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Is $85k worth it for BSN program with no guarantee acceptance?

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by nhayes1984 nhayes1984 (New Member) New Member

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On 2/10/2019 at 1:14 AM, Kooky Korky said:

Please do not take on all of that debt.  You will be paying it back for many years, working yourself into exhaustion, trying to raise children while working and going to school.  You are on a difficult path.  Please try to take it more slowly and don't shortchange your kids or yourself.  What support system do you have?  Your ex?  siblings?  parents?  friends?  other?  You are going to need help to not shortchange your children.  Best wishes.

While I agree that's way too much for a school without guaranteed admission (unless the $85K was the total after the nursing degree and it's not all paid up front), private schools and the higher cost is a doable last option to become a nurse after making an attempt at every other reasonable route.  The quality of education isn't necessarily lower at these school.  And you're really not going to be working yourself into exhaustion if you approach this the right way.

But it needs to be an informed decision.  Understand that sacrifices have to be made to cover the loans for private schools.  You're not buying a house any time soon.  You're not going to have your dream car until closer to retirement.  You can definitely live a very comfortable life, but you're not going to have much luxury (though you CAN plan around making some big buys every year or taking vacations).

Take a tax return one year and get some kind of counseling, everyone, regardless of what you owe and where you are.  A CPA costs a little bit of money, but it's worth it.  A lot of times, your bank has advisers you can use for working with debt and planning.  There's companies that work as your personal debt accountant.  You send them money and they make your payments, and act as a middleman between you and the lenders.  Let a professional plan a budget and debt repayment for you.  If it's someone reputable and honest, it's very worth the money.  This is how you repay an $85,000 loan while still functioning.  That's really not that big of a loan over 10-30 years (you can extend your repayment up to a 30 year loan now) when you consider how many people buy a new car every 5 years at a way higher interest rate and pay off more than your $85K.  It's all up to knowing how to manage your interest, and that's where counseling is priceless.

Also, a simple call to your lender will get you on a repayment plan that works with what you can afford.  There's different repayment plans, and if it means that you're going to pay them and not default and force them to write it off as a loss, they're going to work with you, and they'll help you with a plan for how you're going to pay back your loans based on what you can afford.  Though, it's still better to let someone make a budget, and maybe make the call to set up a payment plan for you.

Edited by tonyl1234

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Swellz has 6 years experience and works as a RN.

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6 hours ago, tonyl1234 said:

While I agree that's way too much for a school without guaranteed admission (unless the $85K was the total after the nursing degree and it's not all paid up front), private schools and the higher cost is a doable last option to become a nurse after making an attempt at every other reasonable route.  The quality of education isn't necessarily lower at these school.  And you're really not going to be working yourself into exhaustion if you approach this the right way.

But it needs to be an informed decision.  Understand that sacrifices have to be made to cover the loans for private schools.  You're not buying a house any time soon.  You're not going to have your dream car until closer to retirement.  You can definitely live a very comfortable life, but you're not going to have much luxury (though you CAN plan around making some big buys every year or taking vacations).

Take a tax return one year and get some kind of counseling, everyone, regardless of what you owe and where you are.  A CPA costs a little bit of money, but it's worth it.  A lot of times, your bank has advisers you can use for working with debt and planning.  There's companies that work as your personal debt accountant.  You send them money and they make your payments, and act as a middleman between you and the lenders.  Let a professional plan a budget and debt repayment for you.  If it's someone reputable and honest, it's very worth the money.  This is how you repay an $85,000 loan while still functioning.  That's really not that big of a loan over 10-30 years (you can extend your repayment up to a 30 year loan now) when you consider how many people buy a new car every 5 years at a way higher interest rate and pay off more than your $85K.  It's all up to knowing how to manage your interest, and that's where counseling is priceless.

Also, a simple call to your lender will get you on a repayment plan that works with what you can afford.  There's different repayment plans, and if it means that you're going to pay them and not default and force them to write it off as a loss, they're going to work with you, and they'll help you with a plan for how you're going to pay back your loans based on what you can afford.  Though, it's still better to let someone make a budget, and maybe make the call to set up a payment plan for you.

Yes, there are options to help someone pay off the debt. The point is, it's better to not take on the debt. Taking on 85k for a nursing degree? When you make similar (if not the same) money upon graduation as someone who spent 20k? I'm betting a financial advisor would ask me why the heck I was doing that to myself. Yes, your loan company will work with you, but the less you pay per month, the more your amount is going to go up due to interest, and the longer the life of your loan. Not worth it.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

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Never never never. I paid less than that for my ADN....added to my BSN.....added to my MSN. Way way wayyyyyyyyyyyy less. Less by half. There is zero reason to go into that kind of debt. You could get all of your degrees and not spend that much.

