With an increasing demand for nurses who have completed a BSN or MSN degree, there is no better time for Pennsylvania RNs to pursue higher education. In many cases, students who enroll in an accredited nursing school program will need some sort of financial assistance in order to complete a higher degree, and that assistance may come from a variety of sources such as student loans, grants and scholarships. The most common form of federal funding comes from the Pell grant program.
Eligibility for financial aid is determined by factors such as a student’s income or whether they live with parents or are independent. The first step in obtaining financial aid is filling out an application that will help determine how much money, if any, a student will qualify to receive. Once the application has been completed, the school financial aid administrators will review the student’s file and let the student know the next steps to take.
Students eligible for a Pell Grant may receive up to $5,815.00, which may be used towards tuition, books and fees. The grant does require payback and students can remain eligible for the grant as long as their income level and academic progress meet specific guidelines.
Nursing students attending classes in Pennsylvania may also receive a Pennsylvania state grant. By checking with the State Board of Education or the college’s financial aid office, a student can find out if they are eligible for the Pennsylvania state grant.
Should nursing students meet specific income requirements, the government will also pay for the interest accruing on loans while students are in school. Unlike grants, however, loans must be paid back whether a student graduates or not, and the first payment is typically due once the student has been out of school for 6 months.
Pennsylvania nursing students should inquire whether their institution offers any scholarships which are generally awarded based on a number of factors such as academic achievement, program enrollment and group membership.
For those students seeking to obtain higher education in an effort to achieve specific career goals, a lack of finances should not hinder their ability to seek an advanced degree. Luckily there are numerous financial aid options available and those interested in pursuing a nursing career should speak with a financial aid officer to see what their options are.