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Where to begin?? Any advice on how to choose a school and financial aid?

SarsMuns SarsMuns (New) New

Hello everyone,

My name is Sarah, I live in Seattle, Washington and I'm 22 years old. I'm finally getting my stuff together and starting the process of becoming a nurse, or at least trying to. My mom (only parent) didn't go to college so she is just as lost as I am. I really have no idea where to begin, do I apply for a school first or apply for financial aid? I currently live with my fiance but considering moving back in with my parents to go to school and am unemployed, but looking for work. So, for the financial aid paperwork, I don't have any definitive answers for those questions. And I won't know those questions until I know my school schedule and if I'm going to be able to get financial aid, do you guys know what I mean? I'm really frustrated because I've known my whole life that I wanted to be a nurse, but was held back from starting school for various reasons since I was 18, and now I just want to start school because I should be finishing school if life had gone my way. I mean, I haven't even chosen a school yet because I don't know anything about the schools in my area, and I want to go to the best school I can, especially considering I'll be going to a community college.

Also, I'm trying to decide if I want to enter into an LPN or an RN program. My ultimate goal is to become an RN, but I know that there are waiting lists for RN programs, but not so much for the LPN programs. I know I can do LPN to RN eventually, and because I support myself (well, with the help of my fiance who is a student) I was thinking of taking the LPN program and that way I could work as an LPN while taking my RN program, but would it be best to get it all done at once?

I was told to go talk to the course advisor, but since I don't know what school I'll be attending, how do I know what advisor I should talk to? Will an advisor talk to me if I'm not applying for/enrolled in his or her school?

Does anyone out there have any advice for me? Any websites with information on schools with nursing programs, any information on grants or financial assistance, any advice on where to start and who to speak with first?? I would so greatly appreciate any help or even a few words of encouragement because I'm doing this alone getting lost in the confusion. Thanks to all and good luck to you.


I would talk to an advisor at your local community college that has a nursing program. From them, you can get an idea of what classes you'll need to apply and what you'll need to do to be a competitive candidate (because there might not be waiting lists....it might be that you apply and they take the most qualified candidates, and the rest need to apply again the next year to be considered again).

But that's my point....find out from the advisor how it works there. If you know of a couple schools in your area....talk to advisors at all of them (you don't need to be a student at the school to speak with the advisors). The first schools you speak with might not be the school you end up going to....but the only way to find more information, is to talk to more schools.

As far as financial aid.....fill out your FASFA now, if not sooner! Fill it out for your situation right now. Since you're under 24 years of age, you'll need information from your Mom to fill it out as well. Again, have her fill it out with information as it stands now. They're going to base their information on your and your Mom's income from last year....not this year. As far as what school's to put down at the end of the form, just call the financial aid office of all the schools you might apply to and ask them for their federal number....they'll know it. You can put as many schools down on your FASFA as you want, you'll only receive aid from the school you end up going to.

Hope that helps.


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