Is it worth it to get into $200,000 in debt for grad school? ?

I just graduated college with a BA in psychology and I’m going to get my MS in mental health counseling and then a PsyD in clinical psychology. All these debt would come out to about $200,000. My dream career is be the best psychologist I can be but $200,000 is a lot of money. I might be able to get a scholarship for my doctoral degree but I’m not certain. Has anyone else had a similar experience and is it worth it?

Update:

I just re calculated the tuition and it would be about $170,000 instead.  Still a lot but the thing is this school is amazing.  They have good programs and I don’t even need to take the GRE to get in.  I just need letters of recommendation which I can obtain and my transcripts and also a personal essay.  The school is in a metropolitan area where there are the best hospitals in the country so it would be great for me to work there.  I think it might be worth it if I can somehow get a scholarship

16 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 month ago

    College in America is a sad thing to think about. Most other modern countries college is free of next to nothing. After the 1960's and early 70's college became a scam.  My niece believed in it.  and became a legal secretary, or a para legal, while she was going to college. She started at the bottom, making $30,000, but still paid more over 150,000 to get her masters. but the thing is, she did not need it. the BA, was more than enough to get her in most doors. and they trained her the rest she needed. She got promoted from the job and training she got from her employer. Nothing to do with college. At some point she got really good, but her employer did not want to pay her more as he did with men doing her job. So she left to another employer and got $20,000 more. after 5 yrs there, she was offered by another company adding another $15,000. Most of the difference from $30,000-$65,000 was the time and training she got from her employer. I am sure maybe having a masters, might have help a little from the new employer paying her $20,000 more to $85,000.  Maybe half. And maybe half of the next employer for another $15,000 was also do to master degree. But she could still have made $80,000 in 10 yrs, just by hard work, and her training most people out of college get, from their first or 2nd employer and their training. Without the $150,000-$200,000 in debt. Colleges abuse kids students from making students play sports for next to nothing for 4yrs making 100's of millions. To charging student 200,000-$500,000.  for a degree. It is a legalize scam. Like cable and the internet.  

    • Lili
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      You cannot practice as a psychologist with a mere BA.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    First, it depends on the subject. It may be worth $200K to become an orthopedic surgeon; to become a librarian not so much. 

    Second, it depends on the university. You say you "don’t even need to take the GRE to get in" like it's a good thing, but to me that sets off all of the alarm bells. 

    Is it a public university, or a private not-for profit? Is it a well-respected university? If so, it might be worth it. If it's a for-profit, you should probably run for the hills. 

    • joedy1 month agoReport

      The GRE isn’t required for the program I’m interested in but it is for other programs.  And yes it’s a well known and respected school.  A few of my relatives’ doctors graduated from there. 

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    How long do you think it would take you to earn $200K once you got your degree? And how much of what you earn could you reasonably expect to give up to pay that money back?  Is it worth it? Only if you're going to be doing what you really LOVE to do. If you are, then go for it--but maybe try to reduce that debt somehow--by finding a less-expensive school or by grants, scholarships, or other means. 

    I know school is expensive, and many people have said they will be in debt for the rest of their lives because they have pursued expensive degrees at expensive universities. If you are not afraid of that, fine--but in my opinion, there are things that are far more important than the name of the college you attend. And I think that a lot of employers probably feel the same way. So unless you will be able to somehow make twice that amount of money every year once you graduate, I don't believe a debt of that size is really worth pursuing. 

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    Technically, chances are good the return on investment will be higher than the money put in.  That being said, you can do it for WAAAAY less money.

    I have a BA, three Master's degrees, and a PhD and work in gifted education and mentoring in a consortium with one of the most famous psychologists for gifted students in the Los Angeles area, with a similar degree in clinical psychology.  I paid about $78,000 for all five degrees from state universities (they are in political science, sociology, education, and public administration respectively).  

    She paid a bit more at about $130,000 total for her's.  She says even that was a bad decision.  But $200,000 is just too much without substantial financial assistance like tuition reimbursement from work and multiple scholarships. 

    I worked in intelligence analysis, geopolitical analysis, and epidemiology before becoming a professor and then starting my own company and teaming up with hers.  My point is that there are many paths to what you want, and it doesn't have to be cripplingly expensive.

    • Andrea
      Lv 5
      1 month agoReport

      Great answer! I was going to post similarly, specifically about getting a good education for much less. My Master's degree cost less than $15,000 from a state university and I've been able to use it for field work and teaching at a university level. I've more than recouped that investment. 

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Yet, there is a demand for WELDERS. Does not cost as much as what you are aspiring for takes at least 7 years just to get through the course and then in order to be the best you got to take several years of actual practice to be rated as such(say 5)  So that is 12 years.

    .  Welding - you can become productive after 2 years of trade school training and you just get additional tickets to upgrade yourself up to total of 4 years  and then you be at the top of the heap. You are making money all this time...welding.

    You see; we are NOT ALL NUTS.

    • ...Show all comments
    • John
      Lv 6
      1 month agoReport

      And when those welders are in their 50s and can no longer physically do the heavy work involved, they will be wondering how they will live until they get their social security.  The psychologist will still be working.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If you think you can pay it off then go, for it, but if you have any doubts in your mind that you won't be able to pay off the debt then I suggest you don't go in debt.

    I was in debt a couple of times. I needed help to pay off my debts, and I probably won't be getting into more debts. I never had a debt like $200,000.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    The median income for a psychologist is $80,000. So if you go $200,000 in debt, you'll spend the rest of your life paying off that debt and the interest it accumulates. If your goal is to provide therapy, you might be able to do that less cheaply by getting an MS in mental health counseling or social work. But you'll need to do your homework in terms of the money spent vs. the money earned in that kind of job. 

    • joedy1 month agoReport

      This is true but I mean I don’t even know how long I’m going to live...anything can happen.  

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 1 month ago

    That is a lot of debt to consider. That's the main reason I didn't go through with pursuing school because of how much it cost. And also because I know people who have gotten degrees and are not in their career field because no experience. Psychologist can make a great living financially and if you really want to pursue it then you should. Just sign up for a lot of scholarships and I don't know if you plan on working to help you get by.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • John
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    You have to first crunch the numbers.  If you live (or plan to live) in a metropolitan area and you intend to practice in a high income segment of psychology, it could work.  If you plan to live in a rural area and work for a government social services agency, it won't.  

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If all else fails, become a student for life and you'll keep your student loans in deferment from life. 

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.