Is Getting an MBA Worth It_780x440: Getting an MBA won’t be right for everyone, but it could be one way to advance your career.

Is Getting an MBA Worth It?

The question of whether it’s worthwhile to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration—an advanced and versatile degree that can help people ascend into management analysis and/or strategy roles—is a highly personal one without a real single objective answer. As usual with financial and personal decisions, the answer tends to be “it depends.”

The last decade has seen the MBA go from becoming the most popular master’s degree in the U.S. to “being in crisis,” with overall applications declining. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many schools expanding their policies and modalities for distance learning, so it’s still anyone’s guess what impact that will have on the MBA’s popularity and employer demand. Either way, it’s never a bad idea to consider betting on your future—and an MBA is still a big commitment. Here are some things to consider when deciding to pursue an MBA.

The Pros and Cons of Getting an MBA

Getting an MBA won’t be right for everyone, but it could be one way to advance your career. Here are some things to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of getting an MBA.

Pros to Consider

Improved earning potential. The average anticipated salary for MBA graduates entering the workforce is $79,043 according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. A recent grad’s expected salary may be even higher depending on where a student gets their MBA. According to US News & World Report, the average salary for 2019 MBA graduates at the top 129 full-time MBA programs was $106,757. For top 10 programs, the average salary and bonus was $173,960.

But if you’re wondering if it’s worth getting an MBA from a lower tier school, consider that the average MBA salary for graduates with a degree from the 10 schools where compensation was lowest was just $52,720 .

Expanded Network. Business school can be a great opportunity to make friends and network with like-minded individuals. In addition to your peers in the program, you’ll engage with faculty and be introduced to a (hopefully robust) alumni network.

Career Acceleration or Transition. Successful completion of an MBA program can improve an individual’s career mobility. Coursework is often designed to encourage management skills, critical thinking, and other specialized skills, which can help prepare people for the workforce.

Cons to Consider

The cost. According to US News & World Report , in 2020 the average cost of the top 10 business schools in the United States was over $140,000 for tuition in a two-year MBA program. The most recent data available from the National Center of Education Statistics indicates that during the 2015-16 school year, the average MBA student loan debt was $66,300 at the time of graduation.

There are ways to mitigate the cost or to at least lower sticker shock out of the gate by pursuing part-time programs or staggering your course load over a longer period of time so you can still be drawing a salary to offset the costs while you’re studying.

Time commitment. Getting an MBA in a full-time program can take two years. There are some accelerated programs that may allow students to complete their coursework in 12 to 16 months. Beyond the length of the program, MBA classes are no joke. The coursework requires commitment and diligence, so be sure you have the time to dedicate to classes.

Consider factoring in the application process when evaluating both time and cost. To apply, schools may require GMAT™ scores, letters of recommendation, and more. Meeting the application requirements may take both time and money if you still need to take the required standardized tests.

How to Decide If an MBA Is Worth It for You

While an MBA can offer great potential for career growth, it’s definitely not the right choice for everyone. Be honest with yourself about why you want to pursue an MBA. It can be an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in career growth but it can be a huge time and monetary commitment.

Take the time to really evaluate whether getting an MBA is in line with your career and personal goals. Also understand the types of schools you may be able to get into, as the earning potential for someone who attended a top-tier school isn’t the same as someone who is enrolled in a lower-tier program.

When sitting down to crunch the numbers and assess your goals, pay particular attention to long-term salary projections among graduates from the program you have in mind—assuming future earning potential is a primary motivator for getting an MBA. Debt may be offset by future salary. But because signing on for grad school is a big and expensive decision overall, it’s worth considering all angles.

How to Pay for an MBA

One approach to college programs is to first seek fellowships, scholarships, and grants—and to then pay for costs out of pocket or to seek a loan as a last resort. Unlike undergraduate scholarships, which may be based on financial needs, MBA fellowships and grants are often awarded on merit. That means rather than taking financial need into account, oftentimes programs will be looking at a student’s achievements, talents, abilities, and performance in spite of hardship.

