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Joining the military after college

  1. Jul 23, 2007 #1
    Once I earned my physics and math degrees, I planned to go to graduate school. Problem is, I don't think I will be able to afford to go to graduate school because I will be drowning in college loans I will have to pay back. Think it will be a good idea to join the military since they pay for college before and after you graduate before I apply to grad school? I would like to know other options to consider for a student who desperately wants to earn a master or pHD but is drowning in college debt.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2007 #2
    What about things such as assistantships, ect. I was under the impression that many graduate students are supported by their academic department. You don't have to pay back loans until you graduate.
  4. Jul 23, 2007 #3
    what do you mean graduate students are supported by their academic department? do you mean to tell me the academic departments generally finance the student graduate education and students don't pay anything? Anyways I wanted to ask is it a good idea to join the military after you graduate from college in order to pay back student loans for your undergraduate education.
  5. Jul 23, 2007 #4


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    What country are you from? In the US, it is indeed possible to go to school during your enlistment. However, realize that the needs of the government always come first. You will always be a soldier/sailor/airman/marine first. You squeeze school in where you can unless you get lucky enough to get to go to grad school for your military profession.

    The military is not the place to simply help you get your education. Entering the military is an extremely important decision that you can not take lightly (especially in today's world). I would highly suggest that you ask yourself this question: If you were not planning on going to grad school, would you have ever considered the military? If the answer is no, I'd start looking at jobs and more loans.
  6. Jul 23, 2007 #5


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    Also remember that as a grad student (unless you have a really bad supervisor) you generally don't get shot at! And car bombs are relatively rare except for some of the more competative English literatre depts.
  7. Jul 23, 2007 #6

    In physics, as a grad student in a medium size department (not a super small department and not a giant one like Urbana-Champlain) the first 2-3 years you will typically get a Teaching Assistantship which will cover your tuition and a small stipend to live on. The stipend is usually enough to live on- but depends on the geographic location of the school and the exact school stipend. In return, you will have to teach some undergraduate classes.

    After that, you will typically get a Research Assistantship which pays your tuition and a small stipend to perform research. This depends on your research advisor's funding situation typically.
  8. Jul 23, 2007 #7
    Also (in the US) you get a deferment in your student loans while you are in school.
  9. Jul 23, 2007 #8
    also a new bill is about to pass that say that you will only have to pay 15% of your salary towards your loans for 10 years , and then the government will pay the rest.
  10. Jul 23, 2007 #9


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    By what I heard, it is very rare in the US for a Physics PhD student to pay for grad school, or at least to not have any assisstantships/scholarships/aid at all.
  11. Jul 23, 2007 #10


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    Back in the Vietnam era, that is exactly why I joined the Navy, worked like a charm, BUT. I did it for my undergrad degree. To delay grad school for 4 to 6 yrs of Military nonsense would not help you. As already stated in the US you will be PAID to go to grad shoool. Just do it
  12. Jul 23, 2007 #11
    didn't you have to serve after undergrad?
  13. Jul 24, 2007 #12
    The only reason you should join the military is because you love your country and are willing to make some serious sacrafices for it.

    If you join up primarily for the college money you will hate it.

    I joined after my undergrad not for the money but because I wanted to serve.

    There are easier ways to make a good living.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2007
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