Friday, October 9, 2009

School conundrum

I just received the class schedules for the spring and summer semesters--my last two semesters of grad school!
 
I have completed the 18 credits of required core classes. I have also completed 15 credits of electives--only 12 are required.
 
I have two required "classes" left--a research seminar and a thesis seminar, one of which is offered in the spring and one in the summer. There are not really any additional classes I'm interested in during either semester.
 
The obvious answer here is that I should just take one class each semester. The problem with that is it disqualifies me from any financial aid aside from my scholarship--I have to take at least two classes per semester in order to get subsidized loans. Taking the extra class to take the loan doesn't exactly add to my debt load--the spring semester at two classes and one class in the summer semester all get covered by my company's tuition reimbursement policy anyway. But taking an extra class I don't need when there's nothing I'm really interested in just to get loans and full reimbursement? I'm not sure that's financially smart.
 
If I take one class each semester, I will have to pay $3,000 out of pocket with about a week's notice in December and another $2,000 in May. I'll get reimbursed in August, if I'm lucky. But I'll also keep that $5,000 out of my subsidized loan balance entirely, though I'm not sure that makes a huge difference--it is subsidized, after all, and I'm going to start paying it off with a vengeance the minute I graduate.
 
What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. Let me see if I've got this straight. If you take one class per semester, it'll cost you 5k out of pocket, which will all be reimbursed later.

    If you take two classes per semester, then you'll qualify for the subsidized loan for the semester so you're not out of pocket, you just wait for the reimbursement to pay back the loan. But now you have the cost of an extra class for the summer semester since the two classes for the spring are covered, right?

    It sounds like it's just a matter of whether or not you want to be out of pocket the 5k for several months, right?

    I don't think I'd waste the time and energy on extra classes that you're not that interested in, and adding the money to your loans, if you'll get all that money back in several months. The interest rates aren't exactly compelling right now, and if it doesn't hurt you to let go of that money temporarily, I'd prefer to save the time and money.

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