[California] Paying for WCU nursing school while not working

Posted
by cjsiege cjsiege Member

Hi everyone,

I'm getting ready to start at West Coast University in a couple of months, and I'm trying to work out how I'm gonna make ends meet while going to school for ~2.5 years. If you don't know, WCU quotes $130k for their full 39 months, which includes everything and also factors in you taking prerequisites with them (e.g. A&P, Micro, etc). I have a bachelor's degree already so I won't be taking most of those, which I expect will cut my cost down to $90-100k.

However, because I have a bachelor's degree already, I'm most likely not going to receive Pell Grants or anything like that (it's a possibility, but I have to apply for the timeline extension and all that - not guaranteed). I do have the Post 9/11 GI Bill, which covers just over $20k per academic year and gives me some money to use to subsist on. Call it $50k from the GI Bill.

So I guess what I'm wondering is...what else is there? WCU, like most schools, strongly recommends you not work during the program. How do people meet these tuition costs and still make ends meet while not working for 2-3 years? My GI Bill and drill pay are helpful, but they're not enough to live on alone in LA, at least not for an older student with an established life. Do people get scholarships, float $150k in loans, what?

Tell me what I'm getting into here! :)

caliotter3

38,333 Posts

I would imagine a lot of student parents take out home equity lines of credit.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Haha. Perhaps so! I'm too old for that even if it were something I'd do. ;)

203bravo

203bravo, MSN, APRN

1,199 Posts

wow -- 130k for a BSN with the tough job market in Ca for new nurses?? plus it really takes over 100k just to pay living expenses for 2 1/2 year in LA? Glade I don't live there.. but best of luck to you...

Luckyyou

Luckyyou, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 11 years experience. 467 Posts

130k is more than my mortgage and student loans combined. Yikes. There are no other options for a BSN?

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Yes, really $130k. Crazy, I know, but compared to trying to get into CSU or UC it's at least worth considering, depending on your goals and life situation. I'd be at community college for a year or more before even entering the lottery for a spot - at that point I might as well give up on my dream and work in my other degree field.

203bravo

203bravo, MSN, APRN

1,199 Posts

Yes, really $130k. Crazy, I know, but compared to trying to get into CSU or UC it's at least worth considering, depending on your goals and life situation. I'd be at community college for a year or more before even entering the lottery for a spot - at that point I might as well give up on my dream and work in my other degree field.

Really? I'm 47 years old and graduate with my BSN in December and I also have an MBA -- no student loans.... so unless you are in your 70s this really isn't your last and only shot... wants vs. needs... the 50k from the GI bill (thank you for your service) should really be more than enough to pay for nursing school I would think...

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Really? I'm 47 years old and graduate with my BSN in December and I also have an MBA -- no student loans.... so unless you are in your 70s this really isn't your last and only shot... wants vs. needs... the 50k from the GI bill (thank you for your service) should really be more than enough to pay for nursing school I would think...

Well done, that's very impressive...but I've spent 10 years unhappy already, and I'm not willing to spend another 10 to enter the ground floor of my chosen profession. Ya know? I don't disagree about the GI Bill, though...

203bravo

203bravo, MSN, APRN

1,199 Posts

not saying you shouldn't do it... but really think about it.. when people buy a house they often fall into a trap of buying what they bank tells them they can afford and they actually overspend finding themselves "house poor" meaning that they are paying so much every month toward house payment that they have little $$ left over for the other things they want... I'm afraid that a 150k student loan would leave you education poor --- and would take almost forever to pay back on a nurses salary.. and then if you wanted to continue your education you would be forced to think about borrowing again,, and the interest on the 150k would continue to tick the whole time...

sort of scary either way uh? I truly wish you the best of luck with this decision... remember that since you already have a degree you can still qualify for federal student loans, but they will only be unsubsidized - meaning that interest will accrue from day 1 while you are in school - and you are also going to have to borrow from private student loans if you will need 150k and those loans don't have the same protections and repayment plans as federal loans do.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Thanks. I was mostly thinking of folks who aren't fortunate enough to have the Gi bill and how they could make it work when I do have that and I'm still uncertain. I doubt I could GET 150k in student loans, haha, but I don't need that much. I'm hoping someone with some experience at the school will chime in and share what their experiences were.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 16 years experience. 226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

I made my situation work by relocating out of southern California to attend school. In middle America, many reputable schools with affordable tuition will admit you into their nursing programs immediately.

I advise anyone against attending WCU.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

I made my situation work by relocating out of southern California to attend school. In middle America, many reputable schools with affordable tuition will admit you into their nursing programs immediately.

I advise anyone against attending WCU.

Makes sense; however, relocating is not an option.