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Large Debt for MS in Chemical Engineering

Koleslaw756Koleslaw756 0 replies1 threads New Member
edited August 25 in Engineering Majors
My name is Kyle, I am a recently accepted graduate student at FSU. As an undergraduate I struggled a lot with responsibility and figuring out what to do, I initially went into college (UF) thinking I should do business Instead of engineering and so I majored in Math (intending to minor in Actuarial Science) and later realized I didn’t like Business classes at all. Because of this I juggled a lot of different ideas around, I thought about doing something chemistry intensive since I enjoyed those classes a lot in high school and so I finished a mathematics degree (BA) with an almost completed degree in Chemistry (I was pushed out for having excess Hours). I went ahead and finished that Chemistry BS at my local university (FAU) intending to enter into a forensic field, upon gaining first hand information from officers and investigators in crime scene studies, I realized that this was not something I’d really enjoy, I thought back to engineering as that was something I considered my first year of college and so I studied countless videos and discussions and soon decided to come up with some way for me to become an engineer. I found a unique masters program at FSU, which allowed undergraduates with non engineering degrees to transition to an engineering background, as long as they passed the transition course. I applied, was accepted and have been doing this course, I honestly really enjoy the material I’ve been learning and am excited to continue on. Unfortunately however, I incurred a lot of debt during my undergrad (partly due to my own ignorance as well as unfortunate circumstances) totaling you around 47k. This masters program is incredible and is giving me an opportunity to do something I’m interested in. However, it will cost me a lot, I haven’t had luck getting funding of any kind, and most of the TA positions are reserved for PhD students, so loans seem like a necessary option for me to afford school. I did the math if I didn’t work full time I’d be adding on another 40k in debt (total of 87k) for this degree. My question is, is this affordable to pay off? Is this worth it for me? I really enjoy the material I’ve learned so far and have been crushing my transition class, but with this fall semester coming up and finances stressing me out I’m unsure if I’m really making the right decision. I’m a lot more responsible than I was in undergrad but this is still gonna cost me a lot of money. Any advice would be helpful!
edited August 25
3 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Large Debt for MS in Chemical Engineering

  • boneh3adboneh3ad Forum Champion Engineering 7523 replies134 threads Forum Champion
    Whether or not it is affordable to pay off will depend on your future finances, i.e. your future career, winning the lottery, marrying an heir/heiress, etc. I don't think there is any way for us to tell you that. $87k in loans is a lot. Honestly, though, I would think that with degrees in chemistry and mathematics you would have a shot at jobs in chemical engineering and related fields just fine already, and then you could have that employer pay for a graduate degree.
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  • user4321user4321 208 replies2 threads Junior Member
    What you need is a plan for how you are going to pay back the additional debt and how much longer it might take. Based on these estimates, you can decide if it's worth it to you, If you can make a case for an additional $20,000.00 per year with your Masters in Chem Eng then you might be able to pay off your additional debt in in 5-6 years and continue to make the additional salary for 15 more years. One interesting angle to keep in mind for Chem Engs is that there are jobs that involve travel to remote places and pay more because of the hardship involved. A Chem Eng that will travel to a plant in a third world country or the middle east for a couple years can potentially pay off considerable debt.
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  • HPuck35HPuck35 2160 replies17 threads Senior Member
    87K is just too much debt. It would be quite a burden to get out from under. Assuming an interest rate of between 5% and 6% and a payoff period of 10 years, your monthly payment would be pushing $1000 a month.

    See if you can find a job in or close to your intended interest. Many employers will then pay for the tuition for a masters degree. You will have built up some experience, paid off some of your BA degree loan and usually have a better insight into the field such that the MS classwork becomes more meaningful.

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