Financial Aid

There are numerous options available to finance your education

Financial Aid -- Paying for school does not have to be overwhelming

 

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Paying For School Does Not Have To Be Stressful  

Financing your online or campus-based degree does not have to be an overwhelming process. Depending on your personal financial situation, there may be several options available to you:

  • Direct Payments
  • Scholarships
  • Federal Grants
  • Federal Direct Loans
  • Federal Campus-Based Aid
  • Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students

This section is provided as a general resource and reference tool for your use. We do not provide financial aid or financial aid advice, nor can we guarantee you will qualify for financial aid. We encourage you to discuss your specific needs and requirements directly with your selected school’s Financial Aid Representatives.

 

Direct Payments 

Pay As You Go  

Many universities and colleges offer you the opportunity to pay for your nursing degree on a course-by-course basis. While this may be a convenient method, you should be aware that usually, you will be required to pay the full course fees before starting the course. If you intend to use a direct payment process, you should contact your school’s financial aid counselors to discuss the universities requirements.

 

Scholarship 

Funding Through A Variety Of Sources  

A scholarship can be a very attractive method of financing your nursing education, because it basically represents financial aid that does not have to be paid back. Depending on the amount, a scholarship has the ability to supplement or potentially provide full payment of your educational pursuits.

Although there are numerous scholarship opportunities available within a variety of categories and criteria, for this exact reason, many people find the search for scholarships overwhelming. The fact is that thousands of dollars go unclaimed every year because people are not aware of, or just do not apply for the funds.

Scholarships come from a variety of sources: schools, employers, individuals, private companies, nonprofits, religious groups, or professional organizations.

These sources offer scholarships for a variety of reasons. Some are offered to students that have financial need. Some scholarships have academic requirements like a certain GPA or enrollment in a particular major like nursing. There are athletic, music, and art scholarships. There are scholarships for minorities and first generation students; and some for students with certain community affiliations or religious affiliations.

Because scholarships are offered for different reasons and by many sources, it is important that you understand that each scholarship has its own requirements and deadlines, so you should begin searching for scholarships as soon as possible. You should also know that in most instances you should not have to pay to apply for a scholarship.

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Federal Grants 

Federal Pell Grant 

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.) You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.

How much can I get?

Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $5,550 for the 2012–13 award year (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013). The amount you get, though, will depend on

  • Your financial need,
  • Your cost of attendance,
  • Your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Effective on July 1, 2012, you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent. You’ll receive a notice if you’re getting close to your limit. If you have any questions, contact your financial aid office.

If you’re eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you’ll receive the full amount you qualify for—each school participating in the program receives enough funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education to pay the Federal Pell Grant amounts for all its eligible students. The amount of any other student aid for which you might qualify does not affect the amount of your Federal Pell Grant.

 

I heard I might get a larger Federal Pell Grant if my parent died in Iraq or Afghanistan. Is that right? 

It depends. If your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, you may be eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funds if, at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death, you were

  • less than 24 years of age or
  • enrolled in college or career school at least part-time.

If you meet these requirements and are eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant, your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be changed to zero, which maximizes your Federal Pell Grant amount and can increase your eligibility for all federal student aid programs. Payments are adjusted if you are enrolled less than full-time.

If you meet those requirements but aren’t eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant due to your EFC being too high, you might be able to get an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

 

How will I get paid? 

Your school can apply Federal Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly, or combine these methods. Learn more about how (and when) you’ll be paid.

 

For more information about Federal Pell Grants, see:

Federal Student Aid Grant Programs Fact Sheet

For additional information on federal student aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit Student Aid on the Web.

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Federal Direct Loans

Direct Stafford Loans

Subsidized and unsubsidized loans are federal student loans for eligible students to help cover the cost of higher education at a four-year college or university, community college, or trade, career, or technical school. The U.S. Department of Education offers eligible students at participating schools Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

 

What’s the difference between Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans?

In short, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need.

 

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Subsidized Loans:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students with financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow, and the amount may not exceed your financial need.
  • For a subsidized loan, the U.S. Department of Education pays the interest
    • while you’re in school at least half-time,
    • for the first six months after you leave school (referred to as a grace period*), and
    • during a period of deferment (a postponement of loan payments).

*Note: If you receive a Direct Subsidized Loan that is first disbursed between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2014, you will be responsible for paying any interest that accrues during your grace period. If you choose not to pay the interest that accrues during your grace period, the interest will be added to your principal balance.

 

Here’s a quick overview of Direct Unsubsidized Loans: 

  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need.
  • Your school determines the amount you can borrow by considering the cost of attendance and other financial aid you receive.
  • For an unsubsidized loan, you are responsible for paying the interest during all periods.
  • If you choose not to pay the interest while you are in school and during grace periods and deferment or forbearance periods, your interest will accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, your interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan).

 

For more information about Federal Direct Loans, see:

Federal Student Aid Loan Programs Fact Sheet

For additional information on federal student aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit Student Aid on the Web.

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Federal Campus-Based Aid

Campus-Based Aid 

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan programs are called campus-based programs because they’re administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate in all three programs. Check with your school’s financial aid office to find out which programs they participate in.

How much aid you receive from each of these programs depends on your financial need, on the amount of other aid you receive, and on the availability of funds at your college or career school. Unlike the Federal Pell Grant Program, which provides funds to every eligible student, the campus-based programs provide a certain amount of funds for each participating school to administer each year. When the money for a program is gone, no more awards can be made from that program for that year. So, make sure you apply for federal student aid as early as you can. Each school sets its own deadlines for campus-based funds, and those deadlines are usually earlier than the Department of Education’s deadline for filing a FAFSASM.

 

For more information about Federal Campus-Based Aid, see:

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants

Federal Work-Study

Federal Perkins Loans

 

For additional information on federal student aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit Student Aid on the Web.

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Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students 

Direct PLUS Loans  

PLUS loans are federal loans that graduate or professional degree students and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay education expenses. The U.S. Department of Education makes Direct PLUS Loans to eligible borrowers through schools participating in the Direct Loan Program.

 

Here’s a quick overview of Direct PLUS Loans:

  • The U.S. Department of Education is the lender.
  • The borrower must not have an adverse credit history.
  • Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.9%.
  • The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.

 

To receive a Direct PLUS Loan, you must

  • be a graduate or professional degree student enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school in a program leading to a degree or certificate, or be the parent (biological, adoptive, or in some cases, stepparent) of a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half-time at a participating school; and
  • meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid. If you are borrowing on behalf of your child, your child must also meet these requirements.

Additional loan types provided under the Direct Loan Programs, include Direct Stafford Loans (for undergraduate and graduate students), Direct PLUS Loans (for parents), and Direct Consolidation Loans (to combine federal education loan debts into a single loan).

 

For more information about Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate and Professional Degree Students, see:

Direct PLUS Loans 

 

For additional information on federal student aid, call 1-800-4-FED-AID or visit Student Aid on the Web.

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