Scholarships for Nursing Students Find Ideas, Tips & Funding Options for an Affordable Degree

While nursing is one of the top in-demand careers, the industry is also experiencing a shortage of qualified individuals to fill open jobs. Because of this, prospective nursing students are often offered an abundance of scholarships and funding options to complete their degree programs. In this guide, search dozens of nursing scholarships, discover alternative methods for funding your degree, and find financial aid opportunities.

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Upcoming Nursing Scholarships

There are many nursing scholarships available, some of which are tailored to students’ personal experiences and interests. Religious organizations, small businesses, large corporations, and public and private organizations all offer aid that can assist with tuition, books, residency or other education-related needs. The following scholarships are applicable to nursing students and those going into caregiving.

Name Award Amount Next Deadline
AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund $2,500 03-31-2017

4 Key Tips for Your Nursing Scholarship Application

Nursing is a field experiencing exponential growth and need, and because of this, scholarships are abundant. However, students should make their applications standout above the rest for their best chance at winning the funding they need. Below, find four steps to creating a strong application for nursing scholarships.

  • Focus on Healthcare Job Experience

    It is important for students to include their relevant past experiences in the healthcare industry. For example, if the student worked as a certified nursing assistant, the experience is ideal for demonstrating understanding of the field. Or, if a student has volunteered in a care facility, it will strengthen their application by including a specific anecdote from their time in the position — showcasing the impact the experience had on shaping the students’ goals.

  • Craft a Strong Personal Statement

    A personal statement is the part of the application that allows students to tell their own individual stories. Don’t rewrite your resume into a personal statement, but instead give a unique perspective into your personal clinical experience and patient care. Avoid cliché terms such as “caring,” “compassionate,” or “people person.” Be specific about your skills and experience, but don’t overdo it.

  • Identify Relevant Soft-Skills

    Identify specific experiences and skills that may be applicable to the scholarships and/or the nursing field. Students should think about providing examples of leadership, growth and dedication they experienced throughout their academic career and personal accomplishments. This is your chance to show your interest in the field and what qualities make you a perfect fit to get that scholarship.

  • Always Show, Never Tell

    As students’ begin crafting their essays and personal statements, these tips for writing, proofreading, editing and revising can help strengthen their scholarship applications:

    • When starting your essay, identify your audience. Who will be reading your essay and how can you personalize it to them?

    • Make sure you understand the question, or rephrase it so it makes more sense. Once you have done this, get to writing.

    • The introduction is the first thing anyone will read and needs to be enticing to draw the reader in. Tell them what the essay is going to be about.

    • Once you are in the body of your essay use descriptive and active word choices Show, don’t tell.

    • After the essay is written, revise, and then revise again. Read through it multiple times, and even out loud to correct any mistakes.

    • Get someone else to proofread your essay before it is submitted. Go to your college resource center and have professionals read it over and make suggestions.

    • Once you feel it is the best it can be, submit it.

Financial Aid for Online Colleges details other sources for funding and gives tips to optimize your FAFSA® in order to receive the most federal aid as possible.

Alternative Ways You Can Pay for Nursing School

Besides scholarships, there are many other ways that students can save up money to pay for nursing school and avoid the crushing load of student debt upon entering the work force.

Here are some options that can be used to save and raise money towards a nursing college degree:

Living frugally

Living a frugal life involves spending money sparingly and prudently. It does not mean depriving yourself of anything nice or expensive, but is instead being careful in how you use your money so you will be able to spend money on the things that are the most important.

Some examples of ways to live a more frugal life include if you live alone, consider getting a roommate or moving in with a friend. Try to set up a carpool system to get to work or school, or try to make coffee at home instead of going out and buying a cup. These simple steps can make a large difference in your bank account and provide valuable funds to be able to put towards tuition, books or supplies that financial aid may not cover.

Tips for assessing debt & ideas for bulking up savings

There are many personal choices potential students can make in everyday life that can help build savings toward their nursing degree. Every little dollar adds up in the end and can help tremendously in paying down college costs.

