Did I mention how expensive nursing school is—before you even get there? I have spent a small fortune on application fees, transcripts that have to be updated after every semester, state background checks, child abuse clearances, FBI fingerprinting, physicals, drug screens, and CPR certification. And don’t forget before classes start you still need to buy uniforms, shoes, a stethoscope, lab kit, and oh yeah—BOOKS! Books at my school (or at least for my program) run $700-1000 per semester. Hopefully since these are textbooks related to my major I will actually be able to continue to use them beyond their assigned semester (unlike, say, the $125 art history book that would probably be more useful as filler for Marshmallow’s litter box). Most of us know that selling textbooks back is close to pointless. You might be lucky to get even 15% of what you paid for them—though in this economy I guess every little bit helps.
Not that I’m complaining (okay, maybe just a little), because I am about to embark on a journey to fulfill my dreams. But money still doesn’t grow on trees. My current school does not even let you use your financial aid to pay for some of this stuff (at least my old school gave us a “book credit”)… The recommendation of the student financial aid office?—“just charge it on a credit card until you get your refund.” Gee—thanks.
The student loan thing is seriously getting out of hand. Last year I was accepted to a school, we’ll call them “Pretzel University” ;). So PU (ha-ha, but no pun intended), sent me my financial aid paperwork stating that my estimated cost of attendance was about $54,000. My financial aid award totaled about $16,000—this including Stafford Loans! Now that is a serious gap! I was told that as they are a private institution, PU is not required to meet my full financial aid and that I would have to apply for private student loans to cover the difference. So let me get this straight—you want me to rack up $38,000 in additional student loan debt per year (and this was not even for a nursing degree)?!? I highly doubt that I could even qualify for such a loan anyway. Thanks, but no thanks—and so I said sayonara to PU.
I came across a campaign on Facebook suggesting that student loan debt be forgiven in order to stimulate the economy which I think is a great idea. I don’t know about you, but that “stimulus” we received—did not stimulate me at all. I probably used it to pay my growing stack of overdue bills. I am also not seeing much of these minute tax cuts in my check (maybe that extra $30 is just making my gross a little higher so I can pay more what?—TAXES!). Okay maybe I’m exaggerating but the cost of living is steadily increasing—did you know that a gallon of milk costs about a dollar more than a gallon of gas? Do you know how long one gallon of milk lasts in my house?—maybe 24 hours if I’m lucky. Too bad I can’t fill my three-year-old up at the local Sunoco.
So instead of bailing out all of the rich folks (that General Motors CEO made out quite nicely and will be retiring next month with a $10,000,000 pension/benefits package), the country should bail-out our future nurses, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, who once they finally finish all those grueling years of college will actually be able to help “stimulate” the economy provided that they are not engulfed in hundreds of dollars per month in student loan payments. I hope Renegade is listening…