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need help swallowing (the amount of debt for this degree)

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Hi all, I'm slated to start my masters in about 2 weeks. I am 110% freaking out about the debt I will be left with after graduation. Tuition is "only" 30k for the 2 years but cost of living for 2 years will be roughly 40k, all of which will be paid for with loans. I already have 25k debt from undergrad. I'm considering if I should withdraw my acceptance before classes start and apply again in the fall to a school located in a less expensive city. Everyone has said you have ZERO time for fun/exploring anyway, why pay for an expensive place if I'm literally buried in work? I know this is a terrible move on my part and I would feel bad I would've kept a spot from someone else. I only applied to 3 schools this time around (didn't think I'd actually get in) and chose the cheapest option but now it's coming down to the wire and I'm a nervous wreck wondering if its worth it. It's not about school itself and I love the program but holy shit I don't want to be shackled to debt the rest of my life. Obviously I'll feel like a fool if I'm not accepted again in the future.

Also I currently live in Europe and education here is about 1k A YEAR and it makes me hate the American education system. So that's probably playing a factor knowing I've been conditioned to accept mountains of debt just for education when in reality it's not the only way. 

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Hi thanks for the response! The city is on the east coast, and I accounted for roughly $1200 for rent and food monthly (living off campus). Add on books that tips it above 30k. Then transportation whether it's metro, bikeshare, or uber would need to be accounted for, moving costs (I either need to move stuff out there or buy furniture), other misc. bills and expenditures... perhaps 35k was more reasonable. Everyone says there is no time to work, although maybe you can squeeze in 10 hours max of a GA position. 

My stats aren't terrible but not stellar either. Overall GPA: 3.65, CSD GPA: 3.79, GRE: 154Q 161VR 5.0W. I have experience as an ABA therapist, teaching English abroad, home support worker for adults with Autism, and 1 year undergrad language lab assistant. However, I graduated a few years ago and while I have professors that will write LOR on my behalf, it's frustrating because previous employers will have a more recent sense of my capabilities (but that's a different topic). 

My other option is continue working as a learning support worker in schools (aka classroom aid for special needs kiddos) and apply again in the fall to schools in my home state (Minnesota) where cost of living is half of that on the east coast and I can potentially live at home. We also have reciprocity with Wisconsin so was considering some of the smaller state schools there (UW Whitewater, Stevens Point, etc). 


Thanks again for the input!

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Not sure how you are getting $40k living costs for two years out of $1200 a month. That would only be $28,800, and books do not cost $12,000! Combine that with $30k tuition and that's about the average cost for a graduate program, I believe.

edit: I see in your second post that you say $30k. It makes more sense than your original post but still within reason for going out of state. You could always find a room mate to split the cost.

Edited by Auuudriana
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