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Explore the Best Online LPN to BSN Degrees with Financial Aid

If you’re an LPN to BSN student working toward becoming a registered nurse, this guide will help you find financial aid-friendly programs that can help cover costs.

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A group of healthcare professionals in blue scrubs are gathered in a medical setting. In the foreground, a woman with a stethoscope around her neck is smiling. In the background, three other medical staff members are engaged in conversation.

You’re on the path to becoming a registered nurse. Perhaps you’re looking for more responsibility, increased pay, or the chance to create your patients’ care plans. You’re ready to start, but one of the biggest hurdles you’re facing is the cost.

The Pew Research Center found that cost is one of the biggest reasons students don’t pursue or fail to finish their higher education program. This guide is designed to help students like you explore ways to cover education costs by finding schools that accept or offer financial aid, qualifying for scholarships, grants, student loans, or through other means we’ll outline below. Read on to learn about programs and financial aid for LPN to BSN students.

Inside LPN to BSN Bridge Programs with Financial Aid

We first want to highlight some quality, financial-aid-friendly LPN to BSN programs that offer financial aid, accept financial aid from other sources, or offer a mix of both. Some programs have online options for flexibility. Schools are not ranked and are listed in alphabetical order.

Chamberlain University

Chamberlain University has been educating healthcare professionals for 130 years, and its LPN to BSN program reflects that commitment. The program is offered in 30 states (clinicals available in 20 states), and there are several scholarship opportunities for pre-licensure nursing students, as well as federal and local financial aid options. For example, you may be eligible for the Heart of Healthcare program — designed for pre-licensure applicants ready to begin their education by starting Chamberlain’s BSN degree program and choosing to enter a 2.5-year work commitment at Ochsner Health. Another option is the Excellence in Education scholarship for students with exceptional academic scores at select Chamberlain campuses.

Other financial aid options at Chamberlain include special tuition rates for military members and Chamberlain alumni and federal work-study opportunities. If you already work at a healthcare facility, check to see if your facility is one of Chamberlain’s 4,500 Healthcare and Educational Institution, College, and Association Partner locations across the country. Partners receive special tuition rates with no application fee.

North Dakota State University

North Dakota State University’s School of Nursing offers a hybrid LPN to BSN track that can be completed in six semesters of part-time study. The program begins every spring semester, and clinical experiences occur during the summer terms. You’ll need to have an unencumbered practical nursing license, a minimum nursing GPA of 3.0, and will need to complete the NLN NACE (Validation) Exams.

NDSU’s financial aid options include tuition waivers (discounts applied toward your tuition charges), scholarships, and grants. Tuition waivers can be granted to first-year students meeting minimum ACT/SAT and/or GPA requirements, students who meet cultural diversity qualifications from specific underrepresented groups, or students in various public service careers. You must fill out the FAFSA application to be considered for need-based scholarships and the North Dakota State Grant. The FAFSA application is not needed to be considered for merit-based scholarships.

Saint Martin’s University

The LPN to BSN program at Saint Martin’s University can be completed in two years. The program’s hybrid model includes online instruction and two days a week spent in class and clinical practicums. Saint Martin’s was awarded over $2 million in 2021 to increase the number of nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing bachelor’s degrees in nursing. The grant also provides financial aid and student support for nursing students.

Saint Martin’s also offers merit-based scholarships for new and transfer students, several private scholarships, and a link to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you wish to apply for additional need-based aid, consider filling out the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) along with your FAFSA.

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences

The LPN to BSN program from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences is a flexible, hybrid degree program for individuals working as licensed practical nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The LPN to BSN program offers asynchronous classes, clinical rotations in Oklahoma, and internet-based coursework to accommodate working nurses. Students will complete most coursework online as well as 160 hours per semester of in-person clinical coursework.

There are many scholarships available, awarded annually each fall. You will automatically be considered for scholarships whether you’re a newly admitted or continuing student, based on your FAFSA application. Additional donor scholarship criteria may be considered, including hometown, site of study, degree program, tribal affiliation, prior work experience, full or part-time student status, post-graduation career plan, prior schools attended, or student organization involvement.

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Three Top Financial Aid Options for LPN to BSN Students

Now that we’ve covered some excellent examples of LPN to BSN programs, let’s talk about financial aid. Financial aid covers more than just student loans — keep reading to learn more about the three most common forms of financial aid.

