It took me 7 years to complete my undergraduate degree, even though I attended a public New York City college (CUNY) because I had to work part time to pay for my courses. Because I paid per credit, taking on a greater course load meant more credits and thus higher tuition, yet less time to work and earn money to pay for tuition because I was taking more classes and had more homework. The only way I could balance classes, homework, part-time job and extra-curricular activities was to take less classes. After completing undergraduate degree I got accepted to complete my masters degree at Columbia university. Given the intensity of my program and the cost of my tuition, I had no choice but to takes out loans. I will finally graduate in February 2018, with over 100K in loans and just one month shy of my 30th birthday. Had public education been more accessible, I woulda probably have completed my BA and MS degrees in those 7 years that it took me to complete just undergraduate school. I would probably have gotten my first job already and would be paying off loans and contributing to taxes/society. The challenges and cost of obtaining a higher education can serve as a deterrent to those who have additional challenges, such as needing to contribute financially to a their family. I was lucky to have a supportive mother, and then a supportive husband who were both willing to work over-time and cover living expenses while I paid for my education. Because of my education I will be able to pursue my dream of providing skilled services to individuals with disabilities in order to facilitate improvements in their daily function and quality of life. Through my education I will be able to achieve my dreams, while helping others reach their goals and objectives. Society functions better and is more productive when individuals receive higher education and are qualified to work. If we want to "make America great again" the first step is to provide a means for its citizens to be "great" - great candidates for the workforce; great thinkers; great collaborators; and great contributors to society.