My degree is not worth the debt!

  1. 3

    Facing college costs that are rising far faster than incomes, many Americans are relying on massive amounts of debt.

    We talked to seven people overloaded with student loans. Here is Erik's story. (Click through the rest of the gallery for other profiles.)
    harris2000, Esme12, and lindarn like this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 212 Comments...

  3. 11
    Aye....those debt amounts are headache inducing. My husband paid his way through a city college to get his ADN. he was adamant about not racking up debt with loans. He graduated and makes WAY more than those mentioned in the article, minus the debt. I always thought he was a tight-wad for not wanting to incur debt, but I'll be following his lead.

    I understand the concept of incurring educational debt as a quality of life investment, but in these cases, IMO, the end certainly doesnt justify the means.
    Jessy_RN, Borntobenurse?, rph3664, and 8 others like this.
  4. 42
    I would suggest the way I'm doing it:

    1. Go to a community college for your ADN. Wait a couple years, get onto a unit you are comfortable with in a hospital that offers tuition reimbursement.

    2. Go back to school but spend as little as possible. Do it part time if possible so you don't spend any/much more than what the reimbursement is. Continue to pay on CC loans while in school.

    3. Once done with RN 2 BSN, get the Masters part time, one class at a time if you wish, again, not spending any more than what tuition reimbursement offers.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, snSally, Conqueror+, and 39 others like this.
  5. 28
    The story of the social worker who has racked up $240,000 worth of student loan debt is enough to make my nose bleed.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, Conqueror+, Meriwhen, and 25 others like this.
  6. 6
    Quote from TheCommuter
    The story of the social worker who has racked up $240,000 worth of student loan debt is enough to make my nose bleed.
    Not mine. IDK her story on a personal level but things like that make me recall a thread on this site about a year ago.

    In said thread, a couple students were defending their going to school, not working, taking excess loans for bills and thrills (a larger TV, the best laptops etc). They were spending 50-60K (I don't recall the real number but it was terrible high) for a community college ADN. Lots of entitlement and self righteousness in the attitudes/posts of the students doing it. People tried to warn them, "Work is not a guarantee, you will have a hard time of it after you are done" and "You should borrow as little as humanly possible" but, eh, that went over like #2 sandpaper. They got the typical entitlement responses "I have a right to decide blah is my right as an American to choose whether I wish to work while in school...............blah blah."

    Wonder how they are doing now in this job market with jobs hard to find and a 5K degree they paid 60K for?

    Debt is an American right, every bit as much as smoking, not bathing for months and being homeless are. Of this list, being in debt is the least attractive. Its a tough life to live.
  7. 19
    Yikes...I ended up with $17k for my BSN, which still seems like a lot, but I've got it paid down to about $7k (plus paid off $10k in cc debt).

    I wish high schools required a financial class. I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey, but I'd take anything just to get these kids' minds wrapped around reality. I didn't when I was 18 (hence the $10k in cc debt) and I feel very blessed that I learned the "lesson" early on.
    llfox, Conqueror+, micajoieLAc, and 16 others like this.
  8. 6
    It is just plain strange for me that so many students can whine for hours about their school raising tuition 7% a year and even go for a day of loud protesting in the state capital (missing a couple of solid classes in the meantime), but grow immencely enthusiastic when offered an "opportunity of a lifetime" to spend 3 months of studying Nursing in New Zealand. I know that New Zealand is a pretty cool country and it is exiting to get a picture if yourself at the very same place where one's favorite scenes of "The Lord Of The Rings" were once filmed, but the trip is going to cost like full TWO semesters! Nursing in New Zealand may be good thing to know about, but it still has nothing to do with the way it is done here in the USA, so this "experience" will be totally useless for the job search purposes. So why they have to do it right now, and by means of using school loans at that?
    And I don't even mention all other kinds of useless and costly "experiences", electives, clubs, activities and chronic bitchings around not having enough those fluffy armchairs in cafeteria.
    RHC81, MrWarmHearted, 4hana9, and 3 others like this.
  9. 22
    Gotta love generation Y.

    I have kids in college and they live frugally. No cars, live on the edge. They have friends though who have parents footing the bill. Many don't go to class, have nice cars and live in apts nicer than my house!

    I remember doing the college thing. I paid for CC to get my LPN. I worked 2 jobs and thankfully had an aunt who would help buy my books and gas monies. I would repay by weeding her gardens and doing chores. I then went and got my ADN very slowly, with aunt once again, helping and I, once again, working 2 jobs and helping her out.
    Only when I got my RN did I finally work one job.
    In the meantime, I lived frugally and lived in a old studio appt that over looked a cemetary. I shopped in thrift stores for my housewares.
    Looking back it made me who I'am today and I would not do it differently.
    Last edit by tokmom on Jun 25, '11
    llfox, morte, subee, and 19 others like this.
  10. 9
    PA state university's tuition cost per yr is $15,000. Add 5-7,000 more/yr if living on campus. Health insurance is required, cost additional $1,200/yr. Add in books + meal plans--- $60,000-100,000 for 4yr degree.
    Esme12, tewdles, 4hana9, and 6 others like this.
  11. 4
    Not sure why someone would go to an Ivy League university they couldn't afford to get a Master's degree in a field that pays close to minimum wage. I am surprised that people are even allowed to take out loans that huge ($240,000). Community colleges and state Us are a much better investment.
    tanabella, hope3456, rph3664, and 1 other like this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors