Help! Money! In a pickle!!! - page 2

hey everyone! here is the scoop. i got into a bsn rn program at a private university. i already have a bs so i thought getting the bsn would be a good route for me.. i already have a lot of the... Read More

  1. by   ChocoholicRN
    If it's not too late, I would advise you to look at other possibilites before settling with Sallie Mae. I too did not know anything about loans when I started nursing school (also a second BS), my parents had always taken care of the paperwork for me. One day I just went to the financial aid office, met with a counselor and basically said "teach me everything, i don't know what I'm doing!" and she did just that. I strongly advise you do that, there were options out there that I wouldn't have found out about otherwise. Also, 15% is VERY high, I'm paying 6.5% and its a fixed rate. Another thing to look at is setting up automatic payments. With my loan, once I graduate I can set up automatic payments online just like with a credit card, and my rate goes down to 5.9%!! I still plan to make extra payments on top of the minimum rate, otherwise it will take you forever to pay everything off. I'm not sure where you live, but here in Jersey we have the NJClass loan, awesome program. Seriously consider meeting with a financial aid counselor before signing any papers. Good luck!!
  2. by   Epona
    AAAHHHH!! Yup. I just read all the posts all the kind folks have made on here and called Sallie Mae back. I went over everything and YUP that is right. CRAZY!!!

    I do not want the comm. college route as I would have to take all the prereqs. again (it's been 10 years since school) and then take an NET test. By going the BSN route, I can incorporate the classes I may need to retake again into my program once I am already in. Otherwise I have to take all the prereqs. and then the NET and then HOPE I get in. The BSN covers all the bases there.

    I have seriously considered applying to the other school (even though 70 miles away). They are not much cheaper, but it would save me around $6,000 a year. Yikes! Thank goodness I bought a new car!!!!!
  3. by   Epona
    Oh.. and I have met with financial advisors at the school. They are totally useless. Terrible. I ended up contacting the HEAD of the financial aid dept. and he is somewhat helpful, but not a lot. The school has the worst NCLEX pass rate in my state and the advisors are pretty much useless. Yeah.. I am locked into them for this coming Jan., but I can plan to transfer to the other school for the coming Fall. They have a much better reputation and a lot higher NCLEX pass rate. I was trying to aviod a LONG drive, but I guess in the end, it'll be WORTH IT all the way around. Wish me luck!!
  4. by   moongirl
    okay, I used to work in banking,and once upon a time was a full charge bookkeeper

    a 21,000 loan at 15 percent interest would cost you about $260 a month in interest to start. With with a payment of $423 that would put $163 towards principal. at the payments you are describing, upon pay back you would have given over $44,000 in principal alone, which is not correct- you are borrowing $21,000.00

    running a loan amortization chart, a normal payment plan for 20 years for 15 percent interest would have you making a payment of $276.52. total interest paid is $45,366.19, for a total payback of principal and interest of $66,000.00.

    If you up your payment to the 423.00, you should have this 21,000 loan (at 15 percent interest) paid off in 6 years, with a total of interest paid of about $11,000.00. total pay back of $33,000.00

    Now, to get smart, take this $21,000 loan at get it for 9 percent. In that same 6 years you have paid it off and only spent $6300.00 in interest.

    Whatever you decide, you need to have someone look at your papers/figures because they are WAY WAY off

    Hope this helps- and yes I should have stayed in accounting, way less stressful than student nursing!
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    With all due respect, you're out of your mind.

    I would highly suggest that you re-think your options here. There is absolutely no reason you should have to attend a school that costs $20,000 a year (is that just TUITION?) in order to get a nursing degree. High tuition prices do NOT automatically mean a better education.

    I have a few points.

    1- Have you seriously thought this out? You can obtain a 2-year ADN, probably utilizing your current pre-req's, at a community college. You will graduate in 24 months MINIMUM, versus the 36 you're estimating, if you pursue a traditional ADN.

    2- Because you have a BS already, you really should be evaluating accelerated BS-to-RN programs, which typically last 14-18 months (13.5 months per the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, is the shortest I've seen). An accelerated BSN program means that in 14-16 months, because you have a Bachelor's degree already, you will graduate from the school of nursing with your BSN. You will not need to do the "traditional" BSN method. They assume knowledge and experience based on your already having a degree. By doing this, you would need only to take out approximately $30,000 vs. the $60,000 you're claiming (assuming the tuition rate was the same, which of course it wouldn't be or needn't be).

