Funding a doctorate degree

  1. I am looking for ideas on how to fund a doctorate degree. I am aware of the federal title VIII programs, managed through HRSA
    and the Bureau of Health Professions. But so far I haven't found any way to "fit" into their requirements.

    I am an educator/faculty, but I don't work for a nursing school. I don't work in a nursing shortage area, and I don't qualify as "disadvantaged" (although I am still paying off lots of student debt from previous education).

    I am not going to be a full time, on campus student. So I don't think I can count on funding support from the school that I will be attending.

    Anyone have any ideas? Are there other provisions of title VIII that might work? Any sources other than title VIII?

    Seems like there should be something out there. Lack of enough doctorate prepared nurses has been identified as a contributing factor to the nursing shortage, which has helped increase the level of federal money available.

    I am grateful for any and all ideas. Thanks to all.

    CRNA teacher
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    Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 15; Likes: 1


  3. by   llg
    Back in 1991, at the age of 35, I quit my job as a CNS and moved to Colorado to go back to school for my PhD. During that first year, I completely depleted all my savings, but then I qualified for in-state tuition after that, which helped. Over the next couple of years, I took out a $12,500 student loan and worked part-time to pay basic living expenses "lived like a college kid again" to lower those expenses.

    After the first year, I won a $10,000 pre-doctoral research fellowship from the school that also helped with expenses. Some students get grants from the government to pay for their dissertation expenses -- but you can't apply for those until you have your proposal to submit and the school needs to help you with that.

    I had always wanted to go back for my PhD and it was a little frightening in the beginning to think about the financial disaster that I might be inflicting upon myself. But I was able to support myself and pay for school on my savings, my part-time earnings, the fellowship, and the student loan. Yes, I had to live "cheap" and give up a lot of luxuries -- but that was kind'a liberating in a way. I have no regrets about that.

    The best source of information is probably the school itself. They can tell you about the various grants, teaching assistantships, etc. that might be available.

    Good luck,
  4. by   renerian
    My hubby negotiated with his employer to forgo a raise in leu of the company paying his PhD. Do you work?

  5. by   CRNA teacher
    Thanks for the responses.

    Yes, I work. That is the "glitch" I guess. I am going to take classes in the summer, and maintain my current home and job. The school I will be attending only supports "on campus" students. That is a good idea about dissertation support, maybe that will be an option when the time comes.

    The school I work for is not interested in supporting me. Short sighted, I believe, but that's the way it is. We are not mandated (by our accreditation standards) to have doctorates until 20014, so I guess they think there is no rush. But the time for me is now, or never.

    If I am not successful in finding a grant, I will go the loan route again (sigh). I just hate to add anymore debt. I am still paying on my associate nursing degree, my anesthesia education, and my masters degree (thanks to my sweet parents for paying off my original degree, a BA).

    CRNA teacher
  6. by   JNJ
    A long shot, but depends on how desperate you might be to try anything.

    In San Diego several hospitals were so concerned about the nursing shortage that they grouped together and came up with enough to fund more nursing educator positions (I suspect there is some quid pro quo regarding getting first look at the new grads for hire).

    Any chance you could approach hurting facilities in your area - especially if your dissertation focuses on something dear to their hearts . . .

    Good Luck.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    Nurse Reinvestment Act---write to help get it's funding passed

    Section 203, Nurse Faculty Loan Program
    Graduates who teach full time in schools of nursing for four years can have eighty-five percent of their school loans canceled

    "Section 203, allows the Secretary, acting through the administrator of HRSA, to enter into agreements with schools of nursing to establish and operate student loan refunds designed to increase the number of qualified nurse faculty. Participating schools of nursing are required to contribute to the fund in an amount equal to and not less than one-ninth of the federal contribution. Schools assume responsibilities for the collection of principle and interest on the loans and may use funds for loan collection. Although these loan funds are targeted to full-time students, the Secretary can authorize them for part-time students in advanced degree programs."

    What type program are you teaching in--will look around for info. Sounds like contacting the school is good idea.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Apr 19, '03
  8. by   CRNA teacher
    JNJ and Karen,

    Thanks for the replies.

    I was initially excited about the Nurse reinvestment act. Well, I still am excited for the profession, but I haven't found a way for it to help me personally.

    I work in a hospital based nurse anesthesia program. We are affiliated with a university, but we grant a non-nursing masters. (There have been some preliminary discussions about changes in our format, but any action would not happen quickly enough to help me.)

    My hospital in not in a nurse shortage area, so the loan payback program doesn't help either. I have decided to go ahead and get started with classes, adding to my debt one class at a time.

    My recent visit to the HRSA grants website said there were some new programs in the works, derived from the Nurse reinvestment act, with guidelines to be published this month. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can make one of those work.

    CRNA teacher