I came to Tuck to start amassing both the financial and political capital necessary to facilitate change as well as learn more about the different aspects of public policy. My number one priority was ensuring I had the funding in place I needed to attend school, ideally at the most favorable rates I could procure.
The Financial Aid office at Tuck was very helpful in providing the information I needed to make informed choices about my finances. They patiently answered all my questions and walked me through the intricacies of Tuck’s billing policies. Understanding the different timing of when aid, loans, and various bills (including rent for some students) are applied to our accounts and when to act is important, so it’s worth taking a few minutes to talk to the Financial Aid office to ensure you understand everything.
My advice to prospective students is not to despair when you see the price tag. Do your homework on financing options and reach out to the Financial Aid office if you have any questions or concerns. Particularly when taking out loans, be sure to read the fine print and leave no stone unturned. Taking the long-term view on an investment in myself has given me peace of mind.
Tuck’s teaching style, its culture, and the ability to form strong bonds with peers were all appealing to me when I applied. I was always interested in a small program, but one that was highly rated.
The Financial Aid office contacted me right away after Tuck accepted me. They broke down all of the expenses associated with tuition, room, and board and pocket money, provided me with information about eligible loans, and guided me through the loan application process.
Initially, I was afraid I would have to cut down my expenses substantially. I disclosed to the Financial Aid office my personal financial needs. It turned out the loan and the scholarship I acquired along with a small portion of personal savings covered everything I needed. Moreover, upon receiving a great offer, I feel confident I will pay off the loan soon after my graduation.
I pursued an MBA at Tuck to prepare myself with the right business knowledge for a career as an entrepreneur. I served in the U.S. Navy as a submarine officer and diver for 7 years before leaving active duty. I funded my education with a mix of Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program benefits, personal savings, student loans, and my wife's income.
Members of the Financial Aid office have been available to answer my questions and help since the time I was a prospective student. They create detailed breakdowns for veterans that cover tuition, expenses, and fees along with expected Post-9/11 GI Bill® and Yellow Ribbon Program contributions. Furthermore, they created a schedule for housing payments. I was able to use this information to make not only an educated assessment of the cost of school, but also to track my budget and expenses throughout school. Their personal attention and commitment to helping students is evident and incredible valuable.
Candidly, it was a challenge at first because coming to school with a family of four (plus a dog) and no income was daunting. I would advise students to create a dollar-for-dollar budget for your entire time at school, make realistic assumptions, and don’t be afraid to make revisions along the way. I realized that for a modest change in the amount of my student loan, my family and I could relax a little and enjoy more of this amazing two years in our life.
I suggest projecting out what your career and personal goals are in the 3-5 years post MBA and reflect on how you want to set yourself up financially. Bottom line, don’t wing it, reflect on your goals and values and map a financial plan that makes sense.