Cost is most certainly a factor in the decision to further your nursing career. While there are plenty of loans available to prospective NPs, eventually these must be paid back to the lending institution. The amount you borrow isn’t the actual amount you must plan to repay. Interest accrues over the course of your loan meaning the actual cost of becoming a nurse practitioner is far higher than published tuition rates. How much will your NP program really cost you?
The loans you are eligible to receive and the terms of their repayment vary based on individual circumstances. But, the following generalization gives an overview of the actual cost of the nurse practitioner education.
To start looking at the cost of NP programs looping loan repayment into the equation, it’s important to understand the following metrics:
- Loan Term – The length of time within which the loan must be repaid. Federal student loans are most often awarded in 10 or 25 year terms.
- Tuition – NP programs vary when it comes to tuition and fees. So, I have used the estimates as calculated in this blog post as a reference for each type of university.
- Interest Rate – The rate charged for use of the lender’s money. For graduate student loans taken out between July, 2014 and June, 2015 the federal interest rate was 6.21% which I have used in the below calculations.
- Total Interest Paid – If the loan is paid in full, according to a standard monthly schedule, this is the total amount of interest the student can expect to pay over the life of the loan.
- Total Cost of NP Program – This outlines the cost of tuition plus total interest paid on the loan taken out to finance tuition.
Using the above mentioned terms and interest rate, here’s an estimate of how much your nurse practitioner program will really cost you based on how quickly you pay back your loan and the type of NP program you attend.
Attending a public university and paying in-state tuition rates will put the total cost of your NP education at anywhere between $20,985 and $35,489 depending on how quickly you repay your student loans.
Attending a public university and paying out-of-state tuition rates leaves the total cost of your NP education between $36,724 and $62,105 depending on the term of your student loan.
The total cost of your NP education at a private university is between $52,463 and $88,722 depending on the term of your student loan. Remember, tuition at private universities varies widely and in reality may be significantly higher or lower than this $45,000 tuition estimate.
Attending an online nurse practitioner program will put the total cost of your NP education between $26,231 and $44,361 depending on how quickly you repay your student loans.
As a nurse practitioner you can count on earning a substantial salary, but thinking through your future finances before you choose an education path is to your benefit. By carefully selecting a school and weighing different loan and scholarship options, you may save yourself thousands of hard earned dollars in the future.
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