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Need advice from Non-Trad student

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by pharmacyanalyst, Mar 27, 2007.

  1. pharmacyanalyst

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    I am 29 years old and have a degree in Chemistry. I currently work in procurement for a large mail order pharmacy. I also have experience as a pharmacy analyst for long term care pharmacy and in college I worked as a pharmacy tech at Walgreens. I have always wanted to go to Pharmacy school but Louisville did not have any local programs. A program is starting up in 2008 and I want to apply. It is a 3 year program and tuition will be $33K/year. I have 2 kids and we are currently a 2 income family.

    I need some advice from any non-traditional pharmacy students out there. How do you financially do it???

    Thanks for any advice you can give me!
    JF
     
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  3. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already
    Pharmacist Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, being a 29 year old with a wife, 2 kids, and a single income, I'm taking essentially all my savings, plus loans from the government and will live on next to nothing. It won't be comfortable, but I'll be a pharmacist when I'm done. I'm thinking the end justifies the lack of means.
     
  4. All4MyDaughter

    All4MyDaughter SDN Mommystrator
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    I'm a nontraditional student with a family. I live in Louisville and attend UK college of pharmacy. I have met with the Dean of the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy for a school project and would be happy to talk to you about that, about pharmacy school in general, about being a nontrad with kids, going from two incomes to one, etc. If you have specific questions you want me to answer, I can do that on here or by PM, depending.
     
  5. pharmacyanalyst

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    All4mydaughter- thanks!! I will PM you.

    Farmercyst- are you taking out loans for living expenses too?
     
  6. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already
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    I was just about to remove that email addy from the post when I saw it was already done. You don't wan't spammers pulling it from your post.

    In terms of living expenses. Yeah, I'll be using loans for that. Luckily I got in/out of the CA real estate market and made a little money out of the deal. I've been doing pretty good with personal investing, so my debt load will be kept to a minimum. I can pretty much finance my first 2 years from savings, though I probably will use a mix of loans and savings to help spread the debt over the full four years. This will also allow me to try to make interest/capital gains on my savings over four years to further decrease my debt load. It sounds like a good plan for now. I'll have to wait to see what happens when I put it in practice. Since I'll be going to a 0 income lifestyle, it'll drive me crazy. I still consider myself in debt right now because my wife wanted one last hurrah while we still had an income, so I paid for this stupid cruise and now I'm trying to pay it off without touching my savings. That's kind of how anal I am about the whole thing. (I don't mean to instill envy, I know most people would love the chance to say such a thing, but like I say, it's just how anal I am about my income/savings, and known future debts.)
     
  7. pharmacyanalyst

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    If you don't mind me asking, how much debt do you think you will have when you graduate?
     
  8. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already
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    Well if I get into USC, tuition is what ~36K, insurance will run, I think it was ~ 5K for 2 adults + 2 kids, housing for my size family ~1.8-2K/mo = 24 K/year + food/utilities = another 6K +/- I'm figuring about 65-67K/yr * 4 years = 260K (I'm thinking that's somewhat conservative.) I've got ~1/2 that. So I will owe the other 1/2 minus any odd jobs on the side if I decide to work (which I probably will a few hours/week) minus any other money I make between stocks/interest over the 4 years. So I'd say about 100-120K is what I'd end up owing. I know there's stuff I didn't include, car insurance 2K/yr, gas ~300/month-450 depending on how soon the $5/gal gas gets here:mad:and how often I visit family, distance from campus,etc ) I'm hoping to pay it off in 5 years or less. Again these are just plans, they're made to be broken.
     
  9. Julianne

    Julianne War Eagle!!
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    I'm also a non-trad (married with one child, going from 2 incomes to 1) who'll be taking out loans in order to live :scared: Unless you've been saving like crazy with the intention of being able to pay for school out of your own pocket, I don't know of any other way it can be done... I'm going into this virtually debt free (have a mortgage, everything else is paid for) but still anticipate racking up at least 150K in debt before it's all said and done.
     
  10. rxlynn

    rxlynn Senior Member

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    Hi - I am a bit older than you, but a similar situation. I'm not sure if you are the main wage earner or not from your post. I am lucky in that my husband has health insurance and a good salary, so we did not have to take out any loans for living expenses. I was working full-time as a pharmacy tech before starting school, so I have taken a significant pay cut (only working 4 hours a week right now). However, this is the first year that we did not have to pay child care, so those two things sort of offset themselves.

    Couple of suggestions: 1) before you start school, if there is any possible way reduce your debt load. The only debt we have now is the home loan - no car loans, no credit card loans, etc.
    2) Be sure that you aren't spending money on items you could do without. I've posted on this subject somewhere before, but basically just assess all your monthly bills and see if you could eliminate or reduce them. How much do you pay for cable? Cell phones? Alarm system? Gym membership? etc. Do you have very expensive hobbies, or do you go out or entertain a lot? You will probably want to cut back on that (and you won't have nearly as much time anyway!)
    3) Remember that when you do the financial aid for school, they will assess your need just as if you were single with no dependents, no house, you were traveling back and forth to school, etc. I was very surprised to find out that my total financial package contained a lot of things besides just tuition, with the net result being that I qualified for much more loans than I was expecting. We ended up choosing to accept the subsidized loans (no interest) and did not take the ones that required interest prior to graduation. At least for the first year, we choose to pay the difference from savings.
    4) Your school might have some payment options that would be helpful. My school has a deferred payment option, which allows you to pay your tuition over a 4 month period, one payment per month so we don't have to come up with the entire payment in one lump sum at the beginning of the semester.
     
  11. Farmercyst

    Farmercyst On with the Poodles already
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    Very good points, it's one of the reasons I'm in the position I'm in today, despite being in a one income household in California. Sweat, blood, tears, and luck. Constant reassessment of these items during school will keep you from overspending. Just because you qualify for loans doesn't mean you want to use them all, and you certainly don't want to pay interest on the money just because they're willing to throw it at you.
     

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