Licensed Practical Nursing is an extremely rewarding career. There are so many schools offering nursing programs but finding a way to pay for those programs becomes a problem for many students. There are many types of loans, grants, and scholarships available through federal, state, school, and private funding. For licensed practical nursing students who do not want to apply for loans, scholarships are a great option.
Scholarships require an application completed and turned in with a written essay. The essay should explain why you qualify for the award or need it. If the application is strictly for nursing, the essay should state why you want to be a LPN. Most programs only have a certain amount of available scholarships for the school year and will pick the essays that stand out the best.
It is in your best interest to apply for more than one scholarship. There are so many other students submitting applications, so doing multiple applications will benefit you the most. A very good rule to follow is to take your time and make sure both the application and essay are grammatically correct. Check for errors or misspellings before submitting your applications. Also, have another person read your paperwork. Others may find errors that you may have missed. It is also good to pay attention to deadlines. Most scholarships have a set deadline and will not accept late applications. If you are late submitting your paperwork, save it for the next time the scholarship may become available.
Scholarships can be based on income, certain qualifications, or academic merits. Most scholarships are based on academic merit, although there are some that are based on financial need. Like grants and loans, they can be used with other financial aide. Here is a list of some of the scholarships that are available for nursing students:
- Single mothers and all other women
- Federal and State funded
- Minority or ethnic
- Previous academic achievements through high school and education
- Institutional or college based for specific majors
- Scholarships offered through businesses and corporations
There are thousands of resources that can be located on the internet offering financial assistance to students. Most of these sites help students apply and locate suitable funding for free. Websites like Financial Aide Facts at http://www.finaidfacts.org/scholarship_types.htm offers students a free listing of available scholarships as well as other financial help. This list includes individuals and organizations located both in the United States and internationally that students can apply to.
College Scholarship.org has been helping students since 1999. This site offers information on financial responsibility, essay writing, and a listing of available scholarships. Each scholarship is divided into categories to make searching easier. They also offer a state by state search of institutions that have funding. These scholarships are based on need, merit, or academic programs. Others are based on specific criteria such as the student must work in a certain facility or state organization in order to complete the requirements.
Students may also contact colleges, universities, and vocational schools for financial information. Most schools offer private scholarships for specific programs. Others have funding for students who will receive a certain degree or certification after graduation. The financial aide department will have important information on how to apply. There may be certain criteria the student must have in order to qualify:
- Program enrollment must meet a certain amount of credits
- Must write an essay stating why you should get the reward or why you want to be a nurse
- May be based on financial need
- Must maintain excellent attendance and grades
- May be a high school graduate with a high ACT score or GPA
When you search for any type of financial aide, it is your responsibility to understand the rules and requirements. Scholarships are there for your educational expenses. The money should not be used for shopping or extracurricular activities. Depending on what school you attend, most nursing programs can be expensive and will require more than just a scholarship to pay for it. With that being said, it is better to have the scholarship sent directly to the school. If there is anything left over, they will send you the balance. If you receive the check yourself, send it all to the school. Unexpected expenses can come up and you don’t want to not have enough funding to cover your education.
Students should also be aware that if you leave school early or do not maintain acceptable attendance and grades, that you can lose your scholarship. You may even have to repay it. Read the fine print and ask your financial aide office if there is something you do not understand. Remember, your nursing career will pay you back a thousand times over if you complete your education.
Other Financial Aid
If you do apply for scholarships and do not receive one, try applying for federal grants. Most times students will qualify for some type of federal funding. There are also federal and private loans that can help pay for your education. These loans will not have to be immediately paid back. You will be able to get started in your career after graduating a nursing program before the loans have to be repaid. It usually takes a few months after finishing that this will happen. It may seem like a lot, but it is well worth it.
Do not be afraid of starting a new career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. An amazing career is just a scholarship away.