If you are considering going back to school, or perhaps starting college for the first time, then you have certainly thought about how you are possibly going to be able to pay for your education. Let’s face it, college is not cheap. Every single day there is another news article about the rising cost of education and the unbelievable amount of student debt and student loan being accumulated by those trying to further their knowledge and learning. But does it have to be this way? Is it possible to go back to school, get a degree and not be saddled with debt and loan repayment for the rest of your life? The answer lies in how much work you are willing to put forth to find the best route. Thankfully we have done most of the hard work for you and researched the schools to deliver the best of the best to you in one place. As you read below, you will find tips and tricks to save you money while diligently pursuing your BSN.
The True Cost
The number one question that people always ask when considering higher education is what is it going to cost. (In case you are wondering, the second question is almost always how long will it take?) Unfortunately, when researching most schools, and especially RN to BSN programs, the true cost of the education is often hidden from you. Most programs are not straight forward in the cost, some won’t even put a tuition breakdown on their website, and you, the potential student, are left trying to figure if you are being taken by a money grubbing university. If this has left you frustrated, you are not alone. This is one of the biggest reasons RN2BSNprograms was created. We wanted to take the headache of trying to figure out how much a program costs, and then be able to easily compare it to other programs. So cruise around the site and find the best program for you. But first keep reading for unique tips and tricks to help knock down the sticker price of your education.
The old standby and often cliched answer for the question of how to fund your higher education is scholarships. Well, the truth is scholarships are available and there is a lot of free money out there. The first reactions many people have to the idea of pursuing scholarships is the amount of time involved and where to begin.
Yes, finding and applying for scholarships takes time and energy. But so does your job. To take full advantage of all of the scholarship opportunities out there, you need to think about researching and applying for scholarships as another full-time job, or at least a part-time one. Why? Because the payoff can be huge. For example, if the RN to BSN program you have chosen costs $15,000 and you spend ten hours applying for scholarships and land $5,000 in free money, then you have just made $500 an hour! Not bad when you don’t even have a BSN yet.
Where do I get this free money?
The first answer is the internet. Seriously, try out various searches in Google and see what pops up. For example, typing in “Nursing Scholarships” yields hundreds of resources for finding scholarships. But don’t stop there, think outside the box. Are you a minority, bi-lingual, have volunteer experience? Are you older than the average student, younger? Are you already accepted into a Registered Nurse program or Bachelor of Science in Nursing program? The school you are, or will be going to, almost certainly has thousands of dollars to give away. Simply call the school and ask to speak with someone regarding scholarship opportunities. This person is usually an adviser or works in the counseling/advising office. Start thinking and dreaming outside the box and see what you can come up with.
And if you are currently working as an RN or employed in the healthcare industry than do not forget…
Almost every employer wants to see their employees move forward in their careers, and many will help them. If you work for a hospital or larger healthcare organization, then you need to speak with the HR department and find out about scholarships, sponsorships, and education opportunities. Many larger corporations already have a program and system in place to help you out. Just ask.
Government Help and FAFSA
After you have exhausted all of the scholarship opportunities out there, and gotten your hands on all the free money possible, it may be necessary to seek a student load. If you are going to school for the first time, and have no prior degree, then you might still qualify for free money via a federal grant. A small minority of students may qualify for a federal grant for an RN to BSN program, but this is a small minority. However, if it is offered to you, then take it!
Loans and grants come about through a government system known as FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is a large application that can be completed online and is the means by which you qualify for grants or loans. These are public loans. Private loans come about via a bank or other intermediary and generally carry a much higher interest rate. Typical student loans come about through FAFSA. Fill it out, provide all the necessary extra documents, wait, and see what they offer. You can check out FAFSA here.
Being Choosy about the Right School
A last word about all this money talk. Higher education costs money, but it doesn’t need to cost a small fortune. There are prestigious schools that are very affordable and schools you have never heard of that will bleed you dry. Hopefully, this website can help you distinguish between the two extremes and show you which RN to BSN program is right for you.