  • Start Budgeting

    Allot money to certain aspects in your life. If you have reached your clothes allotment for the month, do not spend any more money. Be strict with yourself and create distinctions between necessities and niceties.

  • Create a savings plan

    Put 10 percent of your paycheck into a savings account every time you get it and make it off limits. Do not use that money for anything else.

  • Pay attention to your own financial situation

    Record your money input and output. Keep a checkbook and write down all your expenses so you know exactly where your money is going every month.

  • Tax Reductions

    The government offers higher education tax breaks to students pursuing a university education. These tax reductions allow students to subtract college-related expenses from the tax they owe, giving a little benefit.

  • Be Proactive

    Reduce college costs to start with by applying work experience towards credits. Some colleges allow students to apply their work experience as course credits, creating a lighter load of classes for students to take, and thus less money. So research your options to find the best fit and the best savings.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding sites are a great way for students to raise money for education by getting donations from sponsors and the community. These sites allow anyone to launch a campaign for personal, charity, events or other causes. Students can personalize and launch their own education campaign to request funds.

  • Crowdrise

    This is another platform that enables students to create a personal campaign to receive funding for their education. Whether the money goal is met or not, you still get to keep all the money you raised and there are no deadlines to meet your goal by. Free accounts charge a 5 percent fee on money raised, and paid accounts charge a 3 percent fee, with the processing fee of 2.9 percent plus $0.30.

  • GoFundMe

    This platform lets anyone launch donation-based campaigns to fund personal, charity or educational purposes. Create your campaign, then share with family and friends, and receive donations to help pay for tuition, board, books and other student expenses. GoFundMe has a 5 percent fee, and a processing fee of 2.9 percent plus 30 cents.

  • Indiegogo

    This is a free platform that is open to anyone wanting to fund a project, including funding for educational purposes. Campaigns on this platform establish a set amount that you want to fundraise and a deadline to achieve that goal, and donors are given rewards based on their donation amount. When your campaign raises funds, a 5 percent fee is charged as well as a fee of 3 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.

More Nursing Scholarships & Resources

There are many sources for students to obtain aid in pursuit of a nursing degree that are specific to their personal interests and needs. Professional organizations are a great source of funding for nursing students, especially when they are specialized to meet the student’s personal profile, such as their gender, race or specific area of study in nursing.

American Assembly for Men in Nursing

This site provides information and scholarships tailored to men who are pursuing a career in the nursing field. Scholarships range from $500-$1000, but most require applicants to be a member of AAMN. This site will be helpful to male nursing students looking to grow in their chosen profession.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

This association offers many unique scholarships that are specific to college, minority status and education level. This site is good for students looking for big money scholarships or other information on financial aid options for graduate nursing students.

FAFSA®

The Federal government offers billions of dollars of aid to students every year in the form of grants. Fill out an application for free and see what free aid you qualify for.

Health Resources and Services Administration

HRSA has great opportunities for students pursuing a degree in nursing. The Nurse Corps Scholarship program will provide all funding for tuition and other education-related expenses in exchange for a two-year commitment after graduating at an eligible Nurse Corps site. This site is helpful for students looking to get funding, finish their degree, and jump straight into the work force.

Minority Nurse

Minority Nurse is a site that focuses on opportunities for minority students pursuing a nursing degree. This site provides resources and scholarships that are available specifically for minority nursing students and encourages an increased interest of under-represented students in this field.

Sigma Theta Tau, International Honor Society of Nursing

This is the International Honor Society of Nursing and is a great resource for nursing based scholarships available to students. This site hosts an abundance of information on achieving a degree in nursing and the awards and scholarships that can help along the way.

Society of Pediatric Nurses

The Society of Pediatric Nurses provides many funding opportunities such as awards, scholarships and grants to nursing students. These help to fund research, conferences and education. This site would be helpful for nursing students looking to get into child and family care and would like opportunities specific to their field.

For more information, visit our College Learning and Resource Center to meet the experts and learn of other resources to succeed in college.