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Should I take out student loans for a prospective environmental engineering major?

littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
I'm currently a college sophomore and recently got accepted for transfer to a public in-state university SUNY Buffalo. I've been going to a CUNY school and commuting. If I accept the offer, I'm planning on majoring in environmental engineering.

I don't get much financial aid, so I will take loans if I end up going, but I'm worried about the debt and paying it off later on. I will most likely have to stay four years instead of two because I don't have enough pre-requisites so I will have to pay four years of tuition costs.

I don't know what will happen in the future and what if the work becomes too hard or too much for me to handle?
What if the work becomes too hard and I have no choice but to switch majors?

I'm not the BEST academically gifted student but definitely not the worst either.
I consider myself an average student, but I believe that if I really work hard at it, I can do it.

Generally estimating, I'd probably take out $30,000-40,000 for my entire four years.


Would taking out the student loans be a good investment for me?? I need some financial advice! ( Most of my friends who actually attend SUNY Buffalo don't even have to take out student loans -_- )
Post edited by littleicefish on

Replies to: Should I take out student loans for a prospective environmental engineering major?

  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Posts: 1,838Registered User Senior Member
    How much have you taken in Stafford loan already?

    You can't take $30,000 - $40,000 in loans on your own. Jr & Sr students can only take $7,500 per year. To get loans above that would either require your parents to get Plus loans and/or you to get private loans. Private loans will require a co-signer would would have to agree to pay your debt if you default. If your parents are turned down for Plus you can get a slightly bigger Stafford loan but it is only a couple thousand.

    If you need that amount of loans to go you can't afford the school.
  • littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    I haven't even accepted the offer yet since I wanted to get more info about how the loans work before I decide to put in the tuition deposit.

    I was planning on having my parents pay the tuition costs and I would take out loans for everything else such as university fees, housing costs and textbooks. Is this feasible?


    But as you can probably tell, I don't know much about how student loans work so I've been very confused and I don't want to accept the offer without knowing everything I need to know about the loans.
  • littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    Oh and would I be considered a first year student or a third year student?? I don't have the engineering prereq's yet so I'd probably have to start fresh with the first year classes... so in terms of the loan limits, do I count as a first year or third year?
  • Iron MaidenIron Maiden Posts: 1,838Registered User Senior Member
    Did you take out loans already? If so how much, when, and what type?

    $40,000 in loans is $464 per month for 10 years. That's roughly $8,500 per year before tax. Way too much. You are not allowed to take that much anyway.
  • littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    Oh, I haven't taken out any loans yet. Tuition is $3994. I am probably going to do off-campus housing and rent with some friends so I estimated $500 a month for 9 months since 9 months is an academic year according to UB. So the grand total for 4 years, I guesstimated for it to be around $18,000.

    Does that seem too much for loans? :\
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,255Registered User Senior Member
    Most students graduate with some debt. As a general rule, you should do your best to keep it under the Federal loan limits. $18,000 would be inside those limits.
  • littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    Is doing something I'm interested in and have a passion for worth this amount of loans?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Posts: 19,255Registered User Senior Member
    What can you study that would not require any student debt? Can you envision yourself in that career for any length of time? What would your starting salary as an environmental engineer be?

    Use the loan re-payment calculators at FinAid! Financial Aid, College Scholarships and Student Loans to see what your payments on $18,000 are likely to be. This amount will probably be affordable.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 61,575Registered User Senior Member
    IF you're renting off campus, your lease will likely be for 12 months. Landlords often won't let students only rent during school year because they need the rent for all 12 months.

    500 a month won't likely be enough for living expenses.

    The amount that you can borrow is based on "class standing" based on credits. However, even if you're classified as a junior, and can borrow 7500, I don't think you can borrow that much for 4 years because you'll have maxed out by then.
  • littleicefishlittleicefish Posts: 54Registered User Junior Member
    Would that mean I'd have to take out private loans? My parents said they would take out the loans since interest rates would be lower for them. But I feel so bad having my parents borrow money for me.
  • saurav1993saurav1993 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Hey, completely off topic. But how were your grades when you applied?

    I'm also going to be applying to UB from a CUNY school as a transfer. Not sure about my chances and did you get admitted straight into the environmental engg. program?
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