I got into grad school. It is expensive. Help.
February 28, 2009 7:53 AM Subscribe
Please explain to me how financial aid for graduate school works, and thus help me navigate how I am going to pay for this.
posted by millipede to Education (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I was just accepted to U Penn's MCP program for fall 2009. Yay! (I haven't heard from other schools yet, so this isn't a U Penn-specific question, however). They told me that my financial aid package will be in the mail soon. I filled out a FAFSA a few weeks ago, and my estimated family contribution was about three times the amount of my total savings. Am I correct in assuming that (Tuition) - (EFC) = (the amount of need-based aid I can get)? If so, what do I do to pay for the rest? Do I have to wait until I know how much aid I'll be getting before I start the process of applying for, I guess, private loans? Why is my EFC so high (I didn't give it parental data, and I do save a fair amount of the not-that-much money I make)? Will my EFC change next year, since I won't have the job I currently have? Are most people able to realistically meet their EFC?
I am a complete financial aid neophyte, as I was fortunate enough to have a scholarship and parental support as an undergrad. I am so daunted and confused by this process. I imagine it will seem easier and less nonsensical once I know for sure where I'm going and how much federal aid I'll get, and I sit down with someone at a school and have it explained to me, but can anyone help me out a bit now? I feel like I've read everything the internet has to offer on this, and my head is swimming.