As a person who rents a room in a 3 bedroom for 40% of my income right now... this article just makes me laugh/sob. Mostly sob.
The best thing I ever did in undergrad was wheedle my way into a PhD. class the second semester of my senior year, so I could immediately run screaming from academia and into a regular paycheck.
I will be forever greatful to whoever was in charge of my scholarship from my sorority who had the foresight to set those up as a check to the receipent personally. The best!
fun fact: Cornell now costs two times that. in less than twenty years! that shit cray.
@ranran My experience was sort of similar. I applied to two SUNYs and assorted private schools, and the fanciest school I got into was also the most generous with its financial aid. Incidentally my freshmen year was a weird year for my parents financially, (reorganization at my mom's firm), and my financial aid only grew more generous the next year, which was ordinary and the subsequent two as my younger brothers enrolled in college (one at the same school as me). Aside from that first year, my costs at Fancy U were comparable to attending one of the SUNYs and the benefits of going there, in the simple terms of the alumni network and the edge it gives me in applying to graduate schools were totally worth it. I was able to major in a useless humanity, be deliriously happy with my academics for four years, and still get a decent job after graduating. I graduated with about $15,000 in stafford loans, which I am completely responsible for. My parents covered the gap between financial aid and loans out of pocket, and my living expenses, which I did everything in my power to minimize. I lived in my sorority house as a sophomore and part of my junior year, which was by far the cheapest three semesters of living expenses I had, including the dues. (Full disclosure: I also was very, very, very lucky and wound up getting about $7000 in scholarships from the sorority over my 3.5 years in it.) I worked a combination of jobs from sophomore to senior year, and basically paid for all my living expenses besides rent as a senior. I'm entertaining the idea of going to law school next year, but if I don't score enough in fellowships/aid its just not happening. $15,000 in debt is totally reasonable and manageable. $150,000 is not, even if you do get one of those crazy biglaw jobs.
@terrific yesssss I did that! Astoria represent!
I'm on your side! These things are super frustrating-- for all the reasons you stated AND, at least where I live, no one takes AMEX. You have free money that no stores want to take it!
@mirror_father_mirror I know right?? I just finished my B.A. in English and finally dropped my aspirations to academia after a stern conversation with my advisor and schmoozing my way into a Ph.D class in my final semester and being really put-off by my classmates. No thank you underemployment! My full-time job might not be as fun as talking about Derrida all day, but at least I can make my student loan payments and not feel crushed by the burden.