Just another person whose sanity disappeared years ago with varying degrees of functionality.Ask
Take it from my experience, if you’re going to college in the United States, especially if you have disabilities and are a trans woman:
- Always do two years at a community college, get an Associates and transfer the whole thing out
- Finish your four year at a state school DO NOT GO TO A PRIVATE COLLEGE. Do not get private loans, financial aid or federal loans only.
- If you do decide to do grad, see if you can get a state school but if you can’t, prioritize schools well known for having student aid stuff and reasonable scheduling coursework. Get as much financial aid as possible, avoid private loans completely. Federal loans only.
The education you can get is comparable, even sometimes better at a state school and a CC. The costs are so much lower that even if the education isn’t quite as good you’ll still end up better off financially in the end due to dodging massive loans.
Getting the Associates maximizes your chances of transferring all your credits and this drops your time for your four year degree to 2 years, further reducing costs (3 years at max generally, say if you do a mild major change)
Private loans will fuck you. They fucked me. Hard. I will be lucky if I ever pay it off, I will be lucky if I don’t default on it and never have credit again. I’m barely even making the interest payments (on a retail job but even living wage friends of mine are fucked to pay these) and they are very inflexible, so I’m often choosing between eating and paying my loan payment or being late on rent. Eventually something’s going to give.
Federal loans are much more flexible and there’s systems of loan forgiveness that often can scrub you clean of debt if you get screwed (likely for a disabled trans woman in this economy).
State schools and CCs are lower pressure and have better accommodations. So dealing with transition stuff will be easier because your courseload won’t brutalize you as much. And your disabilities impact on your school can be reduced. This isn’t guaranteed, it does depend on state and school, but many private schools fuck out on helping their students because you’re a dollar sign to them and they have 0 regulation on their heads.
Please, especially in this economy, avoid private schools and private loans. You will be screwed. It is not an if it is a when.