Nursing is one of the most rewarding career paths, but the road to becoming a nurse is full of tuition bills and the stress of acquiring tens of thousands of dollars in debt. However, there are plenty of avenues you can take to help lessen this financial burden. Check out these tips and learn how to pay for nursing school through financial aid, loan forgiveness, and reimbursement programs.
How to Pay for Nursing School with Financial Aid
If you’re trying to figure out how to pay for nursing school, applying for financial aid is a good place to start.
Scholarships are among the best forms of financial aid you can receive. Scholarships are gifted, which means they never need to be repaid. You can receive scholarships based on your grades, your related experience, your financial need. Each scholarship will list the criteria used to select the winner. While completing your scholarship application, be sure to avoid common mistakes like forgetting to proofread.
Grants are also great forms of financial aid because, like scholarships, they don’t need to be repaid. When you fill out for FAFSA, the government will determine your eligibility for a variety of grants. You’re eligible for federal grants and state grants. Grants are given based on need, family military involvement, and your intended program of study.
Sometimes, loans are inevitable. It’s okay to take out some loans, but make sure to do your research. Consider using federal loans which have very low interest rates. Avoid loans with high interest rates. Some private loan companies will even offer a low initial interest rate, but will jack up the rates as time goes on. These scams can lead to even more debt that you originally estimated.
Get Paid to Go to Nursing School
Look for opportunities to make money as you try to determine how to pay for nursing school.
1. Take Advantage of Tax Credits
Credits like the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) are great opportunities for nursing students. The AOTC can provide up to $2,500 each year to students who are within their first four years of higher education. The LLC provides up to $2,000 per tax return, and it is available for students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.
2. Get Reimbursed for Your Tuition Costs
Some hospitals offer reimbursement programs for employees who are pursuing nursing degrees. However, many hospitals require you to be an employee for a specified amount of time before they will assist you with tuition costs. The tuition payment is typically bound by an agreement that states you will remain an employee of the hospital for a determined amount of time, or you will be forced to pay them back. If they do agree to help pay for your schooling, they may agree to a certain percentage of the costs, or give you a limited amount of funding.
3. Work Study Experiences
Aside from typical work-study positions on campus, you may be able to find a work study in your area of interest. Many hospitals will offer you administrative positions. You’ll gain experience in the hospital setting while earning money for your tuition costs. This work experience will also look great on your resume!
Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
Because of the nature of your career path, there are plenty of nursing student loan forgiveness programs in return for the services you do to help our communities. Check your state for loan forgiveness opportunities. But, keep in mind that nurses who work at understaffed facilities have a better chance of receiving these opportunities.
If you’re still wondering how to pay for nursing school, and you’re looking for a place to get started, apply for our “Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship.” A short essay and submission of documents could win you $2,000 to be put toward your schooling. Apply now!