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

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And in general private schools do have a much lower NCLEX pass rate and high degree of predatory lending. Avoid them.

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

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29 minutes ago, not.done.yet said:

Never never never. I paid less than that for my ADN....added to my BSN.....added to my MSN. Way way wayyyyyyyyyyyy less. Less by half. 

Same, and I have *two* MSNs! $85K is not worth it when there are other routes.

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KatieMI has 6 years experience as a BSN, MSN and works as a Internal Medicine.

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9 hours ago, tonyl1234 said:

While I agree that's way too much for a school without guaranteed admission (unless the $85K was the total after the nursing degree and it's not all paid up front), private schools and the higher cost is a doable last option to become a nurse after making an attempt at every other reasonable route.  The quality of education isn't necessarily lower at these schools. 

I once crossed lifeways with a place which was strictly Catholic and so educated and hired a lot of students and grads from nearby university, similarly as strictly Catholic as it is possible nowadays.  The university offers courses level BSN and up. BSN is about $80000 tuition, MSN is accordingly more, both with notably lax academic admission standards but picky about everything else. They still wanted to know  church affiliation status of applicants,  still shun (unofficially, of course, but it is well-known anyway) immigrants unless they come with some kind of Catholic mission, etc. 

It seemed to me that over the half of nurses there graduated from that place because their moms/grands/ets. did the same and because their parents would rather kill them than to let them get  exposed to sinful life of a normal university campus. In addition, I'd heard that those with proven strong affiliation with Catholic church had scholarships which covered a lot of their tuition. There were also those accepted there for $45000 "refresher" after failing NCLEX numerous times and many dropouts from another local university school known for being exceptionally strict academically. 

The students in that Catholic university had it sweet and cushy, taking courses like "spirituality in nursing" and "life transitions (theory)". NCLEX passing rate first attempt  was 80 or so - not terrible, but not impressive either. The hospital was a mess of spectacular proportions in all senses, not the ladt due to awful quality of nursing overall. 

Edited by KatieMI

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

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As an individual of Catholic descent, I find that really, really embarrassing. Most of the Church isn't like that.

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

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My ASN, BSN, and MSN altogether cost approx $10,000. No loans, no grants.  The thought of $85,000 makes me scream “NO!” in a few different languages. There are other ways. Research!

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brandy1017 works as a RN.

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Absolutely do not due this to yourself!  Look up www.studentloanjustice.org and read the horror stories of college students and grads who couldn't pay their loans and ended up in default.  Student loans are the worst and riskiest debt out there.  There are no bankruptcy options if you fall on hard times.  They will literally, and are currently garnishing over 100,000 senior citizens social security checks as we speak for unpaid loans.  If you default the loan can double and triple due to high interest and fees including a 25% fee tacked on the loans!  People have committed suicide over student loans!  In some states you can lose your license to practice nursing or any other job that requires a license if you default.  A few states will take your drivers license away if you default. 

A person defaults by missing only 9  months of payments.  At first you can get by with deferments and forbearances, but in most instances the interest accumulates and capitalizes causing your loan balance to spiral even higher out of control.  In the end you will find yourself much worse off and it will take decades and possibly the rest of your life to pay the loans off.  In the meantime you will not have the money to pay your living expenses, let alone save for retirement. 

Also student loan forgiveness is a scam and a lie.  The 10 year public service loan forgiveness program rejected over 99% of the people enrolled in the program! You read that right, less than 1% of "eligible" people were granted loan forgiveness, most often rejected for technicalities that know one could even know or foresee, everything from the wrong loans, wrong payment plan to consolidating starts the clock over, and you have to make ten years of on time payments to have any chance at all. 

The path you are contemplating is the definition of insanity!  To spend $85,000 with no guarantee to be accepted into the nursing program, you would be better off gambling in Vegas, you could actually declare bankruptcy if you fell into debt that way.  I'm guessing your credits won't transfer because you were tricked into a for profit school and this one is the same. 

Go the slow, sensible route such as a public community college RN program, even consider an LPN program with a one year bridge to RN.  Most BSN's aren't even paid more and we are all paid the same at the starting gate regardless of how much money we spent.

Absolutely take the time to read up on personal finance such as Personal Finance for Dummies, Deal with Your Debt, Your Credit Score, Smart Women Finish Rich.  Take a low cost personal finance course if you have the opportunity.  Read and learn all you can about money.  As a single mom you need to make the most of every dollar you earn. 

