Financial Aid


ixqux11Nursing school is quite expensive, but there is financial aid available for most students. gives you the details on grants, student loans, loan forgiveness programs, scholarships, and work-study programs.


The best way to get a nursing education is to obtain a grant. You do not have to pay back grants, and the federal government offers these programs to students who qualify. The application process is simple. You must fill out a FAFSA application, specifying your school of choice.

Type of Grant
Federal Pell GrantDoes not have to be repaid
Awarded only to undergraduate students
Incarcerated persons not eligible
FSEOG - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity GrantAwarded to those with the most need
Called “campus-based” aid
TEACH – Teacher Education Assistance
For College and Higher Education Grant
Must plan to take teaching courses
Only awarded to those educator professions
Iraq and Afghanistan Service GrantMust have served in U.S. Military

Student Loans

One of the best ventures is an investment in your future. Student loans are the pathway to a higher income, better career opportunities, and job security. These types of loans have low interest because they are regulated by the federal government. If necessary, there are deferment and forbearance options, show a borrower run into difficulty with repayment. The types of student loans include:

  • Stafford Loan – A Stafford loan are the most common federal loan available, offered through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL) and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct Loan). Both of these programs offer subsidized or unsubsidized options, and amounts are based on need.
  • Private Loan – The private loan is another option for potential nursing students. These loans offer no payment until graduate, but interest does accrue as soon as the money is disbursed. The FAFSA application is required for private loans, and eligibility often is dependent on your credit score or your parents’ score. To achieve a lower rate, it is best to have a cosigner with a good credit score.
  • PLUS Loan and Graduate PLUS Loan – The PLUS loan is offered by either FFEL or Direct Loan programs. These are for students who are still dependents living at home with one or both parents, and the parent must fill out the loan application. These programs require a good credit score, and the first payment is due shortly after the money is distributed. Graduate PLUS and PLUS loans both are low rate loans.
Type of Loan
Direct Subsidized LoansAvailable to undergraduate students
U.S. Dept. of Ed. Pays the interest
School determines amount
Direct Unsubsidized LoansAvailable to all degree level students
School determines amount
There is no requirement of financial need

Loan Forgiveness Programs

Loan forgiveness programs (often called loan repayment programs) assist students who have difficulty paying back nursing school loans. These programs allow the student to gain necessary nursing experience, earn a salary, and get nursing school tuition. Loan forgiveness options are offered by government agencies, designed to assists regions of the U.S. with a desperate shortage of nurses. In exchange for nursing services, these programs “forgive” student loan debt. Typically this is at least one year of loan for each year of nursing employment in a particular location.

Type of Loan Forgiveness
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD)Discharge due to any medical determined mental or physical impairment
Death DischargeForgiven upon student’s death
Bankruptcy DischargeChapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy
Closed School DischargeForgive if the school you attend closes during your attendance or shortly after you withdraw
False Certification of Student EligibilityDischarge of loan if the school falsely certifies your eligibility

Public Service Loan ForgivenessDischarge of loan if you work in certain public service occupations
Unpaid Refund DischargeForgiven when you withdraw from school and the institution did not refund the Dept. of Ed. or the lender


Nursing is a competitive career option, and when it comes to academic scholarships, there is plenty of competition. Some nursing scholarships do not need to be paid back, and others require specific courses of study or participation in a particular group or organization. Regardless, this is an excellent way to pay for nursing school. Seek out scholarships from religious organizations, private schools, major universities, hospitals and healthcare facilities, corporations, philanthropic foundations, and research institutes.

Free Sources for Scholarship Information

  • Federal agencies
  • State grant agency
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • High school counselor
  • College financial aid office
  • Professional associations
  • Foundations, institutions, and organizations
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities

Work Study Programs

Many nursing students attend degree programs under a federal work study program. This helps the student finance his or her education by working in community-related jobs, assistant teachers, or on-campus employment. To get in a work-study program, students are evaluated by school funding available and level of financial need.
Many students choose a work-study program that is in their field of study, helping them financially and educationally. These programs pay at least minimum wage, and sometimes more, depending on the student. Here is an overview of the federal work study program.

Federal Work Study Component
Full time and part time
AvailabilityAll degree level students
AdministrationUniversity or college


FAFSA (2010):

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