Claire, Wyoming

After living in the Middle East for 5 years, I returned to the U.S. with my three kids as a single parent with little money and no income. Quickly realizing that a dusty Political Science BA wouldn’t sufficiently support us, I embarked on a teaching career, enrolling in the most competitively priced Master’s Degree program I could find in Special Education.

In order to immediately support my family, this required student loans. While I love my career as a public school teacher working with high needs youth, I am now looking at over $40,000 worth of debt that will be repaid over the course of most of my life, given the initial amount coupled with the interest accrued from paying the debt back on a very necessary income-driven payment plan.

While the income-driven plan allows me to pay the mortgage and monthly bills, it leaves little room for any further education necessary for upward mobility or savings for my kids’ post-secondary educations.