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feelix feelix (New Member)

Paying for PhD

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So I signed up for my PhD semester part-time and found out I don't qualify for financial aid. As a working professional, I cannot go full-time, can't afford to pay for college as I have tons of responsibility. Grant money won't start coming in till I am ready for research. Loans are a No No. So what other options do I have?

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I was a 36 year old working professional when I started my PhD program.

1. I lived frugally and saved up some money ahead of time to pay for my first year before I enrolled. I didn't buy a home, have nice furniture, an expensive care, take vacations, or anything like that (I didn't have kids.)

2. I quit my job and became a full time student so that I would qualify for a research assistant position (paid full tuition + a small living stipend)

3. I worked hard, got good grades and got a small scholarship that helped

4. I took out student loans

You might also consider finding a new employer that would offer some tuition reimbursement.

It's not easy -- and you probably won't be able to go to school without making some financial sacrifices in your personal life. But it can be done by piecing together the many sources of assistance out there. I continued to live frugally for a few years after graduating and paid off my loans in 3 years. So I was ready to "start fresh" financially at the age of 43. Now, 20 years later, I have sufficient savings to retire comfortably whenever I feel like it.

It can be done.

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