How do you afford to go back to school? Need advice!

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    So, i'm hoping to start an lpn program in January which will be M-F 8am-4pm (class) and 6:45am-3pm (clinicals). It last 12 months and tuition is $13,000. I have 3 kids. Two will need to be in before/after school care and one will need full-time daycare. That will cost us $200 a week which we really cannot afford. I will be getting student loans and pell grants, but will have no money left over because it will all go to tuition. Plus I will have to come up with some extra $$$ out of pocket for tuition each month. I'm starting to think this is crazy and there is no way we can afford this. But we also can't afford to live off of one income forever either. How do people afford to go back to school? Can you get a personal loan to help with living and child care expenses? We do not qualify for ANY government assistance like child care, food stamps, insurance, etc. Am I fighting a losing battle here? Should I just throw in the towel before I get started and run out of money? I really want to have a great career and bring home a decent income and i'm starting to get depressed wondering if that will ever happen.
  2. 11 Comments so far...

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    Although I have no children, my classmates who did have kids all seemed to have family members who babysat for free. This must have been helpful because it prevented the need for expensive daycare services.

    Obtaining a personal loan to help out with expenses is an option, but I highly discourage it. Any money you borrow will need to be repaid, and this will be very difficult on LPN pay in a lower-paying Southeastern state.

    Check to see if a WIA (Workforce Investment Act) office exists in your area. Many students receive WIA funds to help with tuition, supplies, and so forth. Good luck to you.
  4. 0
    Another thought. . .

    Get your CNA certification if you have not already done so. Obtain a PRN job as a CNA that will allow you the freedom of working one or two shifts every weekend. This will pay for your daycare. If you do not have several hundred dollars to pay for a CNA course, work as a waitress on weekends.

    I attended an 12-month LVN program with Monday through Friday hours. Many of my classmates worked. Some worked full-time, others worked part-time. Most worked as CNAs or caregivers, while others worked as waiters and servers.
  5. 0
    The only way I can afford it is completely with student loans...and as for living expenses, my husband is supporting us. Its extremely tight on one income, but we also have no kids. Hope you find something that works out for you.
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    Thanks for the advice. I'm starting to wonder if it would be wiser to go for RN so I can work part time as a cna or caregiver. Atleast while getting pre-req's out of the way. I ultimately want to be an RN anyway, I just thought the lpn-rn track seemed like a smarter and quicker way of having an income and getting my foot in the door. Now i'm not so sure. Thoughts?
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    I did the LPN-to-RN track and have no regrets. However, it takes some sacrifice and deferred gratification on the part of the student. Your life will be miserable and your spouse/kids will not see much of you. However, you have to make sacrifices in order to achieve the prize.
    Quote from taramade
    Thanks for the advice. I'm starting to wonder if it would be wiser to go for RN so I can work part time as a cna or caregiver. Atleast while getting pre-req's out of the way. I ultimately want to be an RN anyway, I just thought the lpn-rn track seemed like a smarter and quicker way of having an income and getting my foot in the door. Now i'm not so sure. Thoughts?
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    I'm almost finished with my 11-month LPN program, and I worked two jobs in order to support myself. I would not recommend it to anyone. If you aren't in a financial position to attend school, then don't go. Spend a year saving up, move home, arrange for family/friends to help with child care and set yourself up for success BEFORE attending. If that isn't a possibility, go the part-time RN route.
    marycarney likes this.
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    when i went to LPN i was single with zero children. 4yrs later married with one child i went to LPN-RN school. i took student loans. i worked maybe 2 days a week and was lucky that my sitter didnt charge a lot.
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    I don't have kids, so I cannot put myself in your situation for daycare. I failed my first semester of nursing school after I saved up all through high school. I worked for 6 months at a factory to save up and took out a loan to pay for my RPN. I'm paying back the loan now, but it is a lot easier with an RPN wage. I worked on weekends while in school, but just remember to take a break now and then, or you can become burnt out.
  11. 0
    How can you not qualify for assistance like food stamps and day care assistance when you have 1 income and 5 people living in a household. Are you sure? Cause that sounds crazy!


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