Post # 61
I have $9,000 to pay back if I quit teaching.
I was part of a program in college through my state’s Dept. of Education; they gave me loan money, and it cancels out at 20% for each year I teach in-state.
If I leave and break the contract, I have it pay it back at a high interest rate.
It’s really not a bad deal since I would be teaching anyways regardless of whether they paid off my loans.
Post # 62
I have around $80K and a BA, MA, and PPS credential in school psychology. I didn’t have a choice, you can’t do my job without those degrees and only 3 schools around me offered the program, all costing about the same (65,000 of those loans). But really I don’t think school should ever cost that much, with how little they pay those of us that work in education, I’m not sure where the rest of the money is really going, especially after buying your own books and whatever else.
Post # 63
I went to a 4 year public university for undergrad and came out with no debt (I actually made money from going to school because I had a full ride athletic scholarship). Graduate school- 2 years and 3 summers left me with just under $20,000, which I’ll be paying back as quickly as I can, hopefully in the next 3 years, because of the high interest rates. Was it worth it? I say yes to both undergrad and grad… my graduate degree, which I finished in May, will allow me a 20% pay increase starting at the end of the month.
Post # 64
Mr. R and I both have less than 5K in debt. We both went to community college before university.
My first degree in biology wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.. but Mr. R’s finance degree w/ a minor in business had been very lucrative for him. So his was definitely worth it!
My second degree in nursing is definitely going to be worth it for me. I graduate in a year, but haven’t had to take any additional loans out so far.
I think it’s all relative, but if you make more in a year than the degree costs, I would say it is worth it.
Post # 65
I have a B.S. in Agriculture Education and a M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis. Both are requried to work in the field but working with kids with special needs is very expensive to keep up with (gas, travel, degree, continuing ed) and pay very little (at least in central PA). So was it worth it? I love my job and loved my time in school. I absolutely love Penn State, it’s the theme of my wedding, however, it is the most expensive public university in the country at about $20,000/yr for undergrad (4 years ago). I currently have over $50,000 in loans and didn’t take out any loans till my senior yr of undergrad. Also, my parents/me made too much to get any scholarships/grants. Doesn’t my help that my Fiance also has a 4 yr degree and is planning of taking over the family dairy farm. We both have very noble careers but they don’t pay well and that gets to be a burden.
Post # 66
I am in professional school (ie lawyer, doctor, vet, dentist) and will have well over 75k (the highest on the survery) when i graduate! lol…
Post # 67
@duck: What r u studying?
Post # 68
I went to a state university and commuted from home so it helped. I had about $15k by the time I graduated, and now less than $3,000 left which I hope to pay off by the end of this year. =)
Post # 69
I’m at just about $9k right now. I need to continue with school though, at some point, so I’m sure that figure will go up. 🙁
Post # 70
As of right now I have 0 in loans, but starting next month when the payout happens I will have $4k and nother 4k next semester. I have decided to go back to school since there are no jobs here where we live. Our home is paid for, the property is paid for, and we need some $$. I am on unemployment right now, so the loan money will certainly assist with the bills while i am in school. Fiance is an independent contractor and it has been really slow for him as well. So we will do what we can to get by.
Post # 71
I have about $25k from my bachelors and my masters (accounting). For me, it was worth it – I started my undergrad at a community college to save money and worked my entire academic career, so I have managed to minimize my debt.
HOWEVER, my Fiance came from a family that has no idea how crippling student loans can be, and that is how all the kids financed everything during their college years. Fiance started with about $90k in student loans (the Navy has helped pay down a lot) and his siblings are all struggling with approx $80k in loans each. I still can’t believe the advice his parents gave those kids re: college.
Oh and I am a CPA and absolutely use my degrees and my Fiance does absolutely nothing related to his. It’s one of the big things he regrets, but we’re working on paying them down.
Post # 72
While my education at a private college was paid for with scholarships and grants I took out $40,000 over the course of five years to travel and also live in several foreign countries. I realized that I would never have the time and opportunities to see the world as I did in college, with the money just a signature away.
It took me six years to graduate with all the time I took off in between semesters (anywhere from 8 weeks to a year) and will take me many many more to pay off but it was well worth all the amazing experiences I have had.
Post # 73
I did my undergrad loan-free, but racked up 26 grand in loans to get a M.S. in Experimental Psych.
Not worth it. The job market when I started was a lot more positive than it was when I finished–in the old days I would have been able to find a research position for someone with a master’s that paid considerably better than a research position for someone with a bachelor’s. Not anymore. There are so many people with graduate degrees that I’m not competing against people with BAs for BA jobs–I’m competing against people with PhDs for BA jobs.
My fiance is currently racking up around 100 grand in loans for law school. Odds are it will take a while to pay them off, since law jobs are also scarce on the ground right now, particularly since he wants to work for the state, which starts paying lower than most firms.
Right now I’m getting ready to take the MCAT and apply the medical school. That’ll be another 150-300 grand, depending on whether I get into an in-state public school (all one of them, and top-tier, too, so it’s really competitive) or an out-of-state or private school (which cost about double an in-state school). That investment is likely to take a loooong time to pay back, since I’m interested in family medicine, which pays about 1/3 what specialization does. Medicine is kind of FUBAR right now. I wish I was more interested in psychology and less interested in medicine–I could get into a PhD program somewhere, and end up not making anything but also not paying anything. But I’m not the kind of person who can do well in research. I’m not hyper-focused. And there’s a glut of PhDs on the market as it is, especially for Psych.
So… yeah. I think the moral of the story is “only go into debt to pay for a degree that other people will pay for,” like math. Actuaries are still making good money, and that’s my backup career if medicine doesn’t work.
Post # 74
I had 15k when I graduated with my BA in psych. Not too bad, considering my parents didn’t help at all and my tuition/room/board was about 30k a year. I’ve been making payments of 1,000 a month (with the occasional 2500 payment) since graduation (this past June 2 months ago!) and I’m down to 8,000. Fiance and I are trying to pay it off before we get married to go into marriage debt free, the goal is to be finished in March of next year. 🙂 We’re also buying a home and don’t want debt to hinder us. So far, we’re on track!
In terms of my degree being worth it….right now, I don’t know. I think the experience was worth it. I grew so much as a person and learned a ton. I have a decent job making pretty good money, but I don’t enjoy it. I think once I figure out what I want to do in terms of higher ed, my bachelors will pay off some more. I’m thinking about getting a teaching credential, so we’ll see!
I totally agree about the economy though….it BLOWS.
Post # 75
The $75k+ category doesn’t even begin to cover it for me– my loans will total just under $180k when I graduate next May : (
I was very lucky during undergrad, my parents paid for almost all of my BA in economics from a private school. I loved the experience, made some of my best friends, had the chance to travel and take fascinating classes. I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything!
The bulk of my debt comes from attending law school. A law school that doesn’t offer merit-based financial aide, unfortunately. But I am fortunate enough to have a job at a firm in my top-choice city lined up for next fall. I can’t imagine having pulled that off without the “name brand” factor and alumni connections of my law school.
We’ll see if it was worth it once I get into practice, but I have high hopes!