How are you supporting yourself through school?

  1. Thank you all for your responses to the "How did you pick your school" thread, I greatly appreciate them and am learning a lot about the opportunities that are out there.

    I am now also wondering how you are supporting yourself through school?
    I know everyone has different situations but I am concerned about being able to make ends meet while I'm in school. I am thinking that living by myself, paying a car loan and a past school loan, rent, food and misc. while working part time at McDonalds is not going to happen.
    What have you all done to make ends meet until you could become a nurse?

    I'm thinking that I might have to wait a few years until I can save up some money to live off of but I really want to go to school ASAP and get out of DC.
    Thanks in advance for your responses.
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    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 54
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  3. by   Jen2
    Just wanted to say hello and that you can do it. Until i got accepted into nursing school I had my own place and worked full time at my local hospital while I was doing my pre-reqs. It was extremly difficult but I did it. I have now been accepted into the ADN prgram starting this fall, so therefore I swallowed my pride and moved back into my moms house. I will have to cut my hours from 40 a week to 24 because I want to do well. Even though I'm not paying rent anymore it's still going to be hard to pay my car loan, ins, etc. I don't have the best relationship with my mom so this was a very difficult decision. Sometimes whats best for you isn't always what you want to do. I also get a 1,200 grant at the beginning of each semester and depend on this. I use that to buy my books and supplies with and if I'm lucky at least a month ahead on my car loan. Other than this I get a $250.00 tuition reimbersement from where I work (a year, not a semester), which I use to stock up on all of my personal products and toiletries. Even though I live at home I still buy my own food, pay for my own internet, cable, phone, etc. I get very little support from my mom because she feels that it's my choice to be going to school and being broke. I have no choice, I am making my dream a reality. No one else can do this for me but me. You can also defer your other student loan payment while you are in school. I did this with mine. 0ther than the 1,200 grant I get no assistance from the govn't at all. I appreciate the little I do get though. Can you possibly get a room-mate, move in with a friend or family member? You may be suprised about how much you can stretch a paycheck when you really budget. This is just my story and I'm sure there are many others. What is working for me may not be best for you, but consider all your options and do whats best for you, even if it means eating ramen noodles everyday for the next couple of years (lol, I know because I've been there too). Good luck in what ever you decide and just remember you can make your dream a realty.
  4. by   2ner
    I was wondering the EXACT same thing. I've been on the verge of a nervous breakdown the past few weeks with all the drama going on AND wondering HOW IN THE HECK WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT WHILE I'M IN SCHOOL!! I'd like to hear some of the other's comments, too.

    I was contemplating dropping out, b/c i just couldn't see a way to make ends meet...But I think i've changed my mind.
  5. by   KidsLuvMe
    hang in there 2ner,
    If you want something bad enough, long enough the solution will present itself.
    Usually the solution comes one step after you are about to give up.
  6. by   srose
    I'm working part-time while I'm in school, first as a waitress and now as a nurse tech. I have to work full-time during the summer and school vacations. Other than that, I had to get a private educational loan (maxed out my federal allowable amount on my FIRST undergrad degree...ugh) to help support myself for the first year. For the second year, I'm hoping to have a little money from working this summer and I'm applying for every scholarship I can find. If that doesn't work, guess I'll just take out another loan... Good luck to you, it's hard, but it's very possible!
  7. by   essarge
    I apply for every loan and grant I can get my hands on (you can't take it with you can you???). All of my loans are on deferrment until I graduate next year. I currently work full time (32 hours per week) and put in O.T. when I can (120 hours last pay period which is two weeks). I work as a nurse extern which is just a glorified title for CNA in nursing school.

    Once I graduate, I'll be making enough to make ends meet much easier....just keep your eye on the prize!
  8. by   marilynmom
    I take out a student loan every semester and what I get left from my Pell Grant (usually $500 a semester left). I also rely on my income tax return. My husband works full time but we also have 2 small children. It has not been easy but we manage just fine and know it will not last forever.

    But without student loans and pell grant I am not sure what we would do.

    Good luck!

  9. by   cna on her way
    I am currently working full time as a CNA on a burn unit 12 hour nights and my nurses are unbelievable about helping me with my studies. I have some extra time at night to do all of my classes and it really makes a difference. I need to work full time for several reasons so dropping hours is just not happening now. I am considering taking a scholarship at the hospital to help out as well.
  10. by   twarlik
    Originally posted by 2ner
    I was wondering the EXACT same thing. I've been on the verge of a nervous breakdown the past few weeks with all the drama going on AND wondering HOW IN THE HECK WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT WHILE I'M IN SCHOOL!! I'd like to hear some of the other's comments, too.
    It's nice to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way.
    There are days where I really question my decision to quit my job and go back to school. Ultimately, however, I always seem to come back to the idea that I'm doing the right thing.

    As for my finances...I take out about $8,000 in student loans every year. I also recieve another $2,ooo in grants each year. I was orginally planning on not working when I begin the nursing program in August, but it's looking like that won't really be an option. Gonna try and work about 20 hours a week while going to school We'll see how successful I am...
    Good luck to all of you!

  11. by   Cynthiann
    It's hard and takes a lot of sacrifice but if you really want it, it will all work out. Like many of the others - I am living off of loans and grants to get by. Right now I'm only getting subsidized loans but if finances got bad enough I'd rather get more (unsubsidized) loans then have to quit school and work. Since I have two small children working is not an option since the cost of childcare would make it pointless.

    Best thing to do is to learn to cut down on your expenses. Such as cutting down on eating out all the time and not going out as much. If you are able to, move to some place cheaper just until you finish school. If I didn't get a city grant to help buy my home that required me to live here for 5 years then I would rather move into a 2 bedroom apartment so I would have about $300 less expenses per month. I just had to decide to go to school after we bought this house.
    It is possible and there are many ways to do it, it's just if you are willing to make that sacrifice.
  12. by   manna
    Originally posted by KidsLuvMe
    I'm in school. I am thinking that living by myself, paying a car loan and a past school loan,
    I currently work as an engineering clerk, but once I get back in school full-time I'll have to quit my job.

    There are alot of LPNs and CNAs in my micro class that are going into part-time/evening nursing programs and planning on keeping their jobs. Also a few gals who work as receptionists or PCTs in the hospitals.

    If you are in school (taking at least 6 hours), you can get your former (government?) student loans put back into deferrment (sp?). Of course, they'd still be accumulating interest, but you wouldn't have to make payments on them while you're taking classes... might help?

    Good luck!
  13. by   Momto2Boys
    It is hard that is for sure. Both my husband and I work fulltime to pay our bills and I go to school. I got one loan so far and I get the pell grant as well. I would quit working before I quit school. Hang in there guys. This sacrafice will be well worth it in the long run
  14. by   hafsa44
    It's very hard but you have to sacrifice for what you want I have four children My husband works fulltime I had to stop working to go to school. It has been a challenge ever since I did pick up a position as a nurse extern but I only work when I get the time. I now out for summer break so I plan to work as many hours as I can to save money for the fall semester but this will be my last semester. Student loans have really helped but where there's a will there's a way. you can do it. Good Luck to everyone!