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Financial Aid

Financial Aid can help Pay for your nursing School, many scholarship and grant opportunities are available to nursing students to encourage people to enter the nursing field and help alleviate the increasing nursing shortages. With a little research, you can learn how to obtain this free money for your nursing school education.

Uncovering these funding sources can help free you from financial worries,and instead let you dedicate your efforts toward your schooling. The following five tips can help start your nursing scholarship and grant search and guide you in the application process.

Tip #1: Complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Based on details you provide in your FAFSA, the US Department of Education produces a report that estimates your expected contribution toward college costs and indicates the types and amounts of financial aid for which you are eligible.

Each year that you want to receive financial aid for your schooling, you should submit a FAFSA. Your financial circumstances may change from year to year, making you eligible for additional assistance as you progress through college.

Tip #2: Research Funding Sources on a Regular Basis

Scholarships become available throughout the year. Set a recurring time in your schedule to research nursing school scholarship and grant options. You can start with your school's career center—discuss your goals with a career counselor who's familiar with the field or spend time looking through the valuable career resources available.

Another good place to start looking is the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Along with an abundance of nursing career information, this group posts announcements for grants, scholarships,fellowships and other funding sources for nursing students. For details, visit AACN.

You should also inquire about nursing scholarships and grants at the colleges you are interested in attending. You may find alumnae or professional groups that offer scholarships specifically to students attending the college you have chosen.

Your search should continue throughout your college career, because you eligibility may change as your experience and level of education change.

Tip #3: Expand Your Scholarship Eligibility

Extracurricular activities at school and your community involvement efforts can play an important role in your search for nursing scholarships. Such activities reflect well on application essays, because they demonstrates your well-rounded background. Not to mention, you may meet teachers, parents and other organizational leaders who can recommend you for scholarships or inform you of available opportunities.

Additionally, your parents or other relatives may belong to clubs or be employed by businesses that offer scholarships to family members. Explore every avenue available—you never know where you might discover a source to help fund your nursing school education.

Tip #4: Craft an Exceptional Scholarship Application Essay

Your essay represents you better than any other piece of your nursing scholarship application and can boost your edge against the competition. Use these hints to make the most of your essay:
Assume your audience will skim, so create a strong introduction that inspires essay reviewers to keep reading. Answer the essay question thoughtfully. Your readers are looking for an insightful and focused response to the essay question. Keep it personal and write with sincerity and individuality. You want your readers to establish a personal relationship with you. Use natural language and a professional tone. Write clearly and concisely, paying attention to spelling and grammar. A high quality essay will reflect well on your own personal qualities. Leave time for editing and revision. Ask a teacher, parents or others whose opinions could improve the quality of your writing to review your essay.

Tip #5: Explore Internships and Other Practical Opportunities

Working in the nursing field, anything from an unpaid internship to a paid position, can lend volumes to your efforts to get nursing school scholarships. Not only will you gain insight to practical nursing career information, but the experience will enhance the content of your application essays and demonstrate your dedication to the field. In addition, your work experience can lead you toward a potential specialty area where you may find another set of scholarship opportunities.

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