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Student loans worth the debt?

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    Student loans worth the debt?

    Hello. To make this short and simple, I have been married for 5 years and in that time have come to realize that I am and always will be the breadwinner. I work two jobs - about 65/70 hours a week - in order to pay our bills, groceries, and gas. I do not believe my husband will ever make much more than minimum wage, he simply is not ambitious enough to develop skills or pursue a career (which is NOT what the post is focusing on).

    Because of this and since I do NOT want to work 2 jobs forever I have been thinking about going back to school for nursing. Hopefully that way I can work one full time job and support us both, and whatever he makes can go to savings, etc. I have only begun to look into tuition costs, financial aide, and programs and it is terrifying me already. I think in the past it was easy to justify student loans, but in this economy there is no guarantee you will find a job after you graduate no matter what the field. Realistically I won't be able to get into the program for a few years, so by that time our debt **hopefully** will be paid off except for our mortgage. Still, I will have to take out extra loans above and beyond tuition since there is no way my husband will be able to support me going through school, even if he's working and I have a part time job. Not to mention there is a wide range of tuition costs depending on the school, and I don't know how much is worth it or not worth it. However, maybe in my situation education is a necessary expense.

    Any thoughts or experiences with student loans would be much appreciated!

    #2
    Originally posted by stigrl View Post
    he simply is not ambitious enough to develop skills or pursue a career
    I'd certainly think about the long-term future of this relationship.

    I have been thinking about going back to school for nursing.

    I will have to take out extra loans above and beyond tuition since there is no way my husband will be able to support me going through school, even if he's working and I have a part time job.
    You work 70 hrs/wk now so there is no reason why you couldn't go to school and work full time. Lots of people do.

    What do your finances look like now? How much debt? Emergency fund? Savings? Retirement accounts? How old are you?

    Before taking on a bunch of new debt, I'd exhaust every possible means of finding better paying work for BOTH of you with your current skills, or perhaps take some classes (for cash) or added certifications to help you advance in your current jobs. You don't have to have a new degree.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      College is not a "genie in a bottle" as our society has made it to be. I graduated not even two years ago and I attribute about 20% of my knowledge to formal education. Honestly, learning only begins after college graduation.

      For this reason, it is not justified to go into debt for college. I don't have too much is student loans, but even the amount I have sucks. It will be a huge burden if you aren't careful.

      Have you considered talking to your husband about work? Maybe he isn't ambitious because he has not found a job he actually enjoys and get fulfillment from. I personally like my job, but even so I have developed a five year plan to become self employed and do what I have a fire to do. I suggest your husband determine a carrier path that he will enjoy; based on the personality type you have depicted in your writing, self-employment may be the key for him.

      College at this rate is kind of a gamble. If your husband is not on board to work with you and bring something to the table, college will simply turn into even more of a burden. I would consider taking on the loans for school if and only if it is part of a game plan that you work out together.
      Check out my new website at www.payczech.com !

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by dczech09 View Post
        College is not a "genie in a bottle" as our society has made it to be.
        That's true, though it is also true that certain careers absolutely require a degree. You can't become a nurse without a degree so if that is what you really want to do, a formal education is a must.

        For this reason, it is not justified to go into debt for college.
        I'm not completely opposed to student loan debt. I certainly had plenty of it myself (over 100K). My problem in this scenario is that you are trying to fix a marriage problem by going back to school and that just isn't going to work. The marriage problem is still going to be there plus you'll be saddled with thousands (or tens of thousands) in new debt, making the situation even worse.

        You guys need to work on his issues first. If he can turn his life around and become a productive partner in the relationship and you still want to go to nursing school at that point, that's a whole different story, but I wouldn't do it now given the information you've provided.
        Last edited by disneysteve; 02-04-2011, 06:40 AM.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          That's a hard question to answer without knowing more details about you. What is your age? What is your current career and how much do you currently earn? How much do you expect to spend for a nursing degree?
          Brian

          Comment


            #6
            I agree this sounds like a relational issue. If my wife decided that she wasn't going to put much effort into a career, we'd have a serious talk about our future. As for going back to school, I totally recomend saving up or working fulltime to pay for college.

            Comment


              #7
              To get the quickest return on your nursing school tuition money, choose an associates' degree program rather than a bachelor's degree program. As far as I know a new Associate's holding nurse makes the same as a new Bachelor's holding nurse.

              Choose public schools over private (especially for-profit) schools. Tuition and fees will be subsidized by your state/community and so likely lower.
              Somethings to do & consider:

              Find out where you would do clinicals as a student. A school that sends you to multiple institutions may give you a broader set of competencies. If there is a choice, choose the program whose students seem to work their butts off at clinicals because you want to really learn as much as possible.

              Ask any possible schools how many of their students who begin the program actually graduate. Some schools have atrocious drop-out rates. Ask them whether you can continue in the program if you fail one class. (Fail can mean anything less than a B in some cases.) Can you repeat the class the next semester? Would you have to wait a whole year before that class is offered again and thus your whole plan of study is put on hold?

