How to Pay for Nursing School
Yes, you can afford nursing school! Here are some suggestions.
How You Can Pay for
I’ve noticed a lot of posts on the topic of paying for nursing school.
I’ve also noticed a lot of responses here telling everyone to go to community college and get an ADN then do an RN bridge program. Well, I disagree and here is why: It is easier to get a job as a BSN RN, especially in highly competitive markets. In addition, it is not necessarily cheaper to go the ADN route and it is not always cheaper to go to a public college. Do not overlook private (nonprofit) , as they often have their own . I am a California resident and was accepted by UCLA and Johns Hopkins. With the scholarships I received, Hopkins was cheaper than UCLA! For my MSN, I won a HRSA , which paid my full tuition plus $1300 a month living allowance, in return for 2 years of public service. My public service job is also my dream job, so that worked out great.
So, down to practical advice.
You can pay for nursing school through personal savings, family help, scholarships, and work-study. Some students work full time and go to school part time or they go the school part time and work full time.
Loans – don’t be afraid! There are many loan repayment and loan forgiveness programs for RNs.
MAKE SURE TO FILL OUT THE FAFSA
Your school may have its own scholarships. However, there are a lot of other scholarships out there and it is up to you to find them and apply for them . It is possible. Christopher Gray won $1.3 million in scholarships and after graduating, he started his own scholarship search company (his app scholly is not recommended, however)
— Scholly – Scholarship Search Tool and College Scholarship Finder App
1. Talk to your financial aid office about scholarships you can apply for
2. Talk to professors about scholarships and grants once you are in school. For example, while at Hopkins, I learned that one professor had $25,000 scholarships available, but financial aid did not know about them.
3. Nurse Corps Scholarships are full ride, with a living allowance, in return for public service
NURSE Corps Scholarship Program | Bureau of Health Workforce
AmeriCorps and Your Education | Corporation for National and Community Service
Returned Volunteer Support
4. Most states have scholarship and loan forgiveness programs for state residents. Just Google “(name of your state)” nursing scholarship
5. Some localities have scholarships. For example, I googled “San Diego nursing scholarship” and got this:
Local Scholarships - The San Diego Foundation
6. There are scholarships out there for your gender, ethnicity, etc. African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, Hawaiian, etc. There are scholarships for women, for men entering nursing, for women over 30 changing careers or going to college, etc.
7. There are also a lot of nursing scholarships. This is a great website that lets you search by location:
400 Bad Request
217 College Scholarships for Nursing Majors
8. There are a lot of general scholarship search sites
The 1 best sites to search for scholarships | Campus Life News for College Students | USA TODAY College
Scholarship Finder l CareerOneStop
9. Your parents may make you eligible for a scholarship, so ask them to check with their employer. Some employers have scholarships for the children of employees – this is quite common for larger companies, hospitals, LTCs, schools, colleges, government (federal, state, local) etc. There are also scholarships for military family members – children and spouses.
Working while in nursing school
1. Get a healthcare job like CNA, various types of techs, medical assistant, etc. This is great prep for nursing school and are good jobs for nursing students. (I recommend CNA training for anyone considering a nursing career – it is a good test to see if you can handle the “blood and guts” part of nursing.
2. In addition, some facilities will then pay all or part of your nursing school tuition. See the website below for “Find A Grow Your Own” and “Find A Career Ladder Program”
400 Bad Request
3. Work study programs – most schools have these and these are usually easy jobs that will provide you with a few hundred dollars a month
4. Casual jobs like babysitting, dogsitting, housesitting, personal care, tutoring, teaching ESL, etc. One of my fellow students met her fiancée this way! Sometimes people will provide free housing to a nursing student in return for personal care or childcare and light housekeeping. These opportunities are usually posted in a nursing school. Some schools have someone who keeps a central registry of job opportunities for students – find out if your school has this.
Yes, it is OK to have Student Loans!
If your financial aid package consists of loans, living expenses are included. Of course, it’s not a large amount, but plenty of students get by.
There are many loan repayment programs and loan forgiveness programs for RNs. Talk to your financial aid office about loan forgiveness. Here are some loan repayment programs:
· Nurse Corps
Some employers will also repay some of your student loans:
Other employers that will repay student loans:
· U.S. military
· Veterans Administration (VA)
· Prisons – federal, state, local
Use Google! Internet searching is your friend here. Be creative with search terms.
Finally, any higher education does require some financial sacrifice. If it were easy to get a college degree, everyone would have one.
1. Economize – figure out a bare bones budget
2. If you are not yet in school, you have a chance to save some money before school. Work overtime or get a second job to save up some money.
3. Consider some seasonal jobs that will allow you to save a lot of money. I had a lot of friends in college who worked on the slime line in Alaska. Hard work, but they made a lot of money in a short period. The fishing industry goes to great lengths to recruit people – there is more work than workers. They usually provide housing for workers.
4. If you are married, sit down with your spouse to figure out a budget. Your spouse might be willing to step up. My father always had 2 jobs – a full time and a part time job. So did I, when I was younger and had more energy. If you have a stay at home spouse, figure out ways they can make some money, like babysitting, dogsitting, eBay, etc. My mother had only an elementary school education, but she made extra money by buying old stuff at garage sales, fixing the stuff up, and reselling. I make extra money by selling on eBay and and even by doing tarot card readings. I have friends who teach ESL online.
Hope this helps! Good luck to all.
About shibaowner, MSN, NP
I am a Nurse Practitioner in California.
Joined: Mar '17; Posts: 591; Likes: 779
1 year(s) of experienceSep 14, '17Just a couple notes:
Those links that say "400 bad request" should work. Let me know if they do not.
Loan Repayment programs - some more:
- Nurse Corps
- most states also have loan repayment programs for their residents
1. You need to figure out what kind of payments you can afford
2. If you can't get a job, right way, do not panic - call your lenders and get a forbearance until you get a job
3. There are income-based loan repayment plans and you should consider these. Your payments start low and go up as you make more $.
4. Loan forgiveness - check into conditions for loan forgiveness for nursing.Sep 18, '17Loans are a terrible idea. "The borrower is slave to the lender." If you can't afford to cash flow school, you can't afford to go right now. Loan forgiveness, 2 year contracts, critical needs areas...it all amounts to indentured servitude. This advice is coming from someone who spent 20 years paying off 100,000$ worth of student loans. Do what you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Check out Dave Ramsey -plenty of ideas on how to live frugally, save money and go to school without debt.Sep 19, '17Quote from Apples&OrangesYou are entitled to your opinion. However, expecting people to pay cash for professional education is unrealistic for most people. I hardly consider public service to be "indentured servitude." By that definition, people joining the military for the education benefits are also indentured servants.Loans are a terrible idea. "The borrower is slave to the lender." If you can't afford to cash flow school, you can't afford to go right now. Loan forgiveness, 2 year contracts, critical needs areas...it all amounts to indentured servitude. This advice is coming from someone who spent 20 years paying off 100,000$ worth of student loans. Do what you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.
Check out Dave Ramsey -plenty of ideas on how to live frugally, save money and go to school without debt.
The cost of graduate professional education in fields like medicine, law, business, and nursing is too high for most people to be able to pay cash for it.
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