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Student loans - worth it?

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by comeara comeara (New Member) New Member

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I'm planning on transferring to a 4-year university to become a nurse. Community college isn't a viable option for me anymore since all the schools around me are having huge budget cuts, can't supply all of the classes, and the nursing programs can take years to get into. Since financial aid is so bad for transfer students, there's a possibility that I'll end up taking out huge loans, though I'm hoping it won't be more than $60,000.

Has anyone done this, and is it worth it? Do you find you're struggling to get by with the huge payments? Luckily I will have the opportunity after graduating to live with my mom in the Bay Area if I need to, so I could get a good salary and cut down on expenses, but still - should I bother taking out the loans in the first place?

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JeanettePNP has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Pediatric Pulmonology and Allergy.

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The rule of thumb is not to borrow more than your expected annual starting salary. Keep in mind that many new grads have trouble finding employment and you may be unemployed for an extended time after graduation. You can ask for deferment in case of hardship.

Personally my loans for undergrad totaled $18,000 but now I'm borrowing a lot more than that to attend grad school. That's with applying for scholarships and financial aid. We are living as frugally as possible so the loans we take out go primarily to tuition and not living expenses.

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ParkerBC,MSN,RN specializes in Medical Surgical/Addiction/Mental Health.

10,879 Visitors; 883 Posts

if you are receiving pell grants and state grants, those should transfer to the school you want to attend. as far as loans, will they be federal direct loans? if so, here is a link that discusses repayment options:

http://www.direct.ed.gov/repaycalc/dlindex2.html

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BabyLady is a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, Post-partum.

14,645 Visitors; 2,300 Posts

I'm planning on transferring to a 4-year university to become a nurse. Community college isn't a viable option for me anymore since all the schools around me are having huge budget cuts, can't supply all of the classes, and the nursing programs can take years to get into. Since financial aid is so bad for transfer students, there's a possibility that I'll end up taking out huge loans, though I'm hoping it won't be more than $60,000.

Has anyone done this, and is it worth it? Do you find you're struggling to get by with the huge payments? Luckily I will have the opportunity after graduating to live with my mom in the Bay Area if I need to, so I could get a good salary and cut down on expenses, but still - should I bother taking out the loans in the first place?

I'll be honest..you need to do some more research because I think you have some misconceptions about attending a community college.

You have the same shot at financial aid, if you apply early, as anyone who already attends the school, especially if you are applying for loans. Being a transfer student should only be a hinderance if you wait to the last minute..as it would be for ANY student.

When I applied to my ADN program, they admitted 60 students and I was #16 on the wait list. They also had a wait list of 60 students. I got my notice that I was being offered a position a month after the previous semester ended, during the summer, and I found out later from the instructors that they went to #32 on the wait list.

You know why? Because they check to see if students pass their pre-req's and they make sure their GPA does not fall below the required minimum...A&P and Chemistry knocks a TON of students out and makes room for more.

$60K in financial aid, I can tell you before you take it out, will financially cripple you. Your payments will be approximately $500 to $600 per month with that type of loan for 10 years, minimum. That is why I am such an advocate of CC ADN programs and then getting your BSN later.

You know how much my RN-ADN cost me? About $6,000...that is WITH books.

You can cut that loan in half if you do an ADN first.

Your post did not say that you even applied to an ADN program....why don't you at least make an attempt before you assume you cannot get in.

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16,364 Visitors; 2,139 Posts

I don't think basic nursing is worth an investment of $60,000. Maybe 15k, max.

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13,275 Visitors; 2,801 Posts

Also be aware that the Bay Area has been one of the toughest job markets in the nation for nurses, and new nurses in particular, for quite some time now. I understand that many have had to move out of the area to land their first nursing job.

Perhaps there is a state univ BSN program you can transfer to elsewhere in the state with relatively lower tuition and lower cost of living than the Bay Area? If you work while going to school and share an apartment with other students, you may be able to keep your costs lower than living at home and going to an expensive private program.

Another thought is if you can land a job or two these days is to take advantage of living at home and sock a bunch of money away for school in few years. Those couple of years would go by faster than you can imagine and meanwhile you could be also be working on building a foundation in nursing & health care... working in a hospital, volunteering, becoming an EMT, etc.

Just thoughts! I know trying to make alternate plans for nursing school is a real pain because it seems that every program has different requirements, deadlines, applications processes. Best wishes!

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8,984 Visitors; 980 Posts

I don't think basic nursing is worth an investment of $60,000. Maybe 15k, max.

$60k is steep but I'd assume that'd be living expenses as well. Around here, state colleges are $9k or more per year for tuition and if you are counting living expenses, it could add up although my first degree was cheap. I graduated with $10k in loans for a BS.

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3,040 Visitors; 143 Posts

I 100% agree with the above posters. $60,000 is quite a bit for a degree, unless we're talking about an Ivy League school, which I'm going to assume you're not. Try the CC ADN program if you can and bridge immediately to a BSN if that's what you want. It would cost you so much less.

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16,364 Visitors; 2,139 Posts

$60k is steep but I'd assume that'd be living expenses as well. Around here, state colleges are $9k or more per year for tuition and if you are counting living expenses, it could add up although my first degree was cheap. I graduated with $10k in loans for a BS.

My first B.S. degree cost about 1,300 per semester when I graduated, plus back then you didn't pay for anything over 12 hours aside from fees which were also much less. At the beginning it was, of course, less. Now, at the same school it's that plus 2k and I bet $5-600 in fees.

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8,984 Visitors; 980 Posts

My first B.S. degree cost about 1,300 per semester when I graduated, plus back then you didn't pay for anything over 12 hours aside from fees which were also much less. At the beginning it was, of course, less. Now, at the same school it's that plus 2k and I bet $5-600 in fees.

I think my first degree was $6k per year in the mid to late 90s. Now I think that same state school is around $10k per year.

My community college classes alone are $400 to $500 so by the time I'm done with those, I'll have spent $4k not counting books.

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16,364 Visitors; 2,139 Posts

I think my first degree was $6k per year in the mid to late 90s. Now I think that same state school is around $10k per year.

My community college classes alone are $400 to $500 so by the time I'm done with those, I'll have spent $4k not counting books.

Wow. Area community colleges here are $50-60/credit hour.

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8,984 Visitors; 980 Posts

Wow. Area community colleges here are $50-60/credit hour.

I'm jealous. Ours are $110/credit hour plus $60 per class for various fees. The sad part is that is a result of a price drop from a couple years ago.

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