for the car and the undergrad loans, I borrowed just $10k over the course of five years - not bad.

    I actually had fun seeing how far I could stretch myself - no car, no tv, simple foods, and in the winter... no heat (to which my cat would vigorously protest)! I actually kind of miss it at times, but that ended as soon as I moved in with my future spouse.

  8. #68
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I know students who were able to get through their PhD with very little or no debt
    It would depend on subject matter, yes? The hard sciences and math you don't pay for grad school, they pay you. But on the flip side is law and medical school which is exceedingly expensive. I on some level think we should do with that as we do with the army. Right? Join the army, we pay for your college. Well we could have it be "Join the Public Defenders, we pay for your college". Or part of it. Where they receive assistance for their education and when they are done they spend X years working for government, public attorneys for law school, public hospitals and blah for med school. They get something, we get something.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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  9. #69
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    It would depend on subject matter, yes? The hard sciences and math you don't pay for grad school, they pay you. But on the flip side is law and medical school which is exceedingly expensive. I on some level think we should do with that as we do with the army. Right? Join the army, we pay for your college. Well we could have it be "Join the Public Defenders, we pay for your college". Or part of it. Where they receive assistance for their education and when they are done they spend X years working for government, public attorneys for law school, public hospitals and blah for med school. They get something, we get something.
    Yeah sure - that's a good example of a 'Contract for your Mortal Soul' - the government provides your education at the cost of your freedom, life and health - indeed they do!
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  10. #70
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    Re: Should anything be done for graduate/professional students?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Yeah sure - that's a good example of a 'Contract for your Mortal Soul' - the government provides your education at the cost of your freedom, life and health - indeed they do!
    I don’t think it’s necessarily so dark as that. I mean people are getting an education and after 5 or so years are free to go off and do something else. It’s no different than a college loan of sorts wherein you have to pay back the money. Here it’s done via providing public service, and it’s not like they’re not paid. Of course people wouldn’t have to accept the contract, that’s one of the beauties of right to contract. People can still choose to pay themselves or if their mommy and daddy are rich enough, live off their parent’s dime. What it would do is give options to those who are qualified but unable to fund their education. Instead of being in debt for the rest of their lives, they are in debt for 5 or so years wherein they provide public service to the rest of us. It seems to me to be win/win. They come out of school without debt, we get qualified public servants.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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