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I sold my eggs to pay off college debt because I had no other choice

She puts everything on one card – and pays off her loans.

New Yorker Kassandra Jones sold her frozen eggs for $50,000 so she could use the money to pay off her $167,000 mountain of student debt. The 28-year-old told the Post she underwent five rounds of egg donation in a last ditch attempt to pay off her loans.

Despite working three jobs during her bachelor’s degree — and living rent-free at her parents’ house — she still had $25,000 in the hole after four years. Then, when she decided to pursue her master’s degree in public health, she added an additional $40,000 for each additional year of study at New York University.

But with “really no other options” – she only had a month to come up with a financial plan.

“I saw it as one of the only ways to have any money at all,” Jones told the Post. “I did everything I could, including my egg donation, and pushed through and found resilience to keep going and trying to achieve that, and I accomplished what society has always told me I must do, in order to be successful.”

She said she’s exhausted every other avenue, including commuting from home in California while in college, taking out the maximum allowable student loans, selling her car, attending community college and even being in an early college program the High School.

She was left with $167,000 in loans to repay.

“I wish this wasn’t just for my college tuition,” Jones told Jam Press. “I wish the money was for a down payment on a house or to kickstart my own business.”

Meanwhile, with her accumulated debts keeping her up at night, a friend first suggested donating her eggs for money. Another friend said she made four months’ wages in just a few weeks from egg donation alone and convinced Jones, then 23, to dive in.

Samantha Jones in hat and dress
After earning her bachelor’s degree, she began pursuing her master’s degree, and Jones realized her mounting debt was too much to pay off with work alone.
JamPress/Kassandra Jones

She completed her first round of donations at home in California for $8,000 before moving to New York, where she donated the rest of her eggs at NYU Langone Fertility Center for $10,000 each.

After five rounds of egg donation, she has barely made a dent in her overall debt. “The planned repayments [for the school loans] is $2,000 a month for the next at least 10 years of my life,” Jones said.

“It takes my breath away every time I hear that number out loud,” she continued. “As a young adult, when you’re desperately trying to figure things out and you have this crushing amount of debt from the education system, it puts you between a rock and a hard place.”

Frozen eggs can fetch anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for a donor. However, the cost of purchasing and medical treatment can range from $10,000 to more than $40,000.

But donating eggs is not as easy as it seems. Jones learned to give himself hormone shots, calling the process “labor intensive.” (Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in young donors undergoing ovarian stimulation).

In fact, when she made her first donation, she woke up in “pretty excruciating pain,” despite having to go to school straight away.

“I actually showed up for NYU’s pain medication orientation two days after my donation,” Jones told the Post. “Even though they say you can get back to normal activity — not strenuous, just normal activity — within a day or so, I don’t believe that.”

Cassandra Jones
Jones, who started donating her eggs when she was 23, found the process hard on her body after a few rounds.
JamPress/Kassandra Jones

“There was a lot of pressure and swelling in my lower abdomen, pain from spasms that made it difficult to walk, stand up, sit down or laugh,” she continued.

The feeling, which she described as “discomfort,” was made worse by overeating or drinking, causing her cravings, tender breasts, dehydration, and changes in sex drive.

After two doses, subsequent donations experienced longer-lasting side effects.

“I felt like my body wasn’t able to recover the same way,” she said, even noting that she’s convinced she has long-term hormonal imbalances and scar tissue, although she hasn’t seen a specialist for it yet.

“I am now struggling with sleep, digestive issues and weight loss [and] Win, mood,” she said. “Just things that weren’t very obvious before I started, now I feel like they’ve become a problem.”

Jones’ unconventional solution to her crippling debt has raised some eyebrows, but she said people her age “get it.”

“The biggest misconception about debt is that we made that decision and we should kind of live with it, but what options have we really been given to secure our future?” she said. “People my age get it. They totally empathize with the situation and are just as angry about how our education system and our government have let us down.”

Kassandra Jones in cap and gown
Of her $167,000 loan debt, Jones managed to pay off $50,000 with egg donations.
JamPress/Kassandra Jones

Even with a master’s degree, Jones was only able to secure a part-time paid internship after graduation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It took them six to seven months to get me through a pandemic full-time, so I was denied health insurance,” she said, making it difficult to repay her accrued interest.

“The money I made from working and doing part-time internships, or not finding work with a master’s degree for eight months, just barely paid my bills,” she said. “So I knew that to even try to harm these loans, some other form of repayment had to be created, had to be done.”

Jones isn’t the only one struggling with student debt. According to NerdWallet, the average student loan debt in the United States is $57,520, with the total being $1.75 trillion.

“Older generations have no idea what that feels like in the new circumstances we’re having to endure,” she said. “In the ’70s and ’80s, tuition and fees plus room and board at a four-year college was $1,400. Now it averages $22,000, which is still considered low for most students.”

The minimum wage, she continued, “grew only from $1.50 to $7.25, or 350%,” while the cost of higher education “increased 1,400%.”

“In order to be able to afford college without debt at all while in school, we’d have to work 40 to 50 hours a week on what you can get without a degree and then somehow get by as a full-time student and find the time to, I guess, to sleep?” she said. “Generations that are now also in top positions and have worked their way up don’t have the same qualifying entry points either.”

Jones said people over 40 are “dismissive and aggressive” toward their generation — but she argued bachelor’s degrees just aren’t enough to land higher-paying roles.

“We actually work even harder than they do with very little to no reward to speak of, and I think that’s why our adjustments and priorities have shifted as a result,” she said.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/10/i-sold-my-eggs-to-pay-off-my-student-debt-because-i-had-no-other-option/ I sold my eggs to pay off college debt because I had no other choice

JACLYN DIAZ

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