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Graduate student loans

  1. Jul 24, 2008 #1
    So, for essentially every physics program in the U.S. (including the one I'm about to start at =), you get a tuition waiver and a reasonable stipend for the hours that you put in, but it's less hours than I'm used to.

    So essentially, I would dread having a TA appointment, a full graduate courseload schedule, and an extra part-time job to pick up the slack, but are graduate student loans intended only to be used by people who are paying for tuition? Do Ph.D. programs frown upon their funded students taking out Stafford loans?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2008 #2
    I don't know that the Ph.D. programs would care one way or the other. They would probably prefer that you be able to concentrate on your on-campus duties (class, research, TA) and not on an outside job.
  4. Jul 24, 2008 #3


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    In general, the financial support I had was enough to live on (albeit meagerly) without going into debt. The thing is, by the time I reached my mid-twenties, I was tired of living the student lifestyle with mulitple room mates and so I took on a part-time job (in addition to TA duties).

    The job certainly put stress on my time schedule. Students that I started with finished earlier than I did and my marks did suffer. (My job demanded a lot of graveyard shifts, which left me running at a sleep deficit too often). On the positive side the job allowed me to develop a whole new skill set, it gave me a break from life in the lab, allowed me to socialize with non-physicists, all in addition to keeping my bank account happy. Had I decided not to pursue my field after grad school, I had a lot of valuable experience to draw on.
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