The Debt Conversation: let’s talk (1 Viewer)

andy001

Well-Known Member
Hey all,

I read one of the older threads on student debt through film school. I’ve been kind of overthinking things but the whole debt is concerning me a bit (this happens every couple months when I think harder about it, 😕). I’m already like 70k in the hole and I love the program but I’m really debating and dreading the fact that I’ll cross the 100k mark by next year and whether I should stay or not. I figured this was a good place to talk to about such things, is there a good way to start a thread about this again? I know there’s been several thread but I’d like to talk to some current students and see how they feel about it. Let me know! Thanks!
 

Abbey Normal

Well-Known Member
Supporter+
Hey!

I'll be starting my MFA program this fall so I know how you feel. As of now it's going to be loans and private scholarships (still researching) for me.

My advice to you:

You're already halfway through the program, so why not finish it? You've worked hard to get where your at and should continue on that path. Have you talked to LMU to see if they can offer additional financial assistance? Are there additional scholarships for 2nd/3rd year grad students? What about TA ships? Non-LMU scholarships? Paid internships? Maybe start a GoFundMe?

Curious to hear what other grad students have to say.

Good luck!
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
Hey all,

I read one of the older threads on student debt through film school. I’ve been kind of overthinking things but the whole debt is concerning me a bit (this happens every couple months when I think harder about it, 😕). I’m already like 70k in the hole and I love the program but I’m really debating and dreading the fact that I’ll cross the 100k mark by next year and whether I should stay or not. I figured this was a good place to talk to about such things, is there a good way to start a thread about this again? I know there’s been several thread but I’d like to talk to some current students and see how they feel about it. Let me know! Thanks!
What program and school are you in? How many more years left in the program?
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
Film and Television production track, I just finished my first year and have two more to go after this. I’d be totally fine if it was two but it’s that third year that’s kind of bothering me.
I am strongly considering attending LMU (the TV writing and producing program). Tuition for all 3 years is like 75-80k. Is that not the case for your program? How much more affordable the program is (compared to USC, Chapman, and NYU) is why I am considering it the most. It's an extra year (3 year program), but it is 20%+ cheaper than the other programs.
 

andy001

Well-Known Member
I am strongly considering attending LMU (the TV writing and producing program). Tuition for all 3 years is like 75-80k. Is that not the case for your program? How much more affordable the program is (compared to USC, Chapman, and NYU) is why I am considering it the most. It's an extra year (3 year program), but it is 20%+ cheaper than the other programs.
Yes, it’s the best priced out of all them forsure. It’s far more affordable then those other programs and the best out of the top 10. That said, most of my loans were needed for living expenses so that’s something you’ll need to take into account going in. They encouraged us not to work the first year because frankly it’s a pretty big workload. So, yes, even with a good deal the living expense loan is something to consider unless you work full time. I think I’m just giving myself anxiety about the future and life post grad because once you cross the 100k mark there’s no real turning back. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s something to take into account.
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
Yes, it’s the best priced out of all them forsure. It’s far more affordable then those other programs and the best out of the top 10. That said, most of my loans were needed for living expenses so that’s something you’ll need to take into account going in. They encouraged us not to work the first year because frankly it’s a pretty big workload. So, yes, even with a good deal the living expense loan is something to consider unless you work full time. I think I’m just giving myself anxiety about the future and life post grad because once you cross the 100k mark there’s no real turning back. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s something to take into account.
Wouldn't it be worse to only do 1 year? Take on 70K of loans for....what? I mean, is the 1 year enough? Are you ready to go out and start producing? Do you have job opportunities?
I'm going to school for a mixture of the education (to be a competitive level writer/producer) and also connections to get a paying job and get my foot in the door. If I were in your shoes, having completed my first year, and I already felt ready education wise and had connections/job offers, I'd drop out.
 

andy001

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't it be worse to only do 1 year? Take on 70K of loans for....what? I mean, is the 1 year enough? Are you ready to go out and start producing? Do you have job opportunities?
I'm going to school for a mixture of the education (to be a competitive level writer/producer) and also connections to get a paying job and get my foot in the door. If I were in your shoes, having completed my first year, and I already felt ready education wise and had connections/job offers, I'd drop out.
Yea, that’s where I’m at. It’s kind of like realizing I’m already in the hole, so I might as well keep digging or cut my losses and get out. I learned quite a lot this year and my mindset was always like “if you feel ready then go ahead and drop out” but the thing that’s good about being in the program is that they do keep you afloat financially, which in LA is a big deal. So, a big reason I’d stay is for that on top of the education. The curriculum is great, I love the program. I’m just dreading what’s to come in the form of loans, and I know this is what I signed up for but when I overthink it I usually come back to this pattern of thinking. Diluted fear I guess.
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
Yea, that’s where I’m at. It’s kind of like realizing I’m already in the hole, so I might as well keep digging or cut my losses and get out. I learned quite a lot this year and my mindset was always like “if you feel ready then go ahead and drop out” but the thing that’s good about being in the program is that they do keep you afloat financially, which in LA is a big deal. So, a big reason I’d stay is for that on top of the education. The curriculum is great, I love the program. I’m just dreading what’s to come in the form of loans, and I know this is what I signed up for but when I overthink it I usually come back to this pattern of thinking. Diluted fear I guess.
"thing that’s good about being in the program is that they do keep you afloat financially" what does this mean? I thought in your previous post you say your 70k is a mixture of the tuition and living expenses. How is the program keeping you afloat financially?
 

