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!
Sep 4, '11
I worked part-time through LPN school. Single mom w/ 4 kids, so it can be done. I took out student loans for school and living expenses. IDK why you think LPN school isn't "school". IDK, maybe it's different where you live.
At any rate, I'm now in a BSN program and I just saved up before starting school. I work about 20 hrs/week now. Of course, the kiddos are all grown and gone now.
My point is, if this is something you want, you will find a way to do it. Good luck.
Sep 4, '11
I attended a high-priced LPN/LVN program at a trade school and financed the entire tuition with a Sallie Mae private student loan. I also received unemployment benefits while attending school, and when the unemployment ran out, I tapped into my savings account to pay my monthly expenses.
Sep 5, '11
thanks for the advice you two! I agree, where there is a will there is a way (for lack of a better cliche). It's time I go forward with this dream I've had since I was 23 and old enough (for me) to know what I really wanted in life. I can pay for the tuition, it's reasonable. It's just the COL that is so high. I feel like I'm decreasing my chances of getting a job after graduation if I wait and save and save for years. I won't be retiring until I'm, well, dead but that doesn't stop employers from thinking "hmmm this mid to late thirty year old or this fresh young 20 something" They'll take the 20 something because they've got more years to give. Hospice nurse or anyone else, how was it working through LPN school? I've heard that RN school is ridiculously hard to work through, is LPN the same? I don't want to miss out on my daughter's younger years because I'm always working or studying or in school, but this step is necessary in order to provide a life outside of poverty for her. I don't think I could get a private loan because my credit is not very good. Unemployment wouldn't be an option for me (but what a blessing it was available to you!). My savings are tapped with the exception of a small emergency fund for the family which I don't allow myself to touch for any reason other than an emergency. I'd love to hear more of everyone's experiences!
Sep 5, '11
I'm not going to lie----it's difficult juggling kids, school, and work. But it can be done. You just have to stay focused, get into a study group w/ some serious students. There were many times I wanted to quit, but thank goodnes, I had an awesome advisor who kept pushing me. It paid off. Keep us posted.
Sep 5, '11
I applied to a boces program that is a certificate / diploma program. I was able to fill out the fafsa and receive pell, subsidized and unsub loans to cover the costs of the schooling with a tad left over to cover some very minor expenses. The only thing I couldn't get was TAP. You could get private loans too if necessary and your credit will allow for it, just becareful not to go overboard =-)
I know you said you can pay for the tuition but if you're able to get the Pell grant, it's something to take off some of the cost that you won't have to pay back and the sub / un sub loans would be low interest if you feel comfortable taking them out, you wouldn't have to pay them back til you're out for 6 months, and you don't need to accept the amount they approve you for if you prefer to accept a smaller loan.
May 7, '12
I just saw your post, the school I was accepted is 14,000, but they do not have financial aid and I would have to pay the whole thing myself. I applied to fasfa and I got approved, but the school does not take it, is a private institution, what did you do? did you pay for the whole school and how much it cost? Thank you.
May 16, '12
I haven't gone yet. I'm hopefully beginning in January! I'm completing a CNA course this summer with two other pre-reqs along with working full time. It's going alright so far. The CNA material is coming very easily to me, so that's a great sign. I'm handling the courseload really well, not too stressed. I don't think they're really hard classes though. An Introduction to Healthcare class, the CNA Certification class, and a Lifespan Development course. I just block out my time to study and it's all been going like clockwork so far. It seems too easy, so I can't really expect this to be any indication of what working through an LPN program would be like. I spend 3-4 hours a day studying. Work 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week. Have plenty of time to spend with my daughter since I study early in the morning and when she sleeps at night. I still have no idea how to cover LPN financially. I am about 9K short, even with taking out the max. yearly on fed. loans and working part time. Not a chance of qualifying for private loans because my credit is shot from circumstances beyond my control. I'm not eligible for Pell, since I already have a bachelors. The school will be around 5-6K. It is full time, 18 months at a local college. The cost of living will be the hard part, since it is a longer than usual (18 vs 14 months) LPN program.
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