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Second bachelor's degree and financial aid?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am going back to school this fall to finish up my bachelor's degree in Psychology. I only have 3-4 classes left, and I will be done. I have $55K in student loan debt, so I am going to be working while I am in school so that I don't accrue any more debt. I am receiving grants to pay for the full tuition for my fall and spring semesters.

My problem is this: I really, REALLY don't want to go into the field of Psychology. I would LOVE to go back for a nursing degree, but I don't think I will qualify for any financial aid. I need a job that will pay well enough to pay off my student loans eventually, and I don't see that happening with a BA in Psych. If I were to get into an RN program, I could see it happening though.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommytoC View Post
Look around for an accelerated nursing program. My sister majored in marine biology and is looking to go into nursing school. She found her options are to go through an accelerated 15 month program because she already has a bachelor's or to go through a regular two year program. She's obviously looking at the accelerated program because it costs less and takes less time though is more intense.

I'd suggest finishing out your Bachelor's with the thought of going back to an accelerated program if there's one in your area. But take the time to look around.

I don't know how the financial aid works --- it probably depends on how the program is set up as to whether things like stafford loans would be applicable, but there should definitely still be scholarships available to you.

Yes this. Once you are nursing programs most likely you will be egible for FA. I am in the same boat as you. I have a degree can't make peanuts with it so I decided to go back for my RN. Well I found out since I have a degree I was unable to get FA for my pre reqs but I will not have a problem getting FA for the nursing program. It was explained to me that preregs are only covered if you do not currently have a degree. But being in a limited access program like nursing would make it possible for me to receive FA for those classes.

Good luck

Kim
post #3 of 11
My suggestion would be to finish your psych degree and then look for hospitals nearby that would pay for your school. Usually you'll need to work for them for a specified period of time after you finish, but they'll pay for it!
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! It definitely sounds doable. There is a two year RN program nearby for sure, but I will look into an accelerated program too. Thanks so much for the ideas!
post #5 of 11
You should know that there are certain types of financial aid you cannot receive if you already have a degree. I am going back to school, already have a BA in English lit, and cannot get much free money (grants) because I'm going for a second bachelors. So honestly, I would suggest holding up on finishing your degree, even if you just leave one class hanging, so that more grants are available to you (even if you think you don't qualify). You can always fill out the FAFSA and once you're done they let you know how much they estimate they will expect you to pay yourself. hth
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am insanely lo income and have no child support, so I can't see them asking me to pay much, but it is definitely something I will look into. There is a state lender here for college that has a huge resource library and loads of financial aid counselors. Maybe I will pay them a visit next week.
post #7 of 11
Jumping out of lurkdom. I'm going back to school in the fall to get my second BA. I have a BA in Human Development, but am finding that it's not going to help me get a job here. So I'm going back to get a degree in Business Administration. It should take me 2 years and a summer session to finish. Ultimately I plan on getting a master's after that.

I just got my financial aid notification last week. I was offered the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized federal Stafford loans ( that means 12,500 for the year, basically enough to cover tuition, fees and books with about 1500 per semester left over, so not enough to live on) and I think that it's a federal cap. I do not qualify for any need based grants because I already have my degree. I will probably have to go through a private lender (like wells fargo or US bank) and get a student loan that way. I'm eligiblie for almost $10,000, which is the difference between what I was offered in federal aid and the expected yearly cost of enrollment (including housing childcare, etc.)

So hope that helps.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by isosmom View Post
You should know that there are certain types of financial aid you cannot receive if you already have a degree. I am going back to school, already have a BA in English lit, and cannot get much free money (grants) because I'm going for a second bachelors. So honestly, I would suggest holding up on finishing your degree, even if you just leave one class hanging, so that more grants are available to you (even if you think you don't qualify). You can always fill out the FAFSA and once you're done they let you know how much they estimate they will expect you to pay yourself. hth
:

My DH wanted to go back to get a second bachelors and wouldn't get any aid. If he would have just waited to get his degree and taken those extra classes to graduate with 2 bachelor degrees it would have been covered.
post #9 of 11
If I were you, I would take all of the pre-reqs you need for nursing school before you apply for graduation for your psych degree. Then they will be covered by financial aid. I am going back for nursing school and I have a ba in humanities. I owe about 40k and I am going to owe lots more because I have to take the pre-reqs and cannot get grants.

Good luck
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by LizzyQ View Post
:

My DH wanted to go back to get a second bachelors and wouldn't get any aid. If he would have just waited to get his degree and taken those extra classes to graduate with 2 bachelor degrees it would have been covered.
:
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I talked to some advisors and I switched to a local community college to take some pre-requisites for the RN program that is local to me this fall. I found out that I don't qualify for anymore grants if I finish my BA, but I will as long as it is hanging. There didn't seem to be too much of a problem switching things around, but I am so glad I looked into it! Thank you all so much for the advice!!!

I will end up graduating with my RN and then it will only take me one semester to finish up my BA and then I will have a two year RN with a BA in Psych, hopefully making me very marketable. I can't wait to start school now that I have a solid plan!!
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