How are/did you pay for school?

  1. I'd love to hear how you all are paying or payed for living expenses/tuition. Looking to get some ideas.

    Here's my situation: no debt (other than 800 month for house). Just basic living expenses really (and like many, many Americans, excluding insurance). Got 20G's in an IRA, 8,000 in savings, and plan on getting max loans for the next 2 years.
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   TheCommuter
    I started LVN school in October 2004 and completed the program in October '05.

    I financed the $20,000 tuition completely with a Sallie Mae loan. At the time of starting school, I had a monthly mortgage of $867 and some credit card debt, as well as about $15,000 in the savings account. I sold my house this summer since it appreciated in value by over $100,000 in less than a year (that was the beauty of having real estate in California).

    Then I proceeded to use the profit of the home sale to pay off my credit card debt and buy a house for cash in the Lone Star State. I now have no mortgage payment or credit card debt whatsoever. I do, however, have a monthly student loan payment of nearly $300 per month. I have not had a car payment since December 2002. For my age group I think I am in okay financial shape.
  4. by   jenn_rn_nj
    I have 75% tuition reimbursement with work. I'm still responsible entirely for fees, books, etc so I actually get about 50% of my total expenses back. I do have an IRA, 403b and savings - I'm using my savings for emergencies in life (unexpected car service, things like that).

    So far it's working ok...I have had to dip into savings for unexpected expenses (mostly my car - don't EVER buy a volkswagen :angryfire ).

    I'm not saving like I used to, but I am still saving here and there...I figure even if I finish school exactly where I started money-wise I'll still be ahead because I will make more money and enjoy my job more. In order to maintain this, though, I can't drop below 36 hours / week at work while in school.
  5. by   MIA-RN1
    There is a program thru my NYS department of labor that gives nursing students tuition and books with the only requirements that 1. you make less than $13/hour while going to school (does not even look at spouse's income!) and that 2. you agree to work locally and full-time in the field for a certain length of time after graduating. (I think its a year) So that is what I am doing.

    I work 18-20h/week at about $10/h and go to school part-time. My husband works full time and part time on weekends. We are in a lot of debt (house, car, credit) and have no savings. But I run a tight ship and budget compulsively and as I tell my kids, we have everything we need and a lot of what we want, so we can get thru the final months of this.
    But the tuition program I am in is what makes it possible. My work offers an 80% reimbursement upon successful completion but I couldn't come up with the money to pay upfront. So its a blessing for us. We recently did a consolidation loan to bring our debt into a reasonable range and could not stomach the thought of taking out loans for school, especially with our son due to enter college this upcoming fall.
  6. by   ortess1971
    I also get tuition reimbursement through work, and I work 32 hours a week and take call on weekends. Yes, sometimes I'm tired and stressed but my education will be all paid for when I graduate in May.:hatparty:
  7. by   kellyo
    I'm in an ADN program. I got a Pell grant ($4,000/yr) and a scholarship from the state ($3,000/year). I just found out that I got a scholarship from the hospital where I want to work ($1,000-$2,000). My husband works as a waiter at night (he's w/the kids during the day) and I go to school during the day. It's worked out pretty well. We're still strapped, but I can now see that light at the end of the tunnel!
  8. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I started LVN school in October 2004 and completed the program in October '05.

    I financed the $20,000 tuition completely with a Sallie Mae loan. At the time of starting school, I had a monthly mortgage of $867 and some credit card debt, as well as about $15,000 in the savings account. I sold my house this summer since it appreciated in value by over $100,000 in less than a year (that was the beauty of having real estate in California).

    Then I proceeded to use the profit of the home sale to pay off my credit card debt and buy a house for cash in the Lone Star State. I now have no mortgage payment or credit card debt whatsoever. I do, however, have a monthly student loan payment of nearly $300 per month. I have not had a car payment since December 2002. For my age group I think I am in okay financial shape.
    You're darn straight you are in good shape! May I asked what occupation you were in before nursing that enabled you to afford a house in Cali and how long did it take you to pay off initially? Did you double up on payments? You must be single. In any account you are a smart woman.
  9. by   Achoo!
    I get $3,000 a year for tuition and books, and $1,000 a year for child care/or mileage. It's a state grant through workforce development. I also received 2 $600 scholarships, and plan to apply to more now that I am starting the program. I'll also get a Pell grant. So far so good.
  10. by   Maisie
    I used my severance package when I lost my job.
  11. by   r_janice
    All I can say is $24,000 in student loans........
  12. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from CRNASOMEDAY25
    You're darn straight you are in good shape! May I asked what occupation you were in before nursing that enabled you to afford a house in Cali and how long did it take you to pay off initially? Did you double up on payments? You must be single. In any account you are a smart woman.
    I am single and available. I was a factory worker in a toilet paper plant. I basically worked on a hot, sweaty paper mill for 12 hours a day producing Charmin toilet paper and Bounty paper towels. The job paid decently ($40,000/year) considering I had no college education or relevant technical training at the time.

    I bought the first house in the summer of 2003 for $145,000 and it is now worth $320,000.

    I bought the second house in the spring of 2004 for $153,000 and sold it for $259,000 in the summer of 2005. Houses in California naturally increase in value due to the high demand, so it's totally unnecessary to double up on house payments. While I was employed, the expenses were somewhat tight, because my paycheck was about $2,000 per month after taxes and nearly $900 of that money was to pay the mortgage.

    Thanks for saying that I'm a 'smart woman'. That was the ultimate flattery!
  13. by   moosicle
    grants, scholarships and planning on graduating $50,000 in debt.
  14. by   NurseDaddy2006
    I feel foolish for not pursuing financial aid, but I am really turned off by the whole application process since I went the gov't aid route and was rejected because my wife's salary disqualified me.

    It's not enough to live on by any means, but too much to make me eligible for assistance.

    My grandmother passed away and left me some money. It'd have been more if I'd taken it out of the market before the bubble burst. But at the time I started school, it was enough to pay our mortgage every month until graduation. So I got myself a debit card linked to the account, and I use that to pay for everything that is school related.
    tuition
    books
    gas to and from school
    my son's tuition at the school's children's center
    lunch and breakfast some days
    and anything else that looks like it'll take a big chunk out of my wife's check

    I've been bad, using the card for too many things that are not school related, but I figure once I get working I'll pay myself back.

    So aside from the mortgage, we've got a car payment, but that's it for debt. I did not want to take a loan and be obligated to any other financial institution, so I'm using what we have. $100 a week goes into forced savings from my wife's check for "just in case" money, too.

    I graduate in May, and I've still got money left so, so far so good. Not looking forward to paying for the Christmas aftermath though. But then come tax refunds, so six of one, half dozen of the other.

    ND

    Added: now that I'm thinking about this, I've realized that I've done pretty well at accepting that money is not everything. If I think about all the grants I could have had, it'd probably add up to nearly 10K. If I'd sued over my unlawful job loss 3+ years ago, I'd probably be sitting pretty. But the angst and constant battle and legal mumbo jumbo were a more powerful deterrant than the money being a draw. And the stigma attached to that whole thing would probably have made it difficult to find work ever again. Before I lost my job I made good money, but always felt it was not enough to build a future. After losing my income and living modestly since, money has less importance to me. As a nurse, I'm never going to be rich, I accept that. Now, when I have money, I use it to make living comfortable. If I did not have what my grandmother left me - under 6 figures by the way - then I suppose I'd have gone the grant/loan route. But I had it, so I used it because that's what made me most comfortable. And I'm sure grandma does not mind. She's probably watching over me and is very proud.
    Last edit by NurseDaddy2006 on Dec 11, '05

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