With decisions out for a few weeks now, admitted candidates are largely moving past the initial frisson of that news to the task of making an enrollment decision. Many candidates are in the enviable position of having several good options from which to choose, and there’s one reality that is common to nearly all: grad school is a major investment, and it requires a carefully-considered financial strategy.
While I try to avoid relying too heavily on recycled posts, this one from last year remains as good a guide as I can offer on the details on financial planning. Do check it out (along with advice from our friend Madhuri), though I’ll summarize the key points here:
- Focus on a “portfolio” strategy in your financial planning, pursuing as many sources of potential funding as possible. For most students this includes Fletcher scholarships, external scholarships, educational loans (of which there are common options for both domestic and international students, part-time work, personal contributions, and the Tufts Loan Repayment Assistance Program, among others.
- Thoroughly research and understand the terms of any educational loans you take out.
- Do some personal accounting. You should assess your own tolerance for risk and investment, and research estimated living expenses. You have a lot of resources available that can help you with various aspects of your financial planning.
- Don’t be an ostrich; a head-in-the-sand approach to all this stuff is not the way to go. Neither is running from it at speeds of up to 40 mph, for those opposed to apocryphal metaphors. In any case, the more financial planning work you do now, the easier your life as a grad student will be. Besides, with the world working from home for now, what else do you have to do?
- Finally, don’t panic! While it’s important to get going on your financial plan, there’s still time to do research, explore options, ask questions, and figure things out.
As always, our office is available to answer questions and help guide your research, so please be in touch!