Student Loans-Graduate vs. Undergraduate Financial Aid

March 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Student Loans

Compared to the prices of education a few decades ago, today’s education costs are ten times higher. In fact, this difference has become even higher when looking at graduate versus undergraduate student loan programs. Fortunately, several resources are available for both kinds of student loan programs in helping students through college with financial aid.

Undergraduates usually mix and match various scholarships, grants and student loans, which they either take out themselves or have their parents take out; sometimes it is the mixture of the two, where a parent becomes a co-signer for student loans.

The most common student loan programs are still the unsubsidized and subsidized Stafford student loans. Subsidized student loans are most wanted because the federal government offers to pay for the interest accumulated while the student is in school. However, these student loans are based on needs. Unsubsidized student loans aren’t; this makes them more convenient for most students.

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On the other hand, graduates to not have as many options for scholarships, grants, and student loans, but teaching or research assistantships can usually make up for the shortfall. These jobs are only available for minimum pay and long hours, but they can be done while attending courses.

As of late, a new option has opened up for graduate students: PLUS student loans. The acronym may stand for Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students, but they are now available to graduate students, as well. In the cases of undergraduates, parents are normally the borrowers who make the payments; but in the case of graduates, they are responsible for student loan payments themselves.

PLUS student loans also come with a number of advantages. First of all, they are available for everyone since they are not based on needs or credit quality. Only a few graduate students find themselves in credit binds that most working adults fall into. Because of this, they may have little credit history and very few bad marks on their credit report. This makes it much easier for college student loan officials to find out who is eligible.

Both undergraduate and graduate students will have to invest time into researching the options that are available to them. Remember, however, that this normally requires a mixture of funds from various sources.

Total funds that were given out for student loans last year were more than $50 billion. This much money is being granted to students; one of them could easily be you.