I was planning on applying for Mayo's CRNA program this fall, starting in 2015. I originally was going to apply this past year, but got some advice (in retrospect, bad advice) from the director. When I met with the director, they told me to wait until I had more experience. Fine. Great. So I went and bought a house when the market was good to buy. I'll have 3 years by the time I apply. 4 years by the start of school.

So cut to me last night researching the program when I find out it 1) costs twice as much now. and 2) IS 42 MONTHS LONG. I knew they were switching to a DNP program which is fine, but 42 months?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? There is no more stipend that they used to give their students, and even though the first year is online (or maybe just a semester) they only let you work MAX .5 FTE as an RN. Needless to say, Mayo is no longer the financially appealing school prospect it once was. Plus I was told to wait to apply for more experience, yet people with the same level of experience were accepted this year. And now I am officially turned off by the program.

Here is my dilemma. I own a house here in Rochester. I love my house. I have two dogs who love our house. I would like to buy a place when I move, but when I move I will be a student. Have any of you had any luck buying/selling a place as a student? I don't think I'll make any money on my current place. Just don't want to lose money. Do people give home loans to students? (Yes, I realize this is a better question for my mortgage broker). Minneapolis just doesn't have a lot of great rental houses that allow dogs.

Right now my school choices are limited to Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, U of MN, and then I'm thinking Case Western. I like MSA since it's cheap and only 2 years. I have friends/co-workers who attend/attended and heard good things. I like the U of MN since I have already taken 15 credit hours from the school, I can work (.9 FTE) the first year, and I know they hand out scholarships. Lastly, I like Case Western because it's cheap, Cleveland has awesome houses that are cheap (good for my dogs), and I love that monthly stipend. I don't know anything specifically about the program since I'm not from that area.

I think my chances at all 3 schools are pretty good. This is my second career, and while my first degree GPA isn't stellar (3.0), I have taken close to 100 credit hours and graduate courses (including science) since getting my first degree and have kept a 4.0 (my overall is about 3.6 now). I have my CCRN, and work in a very high acuity ICU. Basically, without sounding like a broken record from everyone else on this site, I have done everything I can to boost my resume.

I don't really know what advice I am looking for. I will take any. I guess I'm just kind of typing out loud (is that a thing?). I'll have at least $20K saved by the time I start school. My husband makes good money as a bartender. I have no kids and no major expenses. We would like to move to a city again (both of us are from Minneapolis), and while we liked Rochester at first, we find a lot of people here to be increasingly ignorant and intolerant. Just not our thing. Anyone know of any other cities where school/housing is cheap? Detroit? Oh god, DETROIT?