Remember what it felt like to find a penny lying on the ground when you were a kid? Back then, it was so exciting to find such a simple treasure. Now that you’re over four feet tall, your definition of treasure may have changed. If you’re looking to earn your licensure as an LPN/LVN, a treasure these days probably looks more like a scholarship, grant, or much-needed loan in the face of looming college costs. It could also look like a program that allows you to work around your own schedule or that helps you finish your degree quickly.
Like you, we still love looking for treasure, and we want to share what we’ve found because we know you’re doing your best to earn your license as a practical/vocational nurse and take the next step toward a fulfilling career without spending an arm and a leg. In this article, we highlight LPN programs that accept financial aid, discuss various scholarships that aspiring LPN students should apply for, point out other college funding options, and teach you how to find programs that give and accept financial aid.
Profiling LPN Programs with Financial Aid
Finding high-quality LPN programs that accept financial aid may seem like a daunting task, but we’ve highlighted three such programs below that can help you get your feet wet. As you continue your research, look for programs that, like CNI College, Herzing University, and Rasmussen University, have LPN-specific scholarships or detailed financial aid pages.
CNI College places great emphasis on the value of in-person, hands-on learning, which is evident in its on-campus Vocational Nursing (LVN) Program. The program is designed to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance patients’ health and well-being. Students learn basic nursing care skills like measuring vital signs and performing blood draws, and upon graduation are equipped to work as entry-level employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, doctor’s offices, home health care settings, and clinics. The LVN program accepts financial aid, but costs a total of $36,800 without it, including supplies, fees, and tests. To help ease the cost, CNI College has a comprehensive guide to financial aid that includes government grants and loans, private loans, state grants, and veteran benefits.
The LVN program’s curriculum includes classes like Oncology, Leadership/Supervision, Immunology, Life Cycles, Gastrointestinal System, and Neurosensory System. Students nearing the end of their studies also complete a senior practicum and capstone course.
Though all of its general education courses are available online, Herzing University’s 12-month Practical Nursing Diploma Program requires that its core nursing courses be taken on one of its 8 campuses that stretch from Florida up to Wisconsin. Students can transfer up to 27 relevant college credits and can apply to the LVN program at any time since HU offers rolling admissions. Students learn about wound care, administering medications, keeping patients comfortable through routine hygienic care, inserting IVs and catheters, and updating and maintaining patient records.
The LPN program requires 37-48 credits (depending on the campus) and costs $495 per credit. Students can access the school’s tuition and financial aid page to see federal and state resources such as grants and loans. The university itself offers the Herzing University I’m Possible grant to students in any program that demonstrate financial need. Upon graduation, students can choose to enter the workforce or continue on to receive their ASN, BSN, or MSN.
The Practical Nursing Diploma at Rasmussen University can be completed in as few as 12 months of full-time study, and students can choose from any of the 8 start dates offered throughout the year. This program stands apart from the others, though, for its LPN Care Grant. The grant offers up to $2,000 to every eligible student who enters the LPN program divided equally across the first four quarters of the program. Eligible students may not be employees of the university, must maintain continuous enrollment in the program, and cannot combine the grant with any other scholarships/grants offered by the university.
The program consists of 15 courses (56 credits), some of which are available online, that will prepare students to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. The class list includes Client-Centered Care I-IV, Practical Nursing Skills, Principles of Gerontological Nursing, Principles of Pharmacology, Principles of Mental Health Nursing, Principles of Maternal-Child Health Nursing, and Practical Nursing Diploma Capstone.
Scholarships for LPN Students
If you’ve been planning to finance your nursing education through student loans, you’re not alone. After all, they may be the most commonly discussed form of funding. That said, they are far from the best. Instead, consider searching for LPN programs that accept financial aid in the form of scholarships. Scholarships are one of the best financial aid options because they are essentially “free money” that does not need to be paid back. Did you know that there are LPN, nursing, and healthcare-specific scholarships? Take a look at some of these options below to see how they can supplement the support you can receive LPN programs that accept financial aid.
Additional Funding Options for LPN Students
While scholarships are arguably the best source of financial aid, they are not the only financial aid opportunities available to LVN/LPN students. You can receive government funding, qualify for grants, receive military benefits, apply for student loans, or sign up for a payment plan as a student in an LPN program that accepts financial aid. You should consider each of these options in addition to scholarships, so you never miss an opportunity to fund your education.
Government funding is awarded by state or national leaders through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to students pursuing their post-secondary education. This can include money that is given to a student that doesn’t need to be repaid (such as a Pell grant) or funds that must be repaid by the student over time (such as a Stafford loan). Anyone can apply for FAFSA. Your eligibility and award amounts depend on your personal finances/income. As its name indicates, FAFSA is free to apply for and has open applications, so make this one of the first options you check out.
Grants, like scholarships, are available for everyone and do not have to be repaid. A grant is a specific amount of money awarded to a student and can cover anything from tuition to housing. Government grants are often delivered directly to your college, assuming your LPN program accepts that kind of financial aid. Other grants are awarded directly to students participating in a specific area of study or research, such as a grant for anesthetist training or sexual assault examiners. Here is a list of eleven available nursing-related grants you can apply for now.
