Financial Aid for Nurses

Apply for Nursing School Financial Aid

It’s no surprise that medical school is very expensive, especially for those with limited funds. Thankfully, nursing students like you have many financial aid options. But what is financial aid? Financial aid is available to all students from all backgrounds. It consists of federal student aid, grants, scholarships, and loans. Each form of financial aid has its own requirements and award amount.

Federal Financial Aid For Nursing Students

Federal Pell Grant For RN & BSN

In the 2018-2019 school year, the U.S. Department of Education granted more than 13 million students up to $6,095 in Pell Grant. For the 2022-2023 school year, the U.S. Department of Education has raised the Pell Grant maximum to $6,895 per year.

Based on your family’s income, you may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. The amazing part of all of this is that grants are financial assistance that doesn’t have to be paid back (unless you, unfortunately, owe a refund or withdraw from school).


Federal Work-Study offers part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students who show financial aid. This opportunity will allow you to earn money while in school. It will also allow you to work within your field of study. Work-study can be used for academic year jobs, summer jobs, and/or paid internships. If you’re interested in working in a hospital as part of your work-study, you can. Before making the decision, you must first contact your school’s financial aid office to make sure they approve. One thing to keep in mind is that work-study wages are taxed. Prospective nursing students can check if their school offers work-study by also reaching out to their school’s financial aid office.  To learn more, visit Federal Work-Study.

Federal Student Loans

If based on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) you demonstrate financial aid need, you may be offered federal student loans as part of your school’s financial aid package. The amount of loans you may be eligible for depends on how expensive your school is. Federal loans offer more benefits to students than private lenders or banks.

Consider the following loans to receive these benefits.

  • Direct Subsidized Loans: Available to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need (based on their FAFSA®).
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans: This option is available to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. However, you don’t need to demonstrate financial need in order to qualify.
  • Direct PLUS Loans: Though this loan is not based on financial need, loan borrowers are required to pass a credit check. Eligible graduates, professional students, and parents of dependent undergraduate students can use this loan to pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

To find out if you qualify for federal student aid, check out this article.

Applying for federal student aid is fairly easy, especially when using Frank’s online FAFSA® tool. The government application generally takes hours complete but with Frank’s online FAFSA® tool it takes only minutes.

State Aid For Nurses

Finding specific aid programs within your state can be overwhelming and at times difficult. Thankfully, the Health Resources & Services Administration has a database specifically for nurse students to find grants within their state. You can find your state’s aid by first doing to and then entering specific information such as the state, country, program name, etc.

Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Many health systems and other types of healthcare organizations across the nation are offering tuition reimbursement. Check out hospitals that pay for nursing school to find out which hospitals will pay for your nursing school based on your state. For instance, if you reside in New York and work for Health Quest, the hospital will provide tuition assistance to eligible nursing staff. Since tuition reimbursement through an employer is based on which state and hospital you work at, the eligibility requirements differ. To find out if you qualify, check out your hospital’s requirements on their website.

There are also union-based tuition reimbursement programs. Most states have their own unions for healthcare providers. Below are some of the reimbursement programs you may qualify for:

Note: Each union has unique eligibility requirements and benefits. To learn more, select the name of the union.

National Scholarships

There are thousands of scholarships and grants for students pursuing your profession. Searching for them can be overwhelming, that’s why we have put together a list of possible ones for you to get started.

  • American Red Cross Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship: This scholarship is open to undergraduate or graduate nursing students who are employees of or have participated in volunteer service to an American Red Cross unit. Go to the Red Cross website to win $3,000.
  • DAR Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship: For $2,500, complete an application and provide a letter of acceptance into a nursing program or current transcript. To apply, click here.
  • Scrub Shopper Greta James Memorial Scholarship: If you’re a legal U.S. resident and are enrolled in medical degree programs at an accredited university, apply for this scholarship here.
  • HRSA NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: Apply for this scholarship if you’re willing to work at an eligible organization with a critical shortage of nurses when you graduate.
  • TravelNurseSource Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship: For $2,000, create/submit a 1 minute video, here. The video must include your desire to become a nurse and how this scholarship would benefit you.

Private Loans for a nursing degree

Depending on your student aid mix, private student loans are needed to cover your cost of attendance. When searching for loan options, it’s important to consider and compare each option and its attributes. In other words, whether their interest rates, fees, and repayment plans would work for you.