It's not the program that's the problem (reasonably priced from 3-4k), it's the cost of living while in the program. 32, married with a 2 yr old. The hours of most programs in my area (miami) are something like m-f 8-3 or m-f 3-9. Now tell me how that fits in with a full time schedule. So either a) I find some way to cover my portion of our COL while in school full time(husband can't make enough to cover the whole thing). This would be around 16K. In my understanding an LPN program is not considered "school", it's considered a "certificate program". I don't know whether these are available for loans through FAFSA. I blew my one shot at college by getting a BA in Theater, so no Pell for me and only whatever is left of my fed loan limits if I can qualify to get those. b) I work part time at some starbuxey job for the health benefits and the flexibility bringing in around 500-600 a month. I don't know if LPN is like RN programs where working through it is discouraged. In short, we are a low income family and need to work. Part time programs take 2 years to get through. We couldn't last 2 years on retail / starbuxey wages from me (I'd do that type of work because they would be able to schedule around school. A "real" job wouldn't be flexible and programs don't seem realistic when the start at 8, end at three or start at three end at nine. Who gets out of their day job at 3? I've been trying to save up to go to nursing school since I was 23 and one thing after the other kept coming up which required my finances or time. Medical bills/family emergencies and the like. Now it's time to poop or get off the pot, I can't wait around until I'm 40 to start nursing school. Can some of you shed some light on this? Maybe share how you did it? There HAS to be a way for the non traditional student with a family seeking a career change. BTW, I am taking the LPN route instead of the ADN or BSN because I want to get into the field, get working, get some experience while I'm going back to school (online) for my RN and eventually my MSN or more later on. I could do an accelerated ADN or BSN but finances hold me back from being able to take all that time out of work to do this (the pre-reqs would take a year and requre in person lab time that would cut into work hours and the program would take just over a year). I need to get this show on the road!