Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

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Mitch McDeere
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Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby Mitch McDeere » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:17 pm

Since the maximum amount of loan money you can get from the government is determined by the school's calculation of their cost of attendance, is it possible to afford a 1/1 or studio apartment without private loans? For example, out of the $33,080 total COA at FSU, $5000 is allocated for "Room". That's just over $415 a month. The cheapest studio I have found in Tallahassee is $590 a month, all utilities included (an average 1/1 runs anywhere from 600-850, no utilities). I know that a lot of law students live by themselves, but I wonder if they are paying for it through other means. I would really prefer my own place, but obviously will find a roommate if I can't afford it.

The breakdown for the COA is:

Tuition/fees- 16,080
Room- 5,000
Board- 5,000
Books/supplies 1,200
Transportation- 1,200
Personal- 3,400
Computer- 1,200

I'll probably need a new computer since my MacBook will be turning 4 years old this year so I can't put that money toward rent. Any current students out there with some insight on this?

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im_blue
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Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby im_blue » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:34 am

COA is for a 9-month academic year, so that's $555/month for rent. You can easily afford a studio by cutting down on personal expenses.

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Ipsa Dixit
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Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby Ipsa Dixit » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:03 am

Is "board" supposed to be food?

Don't spend $5k a year on food.

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nealric
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Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby nealric » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:48 am

You can, but you shouldn't.

AllBusiness
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:24 pm

Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby AllBusiness » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:24 pm

I advise living with an attractive human with whom you would not mind sharing a bed.

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Doritos
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Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby Doritos » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:42 pm

Ipsa Dixit wrote:Is "board" supposed to be food?

Don't spend $5k a year on food.


That's what I'm thinking. You have

5k for Room
5k for whatever board is
3400 for personal
1200 for transportation

The way I see it you have $14,600 to live off of. That makes $1,622 for a 9 month academic year and $1,216 for a 12 month year (assuming an unpaid summer gig). Seems like that's liveable...

Brinson
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Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:06 pm

Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby Brinson » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:14 am

COA is estimated. If you have to spend more on room, spend less on board, or don't have a car and take the bus. Of course its doable.

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beesknees
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Re: Can you afford to live by yourself using only federal loans?

Postby beesknees » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:34 am

Mitch McDeere wrote:Since the maximum amount of loan money you can get from the government is determined by the school's calculation of their cost of attendance, is it possible to afford a 1/1 or studio apartment without private loans? For example, out of the $33,080 total COA at FSU, $5000 is allocated for "Room". That's just over $415 a month. The cheapest studio I have found in Tallahassee is $590 a month, all utilities included (an average 1/1 runs anywhere from 600-850, no utilities). I know that a lot of law students live by themselves, but I wonder if they are paying for it through other means. I would really prefer my own place, but obviously will find a roommate if I can't afford it.

The breakdown for the COA is:

Tuition/fees- 16,080
Room- 5,000
Board- 5,000
Books/supplies 1,200
Transportation- 1,200
Personal- 3,400
Computer- 1,200

I'll probably need a new computer since my MacBook will be turning 4 years old this year so I can't put that money toward rent. Any current students out there with some insight on this?


Are you asking if it is doable on Stafford loans alone or federal loans including grad plus? Because if its the latter, then yes it is doable.

It is annoying that housing estimates are based off of 9 months because often times you either have to pay more per month to get a shorter lease term or have to suck it up and rent it for 12 months and hope you can sublet.

Also, board isn't just food. Its the cost of utilities, internet, cable (though you can forgo cable obviously if its going to be tight). So that $590/month you've found, compare that to the $10k you have allotted for room and board minus anywhere from $1500-2000 total for food (depending on how much you eat and how much you'd be willing to forgo in terms of nutrition). So really you have about $8k allotted for your studio + utilites, maintenance, etc.




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