It’s hard enough to make a decision on what school you want to attend and what you want to purse during your college years and then you have to start finding the money to go to school. If you are one of the lucky ones, your parents have your college education shored up in a savings; however, if you are in the majority of students, you have to find other options for paying for college.
You can find the funding for nursing training in many different places if you know where to look. The following information should prove helpful in finding the many different tuition options available.
First Things First
Before you can start searching for tuition to pay for nursing school, you have to decide where you are going to get your training. This information not only determines how much money is needed, it is typically information that is required when applying for funds. There are several options, including:
- Community College: These schools typically offer an Associate Degree or can be the used to take the first courses in a Bachelor’s Degree before transferring to a larger university or college.
- Universities: These are usually selected for students who want to get a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing and to continue beyond the BS.
- Diplomas: Hospitals and medical facilities sometimes have programs that allow people to get a diploma in nursing.
Each of these options has different costs, with the diploma being the least expensive and the BS being the most expensive. Once you have made this decision, you can start your hunt for college money to get your nursing career started.
The first step any prospective student should take to find available money to pay for nursing school is to turn toward the Federal government. The FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an application packet that is available on the web. It is rather lengthy; however, it creates a complete financial picture and returns a FAFSA score which is used to determine your need for financial aid. The Federal Pell Grant uses this number and is most likely the first funding you will receive since it is typically the easiest to get. The amount of the Pell Grant varies and you may need to continue looking for other tuition money.
The FAFSA application process will also give you a list of options that are available to you based on your score, such as Federal Student Loans. These loans have very low interest rates and are based on need rather than credit scores. Once you have explored these options you can look for grants.
The need for nurses has helped create many options for paying for nursing school, such as grants being offered by different medical venues, such as hospitals. Oftentimes, hospitals or medical facilities will provide grants for nursing school if the student is willing to commit to work in their facility for a certain amount of time. These types of arrangements help hospitals that are in need of nurses attract more employees.
Hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities may offer work-study arrangements. These arrangements allow employees that want to go to nursing school to do so while they are employed by the facility and at the facility’s expense. These types of arrangements are similar to grants in that the student is required to work for the facility for a set amount of time after graduation or they have to pay the tuition money back.
It isn’t difficult to find funding for nursing training if you take the time to look at all the options available. Nurses are in high demand and the money is out there to get you through school and on your way.
To obtain a nursing school scholarship one must demonstrate excellent academic merits. Since scholarships do not require repayment they are especially competitive and difficult to secure. Scholarships are available from both private and public organizations and the amount of the scholarship can vary greatly. Scholarships should be not be relied upon to fulfill all financial obligations of a nursing program. It is best to apply for several different scholarships and whichever ones you secure will become a nice bonus.
Many students opt to receive student loans to cover the program costs and additional living expenses. Many student loan programs exist and they are relatively easy to secure since they require full repayment plus interest. Student loans are more lenient than other types of debt such as credit card interest or car loans. Many student loans can be deferred for several years after graduation which offers the recipient more flexibility in their repayment schedule.
For nurses who wish to continue working while attending school there are various work-study programs available. The benefit of these arrangements is that the student will graduate with less debt. The consequence of a work-study program is that it will take the student a longer amount of time to complete their degree since they are working simultaneously.