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So lately I have been doing some number crunching and I am trying to figure out what a safe amount of $$ will be for everything except tuition......

 

Assuming rent is ~1,200 a month, I am looking at 36K alone in rent after 30 months....What do current students think would be a safe number for other related living costs such as food/gas/cable/electricity ect... for the entire 30 months? 

 

36K for rent + ___________ ORC = Total loan amount without tuition for 30 months.

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Holy cow 1,200 a month for rent alone!? You should ask First year students from your program how much they pay for gas, power and internet. I believe you apply for loans per semester so keep in mind that the will only give you enough for the first semester for living expenses.

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This might be an unpopular suggestion (especially for someone who is going to soon be a poor, starving graduate student) but it is frequently worthwhile speaking to a financial advisor for stuff like this. Doing so might set you back a few hundred dollars initially but in the long run you can realize big dividends.

 

Student loans are something to have a healthy respect for. Unlike some other loans, they are "unforgivable" in many circumstances. You go bankrupt, students loans do not go away. You die, they bounce over to your estate. 

 

The risk is greatly decreased by the fact that you are going into a field in demand with good compensation. But for a financial decision that will impact your life for decades you might do well to get a professional, objective opinion.

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