              What are nurses being paid in the area where you live or plan to live? Are nurses really being hired full-time so that they can get decent benefits? Or, are institutions there commonly staffing with many nurses working 36 hours per week without benefits instead of a few nurses working full time? I'm afraid this is getting to be a problem. And if you cannot find full time work, it might not raise your income substantially.

              Worth it? Probably. But do look at the details.
              "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

              "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

              Comment


                #8
                I have student loans. Not any that would amount to Nursing School student loans but I have them. It's no fun paying them back but they just become one of those monthly bills and you don't even think about it. If nursing school is something that you really are interested in and you have a passion for it then go for it! You only live once and you ought to be happy while you do! Tell your husband to get on his resume, make it look good and send him on a job hunt! There's no way he can just stay at a min wage job for the rest of hsi life - that's insane! I know people who have NO college degree and have awesome jobs with amazing salaries! So tell that to your husband! Don't stress over it and don't worry about the loans it's just another bill to add tot he list!

                Comment


                  #9
                  "I do not believe my husband will ever make much more than minimum wage, he simply is not ambitious enough to develop skills or pursue a career (which is NOT what the post is focusing on)."

                  I think this probably should be what the post is focusing on. I cannot imagine this is a very satisfying situation for you. Can you be happy with a man who is content to let you work 70 hour weeks while he does little to nothing to improve the situation?

                  Only you can decide whether the student loans are worth it. I personally am working full-time and attending night school (becoming an accountant) so I can graduate with no loans.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree with the above posts. Am I against college and getting loans to get a career you love? No. However, it really depends on your personal situation. If you already have debt, will have to get into more debt to keep the household bills on track while in college, maybe it's not the best decision at the time.

                    I know every person is different, but I can tell you my husband went through an auto body collision program and graduated which cost 32k. The state paid for half, and we were left with a little over 15k in student loans. That's $194 dollars a month we will be paying for the next 15 years (assuming we don't decide to pay them off early)

                    Additionally, he graduated the program and there were literally no jobs to be found in his field with the economy the way it is. Currently he works a job he loves in power plants as a contractor, and makes about 60k a year. For this job he was given absolutely no preference for having the college degree, and really all our 15k and 15 year loan got us was a piece of paper saying he graduated and some really expensive shirts!

                    Now everyones situations is different, but I would really take a lot of time reflecting on my current financial situation and how that would be effected by going to school full time, and exactly what jobs are available in your area (actively hiring jobs) for the degree you are seeking.

                    Goodluck!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I agree with Kaleigh's points that one should make sure the job skills learned really are marketable, and that one should not take on more loan than is reasonable to pay back. Be very cautious about in enrolling in any for-profit school. KNOW whether or not the school is for profit; don't be fooled by a pretty face, so to speak. You definitely need to do your own homework before ever enrolling. Find out if the employers out there really would hire you from the nursing program you are looking at. When it comes to future job prospects, don't trust the word of the financial aid department, the enrollment officers, or even the teachers at the school. Ask working nurses. Ask the Human Resources Departments at institutions where you might work. Ask temp agencies that hire nurses.

                      Some state and community colleges give a large tuition break to their own employees. Look into that. If it will make a big difference, try to get employed at the school before enrolling there. Sometimes you may have to work there 5 years of so before you can get a tuition reduction, but sometimes the benefit is immediate.

                      I have seen quite a few women who have really pulled themselves up from terrible conditions to a better life through a career in nursing. So, definitely, I would say it was worth taking on some debt in those cases.
                      "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

                      "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Joan.of.the.Arch View Post

                        I have seen quite a few women who have really pulled themselves up from terrible conditions to a better life through a career in nursing. So, definitely, I would say it was worth taking on some debt in those cases.
                        100% agreed.

                        I also like Joan's advice in her other post, about pursuing the degree that makes the most financial sense. Good advice there.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Student loans are still loans. I would definitely research the probability of getting hired as a nurse in your area first. Have you looked at nursing jobs online? Are hospitals or nursing homes in your area hiring? What is the average salary for a nurse in your city? I think it would also be a good idea to shadow a nurse for a day and make sure you'd enjoy the job. Do you faint at the sight of blood? (I do, so that's why I ask.) Could you change bed pans without vomiting? All things to think about before jumping into a program and taking out loans that you'll need to pay off. Good luck in your research!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You're willing to work 2 jobs and possibly go back to school because your husband's skills and ambitions limit him to what a 16 year old can do and you're ok with that?!

                            He better be magnificent in bed.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Shewillbemine View Post
                              You're willing to work 2 jobs and possibly go back to school because your husband's skills and ambitions limit him to what a 16 year old can do and you're ok with that?!

                              He better be magnificent in bed.

                              Yeah... he better be doing somehting right!!! Otherwise, tell him to get off his butt and be a man!

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