Scholarships

LPN to BSN students can benefit from various types of scholarships, including school-wide merit scholarships that are based on academic performance, need-based scholarships provided by the school, state or federal government (like FAFSA), and private scholarships that aren’t tied to a specific institution. Many colleges will automatically consider you for institutional merit- and need-based scholarships as long as you’re a new or continuing student and you fill out the FAFSA online each year. Private scholarships often require an application, a personal essay, or a contest submission. Sports organizations also award many scholarships, and there are other financial resources for healthcare students to help as you pursue your medical education.

Grants

The most recognizable grant for students is the Federal Pell Grant awarded by the state or national government. Unlike student loans, grants are monetary gifts that don’t need to be repaid. They can be used for any educational expense, whether that be your nursing school tuition, housing costs, transportation to and from clinicals, nursing supplies, or lab fees. Often, the grant will be used to cover tuition first, with the remaining balance refunded to the student. One major difference between grants and scholarships is that grants are typically need-based, whereas scholarships can have various eligibility requirements.

Loans

Student loans probably aren’t at the top of your list, and should be used as a last resort if you haven’t qualified for enough aid through scholarships, grants, and other work opportunities. Loans can be both public (from the government) or private (from a third-party lender).

Federal Student Loans: One of the greatest positives of federal student loans is low interest rates. You qualify for federal student loans by filling out the FAFSA application. You’ll then be notified of how much you can borrow per semester or year, and you can accept loans up to that amount. Remember that student loans do need to be paid back. Depending on your situation, you’ll be offered subsidized or unsubsidized loans. The government pays the interest on subsidized loans for you until you graduate and sometimes for a few months afterward. Unsubsidized loans start accruing interest from the moment you receive your first loan disbursement, and you are responsible for paying that interest back.

Private Student Loans: Private student loans tend to have higher interest rates than federal student loans. To apply for private loans, you’ll likely need to fill out an application that includes credit, income, and other financial and personal information. If you don’t have much of a credit history, you’ll probably need someone with a good credit history (such as a parent) to co-sign on your loan. As with all private loans, interest starts accruing the same day you sign the loan contract and receive your loan disbursement.

Checklist: 6 Must-Do Items to Maximize Financial Aid

There are many different requirements unique to various online financial aid opportunities, but consider the steps below as you start your pursuit of financial aid.

Complete the FAFSA Early

The FAFSA application opens on October 1 every year to collect students’ personal and family financial information for the following school year. Fill out the FAFSA as early as possible since some types of federal, state, and school grant funding are only available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thoroughly Review Eligibility Criteria & Requirements

Most financial aid opportunities have some kind of eligibility requirements. As you’re applying for scholarships and grants, be sure you know who the scholarship/grant is for such as certain minorities, what you need to do, such as complete service hours, and what you need to submit, such as a personal essay.

Check Deadlines and Apply Early

It’s important that you know and keep track of important deadlines like those for the FAFSA application, your chosen college’s scholarship application, and individual scholarships/grants you’re interested in applying for. Most institutions do not accept submissions after their stated deadline. Consider keeping a calendar with all the LPN to BSN financial aid deadlines that apply to you.

Gather All Necessary Documents

Various documents will need to be curated for the financial aid applications you complete. Consider having a folder set aside specifically for these documents which could include personal essays, why you want to attend an LPN to BSN program (statement of purpose), transcripts, letters of recommendation, or volunteer records. Having them in one spot will help keep you organized as you sift through the various financial aid opportunities you wish to apply for.

Receive Feedback on Supplemental Materials

As you gather the above-mentioned materials, consider asking trusted friends, family members, or mentors to review. They’ll be able to tell you if your purpose is clear, your message is concise, and if everything makes sense. They’ll also be able to help you polish your LPN to BSN submissions so they are easy to understand and error-free.

Review Award Letters

If all goes well and you’ve followed the instructions, hopefully you’ll receive some award letters, from the government, your college, or a third party. Review each letter carefully to make sure your information is correct and to be aware of the process for accepting the financial aid offered. If you receive many of these, consider keeping a spreadsheet with all the relevant information or a separate folder where you can store the award letters for frequent review.