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Read on Huffington Post this morning about the restructuring of the federally subsidized graduate student loans, and can’t really fully process the implications before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee.

According to HuffPo, subsidized loans for grad students are going the way of the dodo, which means there will be no more loans with interest deferred until graduation. However,

Reuters reports that grad students can currently borrow as much as $20,500 a year in federal Stafford loans. That amount will be raised to make up for the extra money students will have to spend to cover the lost subsidies.

So, now grad students can get EVEN DEEPER IN DEBT in order to pay off said debt while we are studying and therefore unable to work to pay off the debt? I… I. I. don’t. even.

I do know this news comes as a particularly horrible time for me personally, right as I get ready to begin applying for PhD programs. Any loans I would take out would be modest, as I’ve been trying to save living expenses and won’t go anywhere without an assistantship/ stipend, because to do otherwise would be INSANE. But still, this cuts, and badly. I can only imagine how bad it’s going to be for friends of mine who live on my university’s truly insulting TAships and depend on the federal loan program for, oh, rent, or anything resembling medical care.

Why do I keep working toward this goal rather than just settling down into my already-career and talking life as it comes? It seems like every day I read or discover something so discouraging that working toward a PhD in the (disappearing) hope of finding a full time teaching job is is cast in a uselessly Sisyphean light, and the universe conspires to remind me so.