When you consider the cost of a bachelor’s degree, your underlying concern is probably whether or not you can afford it. But the real question should be this: “Can I afford to not get my degree”?

Number-Crunching Bachelor’s Degree Tuition
While the cost of a bachelor’s degree varies according to your major, the real determining factor in bachelor’s degree tuition is whether you choose a public or a private university.

According to the College Board, bachelor’s degree tuition at private universities averaged $26,273 in 2009-2010; public university tuition was about $7,020. Multiply that out and you get $105,092 in total bachelor’s degree tuition at private school and $28,080 at public school.

Ways to Raise the Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree
These bachelor’s degree costs assume no detours or delays along the way. Changing majors is a common detour, and it can be a costly one, too. Changing your major one or more times generally results in your completing more than the required number of credits (usually 120) and taking more than four years to graduate. Since you’re paying per credit, the cost of each unneeded course comes right out of your pocket just like the costs of required courses do. Any additional semesters at school also increase the amount of money you’ll be paying in college fees.

Delays can also increase the cost of a bachelor’s degree, since per-credit charges may be higher for part-time than full-time students, especially at private universities. And the longer it takes to complete your degree, the more likely it is that your program will be subject to tuition hikes.

Ways to Keep Bachelor’s Degree Costs Down
All of this is certainly a persuasive argument for spending some time soul-searching before you go to college. Determine what you really want to study and how quickly you can reach your goal. This can be accomplished by taking a gap year or by starting your studies at a community college and transferring to a four-year university later on. Anything you can do to graduate in four years as opposed to five, six, or more is bonus for your bank account.

You can also decrease the cost of a bachelor’s degree by taking AP or other pre-college courses that translate into college credits. You won’t be charged for those credits, and you’ll save big on bachelor’s degree tuition by graduating a semester or even a year earlier.

And keep in mind that all costs can be offset significantly through bachelor’s degree financial aid. According to the College Board, in 2009-2010, public-university students received about $5,400 in financial aid that did not need to be repaid, and private school students received $14,400. Subtract those annual figures from the four-year sticker prices, and total bachelor’s degree tuition drops to $47,492 at private schools and $6,480 at public schools.

Ultimately, you have a big say in your total bachelor’s degree costs. Make wise choices, and you’ll find that your degree becomes something you can’t afford to not have.

When you become an LPN (licensed practical nurse), you become responsible for providing hands-on health care to people who really need your help. It’s a way of changing the world, one patient at a time. Bonus: the length and cost of LPN school is unbelievably low.

LPN Training Programs
LPN training programs last one to one-and-a-half years and are offered by community colleges, vocational technical schools, high school, hospitals, and colleges and universities. In order to become licensed to practice, you must complete a state-approved LPN training program. Contact your state’s board of nursing for a list of approved programs. An LPN program will lead to a diploma or certificate of completion.

Many approved programs are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. More than 150 LPN programs have been accredited by NLNAC; find yours here.

LPN School Costs
The average cost of LPN school hovers around the $10,000 area, all fees included. But in major cities, the cost of LPN school can be as high as $25,000, not including the cost of books and other supplies. Private colleges and universities with fast-track programs tend to have the highest LPN tuition.

Community colleges usually offer the best deal – in-county residents may pay as little as $4,000 for the year, while out-of-county students pay double that, and out-of-staters pay double what out-of-county students pay. State schools that receive government subsidies tend to have the most affordable LPN tuition. It’s a persuasive argument for staying close to home to get your LPN certificate.

Additional LPN School Costs
Additional costs beyond LPN tuition may include the cost of books, uniforms, books, liability insurance, background checks, medical exams, study guides, travel, and medical equipment like a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Books for an LPN program cost around $1,000, though that figure can be higher or lower depending on where you buy your books and in what condition you buy them.

Other costs may include technology, entrance exam, and graduation and licensing fees. You also need to factor in the $200 examination fee for National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which you’re required to pass in order to become licensed to practice.  

Counting the Cost of LPN School
Whether you choose a program with high or low LPN tuition, be sure to find out the school’s NCLEX pass rate before you enroll. All the money you’ll save at an inexpensive school will be wasted if you don’t learn enough to pass the NCLEX.

And if you’re deciding whether to become an LPN or an RN, remember that the costs of LPN school are often lower than the costs of RN school, especially since the time to completion is shorter. If you want to become an RN later on, you can always enroll in an LPN-to-RN training program – potentially on your employer’s dime.

When you’re ready to get on the fast track to an in-demand health care career, start training to become an LPN. The cost of LPN school is comparatively low, but the rewards are unequivocally high.

Why sit in a cubicle all day when you could be cruising on the open road? When you become a truck driver, you’ll be free to see the world. Not just anyone can drive a truck, though. First, you’ll need to complete truck driver training and get your commercial driver’s license (CDL). So what does it cost for CDL truck driving school?

