Loans to cover more than just the cost of classes - page 3

I am going to be submitting applications to 3 different nursing schools in hopes of being accepted to begin in May. I am extremely concerned about working while in nursing school. I have heard a... Read More

  1. by   maryshome8
    Quote from vtprenursingstudent
    I was wondering how people respond to the questions nursing schools ask about how do you plan to pay for your schooling? I have never seen this on other program applications and I have talked with people who went to law/medical/business schools and they had never heard of such a thing. I understand why the schools are asking in order to see if you might need Fin Aid and if you will be able to stay in school without working but I was wondering how most people answer this question.

    Also does anyone know what the predetermined amount a person can have in their bank account (and Fin Aid probably looks at your assests too) to be eligible for Fin Aid? Thanks.
    It's illegal for a Nursing School to ask how you plan on paying for school. That is what alternative lists are for.

    That can lead to discrimination based on socioeconomic status. A LENDER can, but a Nursing School can't. The Financial Aid department only looks at your liquid assets, and it's not even the department, it's the lender that will ultimately underwrite the loan.

    People that go to Law and Medical school receive special consideration for loans, but not business schools.

    The Nursing Program I am hoping to enter has chosen to no longer do interviews because the State Board, during an audit, told them that they could not ask any questions for admission that would be illegal to ask if you were applying for a job.

    Questions like...Do you have reliable transportation to work? Is an illegal question because again, it can lead to discrimination based on presumed socioeconomic status....if someone shows up to work every day, it's none of their business of how they arrived at the front office door.
  2. by   Jules A
    I'll say right up front that I am older and chose to live frugally but there is no way I'd consider going into debt like this for nursing school. Its funny that the LPN program is often poo-poo'd away here like a waste of time when in fact the community college programs, in my area, cost around $6,000 tuition, books, etc. and then you at least have the opportunity to get a job making a decent wage while you continue in your studies.

    I can't imagine not working while in school especially if you are borrowing money for tuition. I could have afforded to take off while I went to LPN school but didn't want to lose a whole year of wages. Not working is not a right it is a luxury, imvho. I know this sounds like a big fat lecure but don't make your future more stressful than it has to be. Good luck, Jules
  3. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from maryshome8
    It's illegal for a Nursing School to ask how you plan on paying for school. That is what alternative lists are for.

    That can lead to discrimination based on socioeconomic status. A LENDER can, but a Nursing School can't. The Financial Aid department only looks at your liquid assets, and it's not even the department, it's the lender that will ultimately underwrite the loan.

    People that go to Law and Medical school receive special consideration for loans, but not business schools.

    The Nursing Program I am hoping to enter has chosen to no longer do interviews because the State Board, during an audit, told them that they could not ask any questions for admission that would be illegal to ask if you were applying for a job.

    Questions like...Do you have reliable transportation to work? Is an illegal question because again, it can lead to discrimination based on presumed socioeconomic status....if someone shows up to work every day, it's none of their business of how they arrived at the front office door.
    Hmm. I don't see how it can be illegal for schools to talk about or ask these things in interviews or include them on applications. I hardly think it could be illegal for a nursing professor to ask in an interview if you have reliable transportation to clinical sites, etc. 'Reliable transportation' can be many things, including the bus.

    This one school has this policy; most do not. I do think it is reasonable for the interviewer to discuss that nursing school isn't like other majors' upper division lecture courses...you need transportation to get to the hospital the eve before clinicals, early in the AM for clinicals, all over creation, community clinicals, etc. Asking questions about if you have a safety net and what sort of plan do you have in place...I've seen this asked of friends interviewing to med school and law school for years. The interviewers need to choose applicants who have worked these issues out for the most part, and the necessary elements need to be known to students. They need to choose applicants who have the greatest chance of success.

    Mary, I think the school you are speaking of has taken an unusual stance. Many BSN programs conduct interviews. Sure there are things they cannot bring up, but I think you might be surprised what they can and do ask. At the BSN program I'm applying to they ask things like:

    "Are you the first in your family to attend college?" (socioeconomic status question)

    "Do you have reliable transportation?" (all they care is that you can get to clinicals at 5 AM and in places where there is no bus service, and for community clinicals, all over creation. They need to admit students who know this and have the ability.)

    "Do you have a support network to help you during school?" (They don't want students who have to drop out mid-way through the first semester because they can't afford to see a doctor or their car breaks down and they can't fix it. I think they also just want to hear what you say and how well you've thought about it.)

