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How much do we need to save for grad school?

shoboemomshoboemom Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
OK, now that I have a FAIRLY good understanding of what we THINK we will may need to come up with for an UG degree (I know, we won't really know...until we KNOW. lol)...How much do we need to save for grad school? My guess is that D will want a masters (She's going to have to be on her own for a Phd if she wants to do that). How do I get started in planning for the grad school possibility?
Post edited by shoboemom on

Replies to: How much do we need to save for grad school?

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,134Registered User Senior Member
    Well...first you have to decide IF your family is going to help fund grad school. That can be a pricey and lengthy timeline depending on the type of grad school you are talking about.

    Here is the thing to remember...MOST grad school financial aid money is need based and is based on the applicant strength of application and the school's desire to have the student in the grad school cohort. Grad aid comes in the form of assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, sometimes work study, and loans.

    If you want to "plan" on funding master's study...I would say allocate $100,000...which would likely cover two years of tuition/room/board/fees for grad study if you have to pay in full. Your daughter will be able to take loans in her name.

    HOWEVER, many would strongly suggest some other possibilities.

    1. Some students go straight to PhD programs and they look for grad school full funding. This is more available in some fields than in others.

    What does your daughter "think" she will major in (this could very well change while in undergrad school).

    2. Some kids actually get their undergrad degrees and then get jobs. Some jobs actually help pay for college grad study for their employees.

    3. Some kids get jobs, work and go to school part time in the evenings to complete grad studies...and the kid pays out of their current income.
  • momof3greatgirlsmomof3greatgirls Posts: 816Registered User Member
    I am not saving a dime for grad school. I feel my obligation will end with undergrad. I still believe employers will pay for their employees to go to grad school. Everyone that I know that got a grad degree got it paid for by their employer.

    I am sure their will be times where I will be forking over money for the day to day stuff for dd while she is in grad school. Even if she had to do it on her dime, she can take several extra years to get it done while she works.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,134Registered User Senior Member
    I still believe employers will pay for their employees to go to grad school. Everyone that I know that got a grad degree got it paid for by their employer.

    Most employers now do not pay in FULL for grad school. They do, however, pay a portion of the costs. I have two grad degrees, and my employer paid only about 25% of my costs of attending grad school. My husband's employer reimburses based on your class grade...75% reimbursement for an A, 50% for a B...nothing for any grade lower than a B.

    I don't know a soul whose employer pays the FULL costs any longer.

    HOWEVER, having even some %age of the costs covered is a HUGE help.

    We also did not agree to fund grad school...but helped out as needed.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    thumper, I think you meant to say that most grad school aid is merit-based.
  • momof3greatgirlsmomof3greatgirls Posts: 816Registered User Member
    Thumper you are more likely correct about what most employers are doing now. Dh got 100% except fees and books but that was like 8 years ago. Still most good companies will contribute something if they want you to go to school.

    I would also say you need to save about 100k for a masters and maybe 200k for a phd. Of course this depends on the kid and the major. How much the student is working and what offers they get to attend grad school.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,134Registered User Senior Member
    MOST grad school financial aid money is need based and is based on the applicant strength of application and the school's desire to have the student in the grad school cohort.

    OOPS...too late to edit (thank you Polarscribe for catching this).

    Most grad school financial aid is MERIT BASED and is based on the strength of your application and the schools' desire to have you in the cohort.
  • WaverlyWaverly Posts: 2,669Registered User Senior Member
    Any PhD program that isn't funded isn't worth attending.
  • kmrcollegekmrcollege Posts: 97Registered User Junior Member
    >> Any PhD program that isn't funded isn't worth attending.

    I second the statement above. In the physical sciences if a grad program isn't providing the funding you should probably start looking at your alternatives.
  • laticheverlatichever Posts: 1,070Registered User Senior Member
    At a large university, which relies on grad students for both teaching and research assistance, you can get paid even in the humanities. You will not necessarily receive this payment in the form of an honorific scholarship or fellowship.

    In any research laden field they need the grad students to do the grunt work. Plus you get the additional compensation of finding dissertation material. We used to joke about Chicago as being a plantation with us grad students being the field hands.

    In professional schools, there is little aid. You budding lawyers and doctors are, in part, funding not only your school but the rest of the uni. Then you have to make a calculating decision. Medical school--even though compensation in some fields is merely treading water--will still pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time--although there is an oversupply of dermatologists relative to primary care physicians because of pay. As for law school, if you are going to an elite, and plan to work 60-80 hours a week at a top law firm, and not go into public service or legal aid you'll be fine. My wife is an attorney and wonders how grads of decent but not elite schools will ever be able to buy a home when they're already carrying mortgage size debt and may expect to be earning $100k to $150k maybe five to ten years after passing the bar. It's tough just to find a job as older, baby boomer lawyers are not in any hurry to retire.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,278Registered User Senior Member
    There are many masters degrees which also offer tuition remission and teaching stipends, some fully funded, some partially funded. You would usually not see that for a 'vocational' degree- MD, MBA, JD, PT, OT, ST, etc, but those people are presumed to have the earning potential to repay their loans.

    You might consider saving the money, but have your DD pay for her own graduate degrees through loans, let her make her own financial decisions, then surprise her by paying off the loans after graduation.
  • DougBetsyDougBetsy Posts: 5,828Registered User Senior Member
    We plan to help our kid(s) pay off grad school loans rather than front the money for an advanced degree. If they don't finish grad school, THEY pay the loans.
  • juilletjuillet Posts: 5,919Super Moderator Senior Member
    I would say for a master's, you might want to save at least $120,000, and that's in 2012 dollars. The tuition at my private university is $40,000 for the year, and then living expenses are about $20,000 (and that's a 9-month estimate, although you can insist she get a job to supplement).

    If they're planning business school, you can add more, since business school tuition is higher here - the total CoA for a business school student at our university's top 10 business school is $88,000. So that's $176,000.

    you can get paid even in the humanities. You will not necessarily receive this payment in the form of an honorific scholarship or fellowship.

    This kind of work is rare for MA students. It usually goes to the PhD students.
  • megmnomegmno Posts: 415Registered User Member
    I agree with momof3greatgirls. I've told both my kids that they will be paying for their own grad degrees if they go to law or med school, and otherwise they should look into fully funded programs.

    The younger one (HS freshman) has said she might want to go to one of the SUNYs for undergrad to keep her options open financially.
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