Military & VA Benefits
A lot of schools offer specific benefits to active-duty military service members or veterans. These benefits can include anything from tuition assistance, to scholarships, textbook discounts, or college credit based on one’s service. Some certifications, licenses, or educational studies are even funded by the military. Check out Regis College’s Veteran’s Guide to Education Benefits and Scholarships to get a better idea of what kind of benefits are available.
Any student can apply for a student loan from a wide array of different sources. A student loan will grant you money to pay for tuition, housing, and any textbooks or equipment you need right away without having to save up for it. Government and private loans are the two different kinds of loans. However, because loans need to be repaid once your education is complete, and the interest rates can be high, it’s best to consider them as a last resort.
A payment plan allows you to pay your tuition over a period of time instead of in one lump sum and can be arranged with the school or university you are attending. Anyone can apply for a payment plan regardless of their financial status. This can make tuition payment easier since you won’t have to save up money before starting your classes. While a payment plan is convenient, sometimes you may need to pay interest, which can make your education even more expensive, so be sure you understand what you are signing up for to make the smartest financial decision for you.
How to Find LPN Programs with Financial Aid
A simple web search for LPN programs that offer financial aid can bring up hundreds if not thousands of results, so how can you know which programs offer the financial aid you’re looking for? While the options might seem overwhelming, there are a few things you should look for when researching LVN/LPN programs that offer and accept financial aid. Below we’ll list and explain some key features to keep an eye out for and why they matter.
Accessible & Reliable Financial Aid Office
If the financial aid office at the school you’re looking at isn’t answering your calls, responding to your emails, or providing you any clarity regarding available resources, chances are they won’t be much better once you’re enrolled as a student. A high-quality school will have its own financial aid department with staff available to answer questions and help students apply for and accept financial aid. The office should be able to answer all of your financial aid questions and point you toward additional financial aid opportunities.
If a program is accredited, it means the curriculum has been reviewed by a qualified third party and accepted as meeting a certain standard of quality. If you choose to attend an accredited school or program, you’ll be getting the best education possible for the money. More importantly, attending an accredited school guarantees that you’ll be able to receive federal financial aid. Accreditation can also play a role in your licensure eligibility, so never attend an unaccredited program if you’re looking to earn your license as an LPN. Accreditation is available on a school and program-wide level. It’s best to find an LPN/LVN program that’s been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or a similar entity.
Financial Aid Options
Quality LPN programs that offer financial aid opportunities specific to given programs, including work-study and scholarships in addition to accepting state and federal scholarships offered to students. You should be able to find these opportunities on the school website or through the school’s financial aid office.
Need & Merit-Based Aid
There are typically two different kinds of scholarships available—need and merit-based. Scholarships based on need take into account a student’s income and overall financial situation. Merit-based scholarships, on the other hand, look at a student’s academic, athletic, or artistic achievements and occasionally a student’s special interests. It’s best to apply to a program that offers both so that you can optimize your chances of receiving funding.
It’s always important to check the reviews for a school, a program, and financial aid office when you’re researching. If students are satisfied with the education they received for the tuition they paid, then you can feel reasonably confident that you will have a good experience as well. If you find a program with lots of negative reviews/ratings, put it on the back burner and consider pursuing a similar program at a different school.
Transparency is important when researching a school. A program should have its tuition, fees, and other costs readily available. They should clearly state whether a student can or can’t receive financial aid and what their options are. You’ll want to know exactly how much an education will cost you before you start, instead of getting charged with hidden fees or a higher tuition than you expected.
Your Financial Aid Questions Answered
While we have already covered a lot of ground regarding LPN programs that accept financial aid and other funding, you may have more questions. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some other frequently asked questions below to address the topics we haven’t touched on yet and give you all the information we possibly can.
Are there funding opportunities specifically for minority LPN students?
You can find all kinds of financial aid opportunities out there, and minority-specific scholarships are certainly among them. You can find scholarships for minority LPN students through schools websites, or you can search for statewide minority scholarships and apply for those. Purdue Global keeps a list of minority scholarships offered to students pursuing nursing.
Can I work while completing my LPN program?
The short answer is yes. Institutions of higher education recognize that many people work while continuing their education, and offer either online, weekend, or night classes to give students the scheduling flexibility they need. Some programs can also be completed part-time, which allows students even more freedom to work while they obtain their education.
Do LPN programs qualify for FAFSA?
Most accredited higher education institutions qualify for FAFSA. Proprietary institutions or postsecondary vocational institutions can also quality. You can check if your school qualifies for FAFSA by using the Federal School Code Search, which keeps track of codes assigned to eligible schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Individual schools will also know if they’re eligible so, when in doubt, you can contact the school financial aid office directly.
Do LPN programs still accept financial aid if I attend part-time?
An accredited LVN/LPN program should accept any financial aid you’re given, but your financial aid opportunities may be limited if you’re only attending part-time. For example, some scholarships are only given to students studying full-time, while others are a lump sum that can be dispersed as the student wishes. Some financial aid could be pro-rated if awarded to a student studying part-time. It’s worth looking for financial aid opportunities that cater to your specific situation.
What materials do I need to apply for scholarships?
Each scholarship will have its individual requirements, so you’ll need to check the instructions for every scholarship you apply for. Many of the most common scholarships are merit-based or need-based, and commonly require anything from GPA, documented athletic ability, a written essay, or financial income statements. Here are a few more examples of LVN/LPN scholarships and their requirements.