Duke ABSN loans? Should I even apply?

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    I live in Raleigh and there are only three choices for an ABSN- UNC, Duke, and apparently NC Central has a program (although supposedly Central's NCLEX pass rate is not great?) Since I already have a degree it would take much longer to get in and complete an Associates degree. With the economy going so badly I really have started to question whether it is wise to take out loans to Duke because of the job outlook for new grads and disappearance of repayment programs(and who would loan me that kinda money anyway?!!!) I really want to go to UNC-Chapel Hill but I hear they take like 30 people. Who knows how long it would take for me to get in that program if ever. My previous degree is BA English and Linguistics w/French minor GPA 3.82. My prereqs are all A's except for a B+ in Stats. I volunteer at the hospital as a doula.

    Should I apply to Duke or just work on getting in to UNC-Chapel Hill eventually?

    Is anyone in Duke's program willing to give advice/thoughts about the loans they took out?

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  2. 19 Comments...

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    Dukes tuition is super high. It cost $700-900 per semester hr. So If you calculate it, your looking at a little over 53K not including books and fee, gas, uniforms etc. Also your probably will not be able to work.

    I personally would be hesitant to go without some free money thrown in the mix or tutition forgiveness. Most new grads in the area are starting with $20-21 per hr + shift diff.That not much to justify such a big loan. You will probably bring home $1200-1500 biweely for 72 hrs, but that does not include benefit deductions. So you have to do the math and weigh your options. I think it would be a great program and I bet its just as competative as UNC. If you don't have any debt and could pay $600-$700 a month in loans then maybe it would be worth it.
    ICU11 likes this.
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    I'm in the same boat as you. I have the similar situation and have thought about the costs as well. The exception is that, unlike you, I am not working or volunteering at a hospital and do not have the excellent GPA from undergrad. I'm also not done my prereqs.

    I think that if comes down to money and the future uncertainties then have you thought about UNC's 2 year BSN program as opposed to the ABSN? I heard it's still competitive but less than the ABSN.

    My final opinion would be to apply to all the ABSN programs and then make your final decisions on where to go based on who accepts you.

    On a side note, I haven't heard anything about NCCU's ABSN program. Requested info and emailed a program contact weeks ago and haven't heard back from anyone or received anything. I did speak with a former grad who couldn't even give me their recommendation to go there. They gave two thumbs up though to Duke's program, however. Interesting...
    ICU11 likes this.
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    I am graduating from Duke's ABSN program in December... I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the program, Duke's tuition reimbursement program, or the Duke hospital system. pm me.
    gonatural likes this.
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    Hey, Mom,

    I wouldn't. I was accepted at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, and chose Duke, and now wish I hadn't. Great program, but NOT worth the loan paybacks, given this economy and the payrate for new nurses. I don't see that improving anytime soon, do you?

    Plus my guess is the Duke Hospital loan reimbursement program will be reduced next year, given the surplus of new nurses needing jobs.

    Wish I'd gone with a great state Univ for the ABSN, then if I could afford it, go for my MS with Duke. But even for that, does the pay scale return match the prestige?

    good luck!

    ICU11 likes this.
  7. 3
    The Duke tuition reimbursement is $16,450 per year for 3 years. It went up about 6,000 from last year. I doubt that it will go down for the next in coming class. Duke has promised everyone in our graduating class a job at Duke, which is a lot more than UNC can say.

    UNC is not currently hiring new graduates and even though their tuition program gives you the money up front, they may not have jobs for the students (both Duke and UNC students) who signed their contract and then the students have to pay that money back. A UNC rep is coming to Duke to speak to this issue sometime in the next week or two, so I will update everyone when we know more.
    GenevaMarie, s_david_a, and ICU11 like this.
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    Was it hard to get the loans to cover the program?
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    No. Not at all. The financial aid office is wonderful. And I came straight from undergrad with a TON of loans. They will work with you to fit your needs. I am sure if you are interested in applying they would be happy to speak with you.
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    I have a few questions for you if you wouldn't mind answering them. I was just recently accepted to Duke's ABSN and will be starting in January as part of the Spring 2010 class. I was wondering if you applied to any of their scholarships or applied for any financial aid. I don't really feel I qualify for any of their scholarships, and I feel that if I get any financial aid it will be in the form of all federal loans. At that point I was thinking that it may just be better to apply through a private loan institution for the entire amount I'll need (considering I wouldn't probably get that much through the government anyways because that's usually just how it goes). Oh, and I was also wondering about the tuition reimbursement program. Is the amount you listed just allocated towards tuition and you also are paid a small salary in addition to that, or is that what you get per year total? I didn't know if you could offer any advice as to what you did that would be helpful for me. I greatly appreciate it!
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    Duke2009 and nmk685-

    How long after you interviewed did you get your acceptance? I am interviewing the 17th of July. I am applying for financial aid and for a scholarship but it is a lot of work for something that is such a long shot...I am not even accepted yet! I guess I will get to work on those essays just in case. I think it is worth it to apply for federal loans because the interest rate is lower and I will take out private loans for the rest.

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