Many nursing scholarships, nursing grants, and nursing loans are available to help finance a nursing education. Before even thinking about a nursing class, it is necessary to determine how to make the dream of earning a nursing degree possible. Deciding to attend nursing school, is a major career decision which will bring you satisfaction not only in your personal but career life . This decision will help many people who suffer from sickness and disease live longer, healthier lives.
Now comes the fun part: financing a nursing education. Those who want to attend nursing school but do not have the money to afford the education should not be discouraged. Check out all of the available resources to find financing to make the dream of becoming a nurse a reality.
Here’s a detailed video on how you can save thousands on tuition:
What is a Nursing Scholarship?
A nursing scholarship is a financial award that helps a nursing student pay for nursing school. Those who are considering attending nursing school know that it is not cheap to receive this type of education. Although the career of nursing is very rewarding, it takes more than just the dream of attending to finance a nursing education.
Scholarships are monetary gifts that the receiver is not required to repay. Recipients of nursing scholarships graduate without owing the money to the scholarship provider. There are many different criteria to receive a nursing scholarship. It is necessary to read the applications carefully to make sure that the requirements are met to receive the nursing scholarship. Scholarship providers do not consider applications that do not meet the minimum requirements to receive the financial award.
Types of Nursing Scholarships
The wonderful thing about nursing scholarships is that they come in a variety of types. Here are a few of the types of nursing scholarships that are available:
- Career: Scholarships of this type are rewarded to those who plan to attend a university or college to pursue a specific area of study. Those who plan to attend college and pursue a degree in a high needs area— such as nursing— may receive the most generous scholarships to attend school.
- College: This type of scholarship is bases on personal and academic achievement and is awarded in the form of a partial or full nursing scholarship. These scholarships are specific so students must attend a specific college or university to receive the reward.
- Merit: This type of scholarship is awarded based on aspects such as the athletic, academic, and artistic abilities of students. Specific colleges or private organizations award merit scholarships as a reward for academic achievements.
- Need: Scholarships of this type are awarded to individuals based on the family and student’s financial needs. It is necessary to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for federal awards. Organizations that offer private-need nursing scholarships may also use FAFSA results to determine financial need.
- Student: These types of scholarships are awarded based on criteria such as race, religion, gender, medical history, and other specific factors.
How to Apply for Nursing Scholarships
Nursing scholarships are available from colleges, civic groups, religious groups, and private organizations—just to name a few. Nursing scholarships are available for everyone ranging from high school graduates to those choosing to return to school to further their education. No matter what the reason for searching for a nursing scholarship, many nursing scholarships are available to accommodate the individual needs of each student.
Applying for nursing scholarships is easy, but students must complete each step of the process for nursing scholarship consideration. Here is what students need to know to earn a nursing scholarship:
- Complete a scholarship application to begin the process. This is probably the easiest way to gain access to nursing scholarships. Students should go to www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete the application. Students can also get scholarship applications directly from the colleges and universities that they plan to attend, or they may check with their guidance counselors to obtain scholarship applications. Alternatively, students can complete any of the above applications online—if available.
- Gather as many nursing scholarship applications as possible. Do not become fixated with just one nursing scholarship. Students should apply for as many scholarships as they qualify. Check with local organizations, churches, libraries, and other organizations to find possible scholarships. In addition, search online using websites dedicated to helping students get scholarships to help pay for nursing school.
- Organize a list of documents and dates that are important. All scholarships have a deadline to return a completed application so it is very important to remember these dates. Students should also get a calendar to write down these dates as soon as they get the applications in their hands. It is important to make a list of all important documents that are needed in conjunction with the nursing scholarship application. Items such as essays, financial documentation, transcripts, proof of eligibility, standardized tests scores, and letters of recommendation should be included with the application. It is a good idea to have multiple copies of these documents available to expedite the application process.
- Complete the entire application. The easiest way to have an application thrown out is to submit a partially completed application. Check over the applications once or twice before submitting it. Again, pay close attention to the application deadlines for the nursing scholarship.
How to Find Nursing Scholarships
Nursing scholarships can be found in a number of places. Since there is such a shortage of people who want to enter the nursing field, organizations, colleges, and universities are providing substantial funding to increase the number of professionals who enter the field of nursing. Students who are graduating from high school can talk to their guidance counselors to find information on available nursing scholarships. These individuals can provide information on local, state, and national scholarships in which students may qualify. Those seeking nursing scholarships may also want to find a scholarship guide at their local library that can help them find available nursing scholarships.
Religious organizations and houses of worship may also provide scholarships for those who are interested in nursing scholarship. These scholarships may or may not be reserved for members of these groups so it is important to check the requirements before applying. Alternatively, community organizations may also be a great source for nursing scholarships. Usually these scholarships are partial scholarships, but every little bit counts. The best way to find these scholarships is to call or visit these organizations.
