When Student Loans Knock Me Out
Melissa Byrne

I am not trying to criticize you here, but I do have some questions. I read some of your prior columns and it appeared you were always passionate about the field you entered, which is certainly admirable.

However, I wondered whether or not you ever considered the fact that your chosen profession would not be able to support the debt load you took on to get into that profession? I don’t know where you went to college, or if you went to get a graduate degree, but if it was college only, my guess is that you went to an expensive private university. Did you ever ever consider going to a lower priced state school, or take any core courses at a community college, at a fraction of the cost.

I was told by my father, who was a teacher, that if I wanted to be a teacher, I would have to go to a state school because the cost of a private school did not justify the cost of the private college.

I have been out of college and law school (when it made financial sense to go, not like today where anyone who takes out loans to go to law school is an idiot given the poor market and astronomical cost) for just about 20 years now, and am still paying back my loans (finally under $10k).

The point here is that the idea of not considering the return on your investment before deciding to go into educational debt is a sure road to disaster. For example, if you’re studying engineering or computer science, then take the extra loans, but if you’re going to be an organizer or non-profit worker, then go to community college first then transfer to a state school (Unless you have grants to a private college that makes your cost of attending less than the state school)

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