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How Much Does Nursing School Cost?
Since going to nursing school will include paying tuition and fees, many students are worried about the cost.
Of course, this can be a difficult figure to obtain, since the cost will depend directly on the type of degree you get (2 year or 4 year degree), the location of the school (places with higher costs of living will charge more), as well as the individual school itself (some schools may charge thousands more than a school across the street).
So how much does nursing school cost? What kind of fees will you incur? How much money will the degree cost total?
How Much Nursing School Costs
First, these are general figures, and over time they may change. Therefore, the best way to calculate the most accurate cost would be to find a nursing school you hope to attend, and then see what they charge for tuition and fees. Most nursing school websites will lay this out up front. You can browse some of the nursing schools in our online nursing school directory.
Nursing School Tuition Costs:
In most cases, you can expect to pay between $2,500-10,000 per semester (depending on the school). When I graduated from nursing school a few years ago, my tuition was about $3,400 or so per semester. This has gone up slightly, and now the same school (as of 2012) charges about $3,700
Again, this number can vary depending on the type of school, the degree type, and also the local costs of living. There was a school in my area that charged almost $17,000 per semester. Yikes! So it pays to shop around.
Nursing School Books:
In most cases, you can probably expect to pay about $300-700 for books each semester. You can cut these costs by really looking for deals online, and then also reselling them after the semester is over. You can learn more by reading about how to save money on nursing school textbooks.
Nursing School Miscellaneous Fees:
You may also have to pay miscellaneous fees such as:
Insurance-most nursing schools will require you to have liability insurance against health care accidents as a student. This is actually quite cheap (usually around $40 or less per year).
Supplies–lab coats, stethoscopes, nursing shoes, scrubs, etc. may be required. Some nursing schools will include these with the fees in tuition, and some don’t. In either case, you’ll usually get to keep these for life.
Miscellaneous fees–Some schools may charge additional amounts for parking passes, etc. But usually this is included in tuition.
Room, Board, and Transportation–It usually isn’t beneficial to include these costs, since you will generally have to pay room and board even if you don’t go to nursing school (we all need shelter). But if you plan on living on campus, or will have to drastically change your living arrangement or transportation, then you may want to consider those expenses as well.
Calculating Nursing School Expenses
Since I didn’t have to modify my living arrangements, my estimated total expenses per semester set me back approximately $4,000, or $8,000 per year. This is probably on the lower end, since I the cost of living in my area is pretty low. I would imagine that larger cities may cost more.
At the high end, it should cost no more than about $17,000 per semester, or about $34,000 per year (as of 2012). So again, it definitely pays to shop around, and as long as the school is accredited and has a good reputation, it shouldn’t matter as much.
How to Pay For Nursing School
If you are worried you can’t afford nursing school, then don’t worry! You can easily find ways to finance your education.
To pay for nursing school, you can:
Apply for Scholarships–Most universities have a catalog of scholarship opportunities for your specific field (nursing). So it is a great idea to apply for any scholarships you can get. It helps to have some athletic ability, or exceptional grades, but there are scholarships for the “average” student too.
Grants/Federal Aid–Fafsa.edu.gov is a government website that allows students to apply for financial aid and pell grants. You should visit this site to see if you qualify for aid.
Work Study Programs–Many colleges and universities offer work study programs. This allows students to do simply jobs on campus and earn a wage.
Student Loans/credit cards–While we suggest that student loans or other debt should be the last course of action, they can be a way to finance your education if you need to do this.
Pay out of Pocket–Even working a couple of days per week (and perhaps summers and breaks) can add up to a decent sum of money, that may allow you to pay your tuition as you go. We recommend you work as least as possible so you can focus the bulk of your energies on your education. Nevertheless, working can also provide good experience and an income to help with expenses.
Whew, there you have it.
Now you should have a rough idea of how much it will cost to attend nursing school. You can succeed, and considering the nursing salary you may make and the fact that you can obtain a degree and license in as little as 2 years, I definitely think it is a wise investment.