Money to live on during nursing school? Loans?

  1. Hi,
    I've just been accepted into a community college RN program starting at the end of January. I'm really excited, but also worried about how I am going to support myself during school.

    I need money for:
    -school books, uniforms, supplies, CPR class etc
    -food/money to live off/take care of pets/gas
    -pay off my credit card debt (roughly 3k), I know I need at least $100/month to make the minimum monthly payments.

    My current job is only open Mon-Sat 8-6, closed on Sundays. So I would like to be able to work 1-2 days a week there, but still its not very high paying and not very flexible hours.

    I have about $1500 in my savings account for emergencies. I'm thinking about using it all to pay off one of my credit cards, but it terrifies me not to have any back up money.

    I know that I will get the BOGG fee waiver which will pay for my units. I believe I will also get some financial aid. However, I know it probably wont really be enough for me to live off of.

    So I'm thinking...should I apply for a loan? If so, what loans do you recommend? Is there a certain company? Sallie Mae? How does it work in general? I have never applied for a loan. Any other suggestions?

    This financial situation has gotten me really stressed out. I also feel really bad because I don't think I can afford to buy anyone Christmas gifts this year
    Last edit by hello77kitty on Dec 5
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    Could you change jobs to something that IS open Saturday AND Sunday? It seems like that is part of the problem.
  4. by   hello77kitty
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Could you change jobs to something that IS open Saturday AND Sunday? It seems like that is part of the problem.
    Yeah. I'm thinking bar tending or waiting tables would be good since I could do those on the weekend and evening. But I have no experience in those things so I doubt I'd be hired :/
    Any other night/weekend job ideas?
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Retail
  6. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Did you fill out your FAFSA? Apply for scholarships?

    You could try to get work in a hospital - nontraditional hours and it might help you in the future.

    If you do decide to get a loan, a good rule of thumb is to not borrow more than you'll make your first year. Also, try studentloans.gov before anywhere else and see what your options are.
  7. by   hello77kitty
    Quote from ItsThatJenGirl
    Did you fill out your FAFSA? Apply for scholarships?

    You could try to get work in a hospital - nontraditional hours and it might help you in the future.

    If you do decide to get a loan, a good rule of thumb is to not borrow more than you'll make your first year. Also, try studentloans.gov before anywhere else and see what your options are.
    Thank you for the information! Yes, I've applied for FAFSA already. I haven't tried scholarships. The school website basically just said I have to find them myself online and be aware of scams.

    Yes, if I do get a loan, I don't want to borrow a lot. I just want it to help me pay for basic needs.
  8. by   llg
    If you pay off your credit card bill, you will stop accruing interest -- thus lowering your overall expenses. By choosing to pay it off slowly, you continue to be charged interest. It would be cheaper to pay it off. As for not having back-up money ... once you pay off your credit card debt, you will still have the credit card and be able to use that for emergency back-up cash if you need it.
  9. by   Apple-Core
    First step is apply for FAFSA, and do that as soon as possible. If you are eligible, which if your income was pretty low you should be, you will likely get the Pell Grant. That runs at a little under $6,000 a year if you are a fulltime student. Have that paid directly to the school, and they will deduct cost of classes and refund you the rest. That should provide enough to buy books and supplies such as uniform and lab kit etc, and perhaps even leave a little bit left over.

    On top of that. apply for as many scholarships as you can. There are a bunch of websites out there for that.

    Next make your living costs as minimal as possible. Could you live at home (or maybe you already are??) with your parents? Or a sibling? Or share a home? Rent a room? Whatever it takes to reduce your overheads.

    Cut back on any other expenses as much as you can.

    Then after everything else apply for loans. With any luck you'll be offered the subsidized loans via the FAFSA. Personally I would take these and max them out, pay of my credit card and stash the rest away to live on. Repayments on these will be low cost, much lower than a credit card, so you will benefit from having your card paid off.
  10. by   Tajin
    You're in California since you mentioned the BOGFW. If you qualify for the BOGFW then you're most likely low-income. You have loan options depending on your degree status. If you don't have a BS/BA yet, you still qualify for subsidized & unsub fed loans. If you already have a BS/BA, you can qualify for $12500 unsub fed loan per academic year.
  11. by   S7ud3n7_Nur53
    From your post it sounds like you won't have to worry about rent? If so, then you have the hardest part taken care of.

    I will be living with a family member and working PRN as a PCA at a hospital in order to supplement the rest of my needs (gas/food/insurance/car maintenance). My schedule will allow me to work enough to bring in about $1000/month which should be plenty for basic living expenses. From everything I have read and everyone I have talked to, working part time during nursing school seems to be very doable. You just need to find the right job.

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