Demand for graduates in the nursing field is high, making it a great degree choice.
The higher demand creates higher pay with excellent benefits and flexible working schedules, an ideal situation for someone serious about the nursing field and ready for new opportunities.
The state of Maryland not only offers wonderful schools in which to obtain your nursing degree, but has good, solid hospitals as well. Maryland is one of the better paying states, too, with our nation’s capital at its heart.
In this article we’ll discuss several of the nursing degree scholarships and grants available in this state, as well as touch on the most helpful federal funding, to help you get your start on a career in nursing.
State Nursing Scholarship and Living Expenses Grant
This is the most recognizable name for this grant, but it should be noted that the grant was recently changed to Workforce Shortage Student Assistant Grant Program, making this grant available to students entering different fields of study such as human services, occupational therapy and teaching, to name a few.
Now called the WSSAG, it’s open to high school seniors and undergraduates who are looking to enter into one of the approved areas of study. Graduates may qualify as well, as long as they are entering an accredited post-secondary school in Maryland. Both full- and part-time students are eligible.
These grants are based on both need and academic excellence. It isn’t necessary to establish need; however, all students will need to fill out a FAFSA prior to applying for this grant. Those students whose need is the greatest and who are achieving academically will be awarded first.
The award amounts are as follows: $2,000 if attending a community college full-time or $1,000 if attending part-time; or $4,000 if attending a four-year college full-time or $2,000 if attending part-time. Funds cannot exceed the amount of the student’s tuition, or $19,000, whichever is greater, and all grants are subject to available funding.
Nursing Scholarship Program
This scholarship is available to those students who are willing to sign a two-year contract of employment with a hospital in Maryland that has a critical shortage of nurses.
Applicants must be enrolled in a nursing course, have no existing Federal debt, not be tied down to any other employment commitment and demonstrate financial need.
An applicant’s status with FAFSA must prove no expected family contribution to tuition, meaning that the student cannot pay for their classes. Funding is limited, and an average of 200 to 250 students are awarded each year.
Those students who are approved for funding will expect to have their tuition met, plus any reasonable additional fees, such as cost of books, supplies and laboratory materials. In addition to this, a student can expect to receive a monthly living allowance in excess of $1,200.
Faculty Doctoral Scholarship
The Faculty Doctoral Scholarship is available to registered nurses who are seeking to earn a doctoral in nursing, with the express intent of becoming a faculty member at a college of nursing. Sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association, this scholarship has an annual award amount of $6,000 and has a deadline of June 1.
Schering-Plough Doctoral Scholarship
This scholarship is available to registered nurses who are pursuing their doctorate or higher.
You must be a member of the Emergency Nurses Association and have prepared a dissertation on the subject of emergency nursing in order to be considered for this scholarship. The award amount is $10,000 per year and is not renewable. Applicants must re-apply with each year.
ENA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship
Available to undergraduate students and those who are members of the Emergency Nurses Association, this award is in the amount of $5,000 annually. The deadline for application is June 1st of every year. Applications will have to be submitted each year, as this scholarship is not renewable.
There is also federal funding that is available to all students in our country, not just students enrolled in a Maryland college who are interested in entering the nursing field. These sources of federal funding should be the first stop for every student entering into higher education.
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is designed for students who have demonstrable financial need. If you’re a dependent student, meaning that you rely upon your parents for money, then you’ll need to fill in your parents’ tax information for the year.
If you’re independent then you’ll need to fill in your own. You will also want to get a Pin Number if you’re applying for FAFSA online, which is the smartest and fastest way of applying.
A Pin Number is simply an electronic way of signing all of your documentation. Don’t worry that any of your information will ever be shared. This is a federal website, and every step to ensure your privacy will be taken very seriously.
Many scholarships, as noted above, will require that you have the FAFSA filled out before you can qualify with them.
Federal Stafford Loans
These are loans granted not only to help you pay for your tuition and books, but to help you pay for your personal needs as well. True Federal Stafford Loans are based on need and are not subject to credit approval.
Recent improvements have been made to the Stafford Loan, including increased loan amounts and interest rates as low as 5.6%.
A great benefit of the Stafford Loan is deferred payments. This means that you are not obligated to repay your loan until after you’ve graduated. Independent students may borrow as much as $9,500 in their first year of school.
Applications can be filled out online.