    According to your figures, this would reduce your payment over 20 years to under $400 a month (though if you paid more than you owed, this would obviously reduce the total interest on your loan and shorten the length of your loan term, which is always a financially prudent thing to do). Use this calculator to figure out simple loan terms: Loan & Line Payment - Financial Calculators from

    3- You went to Sallie Mae, you said, but this does not sound like a Federal Stafford Loan. You need to fill out a FAFSA right away and submit it, if you have not already done so. According to the Sallie Mae site, there are two types: subsidized and unsubsidized. Because I do not know your financial situation, we'll assume for the sake of conversation that you do not qualify for subsidized Stafford Loans. The unsubsidized Stafford Loan amount you should be eligible for, assuming you begin the BSN program you initially mentioned characterized as a "sophomore" level student is:

    Soph. year: $7500
    Junior year: $10500
    Senior year: $10500
    Total: $28,500

    The FIXED interest rate on a Federal Stafford Loan is 6.8% at this time.
    There is no prepayment penalty.
    There is no credit check.

    Even if I am totally wrong, or you are not eligible for the accelerated BSN and must pursue the traditional 4-year degree, you claimed your tuition would cost $60,000. By taking out the first $28,500 through the Federal loan program, you need only find a way to finance the other $31,500 (scholarships, grants, etc.) and at least the FIRST HALF of the loan monies you've received are at a fixed 6.5% interest rate, again, saving you money in the long run.

    4- Furthermore, once you've graduated, if you choose to work in a hospital that repays student loans, you'll have less money to pay back. If you choose to participate in a federal "need-based facility" repayment program, you can have a large portion of your financial aid debt paid back by the hospital/government, thus reducing the money you yourself must come up with. If you participate in a stipend program that may be offered by a hospital, they could potentially pay you money each month in exchange for you signing a contract to work there and "work off" the money they're giving you. You could take that stipend check and pay off chunks of your loan before you even graduate, or save the total amount for your first loan payment due 6 months after graduation (this would require firm resolve to not spend it willy-nilly).

    Ultimately, and I don't mean this to sound harsh, because that's not what I'm trying to impress here, but ultimately what you're saying sounds a bit premature and excitable, and it seems that there are a lot of things you're not taking into consideration (based on your initial post).

    I will say once more that there is no reason whatsoever to spend that much money on a nursing degree. I assure you that if you choose carefully a school with a good reputation founded in reality and NCLEX scores rather than prestige, whether it is providing you with an ADN or BSN, it is still only the first step in your nursing education.

    I have always felt nursing school is like being hazed into a sorority. You go through all of that work just to get in, they try to weed you out (for good reason!), and only when you pass your NCLEX and get your license are you truly a member.

    And then all hell breaks loose as you slowly come to realize that nursing is largely a learn-as-you-go career, requiring many more years of both experience and study, before you earn your stripes.

    Hope that helps. The more details you give about your situation, the more specific we can get with our suggestions!
  6. by   GI Jackie
    :deadhorse AMEN to that!!!!
  7. by   bethin
    Quote from Epona
    Oh... and my interest rate on the loan is almost 15 percent.

    I'm paying 6.8% on my previous student loans. Why so high?
    Last edit by bethin on Nov 28, '06 : Reason: spelling
  8. by   NICU_Nurse
  9. by   bethin
    Quote from NICU_Nurse
    I will say once more that there is no reason whatsoever to spend that much money on a nursing degree. I assure you that if you choose carefully a school with a good reputation founded in reality and NCLEX scores rather than prestige, whether it is providing you with an ADN or BSN, it is still only the first step in your nursing education.
    I'm going to a private college not because it's private and prestigious but because it's small, therefor my chances of getting into nursing school are greater than at a larger university. At this private college (20,000/year) they accept 70 BSN students and 30 ADN students. They have approx 3000 students overall with most going into other areas such as pre law and seminary school. My advisor told me they have approx 200 pre nursing students so my odds are good with my grades, academic record, etc. At the community college I was at, there was 10,000 + students and 50 spots for the 2 year RN program. Now, I could keep trying to get in year after year but that's an expense also. If I don't get in after three tries and it's a 2 year program, well in that year I'm losing an RN's salary. THAT'S why I chose a smaller college. And smaller colleges here just so happen to be private. I know full well that I'm going to have a huge bill to pay but I will be paying it back, no one else. And, I got scholarships and grants to cover everything so I don't even have to take out a loan. When you live in small communities, your options are limited as mine were. If I was to go out of state to a public school I would be paying close to what I'm paying now. Tuition might not be $20,000 but at 26 and with my health problems I would need to live in an apt so you have to consider rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, etc.