Generally speaking, when trying for a merit-based award, it helps to apply early, really ponder how you’re distinct from your competition, and push yourself to craft your application specifically for the program. Admissions folks and fellowship committees spend a lot of time reading a ton of applications and can tell instantly when an essay has been rubber-stamped—spell check, read your application over repeatedly, and don’t rush any aspect of it.

When in doubt, consider calling the admissions office for guidance or for information on programs and awards that may not be fully described online. But many MBA programs, including, for example NYU Stern, clearly indicates that “about 20-25% of admitted full-time two-year MBA students receive a merit-based scholarship.” NYU Stern’s website runs down many of the possible scholarships and fellowships prospective students can try for and what’s required.

Review fellowship opportunities available at the college or university you are interested in attending. Fellowships can be highly competitive and rare but offer a chance to attend a program, earn a degree, and avoid incurring the full cost of tuition. Not all schools offer them, but the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business and Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business are just two examples of ones that do.

It might sound like an incredible long shot to earn a full free ride or even a considerably discounted one via aid—but it’s always worth pursuing because you may be closer than you think.

Recommended: How To Pay For Grad School

Student Loans for Graduate School

Student loans are another option students can use to pay for graduate school. To apply for federal aid, students will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid. It’s important to note that the federal loans available for graduate students vs undergraduate students are different. Importantly, graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loans.

While your search for aid often starts with the university’s website and making contact with real humans there—not just going off what’s online—it’s also worth getting on the phone to lenders and finance companies to shop around and get the lay of the land. SoFi offers options to help students refinance existing student loans or to take out a new one. According to The Fed, there is currently over $1.7T in student loan debt . Chances are anyone thinking about school would like to avoid personally contributing to that statistic. Note that refinancing eliminates federal loans from borrower protections like deferment or forbearance.

Recommended: The Lifetime Cost of an MBA Degree

Employer Tuition Reimbursement Programs

In addition to getting on the horn with the schools you’re considering, it’s worth talking to your employer. Some employers have programs where they will pay for all or part of your MBA if you commit to returning and staying with the company for a set number of years after you earn the degree.

A 2019 survey from the Graduate Management Admission Council found that 40% of companies offer education sponsorship . If you’re among the current majority of the 60% other companies, there may still be tuition reimbursement programs—it’s worth at least asking about.

You can also explore business school assistantship programs as a way to offset the cost of tuition. These are jobs that may require you to help school faculty with tasks like conducting research or grading papers, and can also help provide you with a stipend as well to help with personal expenses outside of the debt owed to the school you’re working to erode. Contact your school’s employment office for details—but know that like with every other option to minimize the bill for a degree, the competition is likely to be fierce.

Recommended: How Does Tuition Reimbursement Work?

The Takeaway

Even if you don’t have a few dream graduate schools in mind yet, it’s a good bet you know it’s a pricey proposition and not one to be pursued on a whim. In addition to this article, it would be worth reading our content on how today people are taking on a larger amount of debt for master’s, MBA, law, and medical programs than ever before.

Compared to undergrads, grad students are taking on more debt, taking out loans that come with higher interest rates, and there’s the additional opportunity cost of just time invested in your own life—later in life—that comes with pursuing another degree.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth getting an MBA necessarily, it just means before making the final decision about pursuing it, it’s helpful—necessary even—to sit down, do your homework, and really think it through to develop a strategy and identify where compromises might also be called for.

Like a Bachelor’s, an MBA is not a guarantee of anything in your future. Obtaining an MBA will not magically earn you a better salary, grant you access to a better network, or help you figure out your path in life. Like any degree, an MBA is a tool that might help you quickly pivot your career or “check a box” for earning a promotion with your current employer. Whether that’s worth it depends on your own specific situation and set of goals.

Learn more about student loan refinancing with SoFi.



IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

It’s hard to imagine a world without credit cards. They make it easy to reserve a hotel room, flight, or rental car—and to conveniently purchase gas, groceries, gifts, and more.

