If you are currently a nursing student or are interested in enrolling in a nursing school program, there are several different scholarship options available to you to help you pay for your education. Some of these scholarships are completely merit based, which means your grades and test scores play a big factor in deciding whether or not you qualify, and also helps determine the competitiveness of the scholarship. There are also scholarships available based on financial need, and these typically are picked based on those with the highest financial hardship. You may also be able to apply for nursing scholarships by writing essays, where your topic may be something along the lines of why you want to become a nurse and what you hope to accomplish after you graduate.
Nursing is a high demand occupation these days. There is a large shortage in the nurse population and therefore many organizations, both federal and state, are trying to encourage people to enter nursing programs to become Registered Nurses. They are doing this by offering many scholarships and grants, as well as other perks such as sign on bonuses as incentives to pull more people into the nursing field.
The first thing you should do if you are interested in finding nursing school scholarships is fill out federal financial aid application, also known as FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form allows you to apply for federal and state grants for qualified individuals. Filling out this form will let you know if you are eligible for federal student aid and will allow you to accept grants and loans to help fund your education.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
The AACN is a great resource for nursing student to use. It has a wealth of helpful information, such as grants, scholarships, and other education financing for nursing students. You should check this site regularly, as scholarships and grants become available at different times during the year, and even if you are already enrolled in nursing school and receiving funding, you may be eligible to receive more during the year or get funding for an upcoming semester or year.
An importand piece to finding nursing school scholarships and grants is that you are constantly on the look out for newly available awards. It may be helpful to go through various scholarship sites where you can sign up for email alerts that let you know when new scholarships or grants are available. There are several different scholarship sites out there, some of which cater exclusively to nursing school students.
Talk to the financial aid department at your school. Oftentimes, there are scholarships and grants that are available through your school and are funded by various organizations and private parties. School alumni associations often have a donation option that allows the donations collected to be used for scholarships and grants.
When searching for nursing school scholarships, be sure to use as many resources as possible. If you pay attention, keep an eye out, and plan ahead, it is possible for you to fund your nursing school education completely without owing any money at the end. Doing so will allow you to jump straight into your career after graduation, where you can focus exclusively on your career and not have to worry about paying back expensive student loans.
For those who have already graduated, nursing student loan forgiveness is a good resource that helps students get rid of the debt that they have already incurred due to the loans that have incurred as a result of their nursing degree. There are certain guidelines that determine whether or not a student is eligible, and there are obligations that must be met by the student, but it can be very helpful if you are willing to work in a setting where there is a desperate shortage of nurses. Many of these places include low income areas, public schools, mental health facilities, nursing homes, and public health offices. You must sign a contract that states you are willing to stay in the facility for a certain length of time, and upon completion of your contract a certain portion of your nursing student loan debt will be forgiven. There are both federal and state options available, and the terms for each program differ from one to the next.