andy001

Well-Known Member
"thing that’s good about being in the program is that they do keep you afloat financially" what does this mean? I thought in your previous post you say your 70k is a mixture of the tuition and living expenses. How is the program keeping you afloat financially?
Living expenses, that’s keeping me afloat. Housing and general living in LA is paid for through loans.
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
Living expenses, that’s keeping me afloat. Housing and general living in LA is paid for through loans.
Do you mean that being in the program allows you to use student loans to pay for the cost of living?

I thought the debt was your conundrum. But now you've saying it's a plus. Is it just the tuition debt that bothers you? For the last 2 years of LMU the tuition is a little cheaper, right? So, 2 more years is like 45k total. In the scheme of things, 22-25K a year (which includes your annual health insurance) isn't too bad. I mean, I completely relate to you. I don't want debt either. But, 45k of debt for 2 years of graduate education and health insurance for 2 years isn't insane. USC, Chapman, and NYU students are taking out 100K+ for just the tuition. And those are only 2 year programs!

Now that you are in your 2nd year, why not get a part time job? This can greatly reduce the loans you take out for the next 2 years!

I think that is my plan. First year no job. And then acquire part-time paying job in 2nd year. I'm still waiting to hear if I got a scholarship form LMU, though. Did you get any scholarships? God, I hope I get little something
 

andy001

Well-Known Member
Do you mean that being in the program allows you to use student loans to pay for the cost of living?

I thought the debt was your conundrum. But now you've saying it's a plus. Is it just the tuition debt that bothers you? For the last 2 years of LMU the tuition is a little cheaper, right? So, 2 more years is like 45k total. In the scheme of things, 22-25K a year (which includes your annual health insurance) isn't too bad. I mean, I completely relate to you. I don't want debt either. But, 45k of debt for 2 years of graduate education and health insurance for 2 years isn't insane. USC, Chapman, and NYU students are taking out 100K+ for just the tuition. And those are only 2 year programs!

Now that you are in your 2nd year, why not get a part time job? This can greatly reduce the loans you take out for the next 2 years!

I think that is my plan. First year no job. And then acquire part-time paying job in 2nd year. I'm still waiting to hear if I got a scholarship form LMU, though. Did you get any scholarships? God, I hope I get little something
That’s a good way to look at it. Yes, I suppose just debt in general bothers me. While I’m living good, I suppose it’s just the thought of life post grad that bothers me. Yea, the second and third year are cheaper at 20k. And yes, I got a 5k scholarship that certainly helped. But if I can file down the second and third year tuition costs that could me help tremendously. I just want to finish with less than 100k of debt if it’s possible. I’m sure you’ll get a scholarship, I need to work on getting more of those along with grants.
 

catmom

Well-Known Member
Supporter
USC, Chapman, and NYU students are taking out 100K+ for just the tuition. And those are only 2 year programs!
I think those are 3-4 year programs!
 

catmom

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I’m talking about the screenwriting programs. I’m unfamiliar with any other program. I believe the writing programs are just 2 years.
Oh! I'm talking about production programs, my bad!
 

aaaaa

Well-Known Member
That’s a good way to look at it. Yes, I suppose just debt in general bothers me. While I’m living good, I suppose it’s just the thought of life post grad that bothers me. Yea, the second and third year are cheaper at 20k. And yes, I got a 5k scholarship that certainly helped. But if I can file down the second and third year tuition costs that could me help tremendously. I just want to finish with less than 100k of debt if it’s possible. I’m sure you’ll get a scholarship, I need to work on getting more of those along with grants.
Are you living on campus? Do you have roommates? Are you living frugally? I’m very curious. I have been weighing living at the graduate apartment housing or finding someone with an apartment who needs a roommate.
 

catmom

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Are the 4 year production programs 40-50k per year? Or is it cheaper since the programs are longer?
I think they're still that expensive, so it's a lot more debt!
 
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