Credit cards can help people build credit —and potentially earn cash reward points, among other benefits. With a credit card, you don’t have to carry cash, debit cards, or checks if you don’t want to, plus you can order items with your card and, if they don’t arrive in satisfactory condition, you have some leverage to get your money back (limitations apply).

Credit cards are used by some as short-term loans and, if you pay your balance in full each month by the due date, it’s essentially a no-interest short-term loan (though keep in mind that some credit cards charge an annual fee).

The challenge comes in, of course, when you can’t pay your balance in full in a relatively short time. The average credit card interest rate for existing accounts is a whopping 14.4% , and interest charges add up very quickly.

In this post, we’ll share some very high-level tips that may help you use your accounts responsibly and may help you get your credit card balances under control.

Before we get started, though, we want to point out that none of this should be taken as financial advice. And we know this goes without saying, but always consult a qualified and licensed professional if you feel you need help with your finances.

1. Avoiding Making Too Many Impulse Purchases

How many is “too many” depends upon how much your impulse purchases cost and how easily they fit into your budget.

If you know you can pay off your credit card balances and otherwise meet your monthly expenses and savings goals, then that’s an entirely different situation from one where your impulse purchases are too large to be paid off each month and/or keep you from meeting other financial responsibilities or goals.

If you enjoy making spontaneous buys, then you may consider including this as a line item in your monthly budget and then sticking to it. This could add enjoyment to your life without causing financial problems.

2. Using the Right Credit Card

There are a variety of different types of credit cards and depending on how you plan to use it, one option may make more sense than another. Some credit cards charge an annual fee, while others may offer rewards for certain purchases or cashback, which can be helpful benefits for consumers.

For example, if it will take a few months to pay off a purchase, then it makes sense to use one with the lowest interest rate available. That way, when you do have interest charges, they’ll be as low as possible.

Here’s another scenario. Let’s say you’ve just made a major purchase that you’ve budgeted to pay off in six months. It might make sense to transfer the balance to a zero-interest credit card.

These credit cards typically offer a no-interest introductory period before reverting to the card’s regular interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) which could be quite high.

So long as the balance is paid in full during the introductory period, this can be a useful strategy. If not, you might end up owing at a higher interest rate than you would have before you’d transferred the balance.

And here’s another catch. Sometimes, if you have a remaining balance when the introductory period ends, the company collects interest on your original principal, not just the remaining balance. So, in that situation, nothing was really free.

It may also be a good idea to consider annual fees (if any), as well as cash back options and other perks, when choosing the best card for you.

3. Taking Advantage of Benefits Offered

Signing up for eligible rewards programs can help credit card holders make the most of their card. Each type of credit card may have slightly different reward programs.

See what perks are being offered—if you’re not sure, check the card’s website or ask the credit card company for specifics. Once you know what they are, you can choose the ones you like and use them as strategically as you can.

You may discover that the card(s) you have don’t have the best benefits match for you. For example, perhaps you’re a frequent flyer. If so, some cards have better air-travel benefits than others. If you drive around the country instead, you could find one that offers the best cash-back deals on gas.

When switching credit cards, you might want to avoid closing the old one—that’s because canceling it might ding your credit rating. (If there’s a fee on the old card, though, it may make sense to cancel.)

Related: How to Cancel a Credit Card

Finally, if you are earning rewards points, consider the best way to use them. Sometimes it’s possible to get a bigger bang for your buck if, say, you use your rewards points at an approved store rather than opting for cash back.

4. Signing Up for Automatic Payments

To avoid missing payments or making them late, consider signing up for an automatic payment plan with the credit card company.

Another option is to sign up for automatic reminders about payment due dates (by text, for example, or by email), either through the credit card company or via a calendar app. What’s most important is coming up with a plan that accomplishes your goals in a way that works best for you.

