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Ask The Experts: After College, Straight to Grad School?

Wednesday, 25 Mar 2009 | 3:54 PM ET

Q. My son is about to graduate college this may and he is understandably worried about finding a job. He has expressed interest in going to graduate school in the fall if he cant get a job right out of school. We've told him we can't afford it but in this lending environment, is he even going to be able to get the loans if he decides to do it himself? His credit is fine but I dont know if that much matters anymore. Your help is appreciated! -Diane L., IL

A. Diane - I put myself through graduate school on loans and and am still paying them off today.

But! It was one of the best investments I ever made in myself and my future. However, getting an M.A. was part of a very strategic decision - not because I couldn't find a job. Grad loans are out there but they are more expensive than ever.

Have your son think of the school application process as well. Most good schools prefer to see at least a couple of years of work experience before hitting the books again so he needs to consider that he may not get into where he wants to go and the loans will be too pricey.

I also want to make sure that you don't take on any loans for him or pull equity out of your home or funds from your retirement. Letting him live with you and not paying rent right away is much more help than jeopardizing your financial future. To scour for grad school loans and grants, head to FinAid.org.

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Carmen Wong Ulrich is the host of On The Money