If you are looking for a viable career, there are few that can be as noble and in demand as nursing. In fact, with the population of most developed countries graying, there will be a huge demand for healthcare professionals in the future, particularly for nurses. Thus, the U.S. government is supporting nursing education through the provision of nursing student loans and RN education grants to schools around the country. Here we offer information on some post-secondary education loans offered available to nursing students in the U.S.
- Federal Nursing Loan Program. This grant is granted to public and nonprofit private nursing schools that can match federal funds as provided for in the Health Professions Education Partnership Act of 1998. Under this program, nursing students are given the opportunity to secure long-term, low-interest loans to pursue their nursing degrees. For the first two years, loans can reach as high as $2,500, or the amount of the student’s financial need, whichever is lower. It hikes up to $4,000 for the final 2 years. All in all, a student’s loan should not go beyond $13,000. The current interest rate for such loans now is 5 percent. To apply, all students need to do is to go to their college’s student aid office and submit the required documents.
- Federal Perkins Loan Program. This is a general post-secondary education loan program that students of nursing can take advantage of. Under this loan program, nursing education students, whether enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs, can get loans to finance their education and training at low interest rates. Each academic year, an undergraduate student can borrow as much as $4,000, while a graduate student can borrow as much as $8,000. However, total loans for undergraduate students cannot exceed $27,500. Total loans for graduate students, including funds they might have borrowed as undergraduate students, cannot exceed $60,000.
- Federal Stafford Loan Program. Loans under this program are charged with fixed-interest rates, currently at 6 percent for the subsidized part and 6.8 percent for the remainder. The loans can either fall under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program or the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Typically, students can borrow $5,500 for the first academic year, $6,500 for the second academic year, and $5,500 for the third academic year. Graduate students, on the other hand, can borrow as much as $20,500 for the duration of their study or training.
- Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. In support of the federal push to advance the nursing profession, many state governments have enacted nursing education loan repayment programs wherein the state government pays for the nursing education loans accumulated by the nurse in exchange for years of service. In some states, this type of loan is called Nursing Education Forgiveness Loans. Iowa, Mississippi, and Ohio are just some states that provide such loans.
These are just some loans available to nursing students. More loans are available from the private sector. Visit your student aid office for more information.