The costs of any nursing program are considerable. Even if LPN programs are cheaper compared to other nursing positions, the average tuition still sits at around $10,000 to $15,000. Some schools even charge as high as $30,000. This does not even cover book prices, certification exam costs and other miscellaneous fees. No matter how you slice it, that is a lot of money to pay out of pocket. Fortunately, aspirin nursing students have a host of financial aid options available to them. If you want to become an LPN, but you cannot pay the costs just yet, consider the following programs:
Before you enroll into any program, you are asked to fill out the Free Application for Financial Assistance (FAFSA) form. FAFSA is the largest source of financial aid available to students. They evaluate your income, level of support and financial need in order to find out whether or not you qualify for any federal financial aid programs like loans and grants. For aspiring LPNs who need to pay for their education, this is the perfect place to start.
You can either submit the FAFSA online, through the official mobile app or fill out a paper form from your school or the FAFSA website. You also want to make sure that you have the following documents prepared, before sending your application:
55% of medical students use loans to pay off their education fees. When you loan, you borrow a sum of money with the intention of repaying them in full, plus interest. Students can choose from two different types of loans: Federal and Private. Federal student loans are funded by the government. If you are an undergraduate in financial need, you may qualify for subsidized loans. These loans do not gain interest while you are in school at least half-time or during deferment periods. Unsubsidized loans still gain interest while you study, but they are available to graduates, undergraduates and professional degree seekers alike.
Meanwhile, private student loans are offered by banks, credit unions, educational institutions and other independent entities. Unlike federal loans, they are typically not subsidized and come with higher interest rates as well. Because of the potential added cost, you have to shop around with scrutiny to find the best offers. On top of the payment offers and interest rates at face value, look into hidden costs, what happens if you cannot keep up financially with later payments and how repayments are structured. You can also check if there is a chance of loan forgiveness, down the line. Finally, you should check whether the interest rates are variable (subject to change) or fixed (set in stone), so you can account for this in your financial plans.
Grants are a form of financial aid usually provided by the government, in order to assist those in financial need. Because of this, qualifying students do not need to pay back the costs at all. If FAFSA deems you as eligible for a grant, do not be afraid to take these opportunities. Currently, one of the more well-known grants is the Federal Pell Grant .This program serves undergraduate students in exceptional financial need. At the time of writing, the maximum Federal Pell Grant sits at around $6,495 for the award year of July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. In special circumstances, students could receive 150% of their grant within an eligible award year. Alternatively, private entities such as companies or individuals could hold grant programs as well. If you are considering such programs, take the time to review and research these offers to ensure they are legitimate.
Like grants, scholarships are a form of financial assistance that does not need to be repaid. Unlike grants, they are merit-based programs that are given based on academic performance, extracurricular activities like sports or music and more. While schools and universities are the most common providers, a number of entities host their own scholarship programs. This includes businesses, individuals, non-profits, and even churches. Just like with grants, you have to do exhaustive research before applying for a scholarship, to ensure that the entity is legitimate and acting in good faith.
Your school’s office of financial aid is a great place to start, since they usually have a list of available scholarships. There are also a host of scholarship databases with recommendations and details, if you want to do further reading. When you start applying, be sure to have all your documents ready when you submit your application. Requirements may vary, but most scholarships will require you to submit personal information. This could be an essay about yourself, or a statement describing how this scholarship would benefit you. Finally, always submit your application on time as scholarship programs tend to have strict deadlines.
Paying for your nursing education can be tricky, but it is not impossible. If you are truly committed to becoming an LPN, there are avenues for you. The costs are not insignificant but the rewards are plenty. You get to enter an exciting, and on-demand profession with great opportunities for career growth. More importantly, you will be given the opportunity to truly improve the lives of others, with your work.