Chicago is the third largest metropolitan area behind New York City and Los Angeles. It is a city of neighborhoods that extend out from the Chicago Loop, or business district. The entire metropolitan area extends out to include several counties and is informally known as “Chicagoland.” Located on the beautiful southeastern shores of Lake Michigan, it is a city with many public beaches and four large waterfront parks. Chicago is one of the top 10 richest cities in the world and has the second largest labor pool in the United States. The average cost of living index is 114 compared to the national average of 100.
Chicago is a great city to attend school for nursing and to work as a nurse. The University of Illinois is the nation’s largest medical school. The Chicago School of Medicine and Stritch School of Medicine are on the city’s outskirts. The city is home to numerous medical associations. Job opportunities are excellent now for RNs in all specialties and the trend is expected to continue. The median age of nurses in the area is expected to rise helping to create new jobs as these nurses retire or leave the field. In fact, nursing jobs are projected to grow faster than average for all occupations in Chicago through 2014.
The Illinois Student Assistance Commission(ISAC)has been in existence since 1957. The commission helps families plan for the steps to gain access to financial assistance for post-secondary education through various scholarships, grant and loan programs. Eligibility is based on certain factors such as field of study, financial need, military service and academic achievement. ISAC’s Monetary Award Program (MAP)is the state’s cornerstone needs-based program. The commission also provides counseling for educational funds borrowers to ensure that they are aware of repayment terms and rights.