Tips for Getting a Nursing Scholarship from Your Target College

By: CS Stephanie Larkin

Where you attend nursing school often depends on why you are attending. If you go to nursing school straight out of high school, you will probably choose a nursing school the same way that any of your classmates choose a college. You will visit the campus, talk to friends or current students, think about how close or far away you want to be from home, and decide on the school that seems to meet most of those needs.

If you are returning to school after some time off, particularly if you have a family, you will probably choose a school based on cost, proximity to your home, and whether they offer at least online classes or not.

No matter how you choose the school, the next step is to pay for it. A nursing education should lead to a paying position. Nurses are in high demand, and the demand is only expected to increase. While you do want to keep your debt as low as possible, the thought of repaying student loans should not be out of reach with a nursing degree.

What Scholarships are Available?

The first step in determining how you will pay for your nursing degree is to find and apply for as many scholarships as possible. Some of these scholarships will be available due to grades, others for community service and others because of the degree program that you are enrolled in. To find every possible scholarship you can conduct research online, but the financial counselors at the college you plan to attend will be able to provide you with information with particular scholarships available at that school.

Before the college financial counselors can help you, you will need to fill out a FAFSA form. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form determines how much financial aid you qualify for. The FAFSA form will only need to be completed one time, and can be provided to each of the schools that you are considering.

Sell Yourself

Some financial aid may be awarded simply due to the information on your FAFSA form, but other scholarship money you will have to work for. Filling out applications and writing essays are an important part of the scholarship program. When you consider how tedious this seems for many people, you should realize that the pool of candidates is often small, and, in fact, many scholarships are not awarded each year because there are no suitable candidates. Put as much effort into each application as possible and you might be surprised at the money that comes your way.

Getting the money to go to your target college involves good grades and hard work. While there is a nursing shortage, colleges do have limited enrollment. If you have your heart set on a particular school, you should target your energy to applying and getting accepted, and not focus on the financial details until you are in. Once you are in, you may be surprised at how much aid you qualify for.

Other Ways to Pay for Nursing School

If you are still short on money, and do not want to take out a student loan unless necessary, inquire about scholarships provided by hospitals. Due to the present and continued nursing shortage, many hospitals will pay for promising students to attend nursing school, as long as they commit to working at the hospital for a certain amount of time after graduation. While the idea of committing yourself to a place you do not know, in a career you are not sure that you will like, may seem frightening, any scholarship can help. You will be guaranteed a job when you graduate, and hospital work, even if it is not what you want to do long term, is an excellent way to develop your basic nursing skills. If you graduate from nursing school and cannot imagine working in the hospital, you can agree to pay back the loan rather than working for the hospital. It is also important to realize that this is not a dollar for dollar trade, you will be paid nurses wages during the time that you work at the hospital, the program is an incentive to go to nursing school.

Where you attend nursing school often depends on why you are attending. If you go to nursing school straight out of high school, you will probably choose a nursing school the same way that any of your classmates choose a college. You will visit the campus, talk to friends or current students, think about how close or far away you want to be from home, and decide on the school that seems to meet most of those needs.

If you are returning to school after some time off, particularly if you have a family, you will probably choose a school based on cost, proximity to your home, and whether they offer at least online classes or not.

No matter how you choose the school, the next step is to pay for it. A nursing education should lead to a paying position. Nurses are in high demand, and the demand is only expected to increase. While you do want to keep your debt as low as possible, the thought of repaying student loans should not be out of reach with a nursing degree.

What Scholarships are Available?

The first step in determining how you will pay for your nursing degree is to find and apply for as many scholarships as possible. Some of these scholarships will be available due to grades, others for community service and others because of the degree program that you are enrolled in. To find every possible scholarship you can conduct research online, but the financial counselors at the college you plan to attend will be able to provide you with information with particular scholarships available at that school.

Before the college financial counselors can help you, you will need to fill out a FAFSA form. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form determines how much financial aid you qualify for. The FAFSA form will only need to be completed one time, and can be provided to each of the schools that you are considering.

Sell Yourself

Some financial aid may be awarded simply due to the information on your FAFSA form, but other scholarship money you will have to work for. Filling out applications and writing essays are an important part of the scholarship program. When you consider how tedious this seems for many people, you should realize that the pool of candidates is often small, and, in fact, many scholarships are not awarded each year because there are no suitable candidates. Put as much effort into each application as possible and you might be surprised at the money that comes your way.

Getting the money to go to your target college involves good grades and hard work. While there is a nursing shortage, colleges do have limited enrollment. If you have your heart set on a particular school, you should target your energy to applying and getting accepted, and not focus on the financial details until you are in. Once you are in, you may be surprised at how much aid you qualify for.

Other Ways to Pay for Nursing School

If you are still short on money, and do not want to take out a student loan unless necessary, inquire about scholarships provided by hospitals. Due to the present and continued nursing shortage, many hospitals will pay for promising students to attend nursing school, as long as they commit to working at the hospital for a certain amount of time after graduation. While the idea of committing yourself to a place you do not know, in a career you are not sure that you will like, may seem frightening, any scholarship can help. You will be guaranteed a job when you graduate, and hospital work, even if it is not what you want to do long term, is an excellent way to develop your basic nursing skills. If you graduate from nursing school and cannot imagine working in the hospital, you can agree to pay back the loan rather than working for the hospital. It is also important to realize that this is not a dollar for dollar trade, you will be paid nurses wages during the time that you work at the hospital, the program is an incentive to go to nursing school.

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About Author:

Stephanie Larkin is a freelance writer who writes about topics pertaining to nurses and the nursing profession such as Nursing Scrubs

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