5. Regularly Checking Your Statements

Mistakes do happen on credit card statements and, unfortunately, fraudulent activities could affect the account. So you might want to check your statement every month to ensure that you’ve made all the charges that appear on each statement, and that any payments you’ve made are reflected.

If something is missing, review the statement dates to see if the transaction may have happened, for example, right after the statement cut-off date. If something seems off, consider contacting the credit card company to verify.

If you notice any fraudulent activity, contact the credit card company as soon as possible.

Tackling Outstanding Balances

Let’s face it: Credit card debt can be hard to pay off—and here is one of the reasons why. Many credit card companies charge compounding interest, which means that not only will you owe interest on any outstanding balance, you’ll also end up paying interest on the interest.

That’s because this interest is calculated continually, then added to your balance—and may be compounded daily. So it’s easy to see how fast balances can keep going up—and up and up.

Interest compounds even when you make required minimum payments. It compounds unless you pay off your balance in full. To get an idea of what unpaid interest could mean for you, use our credit card interest calculator.

Consolidating Credit Card Debt With a Personal Loan

To break this debt cycle, and depending upon the terms offered, it may make sense to consolidate your credit cards into a personal loan. Reasons could include:

•   Qualifying for a lower interest rate on a personal loan. Lower interest rate = less interest owed overall = more money going to pay down the principal (depending on the loan term).
•   Most personal loans offer a fixed rate option, which means the interest rate does not change over the life of the loan. This can be helpful when creating a budget, since you know how much is due each month in terms of payment.
•   A personal loan to consolidate credit cards could lower how much you’re paying each month on what you owe depending on what term you choose.

The Takeaway

When used responsibly, credit cards can be helpful for a whole slew of things, from making online purchases to building credit. The keywords there are, “when used responsibly.”

To stay on top of your credit cards, tips like signing up for automatic payments, making the most of the rewards programming, and using the right type of credit card for your use are all important.

If you’re currently repaying credit card debt, crafting a plan to get on top of it is important. One strategy is to consolidate credit card debt with a personal loan, which can help streamline monthly payments and could allow borrowers to qualify for a lower interest rate than on their credit cards.

If you think a personal loan may be right for you, feel free to explore at SoFi.



SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Bankruptcy and Student Loans: What You Should Know

Bankruptcy and Student Loans: What You Should Know

When you’re struggling to pay back your student loans, what’s your next step? With Americans owing approximately $1.7 trillion in student debt, you’re not the only one asking this question. With bills piling up, some might even consider bankruptcy.

The question is, does bankruptcy clear student loans?

Well, it is possible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy but it is difficult and rare. Read on for information on types of bankruptcy and other requirements there may be in order to potentially qualify to have student loans discharged in bankruptcy.

Can You File Bankruptcy on Student Loans?

It’s very unlikely. Discharging your student loans through bankruptcy requires proving to the court that you would suffer from “undue hardship” if forced to repay.

While this may sound like you—honestly, who doesn’t see that monthly payment as an undue hardship?—it’s worth thinking twice before contacting your nearest bankruptcy lawyer. If it were easy to use bankruptcy to clear student loan debt, there probably wouldn’t be millions of Americans still making payments, so this isn’t something anyone should count on.

What Does It Mean to Declare Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy is a way of clearing your debts—which adversely affects your credit—through the court system, whose job is to sort through your assets and determine what debts to forgive that you’re unable to pay.

People looking to discharge student loans would be required to file eitherChapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, according to the Federal Student Aid website.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also sometimes referred to as liquidation bankruptcy. In this case, assets of the person filing for bankruptcy will be liquidated—or sold—by the bankruptcy trustee. There are some exceptions of “exempt” property, but everything else will be liquidated in the bankruptcy. Generally, people who consider Chapter 7 are those with minimal assets or a lower-income.

What is defined as an exempt property can vary from state to state. In general, it may be possible to preserve some home equity, furniture, clothing, and some other necessities.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is generally filed as a last resort.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be referred to as a “wage earner’s plan .” In this case, people filing bankruptcy can create a repayment plan to pay off their debts. Depending on the person filing’s financial situation, repayment may take place over either three or five years. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is more suited for individuals with valuable assets or who are earning considerable income.

