The state of Iowa offers several scholarships and grants as incentives to help students entering into study in the field of nursing pay their tuition and material expenses, and living expenses as well.

Before we talk about the scholarships specific to the state, there are federal options that should be applied for first. These are:

FAFSA

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Nearly 200 billion dollars is available to students who need financial help in order to go to college.

Though the application process may seem difficult and lengthy, it’s worth doing. Much of the funding for the year stands unused, as most students avoid it after finding the application process a headache. Don’t do this.

You may file your application for FAFSA either through the mail, which is not the best choice, over the phone or via the internet.

The FAFSA is open to everyone, and by examining your financial status, or that of your parents if you’re still living at home or dependent upon them, FAFSA will determine your Estimated Family Contribution, or EFC, to your tuition.

The less you are determined to be able to pay towards your schooling, the more FAFSA will pay for you.

FAFSA applications are also used by your school to determine your eligibility for other types of scholarships and grants. Applicants can begin applying as early as January 1st, and are encouraged to do so as early in the year as possible.

If you’re filing online you will need to obtain an electronic pin from the government. It’s simply a pin number that will represent your signature on important documents.

Federal Stafford Loan

The unique feature of the Stafford Loan is that it is not based on credit worthiness. You will not be required to fill out a credit application in order to qualify for this loan.

You will, however, need to sign a promissory note, and not be in default with any other federal or student loan. The subsidized Stafford Loan is backed by the government, is based on need and has a low fixed APR of 5.6%. While you’re in school, the accruing interest on the loan is paid by the government. When you graduate, you are given six months to find a job and begin earning money. The government pays your interest on the loan during this time period as well.

Annual limits are placed on the amount that may be borrowed based on your field of study and how long you’ve been in school. Loan limits include subsidized and unsubsidized loan amounts. The unsubsidized Stafford Loan is not based on need and your credit will be accessed in order to make a decision. You will be responsible for repaying the interest that accrues while you’re in school and you’ll have the option of either making payments on it while you’re enrolled or beginning to make payments after you’ve graduated.

Justine E. Granner Memorial Scholarship

This award is open to American Indians and members of other ethnic minorities who are entering nursing courses. Applications must be submitted by the deadline, which is February 1st of each year, in order to be considered for the $1,000 grant. The grant is non-renewable and must be reapplied for yearly, without a guarantee that the same individual would receive the award.

Iowa Legion Auxiliary Past President’s Scholarship

This scholarship is open to the dependents of Iowa veterans or to veterans who are members of the American Legion and who have been residents of Iowa for at least five years. The award amount varies from year to year, and applications must be submitted by May.

To qualify, you must be enrolled in school with the intention of earning a degree in nursing and demonstrate financial need, character and patriotism. This scholarship is only good for a year. Applicants wishing to be awarded for an additional year must reapply by May of the next year.

Iowa Health Care Association Nursing Scholarship

Scholarships awarded from the Iowa Health Care Association are open only to current employees who wish to pursue getting their degree in nursing. The applicant must fill out an application, complete an essay discussing their experience at the facility, get two recommendations from staff members who have worked with them and present a copy of their acceptance into a nursing program. Four awards are given each year.

Iowa Student Loan Nursing Education Loan Forgiveness Program

Graduates who are working as registered nurses or teaching nurses can apply for this loan forgiveness program, which does not eliminate the debt but supplements it, so that the loan repayment can be accelerated. The forgiveness percentage increases for each year that the student is employed for up to four years, making the total award amounts up to $20,000 for teaching nurses and up to $10,000 for registered nurses.

Loans that are eligible for this forgiveness program are federal or private loans that are serviced or consolidated by Iowa Student Loan. You must be employed full-time within a year of graduating with a degree in nursing. Part-time employees can be considered as well, but will not qualify for the full amount of forgiveness.

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