Quote from junipers
It is a lot, no question. I could do the second half of the program part-time while working as an RN, and I may well do that.
For nurse-midwifery, there are many fewer masters entry programs than other specialities and most of them leave you with over $100,000 of debt. It is important to me to become a midwife and be established in a practice before starting my own family, and since I am in my late twenties, I feel that time is a definite factor. I could be a midwife in three years, but with substantial student loans - or I could apply to accelerated BSN programs for next year and work for a couple of years as a nurse before applying to midwifery programs, becoming a midwife in 5-6 years but with half the debt.
Either way, I have the possibility of halving the debt in three years (either working as a midwife in an underserved area for that time, or becoming a midwife the traditional route and only taking on half the debt). Since I am more interested in practising as a CNM than an RN, perhaps the (ridiculously) expensive program is not such a bad idea?
Edit: My estimate of $115,000 includes living expenses
It is a difficult decision and I appreciate everyone's comments!
I am currently mulling over a similar issue, though I actually only applied to ABSN programs because I wasn't able to take the GREs in time. The program I am left with entrance to, by default, is going to cost me probably $45k in loans. And I am 99.9% certain I want to continue on with my education to become and advance practice nurse (probably ALSO a CNM/WHNP) AND I want to get either an MPH or an MBA so I can help run a health care organization. Sooo, that's a lot more school. I owe less than $5,000 now for my first undegrad degree, which is great, but taking on this significant expense for BSN-hood is frightening me. I am also in a hurry to just get it done, because a career and family is on my mind. $45,000 is *hopefully* less than my starting salary, but it's still a lot of money.
I know for the undergrad, the HRSA repayment program is highly competitive and you are only eleigible if your Expected Family Contribution is 0. Mine is not zero, though not much more since i am supporting myself and can probably only afford to pay for books and uniforms out of pocket. Regardless, that is not an option for me. Hopefully they are easier to come by for graduate students.
Have you applied and been admitted to any direct-entry CNM programs?