In order to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, certain debt limits must be met. As of this writing, unsecured debts, those not backed by collateral, must be less than $394,725. Any secured debts must be worth less than $1,184,200.

Filing Bankruptcy on Student Loans

So if nearly 20% of Americans with student loans are in default, why haven’t they declared bankruptcy? Simple: It’s extremely difficult to qualify to discharge student loans through bankruptcy. After all, if that kind of legal loophole existed for student loan debt, there would be nothing to stop people from graduating college and then immediately declaring bankruptcy.

While bankruptcy could provide some relief to individuals who are overwhelmed by immense debts, doing so has serious consequences. Bankruptcy is generally a last resort and filing for bankruptcy can have lasting impacts on an individual’s credit score.

Individuals struggling to stay on top of their debts should carefully weigh all of their options before filing for bankruptcy. Some alternatives to consider may be consulting with a credit counseling agency or contacting your creditors to negotiate a repayment plan. It can also be helpful to meet with an attorney who can provide more detailed information and personalized advice.

To have a shot at student loans being discharged in bankruptcy, the person filing typically needs to file additional action with the court, known as an “adversary proceeding ,” which is essentially a request that the court find that repaying the student loans would in fact be an undue hardship to both the individual and their dependents, if they have any.

Most, but not all, courts use the ‘Brunner Test’ to determine whether or not a borrower may qualify to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.

The qualifications for the Brunner Test include:

1.   The borrower and their dependents cannot maintain a minimal standard of living if forced to keep paying their student loans. This is based on your income and expenses.

2.   Additional circumstances exist indicating that your challenges are likely to persist for a significant portion of the student loan repayment period.

3.   A good-faith effort has been made to try and repay the loans.

That criteria sets a high bar to qualify for discharging student loans in bankruptcy and in most cases, it takes extraordinary circumstances to do so.

What Happens If the Court Finds There Is Undue Hardship?

In the unlikely event that the court finds that repaying the student loans would indeed put an undue hardship on the person filing for bankruptcy, there are a few different things that could happen .

•  The loans might be fully discharged. This means that the borrower will not need to make any more loan payments. All activity from collections agencies would stop too.

•  The loans may be partially discharged. In this case, a portion of the debt would be discharged. The borrower would still be required to repay the portion of the debt that is not discharged.

•  The loan terms may change. In this situation, the borrower will still be required to repay the debt. But there will be new terms on the loan, such as a lower interest rate.

What Alternatives Could Help Me Pay Off My Student Loan Debt Without Declaring Bankruptcy?

Fortunately, there are alternative options to declaring bankruptcy.

For short-term solutions for federal student loans, deferring the loans or going into forbearance, could be options to consider if you qualify. These options allow borrowers to temporarily pause their student loan payments.

Unlike declaring bankruptcy, federal student loans in deferment or forbearance generally don’t negatively affect your credit.

Another option for federal student loans is switching to an income-driven repayment plan, which ties your monthly payments to your discretionary income. If your income is low enough to meet the thresholds for these plans, this could bring payments down significantly, though interest will still continue to accrue.

Private student loan lenders may offer temporary assistance programs that could help borrowers who are struggling to make payments on a temporary basis.

It may also be worth negotiating: One option could be to contact the loan servicer or lender and ask for additional repayment options. In general, servicers or lenders would rather receive a smaller sum of money from you than nothing, so it’s typically in their best interest to work with you.

Is Refinancing an Option?

Deferring loans and forbearance are ultimately short-term solutions. If you’re looking for a long-term solution to reduce student loan debt, refinancing could be worth looking into.

Refinancing your student loans means transferring the debt to another lender, with new terms and new (ideally, lower) interest rates.

Some borrowers may be able to qualify for lower interest than the federal rates depending on your financial standing. But, keep in mind that when federal student loans are refinanced, they lose all eligibility for federal student loan borrower protections—like the deferment, forbearance, and income-driven repayment plans mentioned above.

