Feb 3, 2017
12
3
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Hey everyone,

I recently got accepted into PT school and it starts in May so I need to get everything in order. I'm planning on paying for PT school with just loans, but I don't know the best way to go about this. Do I fill the FAFSA out like I usually would for undergraduate? Or are there specific loans for graduate school? If so, how do I apply for these?

Thanks so much!!
 

twotired

10+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2011
47
57
Status (Visible)
  1. Physical Therapist
Yes, you fill out your FAFSA (i.e. the application for federal student loans). Government loans > private loans. Government loans are more flexible in terms of repayment and forgiveness plans.

Most graduate students will borrow Direct Unsubsidized Loans up to the limit per year (20,500 @ 5.31%) and then cover the remainder with Direct PLUS loans (up to cost of attendance @ 6.31%). Source.

Some graduate students (e.g. those with families, mortgages, etc.) will take out private loans to cover certain expenses while they are in school full-time.
 

VitaminPT

2+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2015
49
47
Status (Visible)
  1. Other Health Professions Student
  2. Pre-Physical Therapy
Marry someone who makes a lot of money.

Kidding.

But not really.

I've used Direct unsubsidized loans in the past. I would recommend them.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
About the Ads
Feb 3, 2017
12
3
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
Yes, you fill out your FAFSA (i.e. the application for federal student loans). Government loans > private loans. Government loans are more flexible in terms of repayment and forgiveness plans.

Most graduate students will borrow Direct Unsubsidized Loans up to the limit per year (20,500 @ 5.31%) and then cover the remainder with Direct PLUS loans (up to cost of attendance @ 6.31%). Source.

Some graduate students (e.g. those with families, mortgages, etc.) will take out private loans to cover certain expenses while they are in school full-time.

Thanks! This helped a lot!!
 

imagodei20

5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2012
38
13
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Yes, you fill out your FAFSA (i.e. the application for federal student loans). Government loans > private loans. Government loans are more flexible in terms of repayment and forgiveness plans.

Most graduate students will borrow Direct Unsubsidized Loans up to the limit per year (20,500 @ 5.31%) and then cover the remainder with Direct PLUS loans (up to cost of attendance @ 6.31%). Source.

Some graduate students (e.g. those with families, mortgages, etc.) will take out private loans to cover certain expenses while they are in school full-time.

does interest start in school or when you graduate?
 
Nov 27, 2012
83
73
Status (Visible)
  1. Physical Therapist
The bulk of the money to pay for PT school will be loans. However, there were certain "nickels and dimes" I was able to get to reduce my balance. Being aware of them may help you. Most of these are pretty competitive, but worst case scenario you apply for them and get told no. You're no worse off than you were before.

1. Try to get a graduate assistantship. Mine required me to work 10 hours a week for the department but gave me $2,000 a semester in the form of a $500 pay check every month.
2. Look up "oddball" scholarships. Sometimes your university's department will have a list of them. These are from private organizations, so you have to fill out apps for them outside of the FAFSA. I got one that was $500 a semester.
3. Look and see if your state offers any grants or anything. Since FAFSA is federal, it doesn't include these state-specific grants. Some schools will consider you for these automatically if you fill out the FAFSA. Some will not. I got one that was $300 per semester.
4. This is pretty rare, but my school had "tuition wavers." As the name implies, the student's tuition was waived. They had out-of-state tuition waivers, which meant out-of-state students could pay in-state tuition instead, and then they had in-state tuition waivers, which meant the recipient paid nothing. Again, not all universities do this. If they do, the waiver is only good for one year or even one semester, but if they do have them, you have to apply for them outside of the FAFSA. These are also often based on financial need. To give you an idea, my class of 32 people had 3 out-of-state waivers and then I think only 1 in-state waiver. The in-state waiver went to a guy who was married with 4 kids. I got an out-of-state one for only one semester, but it makes a difference!
5. This is a big one many people don't think about. Most universities require that you have health insurance and automatically enroll you in their own university plan. Very often, you can get that waived by buying your own cheaper health plan, staying on your parents' plan if you're under 26, or even enrolling in Medicaid if you're eligible. For instance, my alma mater's fee for coverage is now $1,111 per semester for health insurance. I don't remember exactly, but I found a private plan that worked out to $480 a semester instead, saving me $630 a semester.
6. I don't know if you're married, but I was married with one child when I entered PT school. My wife worked part time retail in the evenings when I was home studying and watching our daughter. We kept track of her income as a reminder of why it was worth the struggle of hardly seeing each other. Though we still had to use loans for many living expenses, her income saved us $30K over the 33 months I was in school.

