Once you are accepted to nursing school, you likely will need to research student loans for nursing school to help pay for tuition. Grants and scholarships do not need to be paid back, but you may need to commit to work as a nurse in an under-served area, show academic merit or financial need. Student loans for nursing school need to be paid back.
Helpful starting points to researching your options include these free resources:
- Types of Federal Student Aid
- Other federal agencies
- Your state grant agency
- U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search
You can also consult your high school counselor or do a web search to find foundations or community organizations related to your field of study.
Nursing School Grants
Grants and scholarships are sometimes called “gift aid”. They are an alternative to student loans for nursing school. This means they do not need to be paid back. There are over a thousand federal grant programs in the US worth more than $400 billion, and some schools may automatically consider you for grants when you apply.
For more information visit the Federal Student Aid website and complete an application at FAFSA. The Federal Student Aid website is also a very useful resource to research how to apply for different types of aid, who qualifies and how to repay student loans for nursing school after graduation.
General requirements include the following:
1. Be a US citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
2. Have a valid social security number (SSN).
3.Demonstrate financial need and be enrolled in a recognized program.
Nursing School Scholarships
Scholarships are another alternative to student loans for nursing are often merit-based. This means that it may be based on a student’s skill or ability. Criteria could include high marks, or a history of contribution to the community. Sources for scholarships can come from the federal government, state government, your college, career school, or a private/ non-profit organization.
To research more or apply, please visit Federal Student Aid or Nursing Journal. The US Department of Labor also has a search engine for scholarships and grants. A nursing specific scholarship is called the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. It is for students who are accepted or enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate nursing program.
In exchange you must agree to work for a minimum of two years at an eligible facility with a critical shortage of nurses upon graduation. The NURSE Scholarship Program covers tuition, eligible fees, a monthly stipend and other reasonable costs such as books or clinical supplies. To research eligibility and application dates visit NURSE Corps.
Student Loans for Nursing School
Federal loans and information can be researched on the The Federal Student Aid website. They also have helpful information on how to avoid fraud or scams. You should never have to pay an agency for information. Many banks also have loans available to students.
A student line of credit is a lower interest option than using a credit card. If you take a loan, make sure you understand the terms of the loan. Loans can come from federal government, or private institutions such as banks. Federal student loans typically offer a lower interest rate and have more flexible repayment options than those from banks. You do not have to begin repaying your student loan while still studying. To estimate your eligibility for a federal student loan you can visit this resource: Estimate Your Aid
Financing nursing school should not be a stressful process as long as you plan ahead and consider all your options. A good start is to visit your financial aid office or the Federal Student Aid website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/prepare-for-college to try and reduce the number of student loans for nursing school.
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