Going back to school, and SCARED!!

  1. AAHHH!! I am 31 with 3 children, married 8 years, and I am wanting to return to school for a nursing degree. The dilemma, I am a SAHM now, and on one income. I am hoping to get financial aid, grants, loans, whatever I need to do this. I was just wondering how anyone else out there in my situation paid for their schooling. Were the grants and aid enough to cover books, tuition, etc? Sorry if I am being too nosey, but I am really freaked out about this whole thing! thank so much for listening. I AM going to do this, but I am just trying to calm myself down about the financial end of it
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    About ashemson

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 398; Likes: 15


  3. by   bassbird
    Congrats on your decision to return to school. I am 42 and entering my second year of nursing school. As far as money to pay for school, you should make an appointment with a financial aid person. They will help you fill out the necessary forms for financial aid. Do you have a degree already? If not, depending on your income, there are lots of grants, scholarships, loans, etc. out there.

    If I can help answer any questions feel free to email me.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Rileycat
    be proud of yourself for being courageous enough to go back to school. it takes a strong person to take such a step. i am sure you will do great in the program.

    i returned to school at the age of 28...and it was a little scary. just so you know, many people in my class were over age 30. i think the average age was 35. we even had a 50 year old in our program. also, many of the older students made the dean's and president's lists.

    when i returned to school, i was living alone and only making around $19,000/yr....and i was told i made too much for federal and state aid. "god doesn't close a door without opening a window" i went to the financial aid department and filled out a ton of forms. i applied for as many scholarships as i could. as it turned out, i received a returning student scholarship that paid for my entire tuition throughout nursing school. i was only responsible for the cost of books and supplies...which i funded through student loans.

    in addition to checking out scholarships through the financial aid department, go to the director of nursing. sometimes nursing depts offer their own scholarships.

    i think that in some states, the department of public health may pay your tuition as long as you give them a work commitment. your school's nursing department should have information on this also.

    good luck! :d
    Last edit by Rileycat on Jul 8, '01
  5. by   laurab2jb2
    I can understand how you feel about returning to school. About 3 years ago, I was also a SAHM with two children, no college degree, and had previously worked as a secretary and waitress. I wasn't at all sure I had it in me to go back to school and make it. But, then my husband decided to "go through a mid-life crisis", if you know what I mean, and left us behind. After about 2 months of total self-pity, I picked myself up by the bootstraps and enrolled in my local junior college to take the prerequisites for the nursing program. I found not only did I have what it takes for school, but also what it takes to reach my goals! I am about to start semester 3 of 5 in a BSN program, and will make it.

    Fortunately, my husband and I were able to work out our differences , and now we are back together. I am fortunate that he makes enough to pay the bills and my tuition (I know I am REALLY lucky on this one!). It is not easy, but it will be worth it in the long run. A friend of mine has taken out student loans for her schooling, which are not payable until after she graduates. I agree with the previous posters - make an appointment with financial aid. There are many programs available. Just don't get too freaked - it will happen, and you sound like you have the determination to do it. I have proven to myself (which, after all, is the only one that counts!) that I can do what my minds sets itself to, and it sounds like you do, too. If I can return to school at 34 (I'm 36 now - yikes!), you can too.

    Just hang in there, and trust in yourself that it will happen. You will love nursing school, though it takes a strong will and determination. Your children will respect you even more for going back to school to meet your goals. You will set an excellent example for them. Email me any time you would like some further encouragement. You can never get enough!
  6. by   essarge
    I agree with all of the above, especially going to the nursing department to see what they offer.

    Another good place to check is with the higher education commision from your state (most have websites through the state site). I found several scholarships available and also one "buy back" scholarship, where if you work in one of the state facilities for two years you don't have to pay it back. If you opt not to then it becomes a student loan and you pay it back.

    The best advice I can offer is .... always keep your eye on that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...if you do this you will reach your goals no matter how tough things seem to be!!

    Good luck and welcome to the crazy world of student nursing!!
  7. by   shavsha
    Ashemson- Just an note to encourage you!! I just graduated with my ADN and turned 40 two weeks later. It took me three years. I also have three children and a busy, busy life. While nursing school was very challenging it was also very personally rewarding! I found that all the years I spent at home with my children did not melt my brain cells. In fact, many of the best students in our class were "older" students. As far as financial aid goes, there is a lot of money out there for those of us who are re-entering school. I received a pell grant and a need grant that paid for all of my tuition and books. After my first year of nursing school I applied for scholarships and my second year I ended up with some living expense money too. (I wish I had applied sooner). To start, seek out the scholarships that are unique to your school. Many schools have foundation money and nursing one of the areas of education many people want to fund. Check out your state for their scholarships. In my state there seemed to be money available for students in all kinds of situations. Search the net and send for an application for any that you may be eligible for. Don't be scared!! Go for it and good luck!
  8. by   shavsha
    Oh, one more thing...Look into the federal Perkins loan program. It is a low interest loan available to nursing students that doesn't have to be repaid if you end up working in a rural area. (The criteria for rural is pretty lenient).
  9. by   dwills302
    I think you should be very proud of yourself, I am 44 yrs. old and in my first year of nursing school. My 22 yr. old daughter is in with me. I worked at a job for 16 years and they shut down, leaving me to make the decision on what I wanted to do next. I have the wonderful support of my husband. Since my job quit me I was eligible for state funding for school. Let me tell you I was scared to death the first day of classes. I wanted to tuck my tail between my legs and run, but I didn't. So far all is going well, and I love the support all of my professors give me. We have a few student nurses that are older than me, some are guys. Please stick with it, I know you have made the right decision and everything will be fine.
  10. by   nurseleigh
    First, congratulations on going back to school. First thing you need to do is call the college you are going to be attending and set up an appointment with their financial aid department. They will help you fill out all of the necessary forms for applying for all of your grants. After you do that, look up WIA in your town. That, if you don't know, stands for Workforce Investment Act. I am going through them here in Illinois and what they will do is help you, if you qualify of course, pay for not only tuition, but also for books and all the other supplies you need. But they do require you to apply for financial aid first. My financial aid advisor at my school was able to give me the phone number and address for my local WIA office. It may also be listed in the phone book as JTPA. I dont recall what those letters stand for. I wish you the best of luck and hope that this helps you.