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What is the best way to determine the amount of graduate student loans I should take out, and allocate the loans I am awarded towards tuition and repaying my loans?

For my first semester of graduate school, I received a $14,000 unsubsidized student loan. My cost for attending school was $6,000, so I will be receiving a refund check from the school for roughly $8,000. Should I use the $8,000 from the refund to start paying back the loan? Or should I use it to pay my expenses for my next semester? I'm also curious why the loan amount I received is so much higher than my actual costs for the semester. Are there better ways to take out student loans?



College Tuition, Debt
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January 2018

You might want to meet with the financial aid advisor at your school.  Sometimes grad school loans include a cost of living stipend.  If you only want money for tuition, you can ask how you should fill out the application to receive less.  It is also possible you received the amount for the full school year.  How did you plan to pay for next semester?  If you were planning to borrow, use the $8,000 toward next semester.  If you don't need it, you can either start paying your loan back or put it in a separate bank account to use for future semesters.  If you think you will need to borrow again in the future, paying the loan back now might complicate things.  I hope this helps.

January 2018