Did you or do you take loan to go to school?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm planning to start the nursing program next fall. Everyone told me that I will not be able to work full time. Consequently, I was wondering did or do any of you take loan? If yes, how much? Thanks for your input.
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    I worked 32 hours a week during undergrad and also took out a Stafford Loan. I currently still owe $24,000 - and I will also be taking out another loan to go to graduate school this January. I also work full time and plan on paying for grad school with part cash, part loan and part employee tuition assistance from my employer. I will also being going to grad school full time as well - that way I can complete my degree in just 2 years.

    Full time during undergrad might be hard, but I know people who did it. 32 hours a week was just enough for me, though. We had other bills to pay so it was a necessity. My husband worked full time while going to school. He went to school during the day and worked at UPS in the evenings.

    Good luck.
  4. by   deathnurse
    Worked 3 diff. part-time jobs, one of which was a CNA at the VA which turned into my first RN job. No other family members to help out. Did it on my own. Got these "weird" scholarships..."male" nursing student, "displaced from primary occupation", "over 35 years-old," and a couple of academic grants and stuff.

    Hated it, absolutely hated it when all the women had their husbands to rely upon for their upkeep. Just jealous I guess. I could never go out and play right after school. Always waited until semester break to go out with them for the beach parties and barbeques.

    Made me realize just how much someone could do if they had to. And their stories about how hard nursing school was didn't wash with me. Paying the bills was a lot harder.

    One girl was raising a child out of a divorce and cleaning houses while attending school full-time. She had it lots harder than me. She didn't get to go to the parties either.

    After she graduated, she found out that her house-cleaning clients actually made her more money than any nursing job. The work was physically harder, and not so "glamorous" as nursing (ha!) but financially more appealing. She's only a nurse on-the-side now. She's got more drive than I ever had. But she's younger...wait til' she wears out and ages.
  5. by   WashYaHands
    For undergrad education I worked part time as a CNA in home health care. I took out a Stafford Loan and a small Perkins loan. I also applied for any scholarships that I could. I'm currently in grad school and pay tuition, fees and books with a stafford loan. Income that I make from my nursing job right now pays my household bills.

    Linda

    Linda
  6. by   nicola
    I was very fortunate with my nursing education. I was an in state commuter student at a state run school. I was able to get a grant that paid all my tuition and I could eke out the books. I was also working as an HHA as much as I could, which varied from semester to semester.

    I do still owe lots from my previous degree - a BA in Spanish and Sociology - from a private school. Sigh!
  7. by   CATHYW
    No loans or grants or scholarships. I applied for a Pell grant and was told that my then-husband and I made just over the cut-off limit to qualify. My husband and 2 grade school kids cut and hauled firewood to put me through LPN school. I helped them load or stack it whenever I could, and got A's to show them I was taking their hard work seriously.
    When I was working as an LPN, I used money that I made to take courses like A&P II, Developmental Psych, etc. I took a.m. classes, and worked 3-11. When I was accepted into the ADN bridge program, I only worked 2 days a week (afternoons) in a GP's office.
    As a point of interest, the person in our class that finished with the highest GPA was a divorced mother of three who worked a 40 hr. week. I don't know how she financed her education, but she blew me away-she was SO capable!
  8. by   GPatty
    I haven't yet, but I think I may have to. My husband works full time and my little piddly check from doing Home Health just isn't cutting it. We are scraping by, but just barely. 8 months to go!!! If we can only make it!
    Julie
  9. by   nilepoc
    Took out loans for my RN, I have those down to $12,000 from $24,000. Now I am going off to grad school for CRNA, at a school that will charge $950/credit up to twelve credits. Needless to say I will be taking out more loans.

    For my wifes PhD though we took out only one loan to cover the time that we were both in school. After that first year, I went to work as an RN and made enough to pay for everything. Unfortunately my wife will not make as much as I do so like I said, loans again.

    Good luck.
  10. by   boggle
    Hi Hanginginthere. I teach nursing students, and can offer some thoughts from my side of the picture. Not every student can work full or part time, manage their home life, and still keep up with the demands of nursing school, (especially first semester). Nursing school is another full time job, and often more.

    I have had so many students who are exhausted by trying to make ends meet. The family's and the bill collectors' needs get met first, and the student wears out. I watch dedicated students who show so much potential and are working so hard start; falling asleep in class, turning in weak assignments, always rushing to and from class and clinicals, falling more and more behind on their sleep, and having increasing trouble with critical thinking. Then Flu season hits......Too much stress and not enough sleep?

    I encourage you to do whatever you need to do to set yourself up for success! Explore every resource available through your school: financial, tutoring, carpooling, childcare, used/borrowed books etc. Explore every resource you can in your community, work and personal life. I see every $100 scholarship, grant or loan as another textbook paid for! Cut back your work hours the best you can to meet your needs and still keep your job.

    Try to set your life up so you can devote the needed time and energy to laying a STRONG foundation of nursing knowledge. It will pay off later.

    Oh, and get your flu shot!

    Best of luck to you! Remember school is only a short time in your life, and it opens doors to so many choices in your long future!!

  11. by   CATHYW
    EXCELLENT advice, Boggle! I'll bet your students consider themselves fortunate. If they don't, they should!
  12. by   BrandyBSN
    I wouldnt be in school without loans.

    6 months left, i graduate in May 2002 with my BSN

    I am currently $36,000 in debt, not a whole lot of fun, and payments are $557 a month. Luckly, I shouldnt have much of a problem paying it back each month. The job i've got lined up pays well for BSN Grads.
  13. by   delirium
    I didn't take out a loan to go to school. I paid for my own pre-reqs (A&P I and II, Psych, Soc, Com, that kind of thing) but got a little back from my tuition reimbursement (it paid $1000 per year). Now that I have been accepted into the nursing program, I have signed a contract with my employer (an acute care facility) that in exchange for having them pay for my tuition, books, and supplies for the time I am in school, I will work for 30 months in their facility after I am licensed. I can, of course, buy myself out of the contract by paying that amount of money back plus 10% interest, or an interested employer may do so. That remains to be seen.
    With nurses in such great demand, I would research all of your options before you choose to go into debt.
  14. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    I got alot of help from family for Nursing school, and my beloved worked 50-60 hour work weeks to get me through (he's a keeper).

    Unfortunately, my credit cards took the heat for the extra things that we probably should have been going without, and now my credit card balances look like your loan balances! Should have just taken the loans, I would have gotten better interest rates!

    Heather
    aka MasterCard Queen

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Did you or do you take loan to go to school?