When my daughter Kate got into college we were thrilled and surprised. We hadn't applied to this small, private and moderately priced college. The ones she had applied for had all turned her down.
It seemed like a gift.
Actually, it's a way that small colleges boost enrollment. A scam. They search out kids with low scores and send them acceptance letters.
But the learning disabilities that caused those low scores, in my daughter's case, prevented her from being able to continue past her second year. The loans would have been bearable if she'd gotten her degree, but her jobs at a fast food restuarant and a retail store aren't enough. Her loans come to about 2/3rds of her monthly income.
My daughters' disability is severe and multi-faceted. Her speech was so garbled as a child that no one, even family, could understand her until she was in the third grade. She suffers fron dyslexia and also an auditory processing problem, making it difficult to learn by either reading or hearing material. The language delays mean that she sometimes says things she shouldn't. This has cost her a few jobs and friends.
This is my fault. I wanted her to have the chance to realize her dream: to teach other kids with learning diabilities. I should have counseled caution, instead of jumping at what I saw as some gift from the universe. I have failed the most vunerable of my children and she's paying the price.
We are helping her as much as we can, but it's not enough. Her car, a 1995 Toyota Camry has just died and isn't fixable. She's a hard working young woman, who works 60 to 70 hours a week and is living in a room in her sister's basement. Getting this one loan paid will give her enough room to be able to afford to take care of herself financially.
She'd like to try to finish her degree at a community college, once she can get ahead. She still dreams of doing more than flipping burgers. And I dream for her. She is bright, and willing to work hard. Her debt is more crippling than her disability.
Thank you reading this, for caring enough to even be here.