If you're talking about the BSN program, I completed it in 2008. I financed it largely with money I had saved to go back to school, although I did receive a number of scholarships after starting the program. I didn't work during the program, but frankly, it would not have been difficult to squeeze in a part-time job. The workload isn't that bad.
Can you choose where to do clinicals? Yes and no. They try to accommodate requests, but more often than not, you go where you're told to go.
Maine was a tough market for new grads last year, and while this year's market looks to have eased a bit, I think it's still quite difficult for new grads to find jobs in hospital settings. There are many veteran nurses who have either returned to work in the tough economy or who have postponed retirement to make up stock market losses. I think there are more employment opportunities for new grads in long-term care right now.