College/university, not to mention nursing school is expensive. Everyone has different way to tackle the financial burden. This post is meant to share how I was able to graduate with $00.00 owed to my school.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial expert. This post exsists to act as a resource and share an experience. Please keep in mind these are not the only ways to fund higher education.
For this post, we’ve got to take it back to high school. When I entered high school, I always had a plan to graduate early. I decided on it back in middle school because I was tired of the school system, bullying because of my skirts, etc. Once I got to highschool, I made sure to take advantage of the few AP courses my school offered and took my books and extracurriculars seriously. I also managed to graduate as the valedictorian of my high school class at 16 years of age.
I wanted to head straight to a four year university to decrease the hassle of transferring, etc. I also wanted an affordable option. Luckily there was a school about forty five minutes away from my home that was affordable and had a solid reputation in this area of my state. I also was able to recieve a great deal of grants that made the out-of-pocket cost very low. There was a lot of background work that went into this (sweat, tears, planning, lack of sleep, etc.), but it was all worth it!
• Scholarships were my primary way of funding my education (~90%). Of course this varied based on the semester, because some were non-renewable while most were. These were all an absolute blessing and I am still so very greatful to have been awarded with them. I also recieved a Pell Grant during one of the years where my family’s income was low. My one-time scholarships were from private organizations, whereas my renewable ones were from my state, high school district system and university.
Internship and Externship Stipends
• During the summer before my sophmore year and the summer before my senior year, I completed and internship and externship with my hometown health system. These experiences were both paid and I used these checks to clear my tuition bill during the upcoming semesters. I would split the funds between the fall and spring semester to help drop that bill.
• Some of the semesters, I would have an outstanding balance ranging from $200-$1,200. I am blessed enough to have a supportive family and my Dad helped me with these small outstanding balances. The higher-balances were covered by me all times except one. I paid those higher balances with my respective checks from internship and externhsip as mentioned.
• Despite, having the majority of school payed for, I made sure to obtain a part-time job working with children during my sophmore year of school. Eventually I switched to a PRN hospital job during the summer before my enior year. This little bit of money, helped me to pay for gas, food and personal items. I was also able to save a little bit of money aside. I would highly recommend that college students find a flexible job if possible. Working my part-time job became a bit unbearable, but my new PRN job was a blessing! You never know what can happen and a little bit of pocket money is very useful.
Please keep in mind you do not have to be a high-performing academic student in high school to fund your education. There are flexible on campus jobs or just flexible jobs in general. Technical schools are a fantastic option!
In fact, in my area as long as a student obtains a 3.0, technical school tuition is free. Many students do this and transfer to a four-year school with scholarships (if they desired to do so), thanks to the help of their advisors. This was just a quick post to share my honest financial experience.
Thanks for reading,