[California] Paying for WCU nursing school while not working

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by cjsiege cjsiege Member

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beekee

beekee

836 Posts

If you take out $150,000 in loans, you are looking at a loan repayment of $1,700 per month for ten years.

If you are disabled and can't work, can't find a job, or flunk out (no one ever expects to, but people do), you still have to pay it back. It is extremely difficult to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

To be clear, talking about $150k in loans was exaggerated. Assuming no other aid, I'd need more like $50k for tuition, and then I'd have to figure out living expenses, which are defrayed quite a bit by the GI Bill, thankfully.

babeinboots

babeinboots, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 2 years experience. 260 Posts

First off, thank you for your service! Second, try and avoid spending so much for a BSN. You don't want to spend more on a BSN than what you'll make in a year as an RN.

There are other nursing programs in California besides Cal states and UCs that offer a BSN that are way cheaper than WCU; National University and Western Governor's University are a couple. Also community colleges like LACC and LA Trade Tech do not use lottery systems. Also, try enrolling in more than one CC to complete your pre-reqs. I went to about 3 different CC for pre-reqs and finished much faster than I would have if I only attended one. The LA community college district alone has about 11 campuses.

In the end, it's your decision but I haven't heard of people NOT struggling or getting help from parents while attending/graduating from WCU. Good luck.

Edited by babeinboots
oops

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Thank you. WGU wants all the prerequisites done first, but National it looks like bakes them in AND has a post-bacc format. They're still expensive, but less so than WCU by a large margin (GI Bill will probably cover it). I went ahead and set myself up for their sales pitch, so I'll see what I find out...

babeinboots, I saw elsewhere that you're an NU LA student? What can you tell me about that, as I'd be applying for the same?

Edited by cjsiege

babeinboots

babeinboots, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 2 years experience. 260 Posts

Thank you. WGU wants all the prerequisites done first, but National it looks like bakes them in AND has a post-bacc format. They're still expensive, but less so than WCU by a large margin (GI Bill will probably cover it). I went ahead and set myself up for their sales pitch, so I'll see what I find out...

babeinboots, I saw elsewhere that you're an NU LA student? What can you tell me about that, as I'd be applying for the same?

Sure, NU's BSN program is 22 months and about 43 grand. Each class is either one or two months long and you take one class at a time. Acceptance is based on a point system that includes pre-req GPA, TEAS V score, and an essay. 20 students are excepted twice a year. NU's program is accelerated whether you have a previous degree or not; about half my cohort has a previous bachelors degree, I do not.

NU is still expensive but luckily I still qualify for grants that will cover half. Also, on a side note, from my research, some Cal states end up being just as much as NU ( CSULA is about 20 grand a year for 2-2.5 years). I did meet a nurse during one of my clinical rotations who took all her classes at NU, pre-reqs included and she said it cost her 90 grand. I really suggest attending multiple CC and getting as many pre-reqs done as you can before transferring to any university.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

notnursezelda

notnursezelda

336 Posts

first off, i would say get concrete numbers, or at least close to them so you know what your looking at in terms of loans, and other things. include extra every semester, because tuition does go up sometimes, even if by a few hundred dollars which can make a difference, and also for nursing school supplies, textbooks, a stolen stethoscope, etc

i would not recommend taking a loan out that is greater than your first years expected income.

from my understanding, cali is over saturated with nursing students and graduate nurses who can not find jobs for 6 months-1 year after graduation. keep your location in mind.

how are you supporting yourself during nursing school? thats also an important factor

im also a second degree student. i get federal loans and a private loan. and a tiny ( mean tiny, and it makes a dent, a helpful but tiny dent) scholarship. im lucky to have my husband support me through this all, because it becomes a lot of money. especially private schools. but the money does pile up and you feel like drowning all the time. im attempting to make payments on my loans prior to their due date, so its not all piling on extra interest. but the fact that my husband is working, paying the rent, bills, etc, is something i don't worry about.

scholarship websites are everywhere.... but you won't qualify for every scholarship out there, plus there are hundreds of students applying.

the majority of scholarships come through the school.... talk to your school, what kind of scholarships will they offer you or ones you might qualify for, based on their current student history.

relocation may not sound fun, but consider it. it might be cheaper in comparison to a 50k loan.

ive seen people pay 10-15k for their adn, get jobs, and have their employers pay for their rn-bsn program. something to consider.

another fun thing. it was nearly impossible for me to get private loans until about 1 week ago. I couldn't qualify on my own (lack of job), my husband didn't qualify, my parents didn't all due to other financial burdens/loans/mortgages in their name. i lucked out with a distant family member.

do you have good credit? do you have enough saved up incase scholarships/free money/private loans don't come through?

there are plenty of schools, which will be covered under that 20k a year from the GI Bill.

We are all in a rush, I know I was, but honestly.... there is NO nursing shortage.

hospitals NEED more nurses, but they WILL NOT hire more nurses, not unless patient ratios become set in stone to something they should be, and not what they are now.

also good to point out... my school offers students options just as full time or part time options, for working moms/dads, and other adult/working students. does your school have that option? day time/night time track, etc. very flexible in that sense.

a lot of schools do recommend not to work, but a lot of students also manage to pull it off. its all about time managment, and making everything work in your favor.... not as easy task, but I see it get done.

if you do work, try and find a job where they give you tuition reimbursement!

and....

