I did all of my gen ed locally at Kennesaw state, which the georgia hope paid for including $150 per semester for books. I took the 7 NC tests, info lit and the cpne through EC. I spent about $5000 on EC, but I did the practice tests and the cpne workshop. They also raised the prices last summer after I was done. All of the classes/tests can be done through EC.
To save money you can take all of your gen ed and the first 2 NC tests before you register with EC. Hopefully that would allow you to do the rest within a year so you don't have to pay the annual fee. If the only thing you have to do is the cpne and it puts you over a year they will waive the annual fee--the wait for the cpne is 5-7 months.
I had the basic books already, so I didn't have to buy much. I did buy a few extra books. Books can be resold, so you get alteast part of your money back on them.
There is no financial aid. You pay as you go. Even the enrollment fee can be broken down into smaller payments. It is SO worth it. My pay will almost double--I'm going from PRN dayshift to week end option day shift. Also, employers will help pay. I currently work prn, so I don't get education asistance, but full and part timers do.
I took the nclex in MN and am endorsing to GA. GA does not allow EC grads to sit for the boards, but we can endorse in from any state. MN is the fastest. I got my MN licence in the mail 5 days after testing and am hoping to have my GA license in a week.
I think this is the best option available for LPNs. I tried a local bridge program, I couldn't do 3 hours drives through atlanta traffic 2 days a week for clinical. This program allowed me to be at home with my kids--I would have spent more then $5000 in childcare and gas to the local bridge program. The cpne wasn't much, but it is doable, I passed on the first attempt, as do many others.
I reccomend that you visit the yahoo groups. They have lots of extra study help in the file sections, plus support from study buddies.
If you have any other questions let me know.
I hope this info is helpful,