5 Ways for Nurses to Lessen Student Loan Debt

When it comes to getting a degree, nursing school will provide a lot of bang for your buck. Nursing is a highly in-demand career that can provide you with an excellent salary and rewarding work environment. However, you’ll still have bills to pay while you get through nursing school. The typical cost of a nursing education ranges between $5,000 and $200,000. It depends on what sort of degree you would like to pursue. If you want to enter the medical world without a lot of debt on your shoulders, you’ll need to do everything you can to supplement your expenses.

1. Apply for Financial Aid

If you’re trying to work your way through school, you might qualify for financial aid. It isn’t likely to cover all of your expenses, but it can help lighten the load. Filling out paperwork for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is often required by nursing schools, so you will most likely have to do this step anyway. If you qualify for the Pell Grant, you might be able to get up to $5,500 per year. There are other grants you might qualify for as well.

2. Try for Scholarships

Scholarships offer free money to help you pay for books, tuition and even living expenses while you’re in school. There are a variety of scholarships for nursing students, and the application process usually involves showing your transcripts to a committee. This committee will then review your academic history and determine your eligibility.

3. Look into Loan Forgiveness

It’s possible to find programs that will “forgive” some or all of your student loans. Programs have been cut in recent years, but it might still be possible to find some help if you’re willing to do the research. Since nursing is such an in-demand field, there are more programs available for nursing students than many other fields.

4. Cut Back on Needless Spending

You’ll likely be very busy while you’re in nursing school. If there was ever a time in your life that you should cut back on spending, it’s now. There are a number of things you can do. You shouldn’t necessarily cut out dinners at restaurants or drinks with friends. You will need these things to stay sane. However, you can cut down a bit. Rather than stopping for takeout on the way home from class, why not cook a simple meal at home? You can even make and freeze meals on your day off from basic, healthy ingredients. Cutting out bad habits like soda will improve your health and save you money at the same time.

5. Seek Help from Loved Ones

This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you can get some support from loved ones, it might be able to help supplement your finances during school. Keep in mind that support doesn’t have to be financial. Even something as simple as accepting dinner from your parents one night a week or borrowing some scrubs from a friend could help you cut down on your costs. You can always return the favor one day when you’re working.

Related Resource: Best Online RN to BSN Programs: Top 20 Deals

Nursing school can be expensive, but it will always be worth your time. One of the best parts of nursing is the fact that you will continue learning new things throughout your career. Keep that in mind while you’re focusing on school. The best is yet to come. If you do everything you can to reduce debt along the way, those days will be even better.