Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit as part of the HuffPost College Student Debt series.
I am one of the luckier students. I chose to go to a state university instead of a more prestigious private college for undergraduate so I could get out of school debt free. Between scholarships and what my parents had saved I was able to get by with just working part time jobs to cover minor expenses.
Unfortunately I will not be as lucky coming out of graduate school. I enrolled in my MBA program to study public and nonprofit management, a field that will pay very little. I came back to school when I did because when the economy tanked, funding for theaters, like most other non-profits, went with it and the opportunities to advance in my chosen field vanished.
Unlike many of my current classmates who came from higher paying fields, I did not have the ability to save much before coming to graduate school. I worked a part time job in addition to my full time job but moving costs and my tuition deposit pretty much cleaned out my personal savings. My school was generous enough to offer me a scholarship which covers roughly half of my tuition for my two years. Despite that, I'm still $44k in debt at the end of my first year.
I am working part time and skimping as best I can but I do worry about my ability to pay when I graduate. My financial situation is compounded by the fact that I am required to take an internship this summer but most of the graduate level arts internships pay little to nothing.
When it is all said and done I will be about $85k in debt. I plan on utilizing public debt repayment as well as the income contingent repayment programs but I worry that I might be halfway through repayment under these programs and have the rug pulled out from under me.
I wouldn't trade the education that I am receiving for anything and it is one of the more affordable MBA programs in the states. I just hope that the programs that I need to repay my debt aren't gone when I go to repay it.