Don’t forget to add in the 4th semester and living expenses. The financial aid package only covered the first 3 semesters of the MDE. When I ran the numbers it was around 130k for MDE and around 330k final debt for whole program without the 3% yearly tuition increases
In the end, I realized that if I wanted prestige, I should have gone MD or PhD Psychology. I chose NP because as a career changer in my late 20s, I really want the job and role as a mental health provider, but I didnt want the debt or time commitment either of those other two routes would take. By choosing Columbia, I’d be taking on the debt of medical school (without the eventual salary of a physician) which defeats the entire purpose of me choosing to become an NP in the first place.
Of course if it’s the best way you have of attaining your goal, or you pursued the nursing path for a different reason, then go for it! I’m sure it will open some doors for you! One I’m worried about closing in teaching in a similar program down the road.
But really my much cheaper in state program (around 80k total - tuition/fees/cost of living - for the entire NP journey) better aligns with my future goals than going to an Ivy for nursing school (like saving for a house down payment, being able to work part time when I have kids, and continuing with plenty of international travel - goals that will be made far harder with student loan and interest payments).
Columbia is one of the most expensive pathways to NP out there. And after REALLY thinking about how I want to spend my 30s and 40s, I realized that while it’s a great opportunity with a ton of prestige, it’s ultimately not the financial future I want for myself.
I think anyone taking on this amount of student debt should really consider how it will impact the life they want over the next two decades, because it is not an insignificant amount of money and student loan forgiveness is not guaranteed.