The US is lucky to have an abundance of resources which nursing students will find useful in order to gain that much needed funding to make it through nursing college, graduate specialization courses and even with travelling abroad. There are a few main types or categories of nursing scholarships or grants according to whom or what supplies them.
- For Men
- Air Force & Navy
- Long-Term Care
- Operating Room
- Ostomy & ET
Remembering FAFSA and SAR
The FAFSA is the application form to fill out to get access to Federal Student Aid, which is offered by the US Department of Education. They are the biggest provider of student funding in the US and work with $150 billion which they give out to more than 15 million students looking for financial help. Their central office includes about 1200 employees, whose job it is to inform students and families about financial aid available to them, to support them through the application process and to let them know how they receive their funding. To be eligible for any of these programs, you have to fill out a FAFSA form, which is free to do online. They also offer free support throughout the process.
The FAFSA form is a way for the government to assess your financial capabilities, from which they will be able to calculate how much financial aid they can offer you. One of the most popular programs for nursing students is the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration. This government loan will cover your fees, supplies, any needed books and stipends. To be eligible for this type of program you will have to be a US citizen or lawful permanent residents who has been accepted or enrolled in a professional nursing program that is accredited. You should not have been delinquent on federal debts. Also, you should not be subject to federal judgment lien. To make sure you are in with a good chance of getting a scholarship you should make sure your GPA stays high and that you keep your finances in good order and try to limit the amount of debt you have. It also helps to prove that you are genuinely or really interested in the field of nursing by volunteering at an appropriate location like a clinic, hospital or day-care center.
When filling out the FAFSA be aware that you should never be expected to pay for the right, (those sites that ask you to pay are often scam sites). You should be aware of the deadline which may vary according to what school or subject you are studying. To prepare for filling out the form you should get a form of ID ready, like a driver’s license. Also, have all the information and proof you need about your financial and educational past. Past financial information can be proven by past bank statements, income tax returns and also dependent students should be able to supply information on their parents’ finances. Once the form is completed and processed you and your school will be given a Student Aid Report which will let your school calculate the EFC, which stands for your Expected Family Contribution. The EFC lets the school know what kind of financial aid package they should prepare for you.
Remember that on top of this scholarship you may still be eligible for other types of federal student loans, grants and scholarships, as well as work/study programs offered by your state or school.
General Information on Applying for a Scholarship
There are several things to think about when applying for a nursing scholarship. If you need to submit an essay you need to know how best to write an award winning submission. Help from your teachers and from other students will be essential in doing this. There is also a lot of information online for your parents and family if they wish to know how best they can help you during this process. Information on tax credits and studying abroad is also useful.
Nursing is a very specialized field to enter into. Remember also that scholarships and grants is money that you do not have to pay back, so getting one of these is really a bonus, and applying for them locally is the easiest option. Naturally, loans for education come with low interest rates but you may be able to have the fee waivered if you choose to work in an underserved area or in low-income communities. Avoid any scholarship scams that claim to have a monopoly on information, expect any payment for the scholarship or suggest that there is no application process. A financial aid counsellor is always a great person to talk to if you are unsure.
There are several ways to calculate how much your college costs are going to be. There is Finaid which helps you work out how much your EFC contribution will be. The ACT’s Financial Need Estimator is free online and will work out your family contribution and costs at certain institutions. It’s best to start as soon as possible to get funding for your nursing qualification as you need to meet tight deadlines and research takes time. The forms take time to fill in and this must be done as thoroughly as possible to succeed. There will always be the chance to work part time during your degree, say ten to fifteen hours per week, to help you, but not working so you can dedicate as much time to studying as possible is preferable. Some students might like the idea of gaining experience in whatever kind of setting they can get however that is relevant to the nursing career. This could involve working in a college library or at a medical center, perhaps in an administration or voluntary role.