The admitted folks will, within a few weeks, be receiving financial aid packages and requests for phone appointments with Mr. William "Skip" Bailey - our director of financial aid. It's good to start to think about how you plan to finance your education and your time in New York City.
I know the latter seems more difficult to estimate. So, I thought I'd start this thread to address some costs that you, as future New Yorkers and/or GSers, should anticipate. First, in terms of financial aid, many of you will likely have to take out private loans to meet unment need in your aid packages. There are a couple of rules of thumb that I like to offer here. Take them as you will.
1. Plan on keep your total student loan debt number below your projected, first year earnings post-Columbia. Remember to be conservative in your compensation estimates. [If you think you're going to make $40k out of school, don't borrow more than $40k total. This is a little trick to help ensure your debt is serviceable in a ten year period.]
2. Don't borrow money for living expenses. I know, I know. But, you're going to be kicking yourself if, ten years from now, you're writing checks to Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo for a meal plan you enjoyed ages ago. The same goes for rent. If you're borrowing money for rent, you're going to be living differently in the future because of it.
Either live like a student now or later. That's an axiomatic truth.
Last, here's a link to a very useful site:
Debt / salary wizard