It may be possible to receive scholarships from local, state, or national unions. These types of scholarships are offered to union members and their dependents. It may also be possible to receive nursing scholarships from current employees. Some organizations offer scholarships to their current employees who wish to advance their current educations and earn advanced nursing degrees. Some of these organizations offer full scholarships to their employees.
Charities and foundations are other sources of nursing scholarships. Some foundations offer scholarships to students who attend certain colleges and universities and others provide the option to attend the institution of choice. Students can check the websites of prospective colleges and universities for foundations offering nursing scholarships. Charity groups may also offer financial assistance. Students can search the charity’s website or visit them in person to find nursing scholarships.
Special interests groups such as fraternities and sororities may also offer scholarships. Both academic and non-academic fraternities and sororities are good sources to finance a nursing education. In many cases, dependents can receive scholarships to attend a specific college or university or the school of choice. Students should contact these groups to determine their eligibility and the amount of scholarship in which they qualify.
Students should begin searching for scholarships well before they plan to attend nursing school so that they can determine what is available to them. Scholarships generally have specific requirements to receive the award so planning in advance allows students to make sure that they do everything possible to meet to minimum requirements to receive the funding. Deadline dates are provided for a reason so try to get the applications in well before the due date in case there are any unforeseen events to delay the application process.
Nursing Scholarship Requirements
The requirements to receive a nursing scholarship vary by the organization, college, or university that offers the funding. Here are a few of the possible requirements that students must meet to qualify for nursing scholarships:
- GPA: Most nursing scholarships require a 3.0 GPA or higher in order to qualify for the award. Students should check the application for a specific GPA requirement. They may also need to maintain a certain GPA each semester to keep the scholarship.
- Citizenship: Some scholarships require that students are citizens or a certain country or that they are residents of certain cities, towns, or states to receive the funding.
- Coursework: Students may be required to have taken certain courses during high school or in an undergraduate program to qualify for nursing scholarships.
- Experience: Nursing scholarships for those who wish to advance their current nursing education may be required to have a minimum of one years working as a nurse.
- Enrollment: Certain nursing scholarships may be available only to students attending nursing school full-time or part-time.
- Background: It may be a requirement that students do not have a criminal background in any state to qualify for a nursing scholarship.
- Rank: Students may be required to rank within a certain percentile of their graduating class in high school or undergraduate program in order to qualify for a nursing scholarship.
- Test Scores: Nursing students may need to obtain a certain ACT or SAT score to meet the requirements to receive a nursing scholarship.
The requirements to receive a nursing scholarship vary greatly so it is very important that students check the specific requirements for the scholarship in which they are applying before submitting their applications.
Scholarships Vs Grants Vs Loans
Nursing students can choose between scholarships, grants, and loans to finance their nursing education. Here are the pros and cons of each option to finance a nursing education.
Scholarships: These financial awards do not have to be repayed. They come in the form of full or partial scholarships to help students pay for nursing school. There is no limit to the number of scholarships in which students can apply. Scholarships can come from a number of schools and organizations in varying amounts.
The downside to scholarships is that students must continue to meet the requirements to maintain the funding. For example, if the GPA slips below the minimum requirement, students can lose their scholarships, and they may have no other way to pay for their nursing education.
Grants: Students qualify for grants based on their financial need. Grants can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars of financial assistance that students receive each semester. The financial award does not have to be paid back, but recipients must maintain certain requirements to receive grants.
The downside to grants is that not everyone qualifies to receive them. Additionally, grants may not cover the entire cost to attend nursing school so students may have to seek additional financial assistance for their education. Students can also lose their grant award if they do not continue to maintain the minimum requirements to receive the funding.
Loans: This form of financial assistance requires repayment after graduating. Students can receive low interest rates on the money that they borrow, and they can receive enough money to finance their entire education. Students can receive loans to pay for part or all of their nursing education.
The downside to loans is that they must be repaid after graduation. Students usually are not required to repay the loans until 6 months after graduating. Students leave school with a financial obligation before they begin working, and they are required to repay the money even if they have no job.
Financing a nursing education is easy since there are so many options to pay for nursing school. Scholarships and grants offer students an opportunity to pay for school and owe nothing upon graduating. Alternatively, loans can provide an option to attend school, but students must repay the money. Numerous scholarships available can help students achieve their dream of attending nursing school and practicing as licensed nurses.
Thinking about going to Nursing School?
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S.L. Page graduated from nursing school with honors and passed the NCLEX-RN on her first try. In this ebook, she reveals the strategies she used to help her succeed.
Here is what the book looks like: