Education is one key necessary for the enlightenment of a person or group be it a nation, a family, a church, a mosque, or an organization. Education has the hierarchy of elementary school, middle school, high school, and tertiary education (university/college). Tertiary education is the level following the completion of high school. It varies from diplomas, undergraduate and graduate certificates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. A Ph.D. usually takes three to four years of full-time working on a thesis that would have an original contribution of the individual on whatever subject of research. On part-time, a doctoral degree could take up to six years. Let us now know if Do Ph.D. Students Go Into Debt?
A Ph.D. usually has the stages of:
- Carrying out a review.
- Carrying out new research making sure your results are original.
- Document the conclusions from the research conducted.
- Writing out the thesis and submitting it as a dissertation.
- Defending the project through an oral exam interview.
Lets know if Do Ph.D. Students Go Into Debt?
These stages might not be adhered to by all fields of study and universities but are the summary of the doctoral degree process. The Ph.D. degree is unique because it involves carrying out original research. However, in this uniqueness lies the cucumber some work attached to a doctorate both in mental work, financial commitment, and time consumption.
The research varies because of the different fields. Science Ph.D. students would have to do a lot of practical laboratory experiments as they move on in their research and thesis. Arts and other fields would usually not work with a lab.
Ph.D. is Expensive
A doctoral student program can be run with student loans but sometimes, it might not be easy to cope with paying back these loans, school work and even working as well. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that Ph.D. graduates outside of education owe an average of $98,800 in student loans, in part because many Americans with Ph. D.s already have debt from earlier degrees. The clamor for workers’ higher degree attainment as well as the high cost of tertiary education is one reason why Ph.D. students and tertiary students, in general, run into debts while running their various degree programs. A Ph.D. student has a financial commitment from school fees, expenses as a result of research for a thesis, housing, food, transport/gas, lighting, phone bills, and clothing. A student is susceptible to running into debts especially when he/she started the degree program on a student loan and does not have a source of income to help pay this loan back may also provide for other basic and unforeseen circumstances. One might end up borrowing more than he/she can pay. Furthermore, even with a source of income, one can still run into debt. There is a need for parents, spouses, and sometimes grandparents to support students who are part of their family as the said stipends paid for Ph.D. programs are usually not enough to carry anyone through a doctorate program.
Some Ph.D. students drag debt with two hands upon themselves with their lifestyles. They make poor decisions on the costs of clothing, entertainment, housing, and other credit card expenses. Borrowing begins and debt comes calling. While it does not take long to get into debt trouble, it may require a long-term mentality to get out of it. A student having to deal with debt can affect life outside school. Frustration and pressure being experienced can be transferred to the home, colleagues, and maybe even lecturers. One can even become depressed and the pressure can get so high that they can decide to quit without graduating hence leading to failure. Coming out of debt needs one to decide to:
- Determine one’s total debt: this means knowing the exact amount one owes.
- Develop a repayment plan: map out ways to pay back. Would it be monthly, quarterly, or even weekly? How much percentage would want to remit back?
- Establish accountability: it is important to have a way to keep oneself accountable. One can decide to get an accountability partner that would help check if one is being faithful with the payments as well as help to curtail spending.
- Track Expenses: being in control of how you spend your money is important. It helps to know in conscious of how your money is flowing in and out.
When debts accumulate it can be tasking mentally, physically, and socially. It is important that as one takes a loan whether a student loan or any type of loan, the ability of repayment should be highly considered. This can guide you on what amount should be borrowed and at what rate. Although the debt race is increasing for education, it is one of the best investments one can make, it requires articulate planning, strategizing, and resilience.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Do Ph.D. students go into debt?
Answer: Yes, It is easy for Ph.D. students to go into debt however, careful financial planning will make you avoid debt.
- How do I get out of debt?
Answer: Getting out of debt begins with a decision to watch your lifestyle and spending especially when you do not have the luxury of cash around.