Continuing Education, Getting Loan to Cover School + Living Expenses

Updated on April 17, 2010
Y.D. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

I have a question about school loans which I don't know much about. I was wondering if it's at all possible to go back to school and get a loan to pay for school plus a loan to cover your day to day expenses while in school because going to school would mean not being able to work. .
Is such thing possible????

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answers from Tulsa on

You need to make an appointment and go visit with a Financial Aid counselor at the school you are thinking of going to. If you qualify for any type of grant or even a scholorship it would be worth it to get those first then suppliment those with the loan. It all goes through the same office anyway so you could just do a total application then. I got lots of assistance when going to college. I won a full scholarship to OU because my grades at a local Jr. College were so good. It paid all tuition and fees. I got Voc-Rehab to cover my books and some other expenses like gasoline. I lived on campus and I can honestly say it was the most stress free time in my life. The rent is taken out of the financial aid before you get any so I had no bills. I got food stamps and AFDC, a program that gave me a monthly check for the state. If you are going to school full time you should get free child care through the state. My daughter was in school all day so I didn't have to worry about child care because if she was out of school I just took her with me or stayed home that day. There weren't really too many, only teachers meetings or something like that because they were on the same schedule as the college. When I was at OU I did have one part of my financial aid package called Work Study. I worked in the Drama Department in the Costume Shop as a seamstress. I worked 20 hours per week and got a paucheck for it. I sewed costumes for plays, ballets, Operas, was lots of fun and I still use the things I learned there. I had never quilted before and they did "Quilters" and we did some quilting for it. Sewing costumes for "The Tempest" was also awesome. Making a "creature" suit for Caliban was new and interesting. Anyway, continuing your education is always going to be good. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on


I went back to school but I was working at the time. I received loans to help cover expenses. There are many differnt types of loans out there. Here is a website that may give you some answers or a place to call and start the process. Good luck!!!!



answers from Chicago on

It certainly is possible. First thing, apply for the FAFSA to see what you qualify for. Are you returning for a Bachelors or Masters degree? The two work just a bit differently. For a Bachelors, you might qualify for grants and/ or loans. For a Masters, it is your application for just student loans. The only way to really know what your options are to go ahead and apply. Put in a school code and the results will be sent to the school. Then contact a financial planner at the school and they will go over the results with you (including telling you if there is an overage that you can use to pay for bills or whatever). Please note you may have to be an applicant to speak with a financial planner at the school (no big thing - usually there is a nominal fee to be an applicant at the school).



answers from Dallas on

Have you ever taken college classes? If so, just know that there is a new FAFSA rule that you can't get any loans OR grants through the school after reaching 180 hours. This is so ridiculous! My husband has an associate's degree that his parents paid for almost 10 years ago. Right now he is working on his bachelor's and the credits from his associate degree are added to it. Next semester is our last semester for loans and grants which are really counted on for school, books, rent etc.

Good luck!


answers from Raleigh on

You definitely could, but trust me, the money will add up quickly, and depending on what you want to do after graduation, you may have a hard time recovering. I took loans out for school alone (no extra added costs), and I pay $380 a month for them ($160 of which I will pay for the next 20 years, not just 10). They are low interest, which makes them more appealing than a traditional loan, but it is still money that you owe someone else. If there is any other way around it (moving in with someone, working part-time, etc.) I would suggest that before I would suggest all of the extra loans. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Yes, it is possible. As other posters have suggested, your first step should be to apply for federal and institutional financial aid, as well as any scholarships you can come up with (there are some out there specifically aimed at moms going back to school). The financial aid office at the school you want to go to, plus a few internet searches, should help you out. There are also books at your public library that will walk you through the process. Obviously, grants and scholarships are better than loans, because you don't have to pay them back. Second-best are federally subsidized loans, because they don't accumulate interest as long as you are in school, and once you're out, the interest rates are lower than they would be for private loans. Third (and last) choice are private loans taken out through a bank. These will have higher interest rates, and will accumulate interest while you're in school (although you won't have to start paying until after you graduate or quit). But, if option #3 is the only one you qualify for, this doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. I used all 3 to finance various parts of my education.

The other consideration is how to balance work, child care, and going to school. I teach college, and I've seen students get in trouble by taking things to both extremes. Those who try to work full time plus have a family and go to school full time--usually trying to avoid loans--often fail, because there are simply not enough hours in the day to do all of that. It's better to do fewer things well. However, on the other extreme, doing everything through loans, while giving you more time to study, can give you some uncomfortably big loan payments once you get out. The best balance is usually some combination of part-time work and loans, but you'll have to look at your own situation and see what works for you. One BIG caveat: the big risk with all of this is the possibility of taking out loans and then not finishing school. Then you're stuck with the payments, but without the bigger paycheck that you'd get with the degree. If you go the loan route, be sure that you're dedicated to finishing your degree. If you're not sure, try taking one or two courses at a time to try it out without taking out any loans, so you don't get yourself in over your head.

Congrats on wanting to continue your education, and good luck!



answers from Austin on

You can get loans for whatever you want. Have you applied to financial aid? Do that before you make any decisions. Depending on your financial situation you might qualify for grants rather than just loans.
I would, however, recommend getting the SMALLEST loan possible. The interest adds up quickly. As a previous poster said, the amount that you will have to pay per month after graduation may not make it worthwhile.
I am wanting to go back to school, but my youngest doesn't start Kindergarten for two more years. For this reason I am looking into online courses and night/weekend class. Daycare adds up fast! Even after school care for older kids adds up....

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