I do not transfer over and start the masters' part of this journey until next year, so until then I go over to the University every few months, which reinforces the goal. However, this time visiting I got a chance to talk with someone in financial aid, which made me think maybe I'm going about this all wrong?
Right now I am taking out enough in student loans to pay for classes only, but everything else is out of pocket. Anyway, she explained several programs in place for loan repayments involving the four main health professions available, triggering a memory of a faculty member telling me how she took out an extra $2000/mo for living expenses while in school.
Two of the more popular programs involve working in underserved areas after graduation for two years which pays $50K towards student loans, then you can keep re-signing if you need to pay down more. Yes, being a regular job you are paid besides the reimbursement, sounds good so far.
Researching I see that just about every state has areas that are considered underserved, whether they are small town communities or inner city areas. Personally I might be ready for a smaller community after here. She also mentioned that I could consolidate other student loans into the program. Which won't help me now, but I did think of a couple people current and past who could benefit from something like this.
So maybe my plan to keep loans down and struggle with work and school needs to be rethought? I will still work because I enjoy most of it, but maybe not as much.