Hi, I am a high school senior planning on attending somewhere similar to UCLA. I have always had a passion for astronomy but never considered it as an actual career option, as I was dead set on becoming a medical doctor. I recently thought of dropping that idea, however, because even though I would enjoy having a philanthropic career, I am so, so in love with astrophysics. However, I was raised in an upper middle class environment with an engineer and an accountant as parents, so I was taught from a very early age how to value money. I know that I can always switch majors if I don't declare immediately, but I want to be prepared. I want to get a scope of things now, so if I make a mistake -- at least it'd be an educated guess. Can you please humor me and my questions? Many of these things may be able to be googled, but the results vary, and I would feel better if the ones answering were speaking directly to me. What is the usual starting salary of an astrophysicist? At what point would it reach $100+, if at all? Is it hard/competitive to get a job? How about specifically a research position? Or in academia? How quickly does the job pay back the educational costs? Can graduate school really be free? How? What about a PhD? Why try for NASA? Why not? Does most of the work truly happen in an office? If yes, does the office look like what people usually think of when they hear "office"? How about a laboratory? What is the nature of the community? Do people know each other well, is it isolated until there are group researches, etc.? Thank you very much.