When you’ve finished CNA training and worked as a health care assistant for a while, it may only seem natural to want to further your career by attending nursing school. The unfortunate truth is, however, the average student earning their bachelor’s of science in nursing is likely to spend tens of thousands of dollars over the course of four years. And when they are done, a majority of their check will likely go to paying off that expense.
Many would-be nurses actually hold themselves back from attempting to go through nursing school, simply because of the enormous cost of doing so. This area of the medical field isn’t something only the rich can be a part of, however. With a little research and a good plan in place, you won’t have to shoulder this burden alone. If you want to become a registered nurse, there are plenty of helpful solutions for taking on the financial aspect of your education.
Paying for Your Nursing Degree
Student Loans- The first, and perhaps most obvious choice, is obtaining a student loan. Your best bet is to choose a federal student loan over a loan from a credit bureaus, private organization or bank, as federal loans come with fixed interest rates. This means the rate won’t change over time, even if it takes 20 years to pay the loan back.
To obtain one of these loans, you first need to fill out a free application for federal student aid (FAFSA.) There are deadlines for this application, so you’ll need to take a close look at their website to determine exactly when those are for you.
If you’ve applied for a place in a nursing program and have either been accepted or have already been enrolled, you will most likely qualify for one of these student loans. The good news about obtaining a loan that will help you earn your nursing degree is that you may be able to qualify for loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program after 10 years. In order to be eligible for this program, which will forgive any debt you have, you must:
- Work a minimum of 30 hours each week in the public health or service area for the entire ten years.
- Make approximately 120 payments on your student loan.
Grants- Obtaining federal grants can also help you pay for nursing school. Unlike loans, you don’t have to pay the grants back, although many come with a set of requirements you must meet in order to receive the cash for school. Federal grants can be obtained by filling out a FAFSA application as well.
Scholarships- Like grants, you don’t have to pay scholarships back. However, scholarships are harder to obtain than grants because you must meet certain terms and restrictions. Scholarships are also generally given to a select number of individuals, so competition can be high. Finding a scholarship requires a bit of research, but there are approximately 200 dedicated to individuals pursuing their nursing degree. There are also over 10,000 other national scholarship you may be eligible for as well.
Pay for Your Nursing School
Worried about how you’ll pay for nursing school? Don’t be. There are options out there that can help you obtain the finances you need to get started in nursing.