I posted this on Twitter the other night, and wanted to put it up here as well in the hope can reach and potentially help others. Now and again I think about chatting about this, but I think the time has come: Folks, private colleges in the US are a crazy beast I wish I understood better years ago. 

I graduated from USC for film and television with a degree in the Cinematic Arts: Production. While I appreciated the education, the amount of debt I took on was horrific, and younger me really didn’t understand what I was getting into. I was reassured I would get 50k-100k year jobs right out of college, it would all be great!  

That is.... unfortunately far from reality, and while I found work quickly, I was truly horrified that the school made alumni pay additional fees to access their job board. In addition, I got calls throughout the year from the school asking for donations. For a new grad still struggling to find my feet and horrifically burdened by financial obligations and student loan debt, this felt all-sorts of backwards for me and was tremendously disappointing. :/ 

While I can't go back in time, I just hope other potential applicants to this and other schools can dig deeper into student loans before putting themselves under a rock of debt for 30 years like I did. Ask questions like “What will the total cost be over the life of the loan?” “What will my monthly payments look like?” Etc.  

Seek financial advice from third parties and assume when you step out of college that you might only be working minimum wage or similar. Evaluate if the debt burden might be bigger than advisable.  Above all: do your research so you aren’t laid bare by debt and crippling compounding interest. Keep moving forward, but not at the cost of unwittingly shackling yourself.  

I could write a dozen or more blog posts about student loan debt, medical debt, credit card debt, and more. It makes me want to scream into a pillow to know it has and will undoubtedly happen to other young people. :(