Financial aid is widely available to all types of students, including nursing students who are earning their degree. The type of financial aid that you quality for will depend based on which school you attend and whether you are an independent or dependent student. You will also need to meet some basic eligibility criteria set by both your school and the financial aid organizations.
Where to Begin
If you want to apply for financial aid, the first step is to check with your college. You will typically speak directly to someone who provides students with information on financial aid. Accredited colleges are those that are recognized by the Federal government and that are able to supply students with financial aid disbursements such as Pell grants and student loans. Colleges that don’t offer federal financial aid usually offer their own packages to assist students in paying their expenses during the semester.
You will need to fill out a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, in order to qualify for federal financial aid. You will need to supply some basic information during the application to prove your eligibility for grants and student loans. For example, you will need to prove your income through the IRS in order to apply for federal student aid. Students under the age of 21 who are also living at home will use their parent’s income to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be found here.
Type of Student Aid Available
There are usually several different types of aid available. Grants, such as the Pell Grant, are based on financial need and are disbursed twice a year if you are attending both the Fall and Spring semesters. Student loans are provided to students with financial need that isn’t covered by a parent or by grants or scholarships. Loans will need to be repaid after completing college or when you stop attending classes.
Scholarships are provided to students who meet specific criteria, such as making excellent grades or who are attending specific programs. Scholarships don’t need to be repaid and can be included in your financial aid package when you complete the FAFSA. Some scholarships may have their own unique applications, as well.
For example, if you are applying for a scholarship for nurses, you will need to be accepted into the nursing program at your college before the aid will be disbursed to your account. There are several different types of financial aid available to nursing students provided you apply for each type of aid that you are interested in and are able to meet the criteria that determines your eligibility for the aid.