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Going to school FT but not working-how?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
have wanted to be a nurse since forever. I have two kids in elementary school. At this point, I make XXXXX amount of money a year. I literally make $2000 too much a year to get heating assistance, free school lunches or any other benefits. I do not get alimony or child support(long story and I will never get it).

I want to go back to school full time and become a nurse. Nursing is a course of study that allows for little distraction. Unlike other degrees, I could not go to school online for it and work full time.

How can I afford a household and attend school without working? It seems like there are a ton of programs out there to help single moms go to school. I hear about moms(through other boards) who go to school. Are they getting welfare? Other benefits? How can I get this too?

I am in a dead end job and want to be an example to my kids. How?
post #2 of 9
I would think you will have to rely on student loans outside of the grants you can get for schooling. I go to school full time but work full time too because i could never live off of the $13000 in grants for a year of school. I have to purchase books and supplies out of the money and gas traveling to school is alot too. The nursing program here requires full time school plus full time clinics which start at 6am and sometimes can be overnight shifts. This requires a babysitter that can take kids to school. I live in California and there is one additional grant i get for being low income but it is typically only $800 for the year. Because of the state budget cuts they are now talking about cutting welfare, child care help for the low income and children's health insurance. For me this would mean i would no longer have my children's child care paid for and would have to find a way to buy health insurance for my kids. Not sure what state you are in but that is for Cali.
post #3 of 9
Most of us probably do use whatever public assistance we qualify for (medicaid, housing, childcare, foodstamps) Or at least most of the student moms I know do. To be honest, most single mothers I know use those services in addition to working and I so enjoy reading here to see how successfull some of you are because I've never really witnessed it myself! (that's sad, huh?) So, basically I will be living on loans and assistance for two years to finish my degree. Luckily, mine is a distance program so I do not have to pay for childcare. Last year I worked 50-60 hours each week in addition to 3 college classes each semester. I nearly killed myself and my children suffered... And the worst part - my taxes show that I only earned a little over $12,000. That is crappy. I'd much rather take the loan and focus on school so that in a few years I can earn an amount I can actually live on. My family benefits so much from me being here, finishing school and gaining the opportunity to actually support us. I don't know why I waited so long...

With that being said, I can't afford any extras. There is just no money to pay for it. No cable, but I haven't had that in years. No new clothes or shoes. (My family enjoys taking the kids school shopping) No new anything really.... But to me, it is totally worth it and the kids don't seem to mind at all.
post #4 of 9
This is how I am doing it:

1) I live with my mom. She watches my kids & pays the rent (utilities are included).
2) I get $622/mo child support and ~$500/mo in food stamps.
3) I started out from being a SAHM, so I qualify for a full Pell Grant.
4) There's a program locally called Project Quest which I will apply for when I get closer to having my pre-reqs taken care of that will pay for my nursing school; I'll be expected to contribute half of my Pell Grant, and in return I have to promise to work in San Antonio for three years (which is fine & dandy by me, as I'm never moving again).

Applicable to you? Doesn't sound like it. But it doesn't mean you can't do it, just means you can't do it the way I'm doing it. Most of the moms I know who go to school full-time without working scrape by on financial aid, and they are really just barely making it. I'm just barely making it. We live in a singlewide that's older than I am and has multiple weak spots in the floors and if I go into the hallway & look down where the wall is supposed to join up with the floor, I can check & see how tall the grass is getting. Which is to say that we've all got trade-offs.

I suggest you hit your local college's women's center and see what resources they have for you. There may well be something similar to Project Quest where you are; I know Norfolk has NexStep which is very similar.
post #5 of 9
i have no family involvement whatsoever and my son has health issues that preclude attending any sort of formal childcare, and i can't get subsidies for getting my friends to watch him. i start full time school in the fall, plus working a little bit. does anyone have any experience with a situation like this?
post #6 of 9
I go to school online full time, which really isnt any different in time wise in my lessons, home work or classes, I do them "online" I literally sit in a classroom, kwim? I dont work, but I did take out loans large enough to cover rent and stuff like that, its called housing. The school gets all my loans, and after a while( cant remember how long, they send back to you what you took out over the cost of tuition and books, so you would be waiting a while for the money for bills, but going to a nursing school I bet you could find a local program, here in NY we have BOCES that has nursing programs, and almost all the nursing home and hospitals will train you for nursing while you are working there, but you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, like starting as a nurses aid for 12 weeks, etc etc etc, but as long as you are working for them, they train you and send you to classes you need to excel, clear as mud? I am not sure where you are though...
post #7 of 9
This is not mean to berate but your negative sentence structure might indicate negative self-talk which is going to hinder you.

The thing is, you can do it. Others have and you can too if you want it bad enough.

Some classes are online and you can do a mixture to keep enough of a schedule to remain working full time.

No one said it was easy but with the majority demographic for nursing being white, single and female with children I think there are plenty who can speak to it being done.
post #8 of 9
Oh! Another thing - check with hospitals in your area... Most will pay for your nursing school if you sort of indenture yourself to them and agree to work a certain amount of time.

You can definitely do it. It takes a huge sacrifice, but I bet you'll be so busy studying that the two years of school will fly by!
post #9 of 9
I'll be starting school full time without working this fall. Basically, child support and a small amount of alimony will just cover basic costs each month. I'll be living very simply and working to save money every way I can. I don't qualify for public assistance. I'll be using the co-op daycare at the school and working there to help pay for it. I'll also be taking out student loans for school costs. I have a good amount of savings which helps me feel ok that if an emergency comes up, I can cover it.
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