Well, there are cheaper options like going to a CC for your ADN and then a state school for your MSN, etc. I considered those options, but decided that the extra time spent makes it not worth it for me. I want to reach my end goal sooner, so direct entry it is! Plus, there is also the option to work as a RN during the MSN portion, which I have decided I will do no matter what. I'm also interested in TA or RA (Research Assistant) opportunities. Apparently UPenn allows you to work as an RA during the BSN portion, so I'm hoping that I can get an RA position and get tuition forgiveness. That is, assuming I get into UPenn and decide to attend.
Yes, unfortunately it seems unlikely that you will make 6 figures upon graduation. But, it does depend on your specialty. I believe midwifery is pretty well paid, correct? I have heard some highly promising things about psych NPs (that they are in very high demand and that 6 figures is normal in independent practice states). That gives me some hope, hehe. Especially since I'm considering practicing in Washington or Oregon. Then again, I might be wrong. Who knows. I also have no debt, so I'm in a more flexible position. If I had undergrad debt as well, I might make a different decision.
I have also heard that Boston College is significantly cheaper than other programs (like Columbia, Yale, etc.) because it's so short. That's definitely appealing.
I am totally with you regarding the concern about debt. It's the main reason why I am probably giving up my acceptance to Columbia. It's just too freaking expensive!
And yes, it's true that med school is another option. However, that's it's own beast. I know if I were to try and go into medicine that it would take me 11+ years to finish! (Counting prereqs, med school, residency, etc.) As opposed to 2-3 years for NP. Yeah, that sealed the deal for me. Hehe. So yeah, I'll probably end up doing loan repayment at the end of this, I figure it will make me a more well-rounded provider to work in a free clinic and treat whatever walks through the door.