You probably want to be a clinical psychologist, but I guess you worried about the cost? it’s normal. Money sometimes can be a barrier but this is when this information about how much PsyD programs cosst becomes valuable. We have all the information you need on how to pay less to become a clinical psychologist. Read through to access this information.
To make your reading easy and fun, we’ve made a list of topics we will be handling, they are as thus:
- PsyD Reality: Graduates Often Owe $100,000+
- Why Does the PsyD program cost Much?
- Argosy University and Alliant International University among the Most Expensive PsyD Programs
- PsyD programs cost and Loan Payment Options
- The PsyD with a Modest Amount of Debt Looking to Pay it Back
- Public or Non-Profit Sector Psychologist with a lot of Debt
- Help for Figuring Out What to Do with Loans from PsyD Programs
PsyD Reality: Graduates Often Owe $100,000+
The first step in tackling the terrible treatment PsyD students get at the hands of student loan policy is calling out the cost. The range of debt loads my PsyD clients have had is between $100,000 to $450,000.
The average PsyD program cost of the clients contacting me is around $270,000. No doubt, a disproportionate number of students from for-profit schools like Argosy University reach out, but so do graduates of lower-cost programs.
Even if you leave school with $100,000, that’s still a lot given that most psychologists make less than that.
Why Do PsyD Programs Cost so Much?
Here’s my notion of why the PsyD program cost so much. There’s a strong demand for psychologist jobs from students.
All you have to do to see the interest in the field is the huge enrollment numbers at undergraduate institutions. When I was at UF, I think there were more than 1,000 Psychology undergrads.
The law of large numbers states that a number of these folks will want to continue in the field professionally, but the only way to do that is through advanced education.
Hence, we have the proliferation of PsyD programs that’s happened around the country
Argosy University and Alliant International University among the Most Expensive PsyD Programs Cost
Lending support to this idea is the large concentration of for-profit institutions in the PsyD world. Alliant switched to a for-profit benefit corporation.
Argosy University has campuses all over the place and books major profits for shareholders.
The private ‘non-profit’ universities are out there making a lot of money too. If you look at a list of APA accredited programs, you sure don’t see very many public institutions on the list.
Why is this? The PsyD at the scale it’s at today is a newer program. Hence, more profit-oriented schools are quicker to react to demand. That’s one of the big reasons for the super high cost.
The majority of the psychologists that I work with coming out of Argosy University and Alliant International University have had over $250,000 in debt.
There’s totally still hope if you owe this much. That said if at all possible I’d try to avoid these schools unless they were my only option.
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PsyD Loan Payment Options
Basically, I think there are three paths that make sense to repay the PsyD student program loan. I meet with all three paths in my consulting business. Maybe you’ll identify which one looks the most like you.
To illustrate each of these paths, we’ll use hypothetical psychologists and include some examples of their situations to show you how I’d analyze it.
If you want your own copy of the calculator that I’m going to use to model these situations, you could click on that link and get it.
The PsyD programs cost with a Modest Amount of Debt Looking to Pay it Back
Anna has been practicing for about 7 years and has $120,000 of debt at a 6.5% interest rate (which she’s been paying on IBR for 6 years).
She’s married to a spouse with $80,000 in income and no student debt (lucky!) she makes $90,000 and works in a private practice setting.
We’ll assume she and her spouse get inflation level raises and they could refinance her loans at 5%. Here’s what the projected costs look like:
I like to compare the actual dollars out of your pocket cost as well as convert the cost to today’s dollars since the repayment plans are over different periods. Both measures show refinancing as the cheapest option for Anna.
thus, If she had home equity, she might also consider doing a cash-out home equity loan because of the tax deduction for mortgage interest.
Public or Non-Profit Sector Psychologist with a lot of Debt
Kristina is a PsyD counselor at a local school. She makes about $65,000 a year, but she has excellent benefits and a reasonable working schedule.
Her $250,000 debt bothers her, but she has heard of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. She’s pretty worried about the talk of repeal and doesn’t know what to do.
She’s got a partner of several years, and considers marriage optional, and wants to know what the cost would look like with her significant loan balance if they got married.
Her boyfriend makes $120,000 and has already refinanced his loans with a private lender.
Private Sector Psychologist with a Lot of Psychology School Debt
Tim’s dream was to have a private psychologist practice and He makes decent money at about $110,000, but his debt is a staggering $350,000 at a 7% interest rate. His wife makes $50,000 a year (with no debt), and they have 2 young children.
Tim’s monthly payment would be around $4,000 a month if he tried to pay it back in 10 years. That’s clearly not feasible if he wants to have a nice standard of living.
A private sector PsyD grad is very likely going to need to optimize their situation for loan forgiveness but that’s particularly true if they went to a high-cost school like Argosy University or Alliant International University.
Help for Figuring Out What to Do with Loan from PsyD Programs
Most financial advisors don’t have a clue how to find the optimal loan repayment strategy and they’ll give you generic advice or leave out the nitty-gritty details.
But there are a lot of situations and examples that I left out in this article, and your story is unique and all I do is consult on huge student loan balances from professional programs.
Therefore, I’ve worked with a bunch of PsyD grads before, and I’d love to work with you.
In conclusion, you can come up with a strategy that will save you money on your PsyD loans. If you want professional help figuring out your plans, Student Loan Planner has counseled many PsyD grads looking for student loan answers
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