Mar 17 2014, 9:44am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
There is a difference between graduate students and undergraduate students. While the latter are new to the loan acquirement process, the former have the advantage of previous experience. Yet the student loan process is somehow different for a graduate than for one who is still a college freshman.
For starters there is the matter of FAFSA. The initials stand for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. And it is an option you might like to avail if you are a little short of cash. As a graduate student you won’t need to put down your guardians’ pecuniary info on the form.
In other words, the graduate students loan process as easy as apple pie for the senior graduates. All you have to hand in is your tax return and you are set on road to progress as an avid learner.
However, in other matters it is not all peaches and cream. In case of Pell Grants, graduates are disadvantaged as compared to college-goers. They cannot avail these fund caches.
Debt is the price of going on to do a master’s degree. The subsidy factor is diminished on a graduate level. Student loans without a subsidy such as Stafford and Graduate PLUS not to mention Perkins all figure in the equation of higher education on a shoestring budget.
Then the upside to interest rates is that they are linked to the 10-year Treasury note. This means that there will be no need for payment of above-market rates.
On the downside though, higher interest rates are a must for graduates . And these figures could increase with the trends of the volatile market. Finally, there are borrowing limits to Stafford loans. They can be surpassed by graduates.
So that is good news in a sort of conditional way. The thing is that if a lot of money is borrowed, it has to be returned with interest too. And that can land any graduate in some serious trouble if he or she fails to repay the amount borrowed.
So take care and keep the end in mind but also remain within your means. You don’t want to end up short of cash in today’s economically charged world.
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