Nursing Scholarships for High School Students


Most nursing scholarships are offered to high school students who plan to pursue a nursing career after college graduation.  These careers are in high demand because of a nursing shortage across the country.  If you already know the nursing schools you plan to apply to, consult with them on possible nursing scholarships available from them.

Undecided students can work with their high school’s guidance office staff to identify nursing school scholarship opportunities. In addition, the following below are ways high school seniors can get nursing scholarships.

State Nursing Scholarships for High School Students

In response to the nursing shortage, many states are currently offering nursing scholarships.  Most are restricted to graduating high school students with demonstrated financial need. This is to encourage high school students to consider nursing as a viable career option.  Students can learn about these opportunities through their high school guidance office or by contacting their respective state department of higher education.

Religion-Affiliated Scholarships for High School Students

High school students who attend church or are affiliated with a particular religion may be eligible for scholarships that can be used toward a nursing education.  These scholarships are available from church groups, religious nonprofits, and private foundations.  Following is an example of such a scholarship.

Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford

The foundation administers the Rhea Sourifman Caplin Memorial Scholarship Fund which awards nursing scholarships to Jewish high school seniors who reside in the Greater Harford area.  Scholarships are based on merit including academic scores and community service activities.  Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000.  Applications are due to the Foundation by mid-April annually.  For current applications and guidelines, contact the Foundation at 333 Bloomfield Avenue, Suite D, West Hartford, CT 06117 or by calling them at (860) 523-7460.

Scholarship Contests for High School Students

Contests and competitions are another way high school students can obtain nursing scholarships.  Contests may require an essay or video submission. The contests may not be related to the nursing industry but scholarships can be used for your nursing education.  The following are examples of scholarship competitions.

Elks National Foundation

High school students who plan to attend an accredited college or university can participate in the Most Valuable Student Competition to win scholarships. The competition involves students demonstrating high academic achievement, leadership qualities, community service, and documented financial need. The competition begins at the local level and progresses to nationals. Approximately 500 winners from the across the country are announced every April.  Awards range between $1,000 and $15,000 per year.  All awards are four-year scholarships.  Recipients must enroll in a four-year degree program on a full-time basis to remain eligible.  Contact your local Elks lodge to learn about annual competitions.

Scholarships Related to Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities can lead to scholarship opportunities for high school students.  Students who participate in team sports may be able to get an athletic scholarship that can help pay for nursing school.  Nursing scholarships may be designated for high school athletes who live healthy lifestyles. Scholarships are available for high school students who are or have been Girls Scouts or Boy Scouts, participate in 4-H clubs, or other similar activities.  Following is an example of this type of scholarship.

California 4-H Foundation

High school students who live in California and are a member of a 4-H Youth Development Program may be eligible for a Dean Memorial Legacy Scholarship.  Scholarships are awarded based on leadership qualities, ability to connect their future goals to their 4-H experience, and personal essay.  Awards are $1,000 and are not renewable. This opportunity is open to all majors, including nursing. Applications are due to the Foundation by April annually.  For applications and guidelines, contact the Foundation, Attn: Youth Development Program, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, One Hopkins Road, Davis, CA 95616 or by calling (530) 754-8518.

Special Eligibility Scholarships for High School Students

Certain scholarships have very specific eligibility requirements that do not fit in other categories.  For example, if you have a parent who is a veteran, you may be eligible for scholarships you can apply toward your nursing education. Or if you are a graduating high school senior with at least one parent who has passed away, you can apply for scholarships with this criterion.  Following is an example of a special eligibility scholarship program.

California Department of Veterans Affairs

If you are the child of a disabled California veteran, you may be eligible for a waiver of tuition and fees if you plan to attend a nursing program at a public community or state college in California. Veterans must meet specific criteria for students to apply for this financial assistance opportunity. This is not a need-based program but applications are highly competitive. There is no restriction on field of study so nursing students who meet all eligibility criteria may submit applications. For additional information, students can contact the Department, Attn: Division of Veterans Services, 1227 O Street, Room 101, Sacramento, CA 95814 or by calling (916) 503-8397.

