(NBCNEWS) — This past April, facing the prospect of three 20-page papers due in the same week, Indiana University East student Harmony Glenn had a panic attack in the school library.

“I couldn’t breathe, and my chest felt tight,” she said. “I was asking myself, ‘Do I push forward…or do I cut my losses?’”

Glenn, 27, had been inching toward a bachelor’s degree since 2004, transferring schools and taking breaks from her studies to switch her major, live with her parents to save money, and later move around Indiana with her husband to chase the best-paying jobs. Lately, she’d been working fulltime as a sales associate for a skin care retailer in an Indianapolis mall, and didn’t have the bandwidth to focus on her schoolwork.
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The night of her panic attack, she made a decision to leave school. “I just looked at the bills and realized this didn’t make sense anymore,” she said.

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