Jessica Cruzan of The College Fix reports on a recent crowdsourcing project that revealed some less than encouraging news about people with PhDs.

Crowdsourced Data Finds PhDs Drowning in Debt

“I will never know a moment of financial peace in my lifetime.”

“I accept the fact that I will be in debt until I die, and I’m just glad that whenever that happens, my remaining loans will be forgiven.”

These are just some of the stories that have come forth recently as the result an extensive online crowdsourced discussion on Ph.D. debt levels, an informal survey that has found many postdoctoral students have buyer’s remorse, grapple with mountainous debt, and even feel grim about their futures – despite their schooling accomplishments.

Dr. Karen Kelsky of The Professor is In, a popular blogger among academics in higher education circles, created the open-source spreadsheet, called the Ph.D. Debt Survey, in mid-January. After only one month, the survey contains more than 2,200 entries detailing the stories of students who have finished their schooling or are currently in post-grad degree programs.

The survey asked students about their undergraduate and graduate debt, their field of study, and the year they received their degree. It also asked why they took on debt, and their plans to pay it off.

Many students compared their levels of debt as equivalent to already having a mortgage. One contributor to the survey wrote: “I will be a lifelong renter…I just have to tell people my ‘house’ is what’s in my head because that’s what I pay a mortgage on.”

Almost 900 contributors claim to have no debt from graduate school, but some of these still have outstanding debt from their undergraduate education. The survey showed it is not just the “extreme case” that students finish graduate school in debt.

Part of the problem, the survey found, it is it’s common for students to take on additional loans because the cost of living is higher than the money they received in grants or from their job as a Teaching Assistant.