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Well, Silicon Valley has an outrageous cost of living and I've heard that Stanford's student housing is difficult to get into due to the high cost of off-campus apartments. Definitely look into the cost of living there and consider that when deciding whether Stanford is the place for you. I think two bedroom apartments in Silicon Valley are now going for around $2400/mo. It may be that you could get just as good of an education at a school that wouldn't cost quite as much.

Also, if your grades and test scores are good, you should be able to get some kind of tuition assistance whether it be a grant, TA position, work-study etc. The general rule of thumb is that the school should pay for at least part of your costs for a graduate degree.

If you aren't so lucky as to get some tuition assistance, then subsidized student loans are a good option as long as you are planning to work for money once you get out of school and don't spend the loans frivolously. Also, programs where you work part time and take classes part time are great -- I know that Stanford does have a program like that. A part time program is an especially good idea if you can get a job with a company that is willing to pay for your tuition. This works especially well in the technology fields.

Definitely apply to a few graduate schools. You may find that they are willing to "bid" to get you by offering competitive monetary assistance. My husband got his graduate school (one of the top-notch ones) to pay for his entire schooling and living costs by telling them he was considering a competing school (which he was).

Best of Luck,

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