Duke ABSN loans? Should I even apply?

  1. I live in Raleigh and there are only three choices for an ABSN- UNC, Duke, and apparently NC Central has a program (although supposedly Central's NCLEX pass rate is not great?) Since I already have a degree it would take much longer to get in and complete an Associates degree. With the economy going so badly I really have started to question whether it is wise to take out loans to Duke because of the job outlook for new grads and disappearance of repayment programs(and who would loan me that kinda money anyway?!!!) I really want to go to UNC-Chapel Hill but I hear they take like 30 people. Who knows how long it would take for me to get in that program if ever. My previous degree is BA English and Linguistics w/French minor GPA 3.82. My prereqs are all A's except for a B+ in Stats. I volunteer at the hospital as a doula.

    Should I apply to Duke or just work on getting in to UNC-Chapel Hill eventually?

    Is anyone in Duke's program willing to give advice/thoughts about the loans they took out?
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    About ICU11

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 121; Likes: 29
    Clinic Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Neurology


  3. by   NC Girl BSN
    Dukes tuition is super high. It cost $700-900 per semester hr. So If you calculate it, your looking at a little over 53K not including books and fee, gas, uniforms etc. Also your probably will not be able to work.

    I personally would be hesitant to go without some free money thrown in the mix or tutition forgiveness. Most new grads in the area are starting with $20-21 per hr + shift diff.That not much to justify such a big loan. You will probably bring home $1200-1500 biweely for 72 hrs, but that does not include benefit deductions. So you have to do the math and weigh your options. I think it would be a great program and I bet its just as competative as UNC. If you don't have any debt and could pay $600-$700 a month in loans then maybe it would be worth it.
  4. by   mommyonamission
    I'm in the same boat as you. I have the similar situation and have thought about the costs as well. The exception is that, unlike you, I am not working or volunteering at a hospital and do not have the excellent GPA from undergrad. I'm also not done my prereqs.

    I think that if comes down to money and the future uncertainties then have you thought about UNC's 2 year BSN program as opposed to the ABSN? I heard it's still competitive but less than the ABSN.

    My final opinion would be to apply to all the ABSN programs and then make your final decisions on where to go based on who accepts you.

    On a side note, I haven't heard anything about NCCU's ABSN program. Requested info and emailed a program contact weeks ago and haven't heard back from anyone or received anything. I did speak with a former grad who couldn't even give me their recommendation to go there. They gave two thumbs up though to Duke's program, however. Interesting...
  5. by   Duke2009Grad
    I am graduating from Duke's ABSN program in December... I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the program, Duke's tuition reimbursement program, or the Duke hospital system. pm me.
  6. by   Deneb
    Hey, Mom,

    I wouldn't. I was accepted at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke, and chose Duke, and now wish I hadn't. Great program, but NOT worth the loan paybacks, given this economy and the payrate for new nurses. I don't see that improving anytime soon, do you?

    Plus my guess is the Duke Hospital loan reimbursement program will be reduced next year, given the surplus of new nurses needing jobs.

    Wish I'd gone with a great state Univ for the ABSN, then if I could afford it, go for my MS with Duke. But even for that, does the pay scale return match the prestige?

    good luck!

  7. by   Duke2009Grad
    The Duke tuition reimbursement is $16,450 per year for 3 years. It went up about 6,000 from last year. I doubt that it will go down for the next in coming class. Duke has promised everyone in our graduating class a job at Duke, which is a lot more than UNC can say.

    UNC is not currently hiring new graduates and even though their tuition program gives you the money up front, they may not have jobs for the students (both Duke and UNC students) who signed their contract and then the students have to pay that money back. A UNC rep is coming to Duke to speak to this issue sometime in the next week or two, so I will update everyone when we know more.
  8. by   ICU11
    Was it hard to get the loans to cover the program?
  9. by   Duke2009Grad
    No. Not at all. The financial aid office is wonderful. And I came straight from undergrad with a TON of loans. They will work with you to fit your needs. I am sure if you are interested in applying they would be happy to speak with you.
  10. by   nmk685

    I have a few questions for you if you wouldn't mind answering them. I was just recently accepted to Duke's ABSN and will be starting in January as part of the Spring 2010 class. I was wondering if you applied to any of their scholarships or applied for any financial aid. I don't really feel I qualify for any of their scholarships, and I feel that if I get any financial aid it will be in the form of all federal loans. At that point I was thinking that it may just be better to apply through a private loan institution for the entire amount I'll need (considering I wouldn't probably get that much through the government anyways because that's usually just how it goes). Oh, and I was also wondering about the tuition reimbursement program. Is the amount you listed just allocated towards tuition and you also are paid a small salary in addition to that, or is that what you get per year total? I didn't know if you could offer any advice as to what you did that would be helpful for me. I greatly appreciate it!
  11. by   ICU11
    Duke2009 and nmk685-

    How long after you interviewed did you get your acceptance? I am interviewing the 17th of July. I am applying for financial aid and for a scholarship but it is a lot of work for something that is such a long shot...I am not even accepted yet! I guess I will get to work on those essays just in case. I think it is worth it to apply for federal loans because the interest rate is lower and I will take out private loans for the rest.
  12. by   nmk685
    Hi mom,

    You applied for the Spring 2010 class too? That'd be exciting if you got accepted and we ended up in the same class, small world!

    I'd have to say that it was maybe a month or so after my interview that I found out of an acceptance status. My situation is a little bit different. The first time I applied was for Fall 2008, however I was waitlisted and unfortunately they never made it to my name. I then applied for the second time back in December for the Fall 2009 class and was originally not accepted, then a month later they said they had room on the waitlist if I wanted to be added. At this point I found out I would be having major knee surgery and would've never been able to attend even if I was accepted, so I declined to be waitlisted for Fall 2009 but they said they would keep my application open for Spring 2010. I found out May 21st that I was accepted into the Spring 2010 class, and I was absolutely thrilled beyond belief! I have applied to other schools both times in hopes that more applications would give me a chance of getting accepted somewhere, but Duke was always number one on my list.

    I also have private and federal loans from my previous bachelor's degree, and I have to be honest, my private interest rate right now is even lower than my federal rate. I was just trying to figure out if it's even worth applying for their scholarship? I'd only even be eligible for the need-based one, and having the chance of obtaining up to $7500 for the entire 16 months just sounds like so little (although I do know free money is free money).
  13. by   Deneb
    I HIGHLY recommend that you apply for any federal loans you can get. They have very merciful pay-back terms, which can be adjusted depending on your circumstances, such as: lost a job, went back to school for another degree, got pregnant, got a low-paying job, became disabled, etc.

    If you get a private loan, I think the payback terms are probably very inflexible, with little concern for your circumstances.

    In reality, you'll probably need both federal loans and private loans, but GRAB all the fed help you can get.


    PS as to scholarships, I went in naively assuming I'd be eligible for all kinds of scholarships--had the grades, the unusual circumstances, the accomplishments. Didn't get a penny anywhere, and I spend a solid month doing boooring essays. If you're a left-handed, cross-eyed, descendant of Comanches with a father in the steelworker's union and Mom in DAR, go for it. Otherwise . . . ?
  14. by   nmk685
    Thanks for the information, Deneb. I agree with the whole scholarship aspect. You really do have to be a one in a million unique individual with a rediculous background/requirements in order to gain a penny. It's really sad that it is based more on the aspects we can't control over teh ones we can: the grades, the accomplishments, etc. I guess I will just apply for the federal loans and seew what I can get, and then apply for private loans for the rest like I did with my other degree.