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how do you support yourself thru grad schoo?

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how do you support yourself thru grad schoo?

  • Hello everyone, i am an aspiring student for the OT program however still living at home with my parents but I honestly dont know how much longer I can do this. I would like to ask if loans is the only way of supporting yourself thru grad school and if yes does that help you with rent, food and just basic ultilies, I need some advise because I really want to move out, any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
  • I found that work study was very helpful. As part of my financial aide I qualified for work study. Every single quarter I talked with the work study office and looked at all the jobs available. I chose a therapy company that had several offices in the same area.

    Your financial aide pays your school for you to work, the school then pays half you hourly salary, the employer pays the other half, so they get you for 1/2 price. the jobs are more related to your field and these are jobs that are not available other than to work study students, the hours are flexible around your schooling. I worked 20 hours per week ev afternoons as a therapy aide and Saturdays I opened and ran the gym for the small PT office so they could have weekends off. They let me study while I watched people work out and on the treadmills.

    Most rehab places in a hospital need "transporters" on saturdays, people that get the patients and bring then back and forth to the therapy gyms. Later, we supported our transporter going back to school and hired her when she became an OTR this year.

    Also- every month I was in that financial aide office looking at the bulletien board and applying for every single scholarship that i could find. Also, sometimes you can rent a room from a college professor for a reasonable rate. good luck- stay out of debt as much as you can !! ;-)


  • work study is an option. Also, try to see if you qualify for scholarships offered by your school, whether it is within or outside the department. Outside of that, if you have some strengths in other areas besides OT (like what I do with math), try tutoring people.
  • I am in an OT program right now.  I have financed the majority of my graduate school through the federal loan program.  However, I have also found a job through the county as a respite provider.  It is a very flexible position (I am able to make my own hours), which is perfect for my demanding school schedule and also helps me to pay some of the bills too.  And, another plus, I am getting experience working with children with special needs!

  • Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I had to get loans through a bank for several reasons and despite the amount of interest I will accumulate in addition to the amount I had to take out as a loan, I would not change a thing. I am just finishing up the school portion of my OT program and I felt that it was very important to have time to yourself and truly be independent. It has helped me learn how to time manage all of the typical living skills with a part time job and school. I chose to get several small jobs that weren’t a lot of time commitment and continued volunteering. I would also recommend this route but be aware of what type of work load you can realistic handle and base your decision off of yourself not how anyone else is choosing to do it.

  • Hello! I am currently in my final semester of OT school and I also chose to get financed through financial aid and loans.  The loans can go to rent, books, food, or whatever you need it for.  I have accumulated quite a bit of debt, but I have been able to keep it slightly lower due to the amount of working I have done with part time jobs.  You might be able to move in with some of your future OT classmates and possibly split the cost to share some text books as well to cut down on costs.  There are also usually scholarships that you can apply for through your university or your OT program that can be helpful.  I honestly don’t know of many other realistic options for financing your education other than seeking loans.  Hope that helps!

  • Would any of you accepted a scholarship to help pay for your education and in return signed a contract to work for an employer for a set period of time after graduating?

  • If the company was ethical (very ethical) , and it fit my life plans I might.

  • Hi lulu26,

    OT school is challenging, not only for the academics but also for the financial costs associated.  I lived with my folks during my Level II fieldworks, and it about drove me crazy too.  Hang in there, especially if it's free room and board.  Perhaps you can work out something with you parents regarding whatever is driving you crazy about your present living arrangements--just speak to them and emphasize that your courses are important and school is expensive.  If you absolutely have to move out, the most cost-effective way to go is to find a roommate.  I lucked out and lived with close friends during OT school, and we divided utilities and food between the three of us.  Basic budgeting skills, couponing, and online budgeting blogs were helpful too.  I really have no good advice for eating--I ate a lot of spaghetti and soup during OT school!  I also worked 1-2 part-time jobs at restaurants and retail stores.  Look for Graduate Assistant positions--those tend to pay well, but you have to very responsible and accoutable to a faculty member.  I didn't really have a social life during OT school--I didn't have the budget to go to the bars or clubs, but you can get involved with school or the surrounding town/city's community events, you can usually find a lot of free leisure or entertainment.  I found the local library and rented DVD's for free (especially after finals, you may need to unwind with a movie marathon and ice cream!). Smile 

    I also took out loans for my graduate education, but I always made a point to budget out my anticipated expenses and only take out what I absolutely needed.  Remember, you will have to pay that amount back...with interest.  Talk to Financial Aid--my school was very understanding and provided me with a lot of help and resources. 

    One really good piece of advice, if you have access to a post office, is selling your old textbooks online.  I collected old texts from family members, friends, classmates and even through some of the college buildings (some prof's left them sitting in hallways for trash).  I sold them through Half.com and made some extra money that way. You have to be willing to stand in line at the post office to mail them but making some extra money is always nice and helps with un-anticipated costs, which are very common in graduate school!

    Good luck and best wishes!