Getting into nursing school is a huge achievement, but for many students, getting in is only the first step. Paying for nursing school is the next hurdle.

When you look at your final financial aid package, there’s likely a bit of a gap between the amount of aid you will get—including grants, federal loans, and scholarships from the school—and the final amount on the bill. There are a couple of ways to bridge this gap with personal savings and personal loans being common routes.

But if you do a little work, you’ll uncover a potential resource many people aren’t aware of.

Scholarships are an excellent way to help pay for your education. There are many scholarships available and they are not all dependent on having a 4.0 GPA. Of course, the Minority Nurse scholarshi p list is a great place to start, but there are also other places you can find funds to offset what you owe.

Scholarships do require work. You’ll have to do some research to find them, but with so many sites and lists available, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. Many scholarships require a short essay, but some only require an application. Scholarships based on financial need will likely require you to fill out information about your financial status and your income.

As a nursing student, there are many options to look into. If you are a a member of a professional organization, like the National Black Nurses Association, look into what they might offer. Student nurses can check into the Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc., to see what kinds of opportunities they have available. You can investigate opportunities specifically for minority nursing students as well like the one offered by Cherokee Nation.

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One you have looked into professional organizations, check your community for scholarships, too. May local groups have specific funds set aside for students pursing higher education. If you have actively volunteered, say for a local fair or a community event, look into those parent organizations as well.

Once you have found scholarships, apply! Triple check to make sure you have included all the information they need to consider your application, and then get everything in by the due date.

With a little work, you can graduate with less debt.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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