    "Do you plan on working during the nursing program?" If so, how many hours per week?" (They are wary of applicants who work too many hours per week because historically they have high drop out/failure rates.)
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 24, '06
  4. by   Multicollinearity
    I just did a google search of legal sites. The consensus opinion is that it is fine to ask if an applicant has reliable transportation because this is necessary to ensure the person can actually show up. It is deemed unacceptable to ask if they own a car, is it a new car, etc.
  5. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from MBA2BRN
    This is exactly why I have chosen the ADN and RN-BSN route; to pay cash and/or have my education paid through scholarships and employers. If I could go back in time I would beat some sense into the 18 year old me and I would not have a single student loan to my name!
    My thoughts exactly. Listen to all the people on this board. You simply HAVE to think about the debt you will incur. It's really easy to think "OH, I'll just pay it off when I get out". It rarely seems to work that way. You may have trouble finding a job. What if you're unemployed for 6 months, or a year? That's a LOT of lost income. Then you get married, or you have a family emergency, or you need a new car. All the sudden that loan (regardless of the amount) seems nearly an insurmountable task.
  6. by   maryshome8
    Quote from multicollinarity
    Hmm. I don't see how it can be illegal for schools to talk about or ask these things in interviews or include them on applications. I hardly think it could be illegal for a nursing professor to ask in an interview if you have reliable transportation to clinical sites, etc. 'Reliable transportation' can be many things, including the bus.

    This one school has this policy; most do not. I do think it is reasonable for the interviewer to discuss that nursing school isn't like other majors' upper division lecture courses

    I'll give you a really good example of how inappropriate this type of questioning is...they don't ask those questions when you apply to medical school.

    ...you need transportation to get to the hospital the eve before clinicals, early in the AM for clinicals, all over creation, community clinicals, etc.

    Again, how is this different from a job? It's not...it's up to you to get there.

    Asking questions about if you have a safety net and what sort of plan do you have in place...I've seen this asked of friends interviewing to med school and law school for years.

    I wouldn't answer these questions because all they need to know is that you DO have a plan. Would you answer these to an employer? Nope, you wouldn't...because they can't ask!

    The interviewers need to choose applicants who have worked these issues out for the most part, and the necessary elements need to be known to students.

    Requires too much assuming...that is why you can't ask the questions.

    They need to choose applicants who have the greatest chance of success.



    Mary, I think the school you are speaking of has taken an unusual stance.

    Not doing the interview at all may be unusual, but considering the instructions came directly from the Virginia Board of Nursing...the Board of Nursing DID NOT say they could not interview...they just said they cannot ask a question during an interview that would be ILLEGAL TO ASK at a job interview. All of these questions you have listed are illegal to ask at an interview.

    Many BSN programs conduct interviews. Sure there are things they cannot bring up, but I think you might be surprised what they can and do ask. At the BSN program I'm applying to they ask things like:

    All it takes is for one student to find out how inappropriate the question is, and the school's entire program is at risk.

    "Are you the first in your family to attend college?" (socioeconomic status question)

    That isn't a socioeconomic status question...that is an educational question. Just because you are not educated or have a degree doesn't mean you are financially unsound. It's also one of the questions on the Federal Student Aid forms, so that pretty much lets you know how legal it is.

    "Do you have reliable transportation?" (all they care is that you can get to clinicals at 5 AM and in places where there is no bus service, and for community clinicals, all over creation. They need to admit students who know this and have the ability.)

    It's an illegal question. I'm not saying schools aren't asking it, I'm just saying that it is an illegal question...that isn't my opinion, that is from years of human resources training who have been instructed by their legal department that it's an illegal question for the very reason I stated.

    Ok...let's say I don't have a car but my Uncle Frank will be driving me everyday...HOW DO I KNOW, how this will be interpreted.

    One interviewer can think, "Ok ,she has that worked out"

    Another may think, "She doesn't have 100% control of it..what happens if Uncle Frank wrecks his car."

    A CAR is an asset, it takes money to purchase it, and it usually takes MONEY to travel...that is why it's a socioeconomic question.

    I understand your concern about the slots...again, that is what an alternative list is for. The same goes that you cannot ask a perspective nursing student if you know she is a single mother what she plans to do about daycare.

    "Do you have a support network to help you during school?" (They don't want students who have to drop out mid-way through the first semester because they can't afford to see a doctor or their car breaks down and they can't fix it. I think they also just want to hear what you say and how well you've thought about it.)

    Again, illegal question. How is this different from any job? It's not. Highly suggests that if you are single, and on your own, that you might not be selected because they will ASSUME that you need a support network or else drop out of the program. Again, for the reasons you stated, socioeconomic question or assessment on mental health...which if they have a question of, they should test ALL applicants.

    "Do you plan on working during the nursing program?" If so, how many hours per week?" (They are wary of applicants who work too many hours per week because historically they have high drop out/failure rates.)
    Again, illegal question...socioeconomic status question. It is up to the student NOT the school to determine how much that student can handle...that is what the alternative list is for. A school can have a BLANKET policy that students can't work...but to ask each student and make individual interpretations? Nope...can't do it.



    LET ME PUT THE DISCLAIMER, that Private schools may have alot more headroom with this...the school this happened with is a public school receiving public funding. There are many other programs that are non-medical where they students are "selected" or schools/certain programs that require an internship. They all have the same issues: Money, additional job, transportation..healthcare professions are not unique in this aspect. What if highly competitive colleges started interviewing perspective Freshman and asked questions like, "Are you going to be able to make it to class every day" "If financial aid falls through, do you have rich relative that can make up the difference?" After all, we don't want to mess up our drop-out rate and would rather start a Freshman with resources in place.