If you’re looking to refinance, make sure you do your research and see if you can find competitive rates with a lender you trust.

The Takeaway

While it may be possible to discharge your student loans through filing for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, doing so can be extremely challenging—and succeeding is very unlikely. In addition to filing for bankruptcy, borrowers generally need to prove that continuing to repay the loan would place an undue burden on them and their dependents. And don’t forget: bankruptcy has considerable downsides, including the possible loss of assets and a substantial hit to your credit score that can last for years.

For federal student loan borrowers who are struggling with their student loan payments, deferment or forbearance may provide temporary solutions.

Federal student loan borrowers may also consider switching to an income-driven repayment plan, which ties their debt payments proportionally to their discretionary income. In some other cases, it might make sense to consider refinancing.

Is your student loan debt holding you back? Look into the options available for refinancing student loans with SoFi.



Bankruptcy Information: This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal/tax or bankruptcy advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal/tax or bankruptcy advice.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

SoFi Loan Products
SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp. or an affiliate (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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A Guide to Post Grad Internships

It’s a common misconception that internships are only available to students, but graduates can also apply for internships. Even after graduation it can be difficult to find a job, or maybe graduates aren’t sure exactly what type of work they’d like to do.

In either situation, getting an internship could help in narrowing down the type of work you want to do, gaining experience to add to your resume, and building up that postgrad network.

Benefits of a Postgraduate Internship

There are a lot of reasons why graduates might consider doing a post grad internship. Aiming to go right into a full-time job after graduating may be the right choice for some people, but there are some benefits to completing an internship first.

Doing a post graduation internship can allow graduates to explore their career options before making a long-term commitment.

Not every student is going to have an exact goal in mind for what job they’d like to have after graduating, and most degrees will give students more than one option to consider. Starting with an internship can give graduates the ability to test out a variety of jobs and also encourage them to live in different locations.

Another benefit to applying for internships instead of full-time jobs is that it may limit some of the stress of getting through the final semester.

Applying to full-time jobs could feel like a big commitment for graduates who are coping with the end of their college experience. It may feel like too big of a leap, and that’s okay!

Internships can make for a great in-between, stepping stone for graduates to use to get their feet wet and hopefully experience less stress during their final semester of college.

Internships also provide graduates with valuable hands-on experience and potentially a connection to their first full-time job. Getting a degree is important, but it isn’t the same as having previous experience in the field.

Doing a post grad internship can help recent graduates bulk up their skills and fill out their resume. Some internships will even transition into full-time jobs with the same company. For employers, it can be easier to hire someone they’ve already seen in action.

Lastly, getting an internship can also help recent graduates build up their network outside of college. Networking in college is important too, but developing relationships within the field of interest can benefit students when they start their job search after completing their internship.

So, What are Internships Like?

The first question most people are going to have when it comes to internships is, is it paid?

The answer to this question will vary by internship and by industry. For example, internships in banking, accounting, and government are often paid.

The determination for whether or not an internship will be paid is how much the student is benefitting from the experience vs. the company.

An unpaid internship is usually more learning based and it’s expected that the student will be gaining more from the internship than the company does.

Because internships are usually short-term commitments, most of them won’t provide the same benefits that full-time employees have. There may be other perks though, such as social events, vacation days, or covering the cost of relocation or housing.

How to Get an Internship

The work isn’t over post graduation, getting an internship will require some effort. One place to start is networking with professors, alumni, and utilizing the school’s career center.

Graduates can use platforms like LinkedIn or their school’s alumni database to find people in their chosen career fields to reach out to. Grads should get comfortable communicating with these people and being clear about what types of internships they’re looking for. These conversations can help open doors that otherwise may have been hard to find.

It’s also key to have a resume and cover letter ready to go. These may have to be tweaked for each internship, but if graduates are searching for internships in a specific field then they might be able to get away with making minimal changes.

