When I started college at 18, I believed that student loans were just some of the college experience. The only people who didn't get student loans were kids from extremely rich families, exceptional athletes, or geniuses. I didn't fall under any of those categories, so I completed the student loan application without a second thought. My mom assured me that she would help me pay the loans back. I was confident that I would get an amazing job after graduation. I took out loans to meet the cost of tuition and a portion of the cost of living. I did receive some grant and scholarship money. This added up to about $30, 000 during the course of my undergraduate and graduate programs. The grant and scholarship money helped out greatly. However, it was only about half of what I used to get through college. Now, four years after graduating, I am learning the true cost of student loans.