    If you have ever seen the movie, Homeless to Harvard...it's a true story...can you imagine if they just ASSUMED she wouldn't be able to make it at an Ivy League school because she had no money and the majority of the kids that go there are very wealthy? If they had asked about her support system (which she didn't have or else she wouldn't be homeless)? Or were they more concerned about her grades and her to notch SAT scores and thought if she could do that and be homeless she would be a great asset to Harvard?

    Remember: Just because something goes on every day, doesn't mean it's legit, legal, fair, and ethical. Discrimination on all levels is alive and well in this country, and the LAST place we need it is in the educational system.
    Last edit by maryshome8 on Sep 25, '06
  7. by   Multicollinearity
    Quote from maryshome8
    Again, illegal question...socioeconomic status question. It is up to the student NOT the school to determine how much that student can handle...that is what the alternative list is for. A school can have a BLANKET policy that students can't work...but to ask each student and make individual interpretations? Nope...can't do it.



    LET ME PUT THE DISCLAIMER, that Private schools may have alot more headroom with this...the school this happened with is a public school receiving public funding. There are many other programs that are non-medical where they students are "selected" or schools/certain programs that require an internship. They all have the same issues: Money, additional job, transportation..healthcare professions are not unique in this aspect. What if highly competitive colleges started interviewing perspective Freshman and asked questions like, "Are you going to be able to make it to class every day" "If financial aid falls through, do you have rich relative that can make up the difference?" After all, we don't want to mess up our drop-out rate and would rather start a Freshman with resources in place.

    If you have ever seen the movie, Homeless to Harvard...it's a true story...can you imagine if they just ASSUMED she wouldn't be able to make it at an Ivy League school because she had no money and the majority of the kids that go there are very wealthy? If they had asked about her support system (which she didn't have or else she wouldn't be homeless)? Or were they more concerned about her grades and her to notch SAT scores and thought if she could do that and be homeless she would be a great asset to Harvard?

    Remember: Just because something goes on every day, doesn't mean it's legit, legal, fair, and ethical. Discrimination on all levels is alive and well in this country, and the LAST place we need it is in the educational system.
    Some of the socioeconomic questions are permitted under affirmative action admission policies which allow consideration for those from 'disadvantaged backgrounds.' 'Disadvantaged background' is a direct socioeconomic question. They may ask. You don't have to answer. This has been litigated up to the Supreme Court. The 'reliable transportation' question has been litigated too, and deemed perfectly fine.

    You stated that "I am concerned about the slots." I wasn't even thinking about slots or my concern. I am not arguing my opinion or how I think things ought to be. That didn't occur to me. I'm talking about what happens, and what is legal. Need-aware admission, as this is called, is not illegal. Few schools are need-blind in their admission policies. Virginia may have some laws that apply to Virginia's public land grant universities.

    I really don't have any dogs in this hunt so to speak, and I don't feel like arguing about it. So I'll leave it at that. We disagree on some points.
    Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 25, '06
  8. by   maryshome8
    Quote from multicollinarity
    Some of the socioeconomic questions are permitted under affirmative action admission policies which allow consideration for those from 'disadvantaged backgrounds.' 'Disadvantaged background' is a direct socioeconomic question. They may ask. You don't have to answer. This has been litigated up to the Supreme Court. The 'reliable transportation' question has been litigated too, and deemed perfectly fine.

    You stated that "I am concerned about the slots." I wasn't even thinking about slots or my concern. I am not arguing my opinion or how I think things ought to be. That didn't occur to me. I'm talking about what happens, and what is legal. Need-aware admission, as this is called, is not illegal. Few schools are need-blind in their admission policies. Virginia may have some laws that apply to Virginia's public land grant universities.

    I really don't have any dogs in this hunt so to speak, and I don't feel like arguing about it. So I'll leave it at that. We disagree on some points.
    Well, the affirmative action issue is one I did not consider...namely because I don't believe companies should have to follow it anymore, not for schools, jobs, scholarships, nothing.

    I believe that companies and schools should have to continue reporting their stats, but there are kids in wealthy families that are living in "Mommy Dearest" homes and children that grow up dirt poor but have a strong support system and their kids grow up to accomplish amazing things. Middle class families who have alcoholics for parents, etc.

    Almost anyone can fall under the catagory "disadvantaged"...the children that I think will ALWAYS fall under this catagory, and I feel that any of them should be able to attend a college for free, is children that grow up in the foster care system and are never adopted...the state owes them an education.
  9. by   Epona
    Hi maryshome8. I tried private messaging you and it says you have exceeded your mailing capacity on all nurses.com. Can I send you a regular email??

    Thanks! Epona
  10. by   collegebound
    I took out FAFSA loans to pay for books, tuition, supplies and child care. I have taken out the max amount allowed each semester as child care consumes a great deal of my loans. I am concerned about pay back but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I keep my loan in a seperate checking account so I am not tempted to use it for anything else. At the end, I am hoping to still have some left that I can use to pay back while I am looking for a job. This should work out as I am attending a junior college where I live in-district so tuition is "cheap" comparitively. I probably pay as much in childcare for one month than I have paid for tuition for a full semester! At anyrate--keep close tabs on your loan account, do not use them to buy extras only school related expenses. I know several people who used these to live off of and have accrued so much debt that they may not ever recover.

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