Best ideas on how to prepare financially for nursing school

  1. 13
    Nursing school can be expensive. If you are not prepared financially you could get yourself in a lot of trouble.

    Community colleges are the least expensive but may not offer the best programs or the best opportunities in nursing. You need to decide the pros and cons. What's best for you?

    How did/do you manage to pay for nursing school? Were you prepared for the costs?

    If you have any tips or inside knowledge please share.

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  3. 21 Comments...

  4. 0
    In my province you can get financial aid by signing up for OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program), they look at your income and other factors and they give you a bit of money to help out. This year I will be getting approximately 9100$

    However, after I finish year 1, I will be able to work as a PSW. I figure after the year is done, during the summer i'll work as a PSW and save as much as I can to put it towards my tuition and books.
  5. 3
    I worked full-time while completing the pre-reqs for my ABSN program and lived in a cheap apartment with 3 roommates in order to save money. I hated that dumpy apartment and having to share one bathroom with 3 other often inconsiderate girls, but I hated the idea of nearly $100,000 of debt even more. In order to save, I also lived very frugally (almost always brought my lunch to work, tried not to shop too much, tried to keep my living and entertainment expenses as low as possible, etc.). Over the course of several years, I saved enough to live off for one year and to pay half my $40,000 tuition. I was also fortunate to have won a $2,500 scholarship that helped cover my health insurace. As a result, my student loan debt is fairly low. I know a bunch of my classmates have around $100,000 of debt now. Education is expensive, but there's a way to make it work. You just have to manage your finances in a responsible way. If you're too concerned about keeping up with the Joneses, you will find yourself deeply in debt.
    _loveeebebe, joanna73, and kgregg like this.
  6. 0
    I got in debt up to my eyeballs. But seriously if I could do it over I would have changed my spending habits, not gone camping/vacations as much (but those memories sure are priceless )
  7. 0
    I'm already $43,000 and I cry myself to sleep at night.
  8. 7
    For those of you who will need student loans to attend nursing school, I would love it if people learned from my mistakes. Please be cautious when you sign those promissory notes!
    1. Taking out loans from private lenders
    2. Using the entire loan amount I was awarded
    3. Not living frugally enough
    4. Going out-of-state for a grad program
    If I had a do-over:
    • I would learn how interest accrues ahead of time. Interest accrues on your loan every single day. With the exception if some loans (e.g., subsidized), it may accrue while in school
    • I would pay the interest on my loans while in school
    • I would calculate what my payments would be in advance to see what nursing programs I could really afford
    Last edit by mariebailey on Aug 16, '12 : Reason: add'l info
  9. 0
    Quote from Novo
    I'm already $43,000 and I cry myself to sleep at night.
    Can you expand on this comment? How does it make you feel? Do you think it was a mistake or do you think overall it will be worth it and if not what would you do differently? Was this private loan or subdized? I only ask because once I get accepted into nursing school in January I, and many other pre-nursing students, will either make the same mistake you did, or learn something from it.

    My options are to get my generic BSN = HUGE debt or get my ADN = big debt...either ways I'm going to be losing my current income, but there is an ADN night program with a State College and I got a small chance of being able to keep my current job and go to school nights and weekends. This is making me rethink my BSN ambitions, get my ADN then go the RN-BSN route later. So any information provided by you guys will help us, pre-nursing students. Thanks.
  10. 1
    I had money saved for a home. I decided to go back to school instead, and I worked out a budget on paper. I received student loans each year, and worked full time during Christmas and summer months. I also cut my cable and my cell phone to save on those costs for four years. I finished my BSN owing 38,000. My loans will be paid in full next month....2 years and four months later. I would really suggest doing a budget on paper, so you can calculate your costs and know exactly where your money is going. And ideally, you don't want your debt to take longer than 5 years to pay.
    on eagles wings likes this.
  11. 0
    I am always for the ADN route first. usually cheaper at community college and you can work and finish your bsn. I know many nurses that haven't gone back and are kicking themselves but I started chipping away at it immediately. some programs you can do rn-bsn within 18-24 months.

    personally I worked two jobs and hardly slept during my nursing program. the time was a blur. I remember paying bills and balancing my checkbook in class listening to lecture. In the beginning I lived with my boyfriend's family, then we moved out and had a room mate so it was doable.

    I am now looking at grad school and have no idea how I will do that as there is no working for my program. Add kids, dog, turtles, and homeschooling and I am sure I will be nuts at the end of 27 months.
  12. 0
    I worked two jobs (one part time and one full time) while taking all of my pre-requisites at a local community college. I paid off all my previous debt (credit cards, car loans) and put some money in a savings account. I start my BSN program next week and will be working part-time in order to pay my utilities and gas.

    I thought about going the ADN route, but I can get my BSN in three years, which is only one year more than my ADN. I am going to a private school (tuition is $30,000 per year). I did get a sizable scholarship but had to take out loans. I will have about $25,000 in loans when I finish. My payment will be about $400 a month once I graduate, which is very manageable.

    My husband and I have developed a very tight budget for the next three years. We know that it is going to be hard, but will be well worth it in the long run.

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