Nursing Education: Financial Aid Guide
These days, we hear more and more about the aging baby boomer generation, and the impact they will have on the health care industry. Most experts agree that as the baby boomers continue to age, there will be a significant increase on the demand of medical professionals. Unfortunately, rising tuition costs mean that many students who possess an interest in the field of health care are not able to pursue their dreams. Luckily, there are a number of nursing scholarships, loans, and grants designed to help students interested in obtaining a career in the field of nursing. Students who are interested in applying for these scholarships and grants should first understand the application process and the different options available to eligible students.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is a document that is used by the government and different schools to determine if applicants are eligible for student aid. In most cases, submitting the FAFSA is considered to be a must when it comes to applying for assistance. Traditionally, nursing students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as early as January 1st of the year for which they believe they will need the aid. While the FAFSA can be submitted in both electronic and paper versions, students may get a faster response from online applications.
In some cases, nursing students who exhibit extreme financial hardship may be able to obtain a Pell grant. Unlike other forms of financial aid, Pell grants do not require repayment, and are therefore considered to be quite ideal for most students. While there are numerous Pell grants available, nursing students are often encouraged to apply to those offered by nursing organizations or schools. Professionals in the financial aid office of a specific college or university should be able to provide additional assistance when it comes to navigating a Pell grant.
Scholarships are another option for financial aid when it comes to paying for nursing schools. Traditionally, scholarships are awarded to students based on their academic prowess, though some may also be provided due to financial necessity. Like Pell grants, scholarships do not require repayment. Depending on the specific region in which the nursing student lives, scholarships may be provided through such organizations as Kaiser Permanente and even the Red Cross. To obtain these scholarships, students must usually complete an essay, mission statement, or other type of application.
Some nursing students turn to work-study in an attempt to pay for nursing school. As suggested by the name, work-study jobs are those in which students work at an on-campus site, in exchange for monetary reimbursement. To obtain these work-study positions, students must usually be able to demonstrate some type of financial need. Students usually are awarded with a set amount of money each semester, which may not fluctuate significantly.
In most cases, nursing students are required to take out loans to pay their tuition. Loans are a specific type of financial aid, which is expected to be repaid, with interest, following the completion of an academic program. While there are a number of different types of loans available to nursing students, federal loans are often considered to be ideal due to their lower interest rates and flexible repayment programs. Nursing students should be aware that the amount of money available through loans from the Federal government is limited—so in some cases, private loans may also be required.
Loan forgiveness programs are a great way to nurses to erase some of the debt obtained through college. The Nursing Education Loan Forgiveness Programs—which is sponsored by the Federal government—is a specific type of loan forgiveness program designed to erase up to 60% of a nurses student debt. To obtain this loan forgiveness, a nurse must work at least two years in a critical shortage facility. In some cases, certain states may also offer loan forgiveness to offset the debt associated with paying for college.
Getting a head-start on financial aid is obviously essential for students who wish to ensure success as a professional. High schools students who are interested in the field of nursing should begin the application process as early as their final year in high school. High school or college counselors can often provide valuable advice when it comes to applying for the types of financial aid discussed above. In addition, online resources can also be effective resources for obtaining more information about financial aid for nurses.
- Get Help Paying for College—Information for individuals who are interested in applying for and obtaining financial aid for college.
- Looking for Student Aid Without Getting Scammed—Help for students who need financial aid for college.
- Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program—Discusses a program designed to provide financial aid for students interested in a career in the field of nursing.
- Federal Government Financial Aid Applications and Related Information—Links to applications for nursing students interested in obtaining financial aid.
- Start Here, Go Further: Financial Student Aid—Tools and resources for students who plan to apply for financial aid.
- Benefits, Grants, and Financial Assistance: Online Services—Links to sites that discuss the different types of financial aid for students interested in attending nursing programs.
- Paying for College Without Breaking the Bank—Tips for parents and students on ways to pay for college without may financial contributions.
- Top Ten Financial Aid Tips for Parents—Tips for parents on helping to pay for their children’s college education.
- Nursing Scholarship—Information about certain types of nursing scholarships available for individuals interested in a career in nursing.
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Financial Aid—Describes different types of financial aid available for nursing students.
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing—Organization that offers scholarships and grants for nursing students.
- News Release—Discusses the award of significant financial contributions designed to increase the number of nursing students in the United States.
- Nursing Scholarships—Information for individuals interested in applying for specific nursing scholarships.
- Nursing Grants, Fellowships, and Financial Aid—Identifies the different types of financial aid available for students interested in a career in nursing.
- Scholarships and Grants—Links to scholarships and grants for future nursing students.
- Center to Champion Nursing in America: Nursing Grants and Scholarships—Links to different nursing grants and scholarships available for students in the United States.
- West Virginia Center for Nursing: Scholarships, Grants, and Loans—Lists options available for individuals looking for financial aid for nursing programs.
- Funding Opportunities—Discusses different types of financial aid available for students interested in a career in nursing.
- Nursing Education: Scholarships—List of different scholarships for future nurses.
- Army ROTC—Breakdown of types of scholarships available from the Army ROTC.
More About Financial Aid
- Can You Hurt Your Chances for Federal Financial Aid By Saving Too Much for College?
- In a Same-Sex Marriage? How Your FAFSA Will Change in 2014
- How Your Federal Student Aid Will Change in 2013
- Do Younger Children Get a Better Deal on Student Aid?
- Senior Citizens and the FAFSA: Getting Federal Aid When You're Over 60
- Can Your Credit Score Affect Your Federal Aid?
- Tuition Aid for International Students: The Funding Landscape
- Major Changes to Your Federal Student Aid in 2012-2013: What's Ahead