Indebted college dropout in hole, keeps digging

Portland Press-Herald:
Hardest hit: College students who never finish school

When Kat Ragot, 42, accepts her diploma for a bachelor of arts degree Saturday from the University of Maine at Machias, she will finish a journey that began 25 years ago and left her nearly $40,000 in debt.

While fellow classmates who graduated from her first college, Carnegie Mellon University, went on to enjoy successful careers, Ragot dropped out, then struggled to make ends meet while working a series of low-paying jobs and raising two children on her own. She defaulted on her student loans, but later restored her credit so she could borrow more money and return to school.

She needs that college degree, she says, so she can get a better-paying job and climb out of the financial hole she has fallen into.

“There’s no way around it,” she says of her lingering debt. “It’s kind of like a mortgage. The payoff will ultimately be more security – and that’s a debt worth taking on.”
What in-demand career is Kat taking on more debt to prepare for?  Engineering? Computer Science? Nursing?

Nope. Fine Arts. Performance Art. Good luck with that! I hear Broadway and Hollywood have a severe shortage of middle-aged theatre majors.

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