The architecture school is expensive and often requires additional years of study beyond a traditional undergraduate program: the five-year B.Arch is a common route.
Make no mistake, we are in the middle of a student loan crisis.
This is not going to be a political debate on the state of funding in higher education. On the contrary, I will have a realistic view of how you can complete your degree of architecture, regardless of your financial situation. The key to achieving this is planning. The better your plan is, the more likely you are to succeed.
A little information about why I am qualified to write about this topic. I went to the school of architecture and took out student loans because everyone did it. They told us it was “a good debt” and that it was an investment in our future.
Since then, I have canceled my student loans and in the process I have read a lot about personal finances. For some reason, architects and personal finance rarely seem to go hand in hand. Maybe it’s a fear that using Excel will eliminate all our creativity?
In addition to my professional training, I also help others with their personal finances and in my conversations with many young professionals student loans almost always appear.
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Just a note for my international readers, I am going to talk about the student and university loan system, however, many countries are dealing with the rising costs of higher education. Also, when I refer to “school”, I’m talking about the university.
This is not going to be a dissertation about how life is not fair and all education must be forgiven. In fact, quite the opposite. I want to cover three different stages of life in which my readers can be in the process of the architecture school. I wish I knew what I know now, the best I can do is try to help you avoid making some of the mistakes I made. I want others to start their architecture careers in the right direction.
Read more: American – The Price of Architecture
Will attend the school of architecture in the near future
Congratulations! This is a great first step and a decisive moment in your life. Now, for a less exciting question, how are you going to pay for this?
In the last two years of high school you have a part-time job: fill out scholarship applications. Must complete 3 to 5 scholarship requests PER WEEK. Get anything and everything you can get your hands on. You can get only 1% of the scholarships for which you are applying, but that is 10 if you request 1000.
You should also focus on getting your SAT or ACT scores as high as possible, as it will increase your chances of getting a scholarship. There are online self-study courses, books and one-on-one tutors. It may seem expensive at the moment, but it will be worth it in the long term.
I work during school?
More on this below, but you need to have a part-time job during school and work full-time during the summers to accumulate a lot of cash to pay for most of the next semester as possible.
Contributions from the family?
This is excellent if you have the option, but unfortunately it is not financially feasible for many families to make a significant contribution to fund a college education.
Student loans should be an absolute last resort. If it is unavoidable, request only the minimum amount necessary.
In general, most of the possible architecture students I speak with are mainly interested in entering a certain school. This is an important decision, think carefully. WHY do you want to go to this school?
I heard in a recent interview with a high school student who said she wanted to go to school because she said it was the “prettiest” school she had ever seen. Forget the fact that it was $ 20,000 a year more than her at the state school.
The great debate: in state vs. Out of state
According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 school year was $ 31,231 at private colleges, $ 9,139 for state residents at public colleges and $ 22,958 for out-of-state residents who attend public universities.
I do not pretend to be a dream destroyer, but unless you (through work and scholarships) or your family can pay out-of-state tuition, you must go to a state school. The number one factor that affects the cost of your education is the selection of the school.
For the schools of architecture of EE. UU., Check the website of the National Architecture Accreditation Board to see what accredited schools are in your state.
Attend an accredited architecture school is very important:
However, I will provide you with some rules to follow:
- Never, never take out private student loans. Many have variable interest rates and the terms of payment are much less permissive than the programs offered by federal loans. Do not do it In addition, private loans often require a co-signer. Also, if someone asks you to sign an agreement, run away. By co-signing you are as responsible as the main borrower. If they can not pay, the bank will come for you instead.
- Do not take out more than you need. Studying abroad in Europe is not NECESSARY. Spring break is not NEEDED.
- End up. You have to graduate. The only thing worse than student loans with a degree is untitled student loans. Do not take a sabbatical year. Do not skip the class. Do not relax. This will set the tone for the rest of your career. Do not start with the wrong foot.