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Is it worth it to be in debt?

  1. Aug 27, 2010 #1
    Hi, I was wondering if anyone went or transfer to a university and ended up "knee-deep" debt. I wanted to ask this because the university I'm trying to get into is very expensive, but I love everything else about the university. BTW, I'm an out of state student transferring to the University of Vermont.(total tuition for out of state: $45,188)

    If its important, I'm trying to get a Ph.d. in physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 27, 2010 #2


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    Please tell me that fee isn't per year :bugeye:
  4. Aug 27, 2010 #3
    I'm afraid it is. Here's the total cost for the B.S or B.A.: 180,752.

    I really fell in love with the university. I have a tough decision to make and I did research for other colleges. For some reason, this university trapped me into "that" spell.
  5. Aug 27, 2010 #4


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  6. Aug 27, 2010 #5
    Are you rich? Also stay at your hometown and just take physics there.
  7. Aug 27, 2010 #6
    Lol! I wish I was rich. I do want to stay in Florida, but I hate it here. I want to move up north and be independent. I did so much research into this university and I was convinced to go there. However, the god-awful debt I will be in life will be sad. All I can say is that I better become one hell of a physicist to pay this debt.
  8. Aug 27, 2010 #7
    In the past two years I have been going to university I have found that it costs me about $12,000 for 8 months of classes. This includes, tuition, books, rent, food, luxury.

    I think that $45,000 a year/~$200,000 for a BSc is insane. Spending $200,000 is the kind of thing most people get a 30 year mortgage to buy a house with or something. Especially in a field like science where you don't exactly expect a 6 figure salary after getting a 4 year degree (or ever) a debt like this would take decades to pay off.

    I would say that it's worth it to settle on a cheaper school. These days with forums like this one and universities like Stanford posting complete lecture series online for free, you don't need to worry your head off about whether or not you are getting the best education money can buy, most schools should do the trick.


    Or how about this, for $45,000 a year you could get together with a friend or two and just hire the professor to be your personal tutor!
  9. Aug 27, 2010 #8
    I know that this tuition cost is ground breaking. I did some more research and I'm eligible for a pell grant, however; it wont be enough. I might have to get private student loans and federal student loans all together per year. I was arguing with myself on the cost, but the school fits my criteria. BTW, the classrooms are small(20 students is the maximum) and the professors will have time to help you. I hate being in a crowded room full of 150 students. The good news is that I have not made my complete decision. I'm still looking at other universities and see which university is cheaper up north(North as somewhere near NY,VT, etc...)
  10. Aug 27, 2010 #9
    I'm sure doing the research and going to that university and actually experiencing the atmosphere are 2 different things. Dude you gotta weigh in the costs. Alot of people have said that the place you've got your undergrad is not important at all. But if you truly wish to attend this university, do it. It's your life. I wouldn't though. But you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. Alot of it has to do with the fact that i'll be away from my family and friends. Starting new sounds amazing but costing an additional 130k is not worth it to me at all. That's gonna take you atleast 2-3 years to repay assuming you got a job that offers you $50k+ per year right out of your graduation. THAT'S ALSO ASSUMING YOU PAY IT ALL OFF AGRESSIVELY AND NOT ANY OF THAT MONEY ON LUXURIES OR ESSENTIALS.
  11. Aug 27, 2010 #10
    Have you searched for financial-aid packages? Most students just pay a fraction of the tuition costs using financial-aid, grants, scholarships.
  12. Aug 27, 2010 #11
    I believe they do have a financial-aid package. I have the list here:

    # Pell grants
    # Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
    # Federal SMART grant
    # Vermont state grants(not eligible. Out of state student)
    # Alternative state grants(not eligible. Out of state student)


    AmeriCorps Scholarship (Americorps Application Required)

    * Any student (graduate, undergraduate, or medical) enrolled in a degree program at the University of Vermont who has completed AmeriCorps service in Vermont and has been awarded a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is eligible to apply.
    * AmeriCorps Scholarships provide a 50% match to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award for one academic year of study.
    * Four (4) scholarships are awarded each year; recipeints are notified in August.
    * For information about how to apply.

    Bernard Osher Foundation Reentry Scholarship (Osher Scholarship Application required)

    * For students seeking their degree after a significant break in their studies.
    * Awards are generally $2000 for the academic year.
    * Apply online.

