how to pay for CRNA school!?...Help!!

  1. I know this question has been asked before but is scattered throughout the BB and not in one thread. My question is Where did all you CRNA's, and SRNA's receive your funding while you were going though your programs??? I have filed for the federal financial aid, looked at,, and for low interest loans, I have looked on some of the scholarship search sites and really haven't found much out there for CRNA's I haven't found any grant money ether. I am looking in the wrong place or is Loans my only option. Does anyone know of any other sites/banks that offer good deals on loans or better yet anyone where some free money is??

    Another question: what factors did you look at (or wish you would have looked at) when taking out loans.

    Also if you had to do it all over again would you have done anything different (financial aid wise)??

    I am just having a little bit of sticker shock right now on the price of my program and rent costs.

    Thanks in advance for posting, any help would be great.

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    About smogmatt

    Joined: May '02; Posts: 106


  3. by   Qwiigley
    Sorry, can't help much. I selected my school for 2 reasons: inexpensive and close to home. Not being able to work during school pretty much was mandatory. I know there is money after you are in (for enrolled students) but that may only be for California students. I will check with our financial aid next week when I am at the school for lecture. (we are in clinicals most of the time now). Good Luck
  4. by   loisane

    As I understand it, students apply for loans through the school's financial aid process. There are no specific CRNA-designated loans. The first step is to fill out that federal form- I think it is called an FAF. That will tell you how much federally supported money you can get, which accrues no interest until you leave school. For many people that money is not enough. Then you go to the supplemental loans. These do accrue interest during school, which you can pay as you go, or I believe there is a mechanism to let it pile up, and add to the total amount you start paying after graduation.

    There is federal funding to some schools to support students, student nurse anesthetist traineeship grants. Programs that receive this money have different ways of distributing it. Ask about it when you apply.

    Many people receive money from hospitals or groups that sponsor them throughout school. These students are "on contract" to their supporting employer, and have a legal committment to work for that employer for a specific amount of time after graduation. In return, the employer (usually) forgives the money. In some arrangements, the graduate pays back the money, but I think that is less common in these days of high demand for providers.

    You will see discussion here about the pros and cons of contracting before graduation. The advantage of course, is the money. The disadvantage is that you are committed to a job before you have even had a chance to shop the market. Then again, employers are more than willing to "buy out" your contract, meaning they pay off the people that paid for your schooling, and now you are committed to the second employer instead of the first. How you feel about this depends on your personal ethics, but it does happen often.

    Bottom line, if you want to go to school, are qualified and are accepted, finding the money will not hold you back.

    Hope this helps,

    loisane crna
  5. by   Brenna's Dad
    I also found very little in the way of free money. The AANA does give out 30 or so scholarships a year, but you must have been enrolled in the program for at least six months.

    The only way to go is the loans. Borrow money as you need it, try to live poor and then payback or have the employer do it for you when you are done.

    I also believe the federal governement has a loan forgiveness program for those working in rural or highly urban areas.
  6. by   nilepoc
    Suck it up and take ou the Loans, I expect to be close to 70,000 dollars in debt. Yeeha.

    I am hoping to find an employer willing to make a contribution in exchange for my services.

  7. by   AL bug
    The maximum amount to borrow from the government is $18,500 per year. Then your school has to approve a certain amount for living expenses. For instance my tuition,etc was $11,120 for the past year. The approved amount for living expenses was $14,808. So my loans added up to $33,308 for the first year. I borrowed from the private lender, Access Group. I think they specialize in medical and other health professional students. Each school has a different amount allocated to living expenses. Call the financial aid department at the school and they can help. You fill out you FAFSA form first then do provate lender application.

    Hope this helps.
  8. by   Qwiigley
    News flash;
    Once you are in, the Army Reserve will pay you $$$ for a commitment and repay up to $50,000 in student loans. Sign on bonus of $30,000.00 also. No requirements during school, only afterward.
    I know you all were aware of this, but thought I'd put in a reminder. We had a recruiter buy us lunch last week, so this is current info.
  9. by   Jedav

    Just wondering what exactly is the commitment after school?... Are you doing this or do you know anyone who is?...Do you have to live in a certain area or be willing to move close to a base?...Sorry if these answers seem obvious-I just have no clue...

  10. by   New CCU RN
    I was wondering the same questions.
  11. by   N2bate
    Take it from one who is familiar with military medicine......don't do it! I don't want to come across non-patriotic (because I'm not) but I've lived through the mismanagement, lack of resources, lack of control over your life and most of all, the disparity in pay--take the loans and leave the military alone (yes even the Reserves!)

    In my humble opinion, the reason the military is offering bonuses and other incentives to CRNAs and RNs is because they can't keep the "good" ones in the company. Recruiters are interested in ONE thing, meeting their numbers. they don't care about you, your family or what your needs are--they want your flesh to fill a hole.

    Sorry about the candidness but I've been there as recently as 4 months ago and I just hate to see others (especially the gang on the BB) suffer the misery I did.

    Take the loans and stay in control of your own destiny......
  12. by   gotosleep
    Let me try to clarify something here.

    First, I disagree with N2bate in her assessment of the military...enough said.

    I'm a first year SRNA and a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve.


    I receive a monthly stipend (STRAP) of $1,000/month. Also, I will get $50,000 in loan repayment. I drill once a month (around $300 for a weekend) even though I'm not requied to do so when I'm in school. Do the math, that's around $90,000.


    Two years of service for every year of assistance during my education. My program is 33 months long, so I am required to serve for 6 years. This obligation is Reserve training. That means one weekend a month and two weeks of active duty(generally in the summer) training.

    I have been in the National Guard/Reserve since I was 17. Obviously, this was a much easier decision for me to make.

    Once again, I am in the Reserve, and therefore, I am only familiar with Reserve obligations.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questons.

    Last edit by gotosleep on Feb 16, '03
  13. by   New CCU RN
    Go to sleep,

    Did you have to move anywhere or are u able to fulfill your requirements without having to change where you live?

    Are these options available for people that would just be joining? or did you get this bc you have been in for a while?
    When you have to do drilling, are you there the entire weekend? Do you find it hard to drill once a month and attend school? Sorry for so many questions... just wondering.
  14. by   New CCU RN
    Oh, what kind of physical requirements do you have to make in order to be considered?

    ie) run x amount of miles....blah blah