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The Latest Student Debt Story

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I received my BS in Biology/Pre-med from Sam Houston State University in 2012. I am a first generation college graduate and this was really exciting to my family. After graduation, I was accepted by Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. I knew it was a private school that was more expensive, but it completes a 4-year doctorate degree in 3 years which would mean that I was out in the work force even sooner, which I was really excited about. Being in a new state without family, I was forced to take out the max amount of loans to account for living expenses. I had to commit all my spare time to studying. I have 6 months left to go and my total student loan debt is $288,336. After graduation, interest and tuition will put me over the $300,000 mark. At first I never thought twice about it because, traditionally, pharmacists have always had high salaries. But now, there are so many new pharmacy schools out there and each one takes more and more students each year to the point where the market is at its saturation point. Very few employers offer a full 40 hour work week. I am forced, due to my large student loan amount, to abandon all thoughts of residency as that salary can not support my student loan burden. If I'm lucky, I will find a retail pharmacist job that brings home an average of $6,500/month. To pay my loans off in 10 years, my payments will be approximately $4,200/month. After paying for minimal living expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc., I will end up with nothing at the end of each month. Plans for a family and buying a house have been permanently put off. I went into pharmacy school because I wanted to help people.... Now my loans and interest rates are so high that I can do nothing but resent the education and career I worked so hard to achieve.

Erica W.  February 5, 2016  Phoenix, AZ

I received my BS in Biology/Pre-med from Sam Houston State University in 2012. I am a first generation college graduate and this was really exciting to my family. After graduation, I was accepted by Midwestern University College of Pharmacy. I knew it was a private school that was more expensive, but it completes a 4-year doctorate degree in 3 years which would mean that I was out in the work force even sooner, which I was really excited about. Being in a new state without family, I was forced to take out the max amount of loans to account for living expenses. I had to commit all my spare time to studying. I have 6 months left to go and my total student loan debt is $288,336. After graduation, interest and tuition will put me over the $300,000 mark. At first I never thought twice about it because, traditionally, pharmacists have always had high salaries. But now, there are so many new pharmacy schools out there and each one takes more and more students each year to the point where the market is at its saturation point. Very few employers offer a full 40 hour work week. I am forced, due to my large student loan amount, to abandon all thoughts of residency as that salary can not support my student loan burden. If I'm lucky, I will find a retail pharmacist job that brings home an average of $6,500/month. To pay my loans off in 10 years, my payments will be approximately $4,200/month. After paying for minimal living expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc., I will end up with nothing at the end of each month. Plans for a family and buying a house have been permanently put off. I went into pharmacy school because I wanted to help people.... Now my loans and interest rates are so high that I can do nothing but resent the education and career I worked so hard to achieve.

Erica W.  February 5, 2016  Phoenix, AZ
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