Pursuing a career in nursing can be a big expense. Many potential nursing students are held back from pursuing their dreams because of a fear of not being able to afford a nursing degree. However, there are many financial options available to students, especially those considering earning their nursing degree in the Accelerated BSN program at Utica College.
Can you afford an accelerated nursing degree? Yes.
Here at Utica, we offer many options to make financing easier; you just need to know here to find them. To begin paying for nursing school, follow make sure you explore all your financial options, including the following four financial options.
Grants are an excellent way to pay for a nursing degree because it’s money that doesn’t need to be paid back. Securing a student grant can help save hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Although both grants and scholarships are “free” money, grants are typically need-based, while scholarships are traditionally merit-based. You will first start by filling out your FAFSA, then working with your admissions advisor to find out whether you are qualified for any grants.
For more information, visit these financial aid resources:
Scholarships are similar to grants in that they don’t need to be repaid and are excellent for helping to finance your education. However, scholarships can be extremely competitive. Many scholarships are merit-based, meaning you earn them by meeting or exceeding standards set by the scholarship-giver. Merit scholarships can be awarded based on achievements, traits, or interests. You may find some scholarships that require an essay, certain academic standards, or a competition of some kind.
Some hospitals may offer scholarships to future nurses, although eligibility may depend upon working at the hospital after you have graduated. Check official hospital websites to see how you could be considered.
For more information, visit:
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for financial aid resources
- Scholarship to search for scholarships
3. Work-Study Programs
Many colleges offer work-study programs for students to help finance their education by working on-campus, assisting teachers, or taking part in community-related jobs. Being awarded a work-study program often depends on the level of financial need and the school funds available.
Often, students can find work-study programs related to their field that allow for great resume experience. Work-study programs are not offered everywhere, so nursing students should contact local hospitals to find what work-study programs are available. This is the perfect solution for students wanting real-world experience while earning wages as well.
By taking part in work-study programs with hospitals, students have the chance to become a full-time employee once they complete the Accelerated BSN program. Taking part in a work-study program also allows you to build a professional network while still in school, so you can get a letter of recommendation or professional references down the road.
For more information, visit the federal work-study site.
4. Student Loans
Nobody likes taking out student loans, but sometimes they are necessary. Be sure to pursue your above financial aid options before resorting to a student loan. Even a couple of hundred dollars in grants and scholarships can make help pay for books and fees. Once you’ve exhausted other resources, look at what student loans you may need. Consider it as an investment in your future as a BSN-educated registered nurse. Student loans will require payments once you’ve graduated with your degree.
Be sure to look at all of your loan options. You can get a federal student loan or a private loan. If you do look for a private loan, be sure to shop around for a good rate. To get a federal student loan, you will first have to fill out a Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA will tell you how much you are qualified to receive in federal student loans. You should fill these out as soon as you can in January prior to your academic year so you can pursue other financial aid options if necessary.
Be sure to contact the Utica’s Office of Student Financial Services site for any questions or concerns on financing your nursing education. You can also speak to an admissions advisor for help navigating the financial aspects of your education.