Congratulations! You have decided that enrolling in nursing school is indeed the right choice for you. There are numerous nursing degree programs out there for you to look into and a myriad of schools to choose from. Chances are, no matter which school you pick, you will need to come up with plenty of extra funds to pay for your nursing education. Luckily, financial aid can help you pick up the tab.
Whether you decide to attend nursing school in person or online, you can use financial aid to help you pay for your education. A higher education costs thousands of dollars, and depending on your school and program length, you may find yourself paying anywhere from five figures to six figures for your educational career. Financial aid is available to all students who are interested in having supplemental money to fund their college experience. Federal financial aid is one of the best types of financial aid to consider. Federal aid boasts relatively low interest rates and students can even defer payments on their loan until a year after they graduate so that they may begin paying after they are more financially stable. Low interest rates also mean that students will not have to pay back as much in the long run. Nearly all nursing students are eligible for at least some form of federal aid, so go online to apply for the FAFSA for free.
Nursing students are also eligible for a variety of scholarships. A scholarship is basically free money. A scholarship foundation will typically reward students who meet certain criteria with tuition money, which unlike federal aid, never has to be repaid. Scholarships can range in anything from several hundred to several thousand dollars, which can help students pay for tuition, books, and other school supplies. Some scholarships for nurses include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Nursing Scholarship Program and the Hurst Review/AACN Scholarship Program. Students interested in applying for scholarships should be mindful of the requirements of the scholarship as well as of the deadline for scholarship applications.
Finally, you should consider obtaining a private loan to help pay for whatever portion of tuition that is left that you cannot afford. Private loans often come with high interest rates as well as steep penalties for late and missed payments, so be sure to only take out a loan for as much as you need to help you fund your education. If you utilize all three options for financial aid, you will find that paying for your nursing education will be more attainable than before.