It is good that you all are looking into your financing your education without blindly signing loans. As someone who went through this last year with Michigan, I just wanted to share a few thoughts.
R.R. Raskolnikov wrote:
InvictusFortis wrote:I'm going to run the numbers one last time and probably send in my deposit. I found out that the unsubsidized stafford loan starts accumulating interest from day one. I'm also going to look at private sources since some of the gradplus gets up to 8-9%. I'll see what I can find.
FYI in the financial aid session at ASW they essentially said that if you take out private loans Michigan's LRAP and the Federal IBR essentially don't work because only Federal loans will be forgiven. If you take out a bunch of private loans you're on your own for those. If you're making over 80k coming out of school that's not a big deal, but if you want the option of repayment assistance they very strongly encouraged you to take out GradPlus loans.
Also, while the private loans have a lower interest rate now, they are variable rate so they could rise later. Probably not a big deal in the short term, but if you're paying them off over a long period of time the interest could rise a lot.
This is great advice. You probably should probably only be looking into GradPlus and subsidized Federal loans. You want to make sure you can qualify for Michigan's LRAP in case the biglaw dream doesn't pan out or you decide you don't like working in a sweatshop corporate law office.
Additionally, Michigan has made its new LRAP program information available:
Go over this and read it carefully before you decide what loans to take out and how much debt you are willing to incur. I think you will find that Michigan's new LRAP compares favorably to any school not named Yale, Harvard or Stanford.(Note in particular that you DO NOT have to take a public interest job to qualify for Michigan's LRAP). This might change how you feel about your potential debt level at Michigan vs. other schools that may have given you more generous scholarships. Michigan is expensive and debt should be a huge concern for all admitted students, but I think the school really makes sure its graduates are not overwhelmed by their debt burdens.
If you have any questions about financial aid, don't hesitate to call the FAO.