Yesterday, Newsweek hosted an on-line question and answer session on how to make law school affordable with Jeffery E. Hanson, Ph.D, director of Borrower Group Education Services, a nonprofit graduate loan specialist.
Here are a few highlights of the discussion. (Click here for the complete transcript.)
1. Student loan debt provides flexible repayment. Although it is an individual decision as to whether you repay your student loans as fast as possible, or you take the full repayment period to repay what you borrowed, it is important to consider the trade-offs between the cost of the loans you are repaying versus the return you could earn if you invested your available funds elsewhere rather than prepaying your loans.
2. Borrow the minimum amount possible. There are several ways to reduce what you will need to borrow. First, make sure you are aware of what grant and scholarship assistance may be available from the school you want to attend and what you must do to receive that assistance. You also should consider living with roommates while in school who can help share in the cost of housing. Another step is to talk with your family about how much they will be able to help you. And, you will want to consider working part-time while in school so that you can reduce what you have to borrow.
3. Check to see if your school provides a Loan Repayment Assistance Repayment Program (LRAP). Check out the E-Guide and the resources that are available from Equal Justice.