    Robert Noyce Scholarship (Robert Noyce Scholarship Application required)

    * The Robert Noyce Scholarship for Math and Science Teachers provides scholarships for undergraduate science majors to become teachers in high need school districts.
    * Recipients must teach two years in a high need school district for each year that scholarship funds are received.
    * Learn more and apply at the Noyce Scholarship website.

    James M. Jeffords Center Scholarship Program

    * Beginning in the 2009-10 academic year, Undergraduate Scholarships will be available to full-time UVM undergraduate students for research associated with the Jeffords Center’s Signature Themes.
    * For more information, visit the James M. Jeffords Center website.

    Leroy Ingalls 4-H Scholarship (Leroy Ingalls Scholarship Application Required)

    * For current University of Vermont students with “outstanding merit in character and 4-H club record and scholastic attainment in college.” The 4-H experience may come from Vermont or any other state.
    * The award is available every academic year and will be granted in the second semester, and the amount available will vary each year.
    * For questions, please contact UVM Extension at (802) 656-0311.
    * Apply on the Extension/4-H website.

    Students may find additional scholarship resources available through their Dean's Office by selecting one or more of the links below:

    * College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
    * College of Arts & Sciences
    * College of Education & Social Services
    * College of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences
    * College of Nursing & Health Sciences
    * Rubenstein School of Environment & Natural Resources
    * School of Business Administration
    * Continuing Education
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  13. Aug 27, 2010 #12
    Move to Vermont, and live there long enough to establish residency. Working for a year would let you save some extra money as well. (I'm assuming you are a US citizen here.)

    I'm not sure it's worthwhile to pay $200K for a Bachelor's degree from Harvard, and it's even more doubtful from the U. of Vermont.
  14. Aug 27, 2010 #13
    So, in the end, there will be a lot of debt to pay back even if I' am eligible for a pell grant and a scholarship. Maybe I should keep looking for more scholarships and find one for physics undergraduates.
  15. Aug 27, 2010 #14
    I would move to Vermont, but I'm dirt poor. I share a car with my brother and I just lost my job last year. I'm thinking to move into Vermont, but as a transfer student with on-campus housing. I have to find a job if I decide to go to this university, too.
  16. Aug 27, 2010 #15


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    It's simply not worth it. My undergrad school cost 45k a year, but with scholarships I only needed to take out about 10% of the total cost in loans - and that's still going to take me nearly 10 years to pay back. By the time you've finished paying off your loans, most people have paid nearly twice what they owed in the first place - and unless you go into industry, your first job with a PhD might pay 40k a year. All for a school with an unknown physics program.
  17. Aug 27, 2010 #16
    Just don't buy a house and don't have kids. Then you should be fine to pay off your $180,000 debt.
  18. Aug 27, 2010 #17
    They offer a B.A. and B.S. in physics. Also, a masters in physics.

    Here's the research programs:

    Research within the department is can be broadly defined in three categories

    Biological Physics - this includes use of Atomic Force Microscopy to study DNA, lipid membranes, and viruses; studies of the application of Ultrasound to biological systems; protein crystallography to study the shapes of proteins and how function follows form; and interpretation of magnetic measurements on biomolecules to determine electronic structure. (Professors: Wu, Spartalian, Yang, Chu)

    Astrophysics - the use of radio astronomy to study pulsars. (Professor: Rankin)

    Condensed Matter Physics- including theoretical studies of the dynamics of quantum systems with application to electronic, magnetic, optical, structural, and thermal properties of nanomaterials (eg. fullerene-derived solids and nanotubes). (Professors: Clougherty, Kotov, Headrick, Furis)

    I truly want the Astrophysics research if accepted.
  19. Aug 27, 2010 #18
    That, I will take into consideration. Besides, I might be too busy to knock-up a college girl and have a social life with other students.
  20. Aug 27, 2010 #19
    It might be a good exercise to calculate just how much your payments will be after you graduate.

    Here's a loan payment calculator: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/loan-calculator.aspx" [Broken]

    I suggest you play around with it. Just try out, say, $100,000 debt, 15 year repayment period, 6% interest. It's about $850 a month.

    Suppose you land a $40k per year (after taxes) job just out of undergrad. That's ~$3300 per month. So your loan payments would eat up ~25% of your take-home income. Just something to think about...
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  21. Aug 27, 2010 #20
    I understand that I will end up with not a lot of money. In a situation like this, I know I'm taking a huge risk. However, I know for one thing is I want this as a career and I can guarantee that I wont get married. I don't even want to get married because its a pointless process with me(I gave up on dating and concentrated on my career).

    Luckily, I have not made a final decision on this university. I still have some bookmarked.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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