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Academic success/financing school..First post and Introduction

by stephen22 stephen22 (New) New

Hey Folks.

As this is my first post here I will start with my introduction and a little about how I got to where I am, but skip that first few paragraphs if you would like to get involved in only the discussion question I pose.

I am a 22 year old returning college student going for a bachelors degree in nursing. I went to college for a semester immediately out of high school but didn't really know why I was there and it reflected in my grades (C's across the board). I quit school for about two and a half years, learned a trade (welding) and worked hard while trying to figure life out. I learned a lot about myself in this time such as I love being inside a hospital, I love caring for people when they are hurting, sick, and troubled in general. I then decided about a year and a bit ago I wanted to pursue nursing so I enrolled in a community college to get the remainder of my generals complete and get some of my pre-nursing science courses done (this community college is known for having a high quality science department). I started full time January of this year (2016) and was able to work part time to sustain myself (in reference to cost of living).

I now have a little bit more intense classes (chem/bio) so I had to work less than I was able to in order to get the grades I am getting now. I find my general focus shifting less towards work and more towards learning as much as I can at this stage of academics. I absolutely LOVE learning about biology/chemistry and just getting a taste for understanding the science behind what causes certain diseases, sickness, etc. My professors see this passion in me and I just got an award from my biology teacher for outstanding student (big deal? maybe not, but I'm very thankful for it anyways). I mention this to reflect how important this all has become for me.

I am transferring to the university where I plan to attend nursing school (currently rated 3rd best in Minnesota) this upcoming Spring 2017 and I plan on applying to their accelerated program which starts in May of 2018 and is done by September of 2019. I am taking out loans to pay for nearly everything school related as I already have a small car payment, cell phone, insurance (insurance is crazy expensive for a single 22 yr old male), some medical bills, little unsecured debt and general day to day cost of living expenses. I can't rely on any money from family and I can't live with family to help cut the amount of loans I take out. Obviously some of my expenses will go down once I am under campus housing, but truly they will be hidden in the loans I take out for school.


Okay this is where I am actually getting into my question/discussion.

I want to get the best grades possible these next three semesters, not only so I am guaranteed a spot in nursing school but I want to get more scholarship opportunities, have a deeper understanding of what I'm dealing with and potentially attend grad school one day. I struggle with balancing work/school and still being very successful in my classes. I guess it comes down to advice from people who have been in my place and had this struggle.

A couple facts to keep in mind when responding to my post

-My GPA from three years ago was around 2.4 which bogs me down for scholarships. (grades are now much better)

-I have very little school debt currently

-I moved out of the house immediately after high school and have been 100% financially independent since then which has made it difficult to save money for this time of my life

-How do I maintain my success and still keep my head above water financially? Are loans the answer?

-Stellar grades or potentially thousands less in school loans? Do I have to choose?

-How do I determine what is a happy median for finances compared to academic success?

-How much debt is too much debt?

Im excited to hear some responses and maybe just get some good discussion going.

Thanks for reading my post and I look forward to getting some great information from you all!