Student Loans to finance my CC tuition, basic living expenses all the way through BSN

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    So, for various reasons, I do not wish to live at home with my mother anymore. Simply put, it's emotionally and mentally damaging to be living here. I'm 20, getting through my pre-reqs at my community college (COC in santa clarita) and planning on applying to the nursing program at COC (an associate's degree program), most likely doing the COC-CSUN ADN-BSN Concurrent Enrollment Nursing Program. I can't find a job, and I can't really work even part-time either because I have a lot of classes. Anyway, I can get a studio apartment around here at about $600/month and I'd only have basic living expenses like that rent and groceries and a very small cell phone bill, and miscellaneous other things. I am in a much better mental and emotional state when I'm not around my mother, and I truly believe that not living here anymore would help me out so much. I just can't finance it in any other way besides using federal/private student loans. I realize it adds up and student loans never go away, but nursing is a great, solid career that is always in demand, so I think it'd pay off to live off the loans right now when I can't afford anything else, and then pay them off later when I have a good nursing job (planning on going into psych nursing and eventually becoming a PMHNP). What do you guys think? Please let me know if I'm kidding myself. If it'd absolutely ruin my future, I could push through living the next few years with my mom, but I'll be miserable.
    Please give me your honest opinions, thank you

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  3. 19 Comments...

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    You may have a hard time renting an apartment without employment, unless you have a cosigner. You cannot put student loan money on the renter's application as income to show that you can afford the apartment (At least in Texas you can't anyways). Without income from a job, you will need a cosigner on the lease. I understand the desire to not want to live with your mother anymore, but it is very expensive to live on your own. You will need a very carefully laid out plan to be able to make living on your own work without a steady paycheck. Have you considered a roommate? Maybe moving in with a friend who already has an apartment? Or renting one with a friend? I know living alone would be ideal, but a roommate can alleviate some of the cost since you will be splitting the cost of rent, bills, etc. Maybe you should take a second look at the idea of a part-time job. It is very hard to take on a full course load and work even part-time, much less full-time, but having a part-time job would still mean money coming in. Taking out student loans will not ruin your life. If you take out student loans and for some reason don't finish your degree, you obviously will still owe the money though. Make sure you are completely set on obtaining the degree before you take out a student loan (Not doubting your commitment, I have just had several friends who took out loans and then dropped out, yet still owe all that money with no positive end-result- a degree.) I just finished the second semester of actual nursing classes in my BSN program. I have taken out student loans every semester I have attended school. I will owe approximately $24,000 upon the completion of my degree (I will graduate May 2014). I completely understand that this is a substantial amount of money that I will owe and will be responsible for paying it back for many, many years. I plan on paying back every cent. My dream is to be a nurse. I was unable to afford to attend school without taking student loans. I wish my family or I could have afforded to pay for my tuition, but that was not the case. Fortunately, I live with my boyfriend of 3 years now and he works full time to pay all of our bills. Yet, I have in the past used student loan refund money to live off of, and it is a tightrope. You must be very careful about budgeting your money so that it will not run out before you are able to get the next student loan refund. I suggest paying your rent in full for 6 months to a year when you receive your loan money. Pay in advance for as long as you are able to, while still leaving money for bills and food. This takes careful budgeting, but it definitely can be done. I would look into scholarships to see if you can get some of the cost of your tuition covered so that if you do take out a student loan, you can take a smaller one or use the extra money to pay for living expenses. This may not be the best advice so hopefully no one "owns" me on this.. just giving you my opinion. Best of luck!
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    What about looking for student roommates or other roommate situations? You might be able to find roommates are more understanding of your not having a job.

    Have you tried to get a job at local hospitals and nursing homes as a nursing assistant? Many of them are willing to hire nursing students and will pay more than minimum wage.

    I am assuming if you are already working on pre-req's you have filed your FAFSA and you know if you qualify for federal Pell grants or for a work-study program at your school.

    You need to do what will provide you the least stress to deal with while in nursing school, and hopefully without breaking the bank too much.
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    I don't think it's an ideal situation...and I would never recommend someone take out student loan money to live on. There are many other, work-study, etc..
    I know plenty of people who work, either full or part time, and are in school. I am one of them. So it is possible to work and go to school.
    If you take out, and burn thru all your student loan money...and have no job...what is the plan? To keep taking out more student loans?
    It's a slippery sloap. I know plenty of people who have degrees, but no money, because everything they make goes to pay for student loans... They can add up quickly!
    Just make sure you have a plan before you take the leap. It seems like there is always some random, unexpected expense and if you don't have an income coming in and are always waiting for the next may find yourself more miserable than if you had stayed put until after school. GL!
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    I will echo everyone else - try to find a roommate to keep your costs down. Get a part time job - it's doable.
    Personally, I stayed at home for the first two years of my college career to save money. Yes, it was hard. I didn't have the independence that I craved and still had to answer to my mom. But I saved SO much money. The two years that I've been on my own to finish my BSN means I will graduate with $21,000 in debt (that's for school only, not living expenses). I work 48 hours a pay period to cover my bills like groceries, gas, and utilities.
    I would think very carefully about moving out. You will be so busy with school and work (should you choose to) that you probably won't see your mother much, anyway. I think staying at home even for a semester longer, getting a part time job and SAVING all of the money, then look at moving out next semester would be a better way to start out.
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    I may be wrong on this, but I thought in California that you were unable to take loans out that we're above the cost of school if you were going to a community college. I am pretty sure I have read threads where people attending CC's were not able to get the financial aid office to even ok loans.
  9. 0
    Thank you all for your responses, especially from sadavey since you sound like you were in a similar situation that I'm in. I suppose I'll stay living at home for now, and just keep busy with school and part-time work (as a semi-related side note: as nurses, how bad do you think it is it to take 2-3 200mg caffeine pills a day to keep running?). I did all the math for verrrry basic living expenses here, and the amount over the time that I'd be in school is enormous, not even taking into account tuition and books, etc.

    I was considering getting a CNA certification and working at a local hospital... would a hospital hire me as an aid as a pre-nursing student, without any certification? Also, do any of you know any CNA certification programs within 100 miles of my area (Santa Clarita/Newhall, CA)?

    Sorry for all the scattered questions, I'm just trying to find work (I have been submitting to PT places recently) and I can't seem to make any progress since I have no certifications/licenses and no previous work experience. I'm usually pretty confused about the job hunting progress and things like that. Thank you all again for your help
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    to blacksunflower- in CA yes, but you can talk to your financial aid counselor and ask them to adjust it to include off-campus room and board (they know the basic cost of living in the area, so they will know how much you'd actually need). And I'm utterly confused about the rest of the financial aid process, as my financial aid department keeps putting off meeting with me by not telling me the requirements in advance, so I missed the cutoff for financial aid this year (first appointment- they said I needed to fill out the FAFSA. so I did. second appointment- they said I needed to wait a week for the FAFSA to get to them. I did. third appointment- they said I need to come back next semester (in feb. 2013)) and they refused to counsel me on anything until next semester.
  11. 0
    Semi off-topic, but since you are no longer living at home, see if you can apply for the BOG waiver to help with tuition.
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    I think you should start by rethinking that "nurses are always in demand". Take a look at the number of unemployed nurses in your state. There are several threads discussing this. Then do some reading on student loans and repayments, there are lots of threads on this subject too.
    elkpark likes this.

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