I'm 27 and I'm starting nursing school this fall. I was fortunate and had a good job in telecom in management. For the past few years I was very frugal and tried to save enough money to cover my monthly expenses for 2 years in anticipation of being accepted to nursing school. I have a mortgage, utilities, need to eat, etc. Car's paid for, thank goodness! I worked FT until I got most of my prerequisites done. I quit my job midway through my fall semester last year because it was overwhelming me (Microbiology and A&P II - What was I thinking?). I quickly found out that what I had saved wasn't going to last through December of 2007 (my expected graduation time). So, I applied for financial aid and student loans. This semester, I'm getting around $2500 from a few grant programs and that pretty much covers my tuition and most of my books for my fall semester. Additionally, since the 2006-2007 school year is technically my 3rd year, I qualified to borrow up to $10,500 in Stafford Loans. I figured I didn't need that much, but I did request enough to cover my Spring semester tuition, a portion for books, and an amount so I would receive a refund and can use that money for my living expenses. Additionally, because the state of NV has one of the worst nurse:patient ratios in the US, the state has a grant program funded by tax dollars that I can apply for this year and they award a significant amount of money to be applied toward tuition (balance is refunded to me) if I agree to work in the state for 2 years after I graduate. I figure I'll probably be working here at least 2 years once I become an RN, so that state program is very appealing...they grant $4600.
If you receive grant/scholarship
or loan monies in excess of what your tuition costs, you should receive a check or direct deposit for the balance, so you can somewhat control how much money you get for living expenses based upon how much of the eligible loan amounts you request.
Check with your financial aid department - I think you'd be surprized at some of the scholarship or grants that are available. There are some available to male nursing students, in particular, because this is considered a "non-traditional" profession for men. Good luck!