I am 40 years old and earned a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling in August 2011. I earned my BA in Psychology in 2004. My BA offered almost no opportunities for employment, especially a respectable living wage, so I decided to further my education. The economy was sliding in 2008 when I made the decision to return to school, and I figured that by the time I earned a higher degree, the economy would be in a turnaround and I would have increased my chances of finding a career. Just not the case. Due to the current laws and insurance policies, my degree is all but worthless. I cannot bill insurance Medicaid or Medicare for services until I complete 3,000 hours under a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, LPC, or LCSW. The problem is that I cannot bill, so no one wants to hire me, or even let me volunteer my time. I sit with over $90,000.00 in student loan debt, of which I must keep applying for hardship forbearance as my waitressing money does not afford me the money to stay on top of my bills and keep my family fed and housed. So the interest keeps adding on, and I keep falling further into debt. Take my degrees back and forgive my debt. I was better off 20 years ago as a waitress with no federal loans. I am unsure if I should be pushing my children toward college or telling them to run away from it! What a sad state of affairs.