Going to Graduate School with Debt: Can You Do That?

Going to Graduate School with Debt: Can You Do That?

Do you have student loan debt? Is this holding you back from pursuing your dream nursing career? If debt is one of the things preventing you from applying for an advanced nursing degree, you are not alone. In 2017, 50% of nursing graduates said their number one concern was the ability to pay their student loans back.

Debt is a significant factor when deciding whether to pursue additional education, but it should not be the only factor. There are a few questions to consider when deciding if you should continue with an advanced degree, such as looking at your end goals and will this degree increase your income? Are there more growth opportunities available with this new degree? These questions can feel daunting when deciding to take on additional student loan debt in the range of $35,000 to $60,000 for an advanced nursing degree. 

All things considered, not pursuing your degree solely because of debt may be a poor choice. Paying down debt during your education can be possible if you're prepared. There are some incredible resources out there to help pay off debt, create a budget, or banking choices that offer strong benefits . Dave Ramsey has developed a method that gives you a clear plan to pay off consumer debt and help you build wealth. Sticking to a budget is critical in addition to having a debt payoff plan. Using programs such as EveryDollar can make budgeting very easy. 

Finding a bank that works with you to pay off debt sounds like a dream, right? Well, your dream has come true. Lume banking  was established by nurses and financial professionals as a tool for nurses to help you pay off debt. They have so many benefits to help keep you on track. On-Demand pay can help with emergency charges and keep you from reaching for a credit card. They also have discounts on the products that we need like FIGS, Crocs, and New Balance. 

If your goal is to become debt-free while pursuing an advanced degree, you will want to achieve this without "charging it." In general, the amount of resources available to nurses to help with debt repayment is impressive. Scholarships, grants, and cash pay are just a few of the ways to fund a nursing program without taking on additional student loan debt.

Scholarships can be found everywhere. Some familiar places to search for available scholarships are your employer, financial aid office, and utilizing search engines such as Google. Scholarships take time and dedication to apply, but the good part is that many scholarships have few applicants, raising your chances of being selected. 

Special grants may be available to those who qualify. A great example of this is the Nurse Faculty Loan Program. This government grant provides money to nurses who are passionate about education and plan to be educators during and after their degree. This grant can help pay 85% of tuition costs. 

Advancing your degree by cash flowing is something to be carefully calculated. Travel nursing is a viable option to build up savings or pay for an advanced degree while working as a traveler. Another option is to use personal or family savings to cover the costs. Some hospitals offer tuition assistance programs that may pay for all or some of the tuition costs in exchange for an employment commitment following graduation. Make sure you research and plan which cash flow option will best meet your financial needs.

If debt is holding you back, do not let it stop your dream career from happening. Work, plan, and allow yourself the chance to grow.


Kate Avery

My name is Kate Avery, and I own Avery Content Services LLC. I am also a wife, mother to three crazy kids, nurse, and NP student. My life is messy, but I live and love my way through it and am manifesting what I know I can achieve. For more information about my services, please visit averycontentservices.com


Answering questions related to all things nursing and money.