Jump to content

Student Loans to finance my CC tuition, basic living expenses all the way through BSN

Posted

So, for various reasons, I do not wish to live at home with my mother anymore. Simply put, it's emotionally and mentally damaging to be living here. I'm 20, getting through my pre-reqs at my community college (COC in santa clarita) and planning on applying to the nursing program at COC (an associate's degree program), most likely doing the COC-CSUN ADN-BSN Concurrent Enrollment Nursing Program. I can't find a job, and I can't really work even part-time either because I have a lot of classes. Anyway, I can get a studio apartment around here at about $600/month and I'd only have basic living expenses like that rent and groceries and a very small cell phone bill, and miscellaneous other things. I am in a much better mental and emotional state when I'm not around my mother, and I truly believe that not living here anymore would help me out so much. I just can't finance it in any other way besides using federal/private student loans. I realize it adds up and student loans never go away, but nursing is a great, solid career that is always in demand, so I think it'd pay off to live off the loans right now when I can't afford anything else, and then pay them off later when I have a good nursing job (planning on going into psych nursing and eventually becoming a PMHNP). What do you guys think? Please let me know if I'm kidding myself. If it'd absolutely ruin my future, I could push through living the next few years with my mom, but I'll be miserable.

Please give me your honest opinions, thank you :)

You may have a hard time renting an apartment without employment, unless you have a cosigner. You cannot put student loan money on the renter's application as income to show that you can afford the apartment (At least in Texas you can't anyways). Without income from a job, you will need a cosigner on the lease. I understand the desire to not want to live with your mother anymore, but it is very expensive to live on your own. You will need a very carefully laid out plan to be able to make living on your own work without a steady paycheck. Have you considered a roommate? Maybe moving in with a friend who already has an apartment? Or renting one with a friend? I know living alone would be ideal, but a roommate can alleviate some of the cost since you will be splitting the cost of rent, bills, etc. Maybe you should take a second look at the idea of a part-time job. It is very hard to take on a full course load and work even part-time, much less full-time, but having a part-time job would still mean money coming in. Taking out student loans will not ruin your life. If you take out student loans and for some reason don't finish your degree, you obviously will still owe the money though. Make sure you are completely set on obtaining the degree before you take out a student loan (Not doubting your commitment, I have just had several friends who took out loans and then dropped out, yet still owe all that money with no positive end-result- a degree.) I just finished the second semester of actual nursing classes in my BSN program. I have taken out student loans every semester I have attended school. I will owe approximately $24,000 upon the completion of my degree (I will graduate May 2014). I completely understand that this is a substantial amount of money that I will owe and will be responsible for paying it back for many, many years. I plan on paying back every cent. My dream is to be a nurse. I was unable to afford to attend school without taking student loans. I wish my family or I could have afforded to pay for my tuition, but that was not the case. Fortunately, I live with my boyfriend of 3 years now and he works full time to pay all of our bills. Yet, I have in the past used student loan refund money to live off of, and it is a tightrope. You must be very careful about budgeting your money so that it will not run out before you are able to get the next student loan refund. I suggest paying your rent in full for 6 months to a year when you receive your loan money. Pay in advance for as long as you are able to, while still leaving money for bills and food. This takes careful budgeting, but it definitely can be done. I would look into scholarships to see if you can get some of the cost of your tuition covered so that if you do take out a student loan, you can take a smaller one or use the extra money to pay for living expenses. This may not be the best advice so hopefully no one "owns" me on this.. just giving you my opinion. Best of luck!

ChristineN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatric/Adolescent, Med-Surg.

What about looking for student roommates or other roommate situations? You might be able to find roommates are more understanding of your not having a job.

Have you tried to get a job at local hospitals and nursing homes as a nursing assistant? Many of them are willing to hire nursing students and will pay more than minimum wage.

I am assuming if you are already working on pre-req's you have filed your FAFSA and you know if you qualify for federal Pell grants or for a work-study program at your school.

You need to do what will provide you the least stress to deal with while in nursing school, and hopefully without breaking the bank too much.

I don't think it's an ideal situation...and I would never recommend someone take out student loan money to live on. There are many other options...scholarships, work-study, etc..

I know plenty of people who work, either full or part time, and are in school. I am one of them. ;) So it is possible to work and go to school.

If you take out, and burn thru all your student loan money...and have no job...what is the plan? To keep taking out more student loans?

It's a slippery sloap. I know plenty of people who have degrees, but no money, because everything they make goes to pay for student loans... They can add up quickly!

Just make sure you have a plan before you take the leap. It seems like there is always some random, unexpected expense and if you don't have an income coming in and are always waiting for the next loan...you may find yourself more miserable than if you had stayed put until after school. GL!

S.kill2018

Specializes in ICU. Has 6 years experience.

I will echo everyone else - try to find a roommate to keep your costs down. Get a part time job - it's doable.

