Becoming an LPN and entering the world of nursing should be a great experience, but for some it can be a terrifying ordeal, especially when the promise of a career is dampened by the lack of funds needed to study. However, LPN financial is available if you know where to look for it. If you have chosen to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, you will be pleased to know that once you complete your studies, you will be able to find a job quickly and make good money. However for some, the idea of trying to pay back college loans makes them think twice about their chosen careers.
If you are hoping to get into an LPN program, the first thing you need to do is check out what kind of aid you can get from a state college and what kind of federal aid is available to you. In many cases, you will find that it is possible to get a scholarship from an LPN college, or from a source you may not have thought of before.
And if you are thinking of completing your training online, you will be pleased to know that you can also apply for help financially in this field. This is because of an Act passed a long time ago called the Higher Education Reconciliation Act, which was established to recognize online schools as legitimate sources of training and degrees. This is great for those who have to work full time, or who simply can’t get to a college that offers LPN training.
LPN Financial Aid Programs
Some of the programs you’ll find if you do a little online research about LPN financial aid include:
- The Pell Grant – this is a great source of financial aid and almost anyone can get a grant in this way. By qualifying for this grant, you will receive payment of a large portion of your costs. As many resources state, this is one of the easiest grants to get for those who need it.
- FSEOG – The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, or FSEOG, is also a great one for those who cannot afford to study. Be wary though, since not all colleges work in conjunction with this grant, and only those that do will accept it.
- AACN – the American Association of Colleges of nursing has a big role to play in LPN financial aid. As well as providing potential students with a wealth of information, they can also assist with grants and with applying for grants. The money that they find to assist students gets sent straight to the college and the student’s tuition is thus covered.
- State Nursing Grants – these depend on the state in which the potential LPN student lives. They are generally given to students based on their need, and can be applied for at the college or school.
Of course before you even think about the college you will attend, you will need to visit each one’s financial aid office to see what options are available to you. You can discuss these options with the financial planners on campus, or even take the FAFSA4Caster, which is an online test that allows you to figure out just how much financial aid money you could qualify for.
For those already working as CNAs, you may find it even easier to get financial aid, since many colleges have good CNA to LPN programs. Of course, the benefits of completing this program are multiple, especially to your employers, and this is why it may be so much easier for you to find LPN financial aid.
Paying For Your Own Education
LPN financial aid is not too hard to come by but does take some work and determination. This means that for those who can, self-pay is an option, if they have access to student loans. Student loans allow LPNs to fund their own education, though these can come with very high interest rates. If you want to pursue this option, you need to go to a variety of financial services providers and ask them what options are available to you. Some will be happy to negotiate on interest rate, while others may help you with the terms of the loan, pushing them from 48 to 60 months, or even longer. Of course, if you can avoid getting a student loan, you should since the financial state of the economy is quite poor, and you may find yourself in a sticky situation.
Some students apply for private loans rather than student loans, and this gives them access to a lower interest rate. Of course, with a personal loan and no collateral, assuming the age of the student applying is between 18 and 25, the loan amount you are granted will probably be quite small, and may not even cover your first year’s tuition.
Getting federal financial aid is actually one of the best ways of applying for money to assist with your studies, since this is based on specially compiled programs to help those who cannot afford their own studies. Many of these will even help you with loans, and allow you a certain grace period after you graduate, so that you do not have to sacrifice your first six month’s pay checks once you start working. Of course, these also come with certain conditions, such as a certain attendance level and even certain grades that must be maintained.
Some state programs can also help you get the money from a reputable lender, but this is also based on your need and the ability to pay it back. If you can get financial help from someone in your family or from a friend, this is preferable, since the interest rate will probably be lower, or non-existent, and you can pay it back as you are able to.
How To Apply For LPN Financial Aid
When applying for help with paying for your LPN studies, you may be required to fulfill certain criteria. This includes writing an essay to explain why you qualify for the aid, or why your need is greater than anyone else’s. In the essay, you should refer to your background and why you are in a situation that makes it impossible or very difficult for you to pay for your own studies. You should also explain why you want to study to become an LPN, and the contributions you think you will make by completing this course. There will be lots of other students who apply for these grants, so be sure to make your essay stand out. Proofread it to be sure there are no grammar or spelling errors and really think through why you deserve the grant.
Next, check which scholarships are available to you based on special need. You may find that your specific situation entitles you to a scholarship, such as if you are a single mother and you have to work part time to make ends meet. In some cases, minorities or certain ethnic groups are entitled to grants based simply on their backgrounds, especially since the US prides itself on being a melting pot of culture and diversity, giving everyone an equal chance at success. You might even be able to get a scholarship based on your high school grades if they are good, and in combination with having done some charity work and having participated in extra-curricular activities.
For some, an athletic scholarship is a possibility, especially if they excel in a popular sport such as baseball or lacrosse. Some religious groups are entitled to scholarships, because of their special requirements, and for some, an employer may be able to help you fund your studies, especially if it is in their vested interest to have you become more skilled than you already are. In this case, they may give you the financial help you need, and then ask you to sign a contract saying that you will stay with the company for a determined period of time.
For those who are able to get them, there are also scholarships available through private businesses. Usually, a private business will sponsor an education for a youngster, who will then work for them when they graduate. These could include large pharmaceutical companies or other private hospitals. Some businesses will also give out assistance as part of their corporate social investment initiatives, and for the PR.
When you first start looking for a program to apply for, look online. You will find that there is a lot of information out there. Look specifically on college forums so that you can see how others have gone about applying for scholarships and LPN financial aid. You might find some unexpected way of going about getting the aid that you would not have come across in any other way.
Terms And Conditions Apply
Some of the conditions that may be put to you when you are granted financial aid include:
- You must have a certain amount of credits, either from your graduating high school or from a previous diploma or certificate that makes it possible for you to enter the LPN program.
- You have to write an essay stating why you deserve the grant, as mentioned above.
- You must have valid financial need. Do not try to defraud these financial aid givers as this is a federal offense, and takes resources out of the pool that could be used for other students who really need them.
- You need to have an excellent attendance record and maintain certain grades, to show that you are serious about the career path you have chosen.
- You should have a higher than average high school GPA.
When you are applying for financial aid, make sure you read all of the fine print. If you get a scholarship or grant and then lose it, you will have no one to blame but yourself. Also check the amount of the aid. It may be enough to cover your tuition, but what if it is not enough for living costs, books and other things you will need while you study? Remember too that just because a scholarship or aid is offered, doesn’t mean you are bound to take it.
The US government recognized the need for more experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the field of LPN, which is why they have set up so many programs to help prospective students. Just ten years ago, the Department of Health dispersed large sums of money into colleges and universities, simply so that prospective students would be able to complete medical programs, such as LPN. This type of LPN financial aid is exactly what makes it possible for those who have the ambition, the drive and the dream, to achieve it.
Achieving your dream of becoming an LPN is possible with the right LPN financial aid, but to get this aid, you will need to be very dedicated and do the research required. Financial aid is a resource that is both valuable and scarce given the ratio of money available to students who need it. This is why it is your responsibility to ensure that should you apply for LPN financial aid, it is because you really need it, and you really want to become an LPN. This is why so many programs ask you to complete the essay portion of your application, that is, so that they are sure that you are serious about it.
Once you have graduated from an LPN college or even an online school, you will find that there are many options available to you, and some day, you may be in a position to help others who, like you, need the LPN financial aid. While it may seem like a lot of effort to go to for the effort of studying to become an LPN, the long term rewards of completing this program without having to worry about huge student loans are vast. And for those who don’t see the benefits, then perhaps becoming an LPN is not the right career choice for you.