Cost of Attendance

I sent in my FAFSA awhile ago, and have finally received an email from the school, telling me how much my cost of attendance will be, and it’s a whopping $66,000. While I am under no obligation to take out a loan for that much money, it’s probably the last time I’ll be able to get a loan for travel purposes in my entire life, so I am heavily considering taking the full amount. After budgeting my stay in London, it looks like I can survive from September to May on $40,000 if I budget myself really well and don’t go over on my daily, weekly or monthly amounts. But that’s if I really get nit-picky and make sure I only spend (at most), an average of $35 a day on expenses.

At the end of May, I have the decision to either stay in London until September, or move to New York to start my adult job search. Because I will still be a student finishing my dissertation, I will have financial aid money coming in either way, so I can relax in England with no responsibilities and travel, or use that money to move to the very expensive New York City and jump-start my career with some extra money. If I wait until I graduate in September, I will have no extra money to be able to move to NYC and have to give in and move home for awhile until I make enough to move away again (which isn’t what I want to do). But spending those extra months abroad would be so lovely. I guess I’ll have to gauge it as I get closer.

It’s scary to think about having that much money to pay back, plus interest. I’m thankful I have no undergrad loans to deal with at this point, because that would just add to the issue. But in retrospect, I literally have the rest of my life to pay off that money. It’s not like I’m 40 and suddenly deciding to go back to school. I’m 22, and most likely have at least 40-60 years left of my life to get rid of those loans. What would be wonderful is that I actually receive the scholarships that I applied for, because that could knock $5,000-$25,000 off of the loan, which would definitely help my cause. But I’ll be patient and wait to hear on those. Until then, I still have some paperwork to fill out for loan stuff, so I can get my visa soon, and then I will be very much closer to my exciting future in London.

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