Presentation on theme: "Challenges Facing Graduate/Professional Students Jennifer Meier Assistant Director for Student Loans & Graduate Aid The College of William & Mary."— Presentation transcript:
Challenges Facing Graduate/Professional Students Jennifer Meier Assistant Director for Student Loans & Graduate Aid The College of William & Mary
Growing Need for Graduate Education According to a report published in April 2012 by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) and Educational Testing Service (ETS), between 2010 and 2020, about 2.6 million new and replacement jobs will require some type of advanced degree, whether that be a master’s, doctoral or professional degree. As the graduate student enrollment increases, schools need to be prepared to meet the challenges of the graduate student population that they serve.
Know your Graduate Student Population Graduate programs are unique and specialized Part-time programs vs. full-time programs Off-campus programs vs. on-campus Online programs/distance ed Executive programs for working professionals Identifying the different needs and challenges for different types of programs and students they serve
Rising Tuition and how to pay for it Tuition is rising, especially at the graduate level How to pay will be a top priority (and challenge) for most graduate students ◦ Payment plan options ◦ Veterans Benefits ◦ Tuition assistance or employer reimbursement ◦ Americorps service awards and other outside scholarships Types of financial aid available ◦ Student loans ◦ Internal grants/scholarships, tuition waivers and stipends Some students may be borrowing loans for the first time
Lack of Scholarship Opportunities Graduate students have a difficult time finding available scholarships from outside sources Most scholarships at the graduate level are geared toward very specific programs of study Graduate Assistantships or Research Fellowships are competitive Work-Study availability varies among schools Some students find that they must rely completely on loans to fund their graduate program
Traditionally vs. Non-traditionally Aged Students Some students move straight from an undergraduate program into a graduate program Others have a slight or significant break between undergraduate and graduate programs Greater demands and responsibilities are carried by older students ◦ Family obligations, mortgage payment, full or part time job Some traditionally-aged graduate students may still have firm attachment and support of parents in the areas of academics, finances or both ◦ Do you talk with parents of graduate students?
Cost of Attendance Restrictions Graduate students have greater needs for cost of living allowances Students with families/dependents ◦ Family health insurance, child care expenses, etc. Professional Judgment cases/examples High-cost programs that require additional expenses for travel, expensive supplies, internships, etc. What do you do with expenses that are not allowed within the COA?
Eligibility Issues Part-time students Students who drop below half time enrollment International graduate students – options for funding Periods of non-enrollment (summers) Non-degree seeking coursework
Changes to Federal Loan Programs Elimination of subsidized loan for graduate students Elimination of up-front rebate means higher fees at disbursement, especially on Grad PLUS loan (4%) Perkins Loan is now the only remaining subsidized loan option for graduate students Will students choose not to make interest payments while in school due to the higher interest payment required?
Reaching Aggregate Loan Limits Student may or may not be aware of accumulated debt from prior undergraduate and/or graduate programs Awareness of remaining eligibility for federal loans to complete graduate program ◦ NSLDS interpretation of borrowing history and determining remaining eligibility for advanced degree programs Time to degree completion in doctoral programs as it relates to reaching aggregate limits for federal loans ◦ Example: Student who attends part-time to complete the research or dissertation phase of their degree and borrows loans mainly for living expenses has the potential to reach aggregate limits prior to completion
Students With Credit Issues or Prior Loan Default Defaulted loan(s) counseling and how to regain eligibility Bankruptcy Students with credit concerns may be denied for the Grad PLUS loan and private loans Options for a co-signer, endorser or credit appeal
Loan Repayment Counseling Loan repayment may look very different for graduate students due to excess debt Ability to repay and how to do so becomes priority Graduate students may have private student loan debt in addition to federal loan debt Loan repayment options can be complex and confusing to understand Consolidate or not? Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program & Income- Based Repayment Plan
Employment Outlook What are some of the graduate degree programs that are most likely and least likely to find employment in today’s economy? Some are entering a graduate program as a result of being laid-off, may be seeking new career paths
Questions/Comments? Contact Information: Jennifer Meier Assistant Director for Student Loans & Graduate Aid The College of William & Mary (757) 221-2426, firstname.lastname@example.org@wm.edu