My dad just filled out his 2011 taxes, so I'm going to update CLS with those later this week.
The "Dates to Remember" section says that we need to send "loan applications to FAO (Stafford MPN, Graduate PLUS MPN...)" by May 15. What exactly does this mean?
From what I can gather:
1) We go to studentloans.gov, (a) do entrance counseling and (b) sign the MPN for both Stafford and Grad PLUS... (I'm assuming we re-sign Stafford even if we signed it for u/g?)
2) We send page 3 of this (https://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/defa ... nnaire.pdf
) to CLS as well.
(a) We have to determine an amount we would like to take out (obviously the max Stafford [20,500] before Grad PLUS). If so, the budget total for 2012-2013 is 79,950. ****
(b) If this is the case, I'm guessing we don't
request loans through the studentloans.gov website because the form is doing that for us.
Does this look right to everyone?
****Columbia seems to highball the budget estimate. Let's assume a roughly 21k budget for room, board, and personal expenses... -9k for rent (avg of 1k a month -- the PI funding for 1L summer ought to, at the very least, cover rent) = 12k leftover. This means we have 1k a month for food / personal expenses. Even if you eat out every night at roughly 10 dollars a meal, that's only $300. You can get a lot of free lunches on campus + breakfast is cheap. I'll say $400 for food every month. Add in subway usage and you're at maybe $450 ($4.50 round trip; assumes 11 round trips, or using the subway 2-3 times every week).
I feel like you could take out $300-400 less than they budget and still be comfortable. That would still give 1800 to 3000 for the year to upgrade your wardrobe, travel back home for winter break, fly out to a secondary market for any interviews, etc.
Or is it more reasonable to just take out the full loan amounts the first year? If you end up using 5000 less than the loan amount, take out around 10,000 less the following year.