I looked forward to my first semester of Fall in 2010 of college with the outlook that I was going to attend two years of college and enter a program after a lot of hard work. I am now entering my fourth year trying to get prerequisites done and still have more to do. I have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.54 and have just exceeded 30K in debt. I have repeated no classes and every semester I take all of the classes I am able to take – since you can’t take some classes without having taken others.
I still have Physics and a Physics Lab to go through along with a Pre-Health class and can put in my application in Spring 2015 semester which is the earliest I can do it. I am applying for one of the sixteen spots available that will start in Fall semester of 2015 of the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. If I do not get into that semester I will have to wait for two additional years to reapply yet again.
It is beyond my belief that a school that is supposedly a community college set up to run two-year programs can have you attending for a total of five years (which will be my minimum time in school to finish my program) and I figure I will be hitting 50K plus before I am done. I enjoy the fact that I am attending an accredited school which soars in excellence when it comes to perspective employers in this field but should the cost really be so much? Should I be paying so much and go into so much debt so that the President of the school can pull in more than 250K as a regular salary and almost 450K with bonuses etc.?
Why must a student take on so much personal debt? Are some of these classes pertinent to the program I am taking? I have talked to several Ultrasound Technicians and they told me what I need to know for the job will be taught within the program and that 95% of the information I have been forced to learn to even apply for my program useless information. So I ask myself why do I need to know it?
OK! So a college will respond with ‘it makes you think differently’ – I’t makes you a more well rounded individual’. Excuse me? I am 38 and do not need to be any more well rounded then I am ready am and I think well enough to get me through. Maybe this is a situation that benefits a student coming directly from high school but this old dog has little benefit from it.
I recently got an email from my school informing me that my funding will come to a close and that I should have finished my coursework for the degree I am working on now. Really? I have followed the recommended course outline supplied by this very school. So I go in and talk to a financial adviser and they laugh and say oh never mind the email, all I need to know is that I have three more semesters of funding and since I am on the same declared course from the beginning they will extend funding but only cover classes and needed materials that are directly needed for program graduation. I am also told I will not be able to change my concentration of the desired program or I will lose all funding.
Why do American college students go into so much debt? Society? Schools? Is it worth it? I worry about the economy and job availability. I understand that the healthcare field in specialty areas are still strong and employment is readily available for it in my area – but I still have fear. Am I going to load myself down with the burden of 50K plus of student debt only to not be able to pay it back?
Only time will tell – and I guess I will try to keep my head high and looking to the future and hope that my end dream I have been working so hard for is not a financial nightmare.
Are you in a similar situation? Have you already gotten past your school from a similar situation and can shed more light on how you got through it all and how you are doing now?