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).

odd question, what do you mean by that?

Awesomocity0

Awesomocity0

Specializes in Gastroenterology, PACU. 100 Posts

You know, not everything is ten years or 22 months accelerated. There is an in-between. If you have most of your pre-reqs, just finish out the ones you don't have in a semester or two, and you'd face 3 years of nursing school at half the cost. Unless you bank on making 75 grand back in that first year (which, I dunno about California, but here in Texas, that's not happening for a new grad), then it's not worth it.

That being said, I didn't abide by the loans vs. income state of thinking. I took out 70 grand in loans (well, really, that included both my degrees, and some teenage shenanigans), and I don't feel bad about that. I was making nearly half that as a new grad in a residency (because in residencies, you're paid very poorly, and if you can find a program for that cost, I'm envious), and two years out, I'm making a bit more than my initial loan debt per year. So... depending on your market, it might be smart to consider what you'll be making within five years, instead of your FIRST year out, especially if you're hopping into a critical care area as a resident.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

first off, i would say get concrete numbers, or at least close to them so you know what your looking at in terms of loans, and other things. include extra every semester, because tuition does go up sometimes, even if by a few hundred dollars which can make a difference, and also for nursing school supplies, textbooks, a stolen stethoscope, etc

Yep this is on my agenda.

i would not recommend taking a loan out that is greater than your first years expected income.

Isn't gonna happen, no worries :)

from my understanding, cali is over saturated with nursing students and graduate nurses who can not find jobs for 6 months-1 year after graduation. keep your location in mind.

A quick glance at jobs sites suggests this might not be the case...but I can't relocate either way so we'll see.

how are you supporting yourself during nursing school? thats also an important factor

My "perfect world, if-I-ruled-the-world" scenario is having GI bill cover all my tuition and using only federal loans. Combined with the GI bill housing allowance and my drill pay from the guard (~$10k/year) that should be enough to subsist on.

relocation may not sound fun, but consider it. it might be cheaper in comparison to a 50k loan.

ive seen people pay 10-15k for their adn, get jobs, and have their employers pay for their rn-bsn program. something to consider.

I have joint custody of my child. Relocating out of state is absolutely not an option, period. I'd consider it if I could, but I can't.

do you have good credit? do you have enough saved up incase scholarships/free money/private loans don't come through?

I don't have great credit or a lot of savings.

also good to point out... my school offers students options just as full time or part time options, for working moms/dads, and other adult/working students. does your school have that option? day time/night time track, etc. very flexible in that sense.

Will check into this, but I don't think I can handle burning it at both ends.

a lot of schools do recommend not to work, but a lot of students also manage to pull it off. its all about time managment, and making everything work in your favor.... not as easy task, but I see it get done.

Especially when taking out loans, I'd strongly prefer to be focused on making sure I get the education I'll be paying for either way :)

odd question, what do you mean by that?

Disregard - no pell grants for second degrees :(

Edited by cjsiege
fixing formatting

RNDude2012

RNDude2012

Specializes in ICU. 112 Posts

I have coworkers who graduated from WCU. Some have monthly student loan payments that are > 1500/month. If you didn't have the GI bill I would say don't do it. However, since you do have it, I would say it's not a bad idea. If you can finish with around 50-75k of loans, I would say that if you can get a job here in California, it's worth it. If you will have loans that are > 100K, I would say don't do it. I would try to offset the cost by taking your non-science courses at a JC or online somewhere else since there usually aren't too difficult to get into. Science courses are impacted, so you might as well finish them there. I always work a little OT here and there, and only during my first year as a RN did I not gross 100k+. This is in a lower cost area of Southern California. You can make more in LA or Northern California.

My point is that you will be able to pay it back. It just isn't fun paying off a student loan every month. Does having to pay for a student loan while being gainfully employed beat the alternative? (no loans, no income)? You bet it does. There's money to be made in nursing if you don't mind putting in the work and can mentally and physically handle the hours (at least here in California)!

Me personally, I did the ADN at a JC-->BSN route. My ADN was nearly free, and I paid for my BSN out of pocket. I do have some loans from prior private schooling, but if I could do it all over again I would have avoided loans altogether!

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Thank you. I'm also the type to knock out a bit of overtime here and there, and your tale gives me confidence. I'd like to escape with as little student debt as possible! I'm most likely going to remain in the greater LA area so hopefully I can do very well for myself in that regard.

cjsiege

cjsiege

15 Posts

Just a quick update: it looks like, after talking to you guys and to other people, that I'll be starting at National in October, and working as well (since their pre-nursing schedule is only 2 evenings a week). No loans required. Yay. Thanks for all the great feedback!

babeinboots

babeinboots, BSN, RN

Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 2 years experience. 260 Posts

Just a quick update: it looks like, after talking to you guys and to other people, that I'll be starting at National in October, and working as well (since their pre-nursing schedule is only 2 evenings a week). No loans required. Yay. Thanks for all the great feedback!

I'm glad you were able to find a route that works for you. I wish you the best on your journey! If you ever have any questions, just ask.

Also, just a side note, about half my cohort works, myself included. It is possible to work in this program but like a previous poster stated, time management is key. Good luck!