Grads should get creative when listing their skills and experiences on their resume, even if they haven’t had a full-time job yet, they’ve probably picked up valuable skills at part-time jobs and in college.

Preparing for interviews will also help recent graduates snag an internship. It’s vital to do research on the company before the interview. Review things like the company’s mission, what their current projects are, and what the company culture is like. Having knowledge of the company can highlight the applicants excitement during the interview.

Preparation for interviews also includes studying common internship interview questions and prepping for those. The interview will be less nerve-racking when graduates know what to expect. It’s also helpful to prepare their own set of questions to ask the interviewer. This shows an interest in the company and commitment to learning more.

Repaying Your Student Loans

In addition to job (or internship) hunting, graduates will also have to face the reality of paying back their student loans. The exact timing for when repayments start will vary by the type of loan. Graduates should keep this in mind when applying for internships and full-time jobs.

For federal loans, there are a couple of different times that repayment may begin. Students who borrowed a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Family Education Loan, have a six month grace period after graduation before they’re required to make payments.

When it comes to the PLUS loan, it depends on the type of student that’s taken one out. Undergraduates will be required to start repayment as soon as the loan is paid out. Graduate and professional students with PLUS loans will be on automatic deferment while they’re in school and up to six months after graduating.

With the repayment period coming up, graduates may consider refinancing their student loans. What does that mean? Well, refinancing student loans is when a lender pays off the existing loan with another loan that has a lower interest rate. Refinancing can potentially save graduates money, but this depends on a lot of factors.

Both federal and private student loans can be refinanced, but when federal student loans are refinanced by a private lender, they’ll lose their federal benefits like the grace period or loan forgiveness. Graduates will want to consider this before deciding to refinance any federal loans.

Refinancing student loans could help qualifying borrowers reduce their interest rate, saving them money over the life of the loan.

The Takeaway

Post grad internships can help students build their resume, expand their networks, and gain valuable job experience. Depending on factors like the company and industry, post graduate internships may or may not be paid. Students still exploring their career options may find value in pursuing a postgraduate internship.

After graduation, students will likely begin repayment on their student loans. Some students may consider refinancing.

The decision to refinance student loans is just one potentially money-saving tip that recent graduates can explore as they find their footing financially. And if the time isn’t right to refinance during a post grad internship, it may be an option students consider once that internship (hopefully) leads to a full-time job.

Thinking about refinancing your student loans? See what SoFi has to offer and get prequalified in just a few minutes.



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Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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Paying for College: 11 Scholarships for Women

It’s not a secret that attending college can get really pricey really fast. For women students looking for a bit of help in the funding department, there are tons of great grants and scholarships for women available that can help ease the financial burden of pursuing higher education and help lower student loan debt. While there are plenty of college scholarships and grants that women can apply to, the following programs are specifically designed for women applicants.

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program provides scholarship opportunities to female survivors of intimate partner abuse in order to help them regain their independence and self-sufficiency via higher education and employment.

This organization aims to support women who have been separated from an abusive partner for at least a year. Both full-time and part-time students with financial need may be eligible.

While the average award amount is about $2,000 per school term, there is no set amount for this award.

Women In Need

The Women in Need scholarship is intended for women who are completing their sophomore year of college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and are also the primary source of support for their family. The award amount is $2,000 per year for two years if renewed.

Financial need is taken into consideration as is evidence that the applicant has a goal of pursuing a degree in accounting in order to prepare for a career as an accounting or finance professional.

Moss Adams Foundation

The Moss Adams Foundation scholarship provides $1,000 graduate scholarships for women who intend to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is available to minority women, women returning to school as current or re-entry juniors or seniors, and women who are pursuing their fifth year requirement through general studies or a graduate program.


Recipients must illustrate commitment to the goal of pursuing a degree in accounting in order to prepare for a career in the field and will need to provide evidence of continued commitment to this goal after they receive the award.

Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund has scholarship opportunities and provides support for low-income women who are thirty-five or older so they can build better lives through post-secondary education.