Personally, I stayed at home for the first two years of my college career to save money. Yes, it was hard. I didn't have the independence that I craved and still had to answer to my mom. But I saved SO much money. The two years that I've been on my own to finish my BSN means I will graduate with $21,000 in debt (that's for school only, not living expenses). I work 48 hours a pay period to cover my bills like groceries, gas, and utilities.

I would think very carefully about moving out. You will be so busy with school and work (should you choose to) that you probably won't see your mother much, anyway. I think staying at home even for a semester longer, getting a part time job and SAVING all of the money, then look at moving out next semester would be a better way to start out.

I may be wrong on this, but I thought in California that you were unable to take loans out that we're above the cost of school if you were going to a community college. I am pretty sure I have read threads where people attending CC's were not able to get the financial aid office to even ok loans.

Thank you all for your responses, especially from sadavey since you sound like you were in a similar situation that I'm in. I suppose I'll stay living at home for now, and just keep busy with school and part-time work (as a semi-related side note: as nurses, how bad do you think it is it to take 2-3 200mg caffeine pills a day to keep running?). I did all the math for verrrry basic living expenses here, and the amount over the time that I'd be in school is enormous, not even taking into account tuition and books, etc.

I was considering getting a CNA certification and working at a local hospital... would a hospital hire me as an aid as a pre-nursing student, without any certification? Also, do any of you know any CNA certification programs within 100 miles of my area (Santa Clarita/Newhall, CA)?

Sorry for all the scattered questions, I'm just trying to find work (I have been submitting to PT places recently) and I can't seem to make any progress since I have no certifications/licenses and no previous work experience. I'm usually pretty confused about the job hunting progress and things like that. Thank you all again for your help :)

to blacksunflower- in CA yes, but you can talk to your financial aid counselor and ask them to adjust it to include off-campus room and board (they know the basic cost of living in the area, so they will know how much you'd actually need). And I'm utterly confused about the rest of the financial aid process, as my financial aid department keeps putting off meeting with me by not telling me the requirements in advance, so I missed the cutoff for financial aid this year (first appointment- they said I needed to fill out the FAFSA. so I did. second appointment- they said I needed to wait a week for the FAFSA to get to them. I did. third appointment- they said I need to come back next semester (in feb. 2013)) and they refused to counsel me on anything until next semester.

amandacam

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Semi off-topic, but since you are no longer living at home, see if you can apply for the BOG waiver to help with tuition.

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care.

I think you should start by rethinking that "nurses are always in demand". Take a look at the number of unemployed nurses in your state. There are several threads discussing this. Then do some reading on student loans and repayments, there are lots of threads on this subject too.

How am I supposed to know how many unemployed nurses are in my state?

InfirmiereJolie

Has 5 years experience.

I think you should stay at home and be more appreciative that you have that opportunity. There are some people out there who don't have a good relationship with their family or have no relationship at all (foster children, ect). Remember, though you don't appreciate it there are people out there who wish they were in your position and were close to their family.

I work part time at my CA college's life science labratory as a full time student, while getting a good GPA. It's possible and rewarding too. I love my supervisors and coworkers.

So, for various reasons, I do not wish to live at home with my mother anymore. Simply put, it's emotionally and mentally damaging to be living here. I'm 20, getting through my pre-reqs at my community college (COC in santa clarita) and planning on applying to the nursing program at COC (an associate's degree program), most likely doing the COC-CSUN ADN-BSN Concurrent Enrollment Nursing Program. I can't find a job, and I can't really work even part-time either because I have a lot of classes. Anyway, I can get a studio apartment around here at about $600/month and I'd only have basic living expenses like that rent and groceries and a very small cell phone bill, and miscellaneous other things. I am in a much better mental and emotional state when I'm not around my mother, and I truly believe that not living here anymore would help me out so much. I just can't finance it in any other way besides using federal/private student loans. I realize it adds up and student loans never go away, but nursing is a great, solid career that is always in demand, so I think it'd pay off to live off the loans right now when I can't afford anything else, and then pay them off later when I have a good nursing job (planning on going into psych nursing and eventually becoming a PMHNP). What do you guys think? Please let me know if I'm kidding myself. If it'd absolutely ruin my future, I could push through living the next few years with my mom, but I'll be miserable.

Please give me your honest opinions, thank you :)

InfirmiereJolie, while I appreciate your advice and your help, you have no right to judge me or my position. You have no idea what my living situation is like, and comparing my life experience to anyone else's is incorrect. I appreciate that other people wish they had family; however, that does not make the fact that I am not close to my family wrong.

I'm not able to live at home either. It's not always possible. I have 2 roommates and am super careful with my finances. We split utilities and the internet and it's so much cheaper than if I had a studio or one bedroom. Working part time, attending a community college, and being frugal has let me get by w/only taking out a few thousand in loans. From reading the other threads here I've learned that a lot of new grads are having trouble getting work. The nursing shortage seems to be a myth, at least at the present time. It does make me nervous even though it should pick up when the economy does. It seems like every other person in my classes is planning on nursing and it's making me consider other career options. I really want a good job right out of school and I'd prefer to not have to relocate.