Lastly don't blindly jump on the nursing bandwagon.  Consider alternate careers such as ultrasound tech, radiology tech and nuclear med tech.  Research allied health jobs.  Nursing is a very high stress job and, if you work in direct patient care, dangerous to your body with a high risk of back, shoulder and neck injuries that in some instances are crippling and life altering.  Really think long and hard before you pursue nursing. 

If I had to do it all over I wouldn't choose nursing.  I wish I had known about other options such as ultrasound tech, I think that is the best job out there for pay and working conditions in the health field.

Good luck to you!

Edited by brandy1017

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3 hours ago, brandy1017 said:

Absolutely do not due this to yourself!  Look up www.studentloanjustice.org and read the horror stories of college students and grads who couldn't pay their loans and ended up in default.  Student loans are the worst and riskiest debt out there.  There are no bankruptcy options if you fall on hard times.  They will literally, and are currently garnishing over 100,000 senior citizens social security checks as we speak for unpaid loans.  If you default the loan can double and triple due to high interest and fees including a 25% fee tacked on the loans! 

But that's not the total cost of the loan causing it.  There's tons of different repayment options.  To be able to default on a direct loan, you have to not make a payment for 270 days.  Now yeah, sometimes you'll have to miss a payment because of life, but a lot of times, if you call your lender, a lot of times they'll let you split up the missed payment by adding it onto multiple future payments.  Lenders a lot of times will extend your due date if you're going to be getting a paycheck late.  So many student loan problems can be solved with a simple phone call.  These loans aren't impossible, people buy houses on loans (mortgage) for significantly more money all the time.

The only way to default on a student loan is to not try to repay it.  These lenders are run by humans who understand that life happens.  They'll work with you.  But you have to take the initiative to call them.  And it's going to be way easier to get help when you call them the day that unexpected car breakdown happens rather than waiting until after the due date has already passed.  If you're proactive, they'll usually work out a repayment plan that's convenient for YOU.  It's as simple as a phone call.

To put some perspective, when I graduate, I'm going to be almost capped on my loans at $54,000 (I know what I'm doing, there's a reason I'm borrowing the way that I am).  A monthly payment on an extended loan will only $319/month.  Yeah, its for 25 years, but it's only $319/month.  That's $80/week.  That means that to live exactly the same way I do now, I have to increase my pay by $2/hr.  If I go with a standard 10 year plan, that's $579/month, which averages to about $3.62 pay increase to maintain my current standard of living and pay the loan off.  If I go with 36 hour work weeks: I need to increase my pay by $4.02.  The average pay for unskilled workers in the country is 14.50/hr (which close to half make below).  The average pay for an entry level RN is $25.27/hr.  So the new job more than doubles what's needed to pay back that loan.  But that's a new graduate.  The current average salary is about $35/hr.  At the low end, most people will probably be around 30.  That's still almost 4x the increase that you need in your pay to cover that loan.  At the federal loan maximum, I can buy 2 corvettes and pay off my loans while staying where I live now and being more comfortable with bills and food than I am now.

The ones who didn't get better jobs, there's other options for them, including graduated plans, extended plans, and even income-based plans that can actually reduce their monthly payments to 0... Oh, and those loans are capped at 25 years, anything left is forgiven.  That also includes any time on a forbearance and while your payment is 0, they count towards the 25 years.  What's that mean at 14.50/hr?  Well, your payment amount is 10% of your discretional income, which is your salary minus 150% of the poverty level.  Poverty is 12,490.  The unskilled salary is 30,160.  150% of poverty is 18,735.  Subtract that from the 30,160 and you're left with 11,425.  If fail out of school my last semester, if I switch to that payment plan, IF I'm making the average pay for unskilled work, my monthly payments are only $114.25, for 25 years.  

Now I know that tax has to be factored in, but seriously, that's how easy it is to actually pay these loans back.  Most people default by bad choices AFTER they got loan, not because of how much they borrowed.  Student loans aren't that big, again, people are buying $300,000 houses, and managing to do it.

Edited by tonyl1234

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and works as a Infection Preventionist/Nurse Epidemiologist.

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17 hours ago, tonyl1234 said:

Most people default by bad choices AFTER they got loan, not because of how much they borrowed.  Student loans aren't that big, again, people are buying $300,000 houses, and managing to do it.

Ding ding! Bad choices, because people don't want to spend that shiny new paycheck on loans. It takes a lot of discipline to focus on loan repayment rather than spending your paycheck on something "fun." Yes, people can make a $300K mortgage work, but when your loan repayment is also the size of a mortgage, a lot of people struggle and then fail. I banked the different between my ER tech/paramedic paycheck and my new RN paycheck, then paid off my BSN bridge loans (only about $8K) very quickly. But I already had some adulting/budgeting skills, so I was able to do that.

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The OP is a single parent. That changes the rules by a large margin.

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