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Student Finances: How to Manage Your Debt in Grad School (257 hits)

You have recently completed your undergraduate degree and have been preparing to continue forward with your education while the momentum is good. Entering grad school can be a rough time financially for a lot of students.

In order to manage all the accruing debt, grad students often have to resort to some fairly creative financial practices to make ends meet. Here are a few tips to help you to manage your debt during grad school.

A Word on Relocation

As a rule of thumb, graduate students are generally encouraged to switch to a different university than the one where they earned their undergraduate degree. While the push to relocate to become a more well-rounded student sounds like a good idea at first, it should be noted that this move is going to be a major expense—especially if you are looking at moving out-of-state or even out of the country.

In many cases, much of this expense can be reduced if the school you are interested in attending offers you the option to take most of your courses online. If not, then the decision to move may be worth rethinking to prevent putting yourself deeper into debt.

Resist the Urge to Party

While most students get over their wild partying days during their undergraduate years, some students continue to push the envelope well into their days of graduate school. Unfortunately, the tendency for many of these students is to put all this extracurricular activity on credit or burn through their student loan money.

By the time they finish graduate school, these students are so far in debt that they cannot get out from under their debt load. If only they had resisted the urge to party, buckled down and spent more time with their nose in the books, this sort of financial disaster might have been avoided altogether.

Purchasing a Replacement Car

Two semesters into your graduate degree and your car finally bit the dust. Since you need a car to get to work and school and your credit is the lowest it has ever been, a new car is likely out of the question. What will work for your limited financial situation is a quality pre-owned car with payments that are well within budget from a place like AutoStart.

Moving Back in With Mom and Dad

While you enjoy your freedom, the simple reality is that paying rent while receiving your graduate degree can be a daunting financial experience. To save a lot of money on rent and food, it will often be more financially sound to move back home with your parents: assuming this is an option.

By eliminating as many living expenses as possible, you will avoid a huge chunk of the rapidly accruing debt that a lot of other students get stuck with by the end of their graduate degree. According to CNBC, the numbers show that more Millennials are moving back home with parents due to a combination of low wages and sky-high rental rates.


Graduate school should be a time when your greatest worry is getting your assignments in on time. For many students, this learning experience is interrupted with an endless array of financial concerns. By preparing for the financial crunch ahead of time, you can develop a plan to stay ahead of the expenses and debt that typically comes with attending graduate school.

Posted By: Meghan Belnap
Monday, November 6th 2017 at 1:24PM
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