Scholarships for Nursing Students | Grants Versus Loans
January 29, 2013
Nursing school can be really expensive! So unless your parents are rich or you have a lot of money you will need some type of grant or loan to help you get your nursing degree. A four year nursing degree can cost any where from $28,000 to $150,000, depending on if you go to a public or private school. These costs only include tuition and do not include the cost of textbooks, nursing school supplies, food, and other miscellaneous expenses that come up during school.
Luckily there are programs available to help people go through nursing school. There are many, if not thousands, of scholarship programs, government assistance programs, and loans available to help students get their nursing degree. However, some assistance programs are better than the others and require no repayment.
Scholarships for Nursing Students
Due to the nursing shortage, the government agency Health Resources and Services Administration (for U.S. residents only) has many scholarships available to help nursing students out. These scholarships were developed to help provide health care to under-served areas. These scholarships usually include tuition payment and living stipend while in school and do not have to be repaid.
However there is a criteria the student must meet. For instance, they must commit to working 2 years at a “Critically Nursing Shortage Facility” after they graudate, have a zero expected family income on their FAFSA, be a full-time student, etc. For more information on these scholarships visit HRSA.gov.
In addition, to government scholarships there are scholarships provided by hospitals. Many hospitals have scholarship programs that will pay for your tuition, textbooks, and nursing school supplies.
However, in turn you must agree to work for them as a nurse for so many years after you graduate and be currently employed as nursing assistant. If you are unsure if your local hospital has a scholarship program available contact their Human Resource department or Nurse Recruiter. They will be able to answer your questions.
Grants Versus Loans
Grants and scholarships are basically the same thing. Grants do not have to be repaid just like a scholarship. However, a loan has to be repaid. Before you try to get a loan for nursing school, try to exhaust every resource for a grant (aka scholarship) first. Loans are typically easier to get but can become a really big burden on you once your graduate.
When selecting a loan always make sure you read the repayment terms carefully. Most loans require you to start repaying them once you graduate. Remember that if you do not repay your loan it can hurt your credit rating just like not paying your credit card bills.
The government also has many loan programs for nursing student as well. The Health Resources and Service Administration has a specific loans for nursing students. The Nursing Student Loan program provides long-term, low-interest rate loans to full-time and half-time financially needy students pursuing a course of study leading to a diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing. For more information visit: HRSA.gov/loanscholarships/
When trying to select a grant or loan to help you pay for nursing school always consult with your schools finanical aid department. The people who work in this department can help you find and apply for grants/loans that meet your needs.