“Postgraduate education is a minefield of financial pitfalls — from tuition fees and loans to long stretches without contributing to savings. And yet many graduate students neglect to plan their finances accordingly.”
It’s not easy being a student, managing financial support from multiple sources “from teaching-assistant and research-assistant posts, external awards, internal scholarships, one-time entrance scholarships, tuition waivers and reimbursements…”
Not only that, but you’ve got a substantial number of out-goings too that need to “out-weigh tuition and other fees, research costs, administrative charges, union dues and ‘clawbacks’ (funds that must be returned to a university administration owing to accounting errors).” As well as living expenses.
So how can you manage all this?
Susie Crowe is a doctoral candidate in biology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, and her advice:
- “Getting a head start in research” – this could help you plan and network your route through academia.
- “Be mindful of how tax laws apply to you” – different countries could have different laws. It’s beneficial to understand how these apply to you, especially if you work abroad.
- “Work hard and work smart” – be efficient with your time.
- “Be realistic” – think carefully about whether academia is the right path for you. It isn’t an easy one to navigate, so make sure you can handle the rough waters before you dive in.
Have you got any useful tips on how to manage your finances as a student?