I don't want to rain on your parade, but in my estimation being tech savvy, taking a photography class, and having a $500 budget is not a realistic expectation of all the gear and preparation you're going to need to take the type of photos you're probably visualizing, if you're thinking of white seamless work where it's just a single-color (typically white) background and the subject, as with magazine shoots.
Studio portrait shooting--especially full-length portrait shooting--is more of an undertaking than some folks realize. The preparation/budget you're visualizing could just about allow you to take good natural light photography, and if you also throw in learning how to light and a $350-$400 budget for lighting gear, you could possibly add location head and torso shots to that. And you need to absolutely master ambient-only shooting before you start flash photography, because that's a whole 'nother bucket of exposure-think to absorb.
Portrait studio work, however, not only requires learning to light and having the gear, but also having the right workspace set up. And for full length white seamless shots, that'll possibly require more space than you realize. (See Zack Arias's white seamless tutorials).
So you may want to reset some expectations. This isn't just a question of gear. It's gear and experience and whole LOT of learning. And $500 doesn't get you very much gear in dSLR land. You might, if you're really lucky and willing to go for a used body, get a good $200-300 entry-level dSLR or mirrorless body. But only $200 for the glass doesn't leave you with many choices (maybe an 35 or 50mm f/1.8?), and nothing for support or lighting gear. Realistically, to equip yourself with a good basic dSLR setup, you need a budget closer to $1000. There are lenses than can cost you four figures, let alone body+lens combinations. And a simple low-cost Strobist two-light setup will probably be at least $350-$400 for basic lights, stands, adapters, umbrellas, and triggers.
Can you do this with just an 18-55 kit lens or 50/1.8? Absolutely. Will you want to? Mmmm...probably not. Can you do this well without lighting gear? I'd say not. You might be able to get by with a simple reflector, but at some point, you're gonna want lights. Budget accordingly. And don't expect to master this all right away. There's a reason some folks can make a living doing this.
See also: How can I get started with a first flash gun?