Financing your nursing education can be a challenge, but wondering how you will pay for tuition, books and other fees should not stop you from pursing your dream. Applying for nursing scholarships is the first step to financing your education.
You will want to determine how much funding you will need to pay for school. Look at the estimated costs of tuition and books for a semester at your chosen institution and decide how much of that you can pay on your own and what the remainder will cost.
Where to Look
Call or visit the financial aid office of the college you want to attend. The staff there is trained to help students identify sources for scholarships — some specific to your college, region and area of study. They may also assist you in filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a document that students must complete to qualify for grants, loans and work-study programs.
Do an Online Search
In addition to working with the financial aid office, students seeking nursing scholarships should search online. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has an extensive list of financial aid resources on its website. You can find many scholarships you may qualify for by spending a few hours doing an online search.
There are scholarships for every type of nursing student: those for your specific area of study and your age, gender, race, background and more. Some scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are awarded based on good grades, community service and your contributions to your profession. Other scholarships are need-based, meaning they are given based on financial need.
Filling Out the Application
Once you find a nursing scholarship opportunity that fits your needs, fill out the application. Each scholarship requires different criteria for applying, but in most cases, you will need to provide transcripts from previous degrees earned or courses taken and a resume or other documentation. You may also have to write an essay and provide letters of recommendation.
It is a good idea to begin gathering materials you might need and start a scholarship folder. Ask trusted professors or employers to write letters of recommendation for you and have those ready. The more prepared you are, the quicker you can act when you find a nursing scholarship that is right for you. Many scholarships have a short application time frame so you need to have your paperwork ready.
Maintaining Scholarship Eligibility
Once you have been awarded a scholarship, there are criteria required to maintain eligibility. Most nursing scholarships require students to stay enrolled and maintain a certain GPA. Scholarships may be for one semester, one year or for the entire program.
There is a variety of nursing scholarships available for students willing to do the research and go through the steps needed to fill out a winning scholarship application.
Learn about the Purdue Northwest online RN to BSN program.
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