I think you should start by rethinking that "nurses are always in demand". Take a look at the number of unemployed nurses in your state. There are several threads discussing this. Then do some reading on student loans and repayments, there are lots of threads on this subject too.

Exactly this. I live about 30 miles from you and just graduated with my BSN in August. I lucked out and was working by October, but I"m also not that young and this was a second career, which IMO I think really helps out getting a nursing job now...especially because I can prove that I was with my past employer for YEARS. Nursing is not in demand right now. I think your best bet is to continue school, live with your mom, get your CNA certification and work while doing all that. Some experience is better than none. Try getting hired in a major hospital as a CNA and see if they will hire you once you have your RN. Its still a slim shot, but at least after you graduate you will still have a job. I know UCLA pays $20 an hour for nursing aides.

I think you should stay at home and be more appreciative that you have that opportunity. There are some people out there who don't have a good relationship with their family or have no relationship at all (foster children, ect). Remember, though you don't appreciate it there are people out there who wish they were in your position and were close to their family.

I work part time at my CA college's life science labratory as a full time student, while getting a good GPA. It's possible and rewarding too. I love my supervisors and coworkers.

I think this is unfair also. You dont know what she/he has to deal with. If someone told me that, I'd more than likely cuss them out. Living with my mother was a living nightmare, and in all reality, I'm sure not having her around would have been better for me. Even now as an adult with minimal communication my mother still finds ways to interfere in my life and try to make it miserable, though I dont let her, she has tried, believe me.

I was considering getting a CNA certification and working at a local hospital... would a hospital hire me as an aid as a pre-nursing student, without any certification? Also, do any of you know any CNA certification programs within 100 miles of my area (Santa Clarita/Newhall, CA)?

You would have to look into your states requirements and the hospital you want to work for.....but I think it's something you should definitely look into. Get some experience in healthcare.

There are plenty of places that don't 'require' certification, but they also usually do not pay very well. Like home health, group homes, resident assitants at nursing home extensions. In Michigan you can get Certified [CNA] after taking the first semester of your nursing program...or there are plenty of career academies that offer the program. Also, many employers will reimburse you for your state licensing fee after 90 days of employment [in Michigan anyway]... Look into it a little bit for your state, I am sure CA has plenty of options and courses.

It would be a good idea for you to get a glimpse of what working in healthcare is actually like [good for any prospective nursing student]. Working as a CNA is a great way to make connections with future employers and get a foot in the door somewhere for after you graduate.

As many people have said, there is no nursing shortage-nurses are 'seemingly' in demand-because it always looks like there are plenty of jobs out there, but they mostly want experienced nurses...there are lots of nursing job postings on various job websites...but that is not because of any shortage...that is simply because healthcare has a huge turnover rate...for every job you see there are 100-200 nurses applying. Sure there looks to be plenty of jobs available at any given time, but there are also tons of nurses looking for work.

Example:: One of my coworkers graduated in May with her ADN...it took her until December [2 weeks ago] to land an interview. She had applied to over 45 jobs in that time...did not hear from any until this one. She has accepted a per diem position because there are no FT and few PT positions available for new grads. She can't get into the hospital because they don't hire anything but BSN now that they have Magnet status...and the other hospitals have told her they have met their 'new grad' quota at this time. Her CC class graduated 45 RNs. That same month 2 Universities graduated their nursing classes of 200+ from one college, 100+ from the other...and in just a few weeks one of those universities will graduate another class. ...and this is the output of new nurses..every..single..year. When you take those numbers into account you can easily see that there are not enough jobs for even the new grads...let alone the experienced RNs looking for jobs.

So where am I going with this?... Get a PT job in healthcare..CNA, unit secretary, scheduler, patient transport, rehab tech, receptionist, medical office.. Anything medically related that you can get into..because when it comes time to apply for your first RN job-you are going to need connections and experience in healthcare....and if it takes you a while to land your first RN job, at least you will have a little income coming in! GL!!! :)

[COLOR=#003366]ccstudentpsychnurse I disagree with other posters. I'm in a similar situation except I live in Florida and have children and seeking a divorce. I just started working at a local hospital part time until I can switch to a full time position. If it's that bad with your mom I would go with your plan. I'm saying this because only you know your situation better than anyone else, and even though you asked for our advice. The decision is up to you. As far as student loans go. Bills will always be apart of your life. I have student loans as well but sometimes we have to use them to help us out. Check out local state agencies as well maybe you can recieve welfare or work study programs, scholarships etc. something. I'm just saying whatever works for you may not work for others. As for me my loans and part time will be my tools to finish school. Good Luck and your in the right field if your heart is in it. :yes: