Student management

In a tough economy, private graduate student loans are more popular than ever

As inflation tops 8.5% and heads into the historic double-digit mark, millions of college graduates and mid-life career changers are choosing to apply for student loans to cover the cost of tuition and costs associated with obtaining a postgraduate degree. For so many job seekers in an increasingly unstable economy, private lenders are the most cost effective source of financing. Even as several economic indicators and the dreaded Misery Index worsen, college workers and seniors are discovering that one of the best ways to secure long-term employment is to earn a master’s degree in the field of their choice.

Year after year, those with advanced degrees land the highest paying jobs and are virtually immune to otherwise frightening unemployment statistics. In 2022, inflationary pressures have already begun to eat away at personal savings, making it all the more necessary for prospective students to rely on private loan sources for postgraduate degrees. Job prospects, base salaries, and long-term job security are among the top reasons people choose master’s degree programs.

Young and older adults returning to school are increasingly turning to private graduate student loans as a one-stop financing solution. The private route has multiple advantages, especially in the uncertain economy of 2022. For one, borrowers can apply online in minutes, providing basic personal and financial information in a succinct form. Paying for a graduate degree with a private student loan also offers people the opportunity to receive quick decisions on their applications and gives them access to sufficient funds to cover the full cost of obtaining a graduate degree.

Not since the late 1970s has inflation had such an impact on the value of personal savings, purchasing power and retirement accounts. While January’s 5% rate was seen as transitory, it soon became clear that the rise in consumer prices was anything but temporary. At the end of the first quarter of 2022, continued inflationary pressures in April signaled a permanent rate above the benchmark of 7%. A few weeks later, it rose to eight percent and above. Even with creative ways to fight inflationfor anyone planning to pay for their education expenses from personal savings, the outlook has dimmed significantly with the most recent data.

As COVID restrictions ease, more employers are hiring to make up for lost time. However, most new positions are at senior levels of companies and government agencies. Supervisors prefer to fill these slots with candidates with master’s degrees or many years of relevant experience. For young job seekers, this usually means that the only way to land such a job is to have a graduate degree in hand at the time of the initial interview.

With respect to the third quarter of 2022, the career fields with the most openings and long-term security for new applicants includes traditionally lucrative fields like IT, management, marketing, engineering, university education, logistics, economic analysis, statistics, government careers and programming. In the 2020s, many students are surprised to discover several unforeseen expenses associated with postgraduate programs. Gone are the days when tuition and textbooks were the primary responsibility of those paying for school.

In 2022, prospective students must be prepared to pay several unexpected fees. These include activity fees per semester, custom software products, course-specific laptops for those who do not already have the latest devices, travel fees for in-person classes, boarding fees for participants who choose to live on campus, etc.