There is an endless demand for nurses in the medical field. This means job security, but it also means competition. Nursing school programs don’t have to fight for students, so you may have to fight to earn your education. A major consideration of that battle is how you’re going to pay for it. Is it possible to graduate nursing school with zero debt? Sure it is. Is it difficult? Most definitely. The secret to success is knowing and accepting that you will have to be strong, dedicated, and persistent in your endeavor, and that you will have to draw from a number of resources. If you’re ready to do this, then here is what you need to know about graduating from nursing school debt-free:
You may qualify for financial aid through the federal government. Depending on the program you are enrolled in, the government may pay for a portion, or in some cases all, of your college education. Of course, you have to prove that you have the financial need through a qualification process. Fortunately, the process is easy. Fill out a free application for financial student aid (FAFSA) online by visiting fafsa.com.
There are many scholarships available to nursing school students. A simple search on the Internet will deliver a vast array of scholarship opportunities tailored to the needs and goals of nursing school students, offered by government entities, non-profits, corporations, colleges, and private funds.
Your employer may pay your way through college. If your goal is to become a nurse, then you would be well served by getting your foot in the medical field door while you are in school. You don’t need a lot of training to be a CNA or a phlebotomist, and you can work your way up from these positions as you advance your education. The great thing about working in the medical field while you are in school (besides the hands-on experience) is that, oftentimes, you can get your employer to pay for your education. This is especially true if you work in a hospital, but sometimes even clinics, doctors’ offices, and nursing homes offer tuition reimbursement programs.
Many colleges offer payment plans. This means that, instead of being responsible for a huge lump sum at the beginning of each semester, you can pay off your tuition and college dues over the course of the semester. Payment plans like this make it much easier for working students to budget for college.
Be sure to explore each of these options when developing your strategy to get through nursing school debt-free. If you need guidance with any of the resources listed in this article, you should schedule an appointment with your school’s financial advisor.
About the Author: Blaine Haertel currently works for a healthcare it staffing group but is considering going to nursing school in a year or two. He’d love to graduate without debt, so he’s saving and exploring his options.