If you did not apply, or qualify, to receive financial aid, there are alternative ways to pay for your nursing education.
Private scholarships – Available through private organizations as well as your school, scholarships are ideal since they don’t have to be repaid. You can find scholarships that are based on financial need, academics or tailored to your area of study.
Federal Pell Grant – The Federal Pell Grant is awarded through the Department of Education to students who demonstrate financial need. You’re automatically considered for it when you submit the FAFSA. How much you qualify for is determined by your expected family contribution, enrollment status and your school’s cost of attendance.
Employer tuition reimbursement – Since nurses are in such high demand, many hospitals have started offering tuition reimbursement programs to help offset the cost — especially for current registered nurses looking to go back to school to get their bachelor’s degree.
Loan forgiveness programs – If you do end up taking out loans to cover your nursing degree, there are a variety of student loan forgiveness programs available to nurses working in low-income communities.
Grants and scholarships are most often given out by private foundations or organizations, and usually have specific criteria about who can get them. This type of free money is sometimes based on specific criteria like academic merit, talent, a particular area of study, or if you come from a certain background. For instance, the children of American service members who died in combat are eligible for certain types of Pell Grants.