Truck Driver Training Courses
CDL exams are comprehensive, which is why many people pursue CDL training through a community college, vocational technical school, or trucking company. Some states require prospective truck drivers to complete a training course before getting their CDL. Truck driver training courses prepare you for the written CDL test on rules and regulations as well as the practical exam that tests your ability to operate commercial trucks safely.

To ensure that your truck driver training is accepted by local trucking companies, enroll in a course that has been certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) to meet industry standards, which are governed by federal and state regulations. PTDI-certified courses are currently offered at 70 schools in 27 states and Canada. Note that a school may have several truck driving courses, with only one that’s certified by PTDI.

Truck Driving School Costs
The average length of PTDI-certified courses is four to six weeks, though courses may be as short as two weeks or as long as 12 weeks or more. The average cost of PTDI-certified courses is about $4,200, though the cost of truck driving school may be as low as $1,500 and as high as $10,000. Related program expenses that may or may not be included in truck driving school tuition are books, uniforms, and fees for tests, medical exams, and graduation. You’ll also need to pay for the CDL itself; CDL costs range from $25 to $100. Special endorsements such as air brakes, doubles/triples, and hazardous materials may cost between $5 and $45 each.

You may not have to pay the cost of truck driving school on your own, though. If you attend an accredited truck driving school, you could qualify for federal financial aid. Financial aid for truck driving school may also come from the Workforce Investment Act, private student loans, or the school itself. Veterans may be eligible for truck driving school scholarships through the G.I. Bill or the Commercial Driver Training Foundation.
                               
And if you sign an employment contract with a trucking company, the company may reimburse you for the truck driving school tuition. Other truck driving schools may just take the money out of your paycheck over time, so be sure to inquire about the terms of tuition assistance before signing a contract.

Are you ready to explore America? Don’t let the cost of truck driving school and the CDL exams scare you away. If you desire a dynamic career in which there are always new sights to see, learn more about becoming a truck driver today.

If you love animals (and their owners), you could be a purrfect candidate to study veterinary medicine. But just like at any other medical school, veterinary school costs can be high.  

Become a Veterinarian
In order to become a veterinarian, you’ll need to earn a doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM). Many DVM programs do not require a bachelor’s degree, but all require a specified number of undergraduate credits (usually between 45 and 90) for entrance. Since admission to veterinary medical school is so competitive – only about one in three applicants was accepted in 2007 – most candidates do have a bachelor’s degree.

After you earn your DVM, you’ll need to obtain a license before you can practice veterinary medicine. Graduation from a veterinary school that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education is a prerequisite for licensure in most states. There are 28 AVMA-accredited veterinary schools in 26 states in the U.S. (two in California and in Alabama). Visit the American Association of Veterinary State Boards to learn about your state’s requirements for licensure

Veterinary School Costs
According to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), in 2006-2007, average annual veterinary school tuition was $15,676 for first-year state residents and $28,861 for first-year nonresidents (out-of-state and international students). If you live in one of the 24 states that doesn’t have an accredited veterinary school (e.g., Arizona, Connecticut, and New Jersey), you will have to pay nonresident veterinary school tuition and fees. However, some schools have established contracts with other states to offer a specified number of “resident” positions for admission. Find out about accredited veterinary schools in your state.

Of course, there’s more to consider when it comes to the cost of veterinary school. In 2006-2007, average annual school fees were $3,482 for residents and $4,452 for nonresidents. Average transportation costs were $1,487 for residents and $1,512 for nonresidents, and miscellaneous expenses averaged $1,306 for residents and $3,042 for nonresidents. Some veterinary school costs are the same for residents and nonresidents: room and board averages $8,964; books and equipment, $2,043; health insurance, $1,304; and personal expenses, $2,653.

As you can see, it’s critical to budget for expenses beyond veterinary school tuition – total annual expenses averaged $36,914 for residents and $52,831 for nonresidents. Total expenses for a four-year DVM program would therefore average $147,656 for residents and $211,324 for nonresidents.

Offsetting the Cost of Veterinary School
Fortunately, veterinary school scholarships are available to qualified students. The American Veterinary Medical Foundation, AAVMC, and other national organizations offer veterinary school scholarships based on criteria such as academic excellence and financial need. School and state-specific scholarships are also available, as are opportunities through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Plus, your salary will help you recover from the aftermath of veterinary school tuition in no time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average starting veterinarian salaries are between $40,000 and $65,000, depending on the type of practice. In 2008, median annual earnings of more established veterinarians were $79,050.

Veterinary school tuition may be pricey, but consider the payoff – an in-demand, well-paying career in creature care.

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