Heritage Scholarships for High School Students

High school students who belong to specific ethnic groups may be eligible for additional scholarships that might be but are not necessarily specific to nursing.  The scholarships can still be used to cover the costs associated with their nursing education.  Following is an example of a heritage scholarship for high school students.

Arab American Institute Foundation

The Foundation offers the Helen Abbott Individual Community Service Award to Arab American high school students.  Students must be of Arab descent and have a history of community service.  Scholarships are awarded based on academic scores, record of community service activities, and a personal essay.  Students must commit to a future of community service (in any way).  This is open to all majors. Nursing students who meet eligibility criteria can apply.  Awards are $1,000.  Applications are due to the Foundation by March annually.  For applications, contact the Foundation at 1600 K Street, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, DC 20006 or by calling (202) 429-9210.

Educational Institute Scholarships for High School Students

General and nursing-specific scholarships may be available to high school students through the college or university they plan to attend.  To learn more about these opportunities, students should contact the school’s financial aid office.  Following is an example of college-specific scholarships for high school students.

Oklahoma City Community College

High school students who have been accepted into the College’s nursing program are eligible to apply for a variety of scholarships. For example the High School Scholarship Program is open to local high school students who plan to pursue a two-year degree at the College. There are no restrictions on fields of study so nursing students can apply.  Scholarships are for tuition costs. Award amounts vary.  Students should apply for this scholarship as soon as they have been accepted to the College. Interested students can contact the Recruitment and Admissions office at (405) 682-6222.

Employer-Sponsored Scholarships for High School Students

High school students can contact major employers in their community to determine if they offer scholarships to students pursuing nursing degrees.  Healthcare employers such as hospitals often provide scholarships to local residents willing to work at the hospital for a period of time after graduating from college.  In addition, students may be eligible for scholarships from their parent’s employer.  Following is an example of an employer-sponsored scholarship opportunity.

Edward M. and Henrietta M. Knabusch Scholarship Foundation

The Foundation awards scholarships for undergraduate study to graduating high school students who has at least one parent working at La-Z-Boy, Inc.  Scholarships are awarded based on academic scores, documented financial need, community service activities, and letters of recommendation.  There are no restrictions on college majors so nursing students who meet all eligibility criteria can apply.  Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000.  All awards are renewable for an additional three years.  Recipients must be enrolled full-time to be considered.  There are no deadlines for submission.  For applications and guidelines, contact the Foundation, c/o Monroe Bank & Trust, 102 East Front Street, Monroe, MI 48161.

Community-Based Scholarships for High School Students

High school students are eligible for community-based scholarships from organizations that include civic groups, local nonprofit organizations, and foundations.  Most foundation scholarships are specific to where a student attends high school or lives with the remaining focusing on field of study.  The following is an example of a community-based scholarship opportunity for high school students.

Cass County Community Foundation, Inc.

The Foundation’s scholarships are for graduating high school students only.  Students must be high school seniors in Cass County, Indiana.  Scholarships are awarded based on academic scores, financial need, letters of recommendation, and community services. Awards vary depending on the specific scholarship but usually do not exceed $2,000. All college majors, including nursing, are welcome to apply.  Scholarships are typically for the first year of college and are not renewable. The Foundation hosts orientations at all county high schools and attendance is mandatory to be considered.  Applications are generally available in the fall in conjunction with the informational meetings.  For more information, contact the Foundation at 417 North Street, Suite 102, P.O. Box 441, Logansport, IN 46947 or by calling (574) 722-2200.

Nursing scholarships for high school students are abundant. They tend to have more opportunities for financial assistance than other students simply because they are considered “traditional” students.  Taking this into consideration, pursue as many options as possible to get your educational expenses paid for.

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