Like I said, most of these take work to get and are only "nickels and dimes" when compared to the total cost of PT school. However, add them all up (except spouse income)...

$10,000 total for 5 semesters graduate assistantship (3 semesters I didn't have it)
$4,000 total private scholarship (8 semesters x $500)
$2,400 total state grant (8 semesters x $300)
$5,000 out-of-state tuition waver
$5,040 from getting cheaper insurance (8 semesters x $630)

$26,440 total savings. For working ten hours a week, filling out some forms, and writing a couple of essays, it was worth it.

The only other advice I have for paying for PT school is do everything you possibly can to minimize your loans. #1 regret of new grads is wishing they'd not borrowed as much as they did. Remember you don't have to take the full amount they offer you. Remember as well that if you find you have more than you'll need, you can turn around and repay it (or pay another loan with higher interest) instead of sitting on it while it accrues interest.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 8 users
Feb 3, 2017
12
3
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Physical Therapy
The bulk of the money to pay for PT school will be loans. However, there were certain "nickels and dimes" I was able to get to reduce my balance. Being aware of them may help you. Most of these are pretty competitive, but worst case scenario you apply for them and get told no. You're no worse off than you were before.

1. Try to get a graduate assistantship. Mine required me to work 10 hours a week for the department but gave me $2,000 a semester in the form of a $500 pay check every month.
2. Look up "oddball" scholarships. Sometimes your university's department will have a list of them. These are from private organizations, so you have to fill out apps for them outside of the FAFSA. I got one that was $500 a semester.
3. Look and see if your state offers any grants or anything. Since FAFSA is federal, it doesn't include these state-specific grants. Some schools will consider you for these automatically if you fill out the FAFSA. Some will not. I got one that was $300 per semester.
4. This is pretty rare, but my school had "tuition wavers." As the name implies, the student's tuition was waived. They had out-of-state tuition waivers, which meant out-of-state students could pay in-state tuition instead, and then they had in-state tuition waivers, which meant the recipient paid nothing. Again, not all universities do this. If they do, the waiver is only good for one year or even one semester, but if they do have them, you have to apply for them outside of the FAFSA. These are also often based on financial need. To give you an idea, my class of 32 people had 3 out-of-state waivers and then I think only 1 in-state waiver. The in-state waiver went to a guy who was married with 4 kids. I got an out-of-state one for only one semester, but it makes a difference!
5. This is a big one many people don't think about. Most universities require that you have health insurance and automatically enroll you in their own university plan. Very often, you can get that waived by buying your own cheaper health plan, staying on your parents' plan if you're under 26, or even enrolling in Medicaid if you're eligible. For instance, my alma mater's fee for coverage is now $1,111 per semester for health insurance. I don't remember exactly, but I found a private plan that worked out to $480 a semester instead, saving me $630 a semester.
6. I don't know if you're married, but I was married with one child when I entered PT school. My wife worked part time retail in the evenings when I was home studying and watching our daughter. We kept track of her income as a reminder of why it was worth the struggle of hardly seeing each other. Though we still had to use loans for many living expenses, her income saved us $30K over the 33 months I was in school.

Like I said, most of these take work to get and are only "nickels and dimes" when compared to the total cost of PT school. However, add them all up (except spouse income)...

$10,000 total for 5 semesters graduate assistantship (3 semesters I didn't have it)
$4,000 total private scholarship (8 semesters x $500)
$2,400 total state grant (8 semesters x $300)
$5,000 out-of-state tuition waver
$5,040 from getting cheaper insurance (8 semesters x $630)

$26,440 total savings. For working ten hours a week, filling out some forms, and writing a couple of essays, it was worth it.

The only other advice I have for paying for PT school is do everything you possibly can to minimize your loans. #1 regret of new grads is wishing they'd not borrowed as much as they did. Remember you don't have to take the full amount they offer you. Remember as well that if you find you have more than you'll need, you can turn around and repay it (or pay another loan with higher interest) instead of sitting on it while it accrues interest.


Thanks so much for typing this all out. It really helped. I really appreciate it!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads
This thread is more than 4 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.