Did My Education Cost Too Much?
by Jessica Feldman Sep 12, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

I went to college for a chance to move up in the world. But the debt I incurred in order to pay for it is holding me down.

This is the story of my education and my debt—a paradoxical combination. Ten years after college, I find myself wonderfully well educated and woefully burdened by payments that threaten many of the possibilities my schooling promised.

I grew up in a very small town in rural Massachusetts consisting mostly of lower-middle-class families, some of whom had been there for generations. We had cows, corn, and about 3,000 people. The public schools were not great. There was a lot of racism and sexism. There was also a great sense of community and a respect for the earth. People there are born, go to school, get married, grow old, and die within a 50-mile radius. The poor stay poor.
My parents were both from the area and had met at a nearby state college, which they both attended part time while working full time. Both financed their own educations with a combination of wages, loans, and credit cards. We had a small house, a big backyard, and good food from our garden. I always had music lessons, food in my stomach, and clothes on my back. I recognize in retrospect that providing this was no easy task.

My parents finished paying off their college debt just as I was finishing high school. They told me I could go anywhere—but I would have to pay for it. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I got into Columbia, and I wanted to go there. I was one of four students in the 30-year history of my high school ever to be admitted to an Ivy League school. After years of subpar schooling, I would really, finally, properly learn how to read closely, think critically, and write well. I was thrilled.

Read more.

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: markcrispinmiller@gmail.com

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.