Friday, May 25, 2012

Grad school is expensive.

Oof. I just paid a bill for summer tuition.

SJSU Web Online Payments
Current Date: 05/25/2012

Payments Received                                                        Amount
ACH                                                                            $1,966.00

And it's not even the full amount, because I haven't been approved for LIBR 294 yet, so I can't register for it. The due date for payment, though, is before the deadline to add a new class. So this is the bulk of it, and I'll see more tuition (for two credits) and probably another $50 fee in a week or two. **EDIT** Actually, make that today. $1,002.00 more.**

This is how it breaks down:

Charge                               Amount
Document Fee                      10.00
Facility Fee                           37.00
Association Fee                    49.00  
Health Service Fee                85.00
IRA Fee                               90.00
Student Union Fee              217.00
Library-Course Fee              50.00
IES Summer Tuition Fee  1,428.00

Total due                         1,966.00

Other than the last two line items, those are fees charged to every Regular Session student -- even if they don't live close enough to use the facilities or health clinic and choose not to join any associations, attend any sports games or special events, meet at the student union, etc. It's the tossup choice you make at the beginning of your program (if, like me, you DO live in the catchment area and have the option to be a Regular Session student) -- pay extra fees for Regular Session, or pay more per credit unit for Special Session? If you go Regular, you pay flat tuition fees for either half-time (6 units or less) or full-time (more than 6 units) for each fall/spring semester. That's because tuition is subsidized by state funding for in-state students. If you choose Special, you don't have to pay those campus fees, but you pay a flat fee PER CREDIT, whether you take 3 or 4 credits per term or 12 (a very heavy load for graduate courses). The price per credit is higher because those students don't receive state funds.

Because of my high course load in a short period of time (I'm gunning to complete my program in 2 years even though I'm also working full-time), Regular Session made more sense for me in the long run. I took 10 credits in Fall 2011 and 10 in Spring 2012 (just wrapping up), and paid the "6 credits+" full-time rate. It was a good deal, even with the fees (the total fee amount comes out to less than 2 credits' worth of tuition). However, you can't choose to switch from Regular to Special (or vice versa) after you start the program. You're stuck for the whole time. So the difficulty I'm facing now is that Regular Session tuition isn't subsidized by the state during summer term.

Tuition is higher. I'm still paying the fees for on-campus stuff I won't use. And that means my bank account is feeling a little anemic just now. *groan*


  1. The high cost of summer school was one of the main reasons that I am not taking any classes. I took 9 classes during the last two semesters so I could get more for my money. Now that I have six classes left I will be taking it a little slower and graduating in Fall 2013. Good luck with your summer classes!

    1. Wow, 9 classes -- you've been busy! I thought about adding a 4th course to my prospective Fall schedule, but I think the wedding will take up as much time and provide as much stress as an extra class. :D

      I hope to be blogging more about my internship once all the paperwork is complete. Do have any ideas about where to do yours?

  2. Wedding planning, full-time work and school would be so tough, but I am sure you could do it!

    I am considering a collection development/cataloging internship at the the SJSU Science Education Resource Center (SERC). I currently volunteer there, and there is plenty more to do. I am also considering a public library internship or an instruction internship. I will probably do a two units because I already work full-time. I hope to hear more about your internship!

  3. Remy, have you written posts on how you decided on your specialty within library sciences and what you need to do (school/experience-wise) to become one? I have a good friend who wants to become a librarian. She's getting her bachelor's right now.

    1. You know, I haven't -- I created this blog after having made the decision and didn't directly address it much. My general advice to those who are considering an MLS or MLIS would be:
      Get library experience (volunteer in a library or with a literacy program or other related endeavor).
      Consider career paths based on availability of jobs in your desired geographical area(s). Do your research on expected salaries so you aren't blindsided -- you can make more with just a BA/BS in other industries than many MLIS-holders do off the bat. And you'll have to pay for the Master's.
      Check out the career-planning resources offered by library schools. (SJSU's would be -- that page lists a number of ways to apply the degree and the suggested courses for each one; other programs may have required courses for focusing on a sub-area of LIS.)
      Talk to both new and experienced librarians about their experience with job searching, employment, professional fulfillment, etc. I find library groups on LinkedIn discuss these topics generally; there are also many websites and blogs (I'll toss out Hack Library School, I Need a Library Job, and Librarian by Day) as well as whatever personal connections she already has. I'm happy to answer questions personally, too -- if she likes, your friend can find me on LinkedIn ( and send me a message.


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