Debt of Horror

There's an article currently making the rounds of the discussion sites that touches pretty close to the heart with me, for what i think should be self-evident reasons.

I'm staring a staggering debt load in the face much like the people who are responding to the article, and the writer of the same. And, i'm not even in the US - Canadian universities are supposed to be less expensive to the average student. I'm looking, though, at about $30,000 CDN debt by the time i finish my undergrad degree, and the more i learn, the more i become interested in a Masters - which would add, oh, another $15,000 or so, as i understand it. Now, bear in mind that these values are nothing more than estimates on my part, but also bear in mind that tuitions haven't gone down in as long as i can remember.

This is a new thing to me, these prices. When last i did this education thing, i was able to pay the whole deal out of pocket. Yeah, i wasted it, but it was a manageable expense for someone who didn't work a rig or road job over the summers. Now, it just keeps climbing.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place due to high tuitions right now. One one hand, i have GMCC - they're adding a second year CompSci program, which is going to have the core courses and little else, to their curriculm. This one will be much cheaper than the corresponding U of A course, but on the other hand, the U of A course allows me quite a bit of freedom in the options that i choose, up to and including third-year co-requisite courses that would allow me to get some of the masters-level material inside of my four-year program, something that is a decent compromise between my desire to avoid huge debts and still have a really great education...

This is going to be tough, because i have to make the decision by the end of the month. I intend to have my application in to U of A - if that's where i'm going - by March 1.

So, how much can i afford? Tough question, that... I guess i get to find out.

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