    You might not see a reason for an expensive degree and you may be right when there are cheaper options available. But again, I will be paying it back (when and if I have to take loans out) and I have no qualms about it. I went in with eyes wide open.

    If I lived in a larger metro area (smalltown Indiana, and Indianapolis, except for one have all private colleges) like LA, NYC, etc I would choose a cheaper college but right now all I want to do is be a nurse and I'll do whatever I can to achieve my goal.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    Slow down. DO NOT, NOT, NOT get into this deal, Epona. You need to take the time to understand exactly what you are agreeing to when you sign on the dotted line. Sign in haste, repent in leisure. What does your Mom say? Can she help you? If not, you need to find someone who can. Even if you have to delay the start of school, you still need to know the financial deal or you might be trapping yourself.
  11. by   Jesster15
    well, if those numbers do turn out to be correct, i am pretty sure that you can write off a portion of the loans if the total payment is over a certain percentage of your monthly income. look into it...i know my brother's school costs about 30 K a year and he's talking about doing this.
  12. by   NICU_Nurse
    Quote from bethin
    I know full well that I'm going to have a huge bill to pay but I will be paying it back, no one else. And, I got scholarships and grants to cover everything so I don't even have to take out a loan.

    You might not see a reason for an expensive degree and you may be right when there are cheaper options available. But again, I will be paying it back (when and if I have to take loans out) and I have no qualms about it. I went in with eyes wide open.
    In the OP, Epona seemed to be shocked and exhibiting a degree of anxiety in regards to the cost of tuition and the amount of money she would be paying back (I assumed, based on the exclamation points, capital letters, and multitude of colored fonts used).

    I was simply providing my opinions (that an expensive degree is not necessary- that has nothing to do with what one is willing or not willing to do to get that degree) and suggestions (that she closely evaluate her options, which seem to be at least a little more flexible than her approved high-interest loan).

    I understand that your personal circumstances may be different than hers. I was merely responding to her post, which did not mention living in a small town, having health considerations, etc. I was not attacking the choice to attend a private school. I did say, however, that attending a costly school based simply on prestige may not be the best solution.

    Let's not hijack a thread, though. Let's get back to helping Epona! :spin:
  13. by   Epona
    Hi NICU_Nurse. Thanks guys for all the help. I REALLY appreciate it!

    OK.. I have answered some of your questions.

    $16,000 a year for tuition
    $11,500 a year for living expenses (my doc. says I should not work while going to school. He says I need to focus on school.. ALTHOUGH at this rate I may have to work!)

    I have checked into the comm. college here and I would have to take all the prereqs. over again since I have been out of college for over 10 years. I would have to retake those, pass the NET and then hope I get in. The university I am slated to go to now will take me now and any prereqs. I need I can retake as part of my BSN program.

    Yes. I looked into an accelerated BS to RN program. That is really the best for me in the situation I am in. However, it's 100 miles one way... no way I could commute that almost 5 days a week. AND... I am newly married with a new home. That means leaving the husband to live at school so that won't work.

    I did fill out the FAFSA. In 2005, I made good money so I do not qualifiy for any govt. assistance. I tried explaining to the financial aid office that I have worked part time for the last 6 months making a bit over minimum wage and no longer make that kind of money. I told the fin. aid dept. that if I do not get assistance, I simply cannot go. I filled the FAFSA out indepently but since I am married, the fin. aid dept. said I do not qualify for any assistance. I wanted to update the FAFSA and resubmit it, but she said because I am married, I still do not qualify.

    The RN dept. has not had a chance to review my transcripts yet. Right now, they have me listed as a Freshman until they have a chance to review my records. They told me, like you mentioned, once I bump up to a higher class level I will be eliigible for more assistance. Right now I am eligibile for $3,312 in Stafford loans as a "Freshman." THAT will pay a part of the tuition for now.

    I am going to my bank today to see a good loan officer there and show her the Sallie Mae loan paperwork.

    You know.. you got me thinking... my husband cannot really support me and he is currently in and out of work, BUT you know... I will get the $3,312 in Stafford Loans. THAT will cover the first allotment for tuition. Another $3,000 is due in Feb., BUT by that time they will have reviewed my transcripts and I will be eligible for more money. I am wondering if I should CANCEL this Sallie Mae loan (disbursement goes out tommorrow). I have just put in my two weeks notice at my job... so I will need to find something to pay the bills (thinking all would be fine with Sallie Mae.. I wanted to enjoy the holidays and get ready for RN school in Jan.) but I wonder if I should just hang tight and see what the school will give me in Stafford loans once the my transcripts are reviewed. I will need to find a job in the meantime.