Women who are low-income and pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree may qualify for this scholarship.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program

Women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs that are preparing them for a career in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science can qualify for the Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program . In 2018, the program distributed around approximately 238 scholarships that come to more than $830,000 worth of awards.

Applicants have to attend or plan to attend a school with ABET-accredited programs to qualify. Each year, these awards are available for freshmen through graduate students and award amounts from $1,000 to $16,000, some of which are renewable.

Go Girl! Grants

Education grants for women are also an option for some students looking for help paying for higher education. The Go Girl! Grants is one such example. The Girlfriend Factor has supported more than 147 local women in Coachella Valley, CA with over $500,000 in grants to help them pursue four year degrees or occupational certifications.

Applicants must be currently enrolled in school in at least two classes, 25 years of age or older, and live and go to school in Coachella Valley.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship Fund

If someone is looking for college scholarships for women that are international students, The Philanthropic Education Organization (P.E.O) hosts the International Peace Scholarship Fund which has been providing scholarships for women from other countries, who are pursuing graduate study in either the United States or Canada, since 1949. This scholarship is based on financial need and the maximum award amount is $12,500.

P.E.O. STAR Scholarship

The Philanthropic Education Organization also offers the P.E.O. STAR Scholarship , which was established in 2009, in order to provide scholarship opportunities to high school senior women who plan to attend an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the United States or Canada in the upcoming academic year.

This scholarship is non-renewable and offers awards of $2,500 that must be used in the academic year that directly follows high school graduation. These funds can be used for expenses like textbooks, tuition, fees, and room and board.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

College grants for women are also available through P.E.O. who offers one-time need based grants to women completing a degree or certification needed to improve or gain skills that lead to employment. Recipients of the P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education must be citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States or Canada and the maximum grant is $3,000.

Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award

Annually, Soroptimist distributes over $2.8 million in education awards to around 1,700 women from around the world, more than half of which are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, or sexual assault. Recipients of the Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award have overcome obstacles such as poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug or alcohol addiction.

The award is intended to help recipients offset costs associated with attaining a higher education. This includes costs like textbooks, childcare, tuition, and transportation.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship for Moms

Moms are in luck! There are specific scholarships for moms available. Mothers can apply for the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship for Moms . Scholarship award availability and amounts can vary, but for reference, in 2020 the Patsy Mink Foundation offered five Education Support Awards at amounts of up to $5,000 per recipient in order to assist low-income women with children in pursuing higher education or training.

Managing Student Loan Debt that Scholarships Didn’t Cover

Hopefully there are some appealing gift aid options on this list that can help pay for higher education expenses! But even with the help of scholarships and grants, paying for college in full before graduation day can be challenging. Women with a lot of student loan debt may want to consider their student loan refinancing options to help lighten their load.

When a borrower refinances their student loans, they are taking out a new loan with a new interest rate and/or a new term. Ideally the new interest rate will be lower, making it easier and more affordable to pay off student loan debt.

It’s possible to refinance both federal and private student loans through SoFi student loan refinancing. Refinancing can be a good option for graduates who are struggling to pay down high-interest unsubsidized Direct Loans, Graduate PLUS loans, and/or private loans.

While there are some great benefits associated with refinancing student loans, it is worth noting that when a student refinances a federal loan into a private one, they lose access to certain federal protections such as public service forgiveness and economic hardship programs.

The Takeaway

Scholarships can be supremely helpful for students trying to pay for college. There are a variety of scholarships available specifically for women. In addition to the scholarships listed above, there may be opportunities available for women at a local level or, or at the college or university the student attends. Check the school’s financial aid website.

There are also online databases that can help students find scholarships to apply for.

Sometimes, paying for school entirely with scholarships isn’t possible. Students who borrowed student loans may be interested in refinancing them if they’re able to qualify for a lower interest rate or more competitive terms.

Learn more about potential refinancing rates today.



External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
SoFi Student Loan Refinance
IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF JANUARY 2022 DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

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