UIC vs. Depaul in Chicago for a masters entry program. (Cost analysis, student loans)

  1. Hi everyone!
    This is my first post but i am a longtime lurker.
    I have gained tremendously from this site and each and every post- so THANK YOU ALL!

    I am so happy to announce that I have been admitted to the DePaul MENP program! I am still waiting to hear back from UIC though.
    I am very very frightened by the fact that this program will cost about $70,000 for the two years. To me that's a lot of money. I was able to work through my undergrad years and was lucky to qualify for scholarships which meant that thankfully I don't have much loans.
    I cannot imagine taking out this much money at this point of my life. I know that private colleges ARE expensive, but it is nerve wracking to me.
    UIC being a state school must be cheaper, but I am unable to navigate their site well to calculate the costs (for an IL resident)
    Can anyone chime in?

    Also, with government loans I understand that there are ways they can be reduced/forgiven (i think if you work at a non-profit facility or something?)
    Is anyone familiar with this?

    Thanks !
  2. Visit HR1989 profile page

    About HR1989

    Joined: Mar '14; Posts: 35; Likes: 12


  3. by   Esme12
    thread moved for best response.
  4. by   chaiteastaci
    I finished the UIC GEP program and my subsequent Master's (NP) through UIC. I have also worked with people who went through the Depaul program. My opinion is this, at the end of UIC GEP you do not have a nursing degree. This is a big hindrance to getting a job at some of the better hospitals in Chicago (really all the Magnet status hospitals). When I finished the GEP portion it was back in '08 and it wasn't a huge deal then as long as you had your BA in something but when I talked to subsequent GEPPERS they found that some hospitals (Advocate) didn't even consider them. At least with Depaul you will have a general Master's degree and that will suffice for most hospitals. The reason that hospitals want BSNs and MSNs is that it is now apart of their accrediting process. If you know you will go straight through to the Master's (NP) portion and don't care where you work (or want to work as a research nurse or some other type of nurse) I'd go to UIC. If you are unsure what if you want to be an NP or what you want to specialize in go to Depaul and work a few years then go back for your post-masters and have the hospital you work at pay for it. The UIC program is cheaper and that's why I chose it but I knew my final outcome was to be an NP. Also many of the people that went to Depaul said the program was unorganized. I could say the same about UIC at times but I know for sure that UIC has actively tried to improve and become more organized as they have so many students.
  5. by   chaiteastaci
    Also UIC will probably cost you about $50-60K because you have to do the RN portion full time. You absolutely can not work until you get a campus assistantship or research assistantship and get some type of tuition waiver (these are hard to get). Most people will take out government loans whose interest rate is capped and can be consolidated. For me, I could not even fathom the idea of taking out private loans because of the interest repayment terms.
  6. by   HR1989
    Wait, I'm confused.... How do you not come out with a nursing degree after finishing the GEP program?
    Can you possibly elaborate on this? I thought both depaul and uic are masters in Nursing programs which grant an ms/RN degree

    I have corresponded with the admissions coordinator at uic and apparently the cost of the program is also about $70k so I don't see a real benefit to going to uic
  7. by   chaiteastaci
    I looked at the website...it looks like they are changing it starting in fall 2014. In the old program you completed 4 semesters of pre-licensure course work -- No Degree but could sit for the NCLEX, then you went directly into your Master's specialty (2-4yrs) -- then you finally got your MSN. It looks like they are changing it because a lot of students were complaining that they weren't able to find jobs at Magnet hospitals because hospitals want their nurses to have degrees in nursing. Looks like competition got the best of them as Rush and Depaul have generalist MS programs. I finished the UIC GEP in -08 and took a yr off then resumed my master's classes while working full time and finished last year.

    If there is no real difference in program or cost then pick any one. All programs will have their pros and cons. Some people loved UIC and some hated it (same with depaul). You ultimately will be eligible to sit for the same test no matter what program and hospitals don't necessarily prefer students from one school or another. If you prefer to have government only loans pick the program that will allow you to finance primarily via the government. You can always apply for the nursing student loan repayment program (even though it is a competitive program).

    It's a lot of money no matter which way you cut it. I didn't have undergrad debt so that's how I justified the cost.
  8. by   HR1989
    Thanks so much for your response!

    I'm surprised that uic ever offered such a useless program... No wonder they're restructuring it..
    For some reason I always thought state universities were cheaper (for state residents) than private ones.... Any chance I'm making a mistake in the uic tuition figure?
    I like the idea of depaul because it just seems like a very solid school with nurturing teachers (I went to their open house and met some of them) but many people who I speak to (doctors) seem to feel that UIC is a more solid school....

    I too, have no undergrad loans but am still frightened by the thought of $70k....
    How do I research loan repayment programs?
  9. by   HR1989
    I personally would never take out a private loan.... I have heard a few too many horror stories of people who got screwed with fluctuating interest rates
  10. by   illinois123
    You might want to consider going back through the community college route. This might sound a little crazy but it could save you a lot of money. You can go 2 years to community college (which costs literally 10% of MENP program) and then sit for the NCLEX. With your RN you can start working and get tuition reimbursement to go to a BSN or MSN program. If money is super tight, this is the route I would suggest. Before you turn up your nose at the community colleges, realize that some of them provide excellent instruction and have pass rates (on NCLEX) similar to DePaul or UIC.