How did you pay for your prerequisites?

Hi, OPMs!

I’ve really enjoyed this forum! You guys have great some advice which I I really appreciate. This is my first post, I hope it’s ok to ask for some help here? I’m basically wondering how people paid for school when they were taking their prereqs?

Personally speaking, I’d like to go to school full-time as I find I cannot focus and do well in school if I am working full-time as well as having so many other things going on in life, and I know it’s important to get a strong science GPA. Also, I have no dependents so that is good news. I definitely plan to take my prereqs at a local state schoool, too, because it’s much cheaper.

I realize a lot of people probably worked full-time, but I wonder if there were any who didn’t, how did you do it? Did you borrow money from private banks? Or from the government (although from what I understand if we already have a bachelor’s degree and if we are not officially enrolled in a 4 year degree program, we are not eligible to borrow Stafford loans, but maybe I’m wrong here)? Unfortunately I don’t have any rich relatives who might help me out!

Basically I’m please hoping someone might have some advice about how to go about financing your prereqs? What worked for them, what didn’t work, what they would do if they could do it again now, etc.? Or if this questions has already been addressed, I do apologize, and hope someone might please point me in the right diretion?

Thanks again for all your help!

  • nwhilk Said:
Or from the government (although from what I understand if we already have a bachelor's degree and if we are not officially enrolled in a 4 year degree program, we are not eligible to borrow Stafford loans, but maybe I'm wrong here)?

There are, to my knowledge, three main ways to finance your pre-reqs. I'll talk about the above first. You are correct that if you are not enrolled as a degree seeking student, you are probably not eligible for Stafford loans. However, there is nothing that says that you can't enroll as a degree seeking student (even if you already have a degree). It will not look bad for you to enroll in a second degree and only take the pre-reqs. In fact, in order to get enrolled in the classes you need, you may HAVE to enroll as a degree seeking student, because at some institutions non-degree students are low man on the totem pole when it comes to scheduling and you may never get into the pre-reqs. How much you are eligible to borrow in this manner may be subject to how much you have already borrowed for your original degree and/or how many undergrad hours you previously enrolled in. A knowledgeable financial aid person should be able to determine your eligibility for additional undergraduate federal loans. The problem - many financial aid offices don't have someone knowledgeable about this, so it may take some digging.

As you mentioned, you can also apply for private educational loans. If you have decent credit, this is a viable option.

There is another way to qualify for Stafford loans. If you are enrolled in courses that are pre-requisites for professional programs (med, dental, vet, optometry and the like), you are eligible for 12 consecutive months of financial aid. You have to have someone certify that the courses you are enrolled in are indeed pre-requisite requirements. A problem with this is that it's very difficult to take all of the med school pre-reqs in 12 months unless you are in some kind of formal post-bacc program. (BTW - it can also be difficult to find a financial aid person who is aware of this rule).

I know people who have followed all three routes. Good luck!

Prostitution & pole dancing…

And when I sadly came to the realization that I just could not earn enough that way, I got students loans & “wife support”.

Hahahahaha…lol. I’ve already signed up for counciling…

  • OldManDave Said:
Prostitution & pole dancing...

Wow. Thanks for the visual, Dave!


Federal Ford loan. Non degree post graduate students are eligible.

I work at a University so they covered it. When I needed extra funds (since I was taking classes at a different University) I applied for a CitiAssist Loan.