Graduate Student Told By Professor To 'Budget Better' After Revealing She Couldn't Live Off $350 A Week

With inflation and the high cost of living, it's hard for many people to afford their basic necessities.

grad student, college professor talking to class @indiesleaz / TikTok, EF Stock / Shutterstock

A college student revealed her professor's lackluster response after sharing that she was unable to live comfortably off of her current budget.

In a video, TikTok user @indiesleaz revealed that, like many other people, especially college students and young adults, finding money to both pay for school and still be able to have enough to take care of their basic necessities is almost impossible.

She was told to 'budget better' after telling her professor she can't live off of $350 a week.

In her video, the grad school student revealed that she had told her professor that she may need to drop out of the program because the stipend she was receiving through the school just wasn't enough for her to live off of anymore.


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"I need to leave the master's program because I can't afford to live on $350 [a week] anymore," she wrote in overlay text, recalling the conversation she had with her professor. She proceeded to list the responses she had gotten over stock photos of professors.


One said, "Oh your parents aren't paying for it?" Another, "Have you tried budgeting?" The third comment said, "It sounds like you're just not mature enough for grad school." The fourth and final comment: "Why don't you just buy a car and move to the suburbs?"

The college student attempted to show the lack of understanding from her professor as well as highlight the high cost of living today that is unattainable.

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According to the Education Data Initiative, the average graduate student owes up to $90,170 in cumulative federal student loan debt. And 54.2% of all graduate school graduates have federal student loan debt from graduate schools, while 60.5% have debt from their undergraduate studies.


On top of that, the cost of living in the United States has continued to rise steadily, with many people fearing for how they will be able to afford particular necessities.

According to TD Ameritrade’s financial disruptions survey, almost half (47%) of Americans believe that the cost of living is the biggest threat to their financial security and long-term investments.

The cost of living — including food, housing, education, and medical costs — has increased by 2.3% since 2020 alone, mostly due to the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Consumer Price Index.

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Many people shared similar circumstances and experiences with the high cost of living and inability to afford basic necessities.

"Had a professor tell me to just follow the science and money will come... I followed the money instead and quit the program," one user wrote. Another user added, "When I told my advisor that I had a part-time job to help pay, she said I might need to quit when I get to grad school. Do they think I worked for fun?"

"I remember speaking to financial aid and they were so clueless when it came to actually helping students who had financial need," a third user shared. A fourth user chimed in, "I have 2 Masters. It was neither cheap, [but] the greatest experience, and hard as hell. I worked full-time during both with kids."

There definitely needs to be more understanding and compassion among people, especially from older generations, on just how difficult it is to afford to live in this country.


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Nia Tipton is a Brooklyn-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.