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Online RN to BSN Degrees with Financial Aid: Top Schools for 2024

Advance your nursing career with an accredited online RN to MSN program that offers financial aid options to make your dreams affordable.

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Four medical professionals, three men and one woman, engage in a lively discussion. One man holds a clipboard. All are dressed in medical attire and appear to be in a hospital or clinical setting, standing near a large window.

Are you a registered nurse wanting to advance your career with a master’s degree in nursing but have concerns about the potential costs of an online program? Pursuing an advanced nursing degree, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), can open doors to incredible new career opportunities. However, this excitement can quickly be replaced by fears of taking on the financial burden associated with higher education.

If you feel this way, you are not alone. Many aspiring MSN students face similar financial concerns. But there is good news: taking your nursing practice to the next level does not have to come with significant cost. There are online RN to MSN programs that offer flexibility designed for busy working nurses needing to balance work, life, and school. These flexible programs make it possible for students to advance their careers without sacrificing their financial stability. Even better, many of these programs provide financial aid options or grants, scholarships, and loans, making your dream of earning an MSN more affordable and accessible.

Don’t let the cost of further education deter you from accomplishing your career goals – explore the many opportunities available to help make your dreams a reality.

Finance Features: RN to MSN Bridge Programs Online with Financial Aid

If you’re ready to take the leap and advance your nursing career with an MSN, look no further. We have compiled a list of top-notch, financial aid-friendly online RN to MSN bridge programs to help you find the perfect fit for your educational journey and financial needs.

Arizona State University

Logo of Arizona featuring stylized red and gold text "ASU" alongside a maroon banner with the name "Arizona State University" and a circular sunburst design in gold.

Arizona State University’s (ASU) online RN to MSN program is designed to be completed in two years and is open to students with an associate or bachelor degree in nursing. The 36-credit program is $603 per credit, and financial aid is available.

ASU offers an online tuition calculator to help students better estimate their costs depending on their unique financial situation. ASU also offers scholarships and grants and encourages students to complete their request for financial aid early to help determine any other eligible funding opportunities.

ASU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and believes in preparing MSN students for complex patient needs and innovative leadership to face the nation’s health care challenges. Career services and personalized support offered at ASU means you will have guidance before, during, and after graduation to enter the next phase of your career with confidence.

Liberty University

A blue, all-caps logo of Liberty University. "Liberty" is in large, bold text, and "University" is written below in a smaller font.

The online MSN program offered at private Liberty University equips students with the critical skills needed for advanced clinical practice, teaching, and research in today’s modern healthcare landscape. This innovative program offers specialized training entirely online. Liberty University’s online learning format is excellent for students wanting to learn about the latest industry expectations while still maintaining personal and professional commitments.

No matter where your passion lies, Liberty University offers seven nursing specializations to help get students the focused learning they’re looking for. MSN courses in health policy, nursing administration, and community health, for example, provide students with options to thrive in their chosen nursing specialty field.

Liberty University’s MSN program is accredited by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As part of their commitment to making private education affordable, Liberty University has frozen tuition rates for the past nine years, offering graduate tuition rates of $565-$615 per credit hour depending on whether the student is full or part time.

Ohio University

Logo of Ohio University featuring a green oval with a silhouette of a university building on the left, flanked by the text "OHIO" in large green letters and "UNIVERSITY" below in smaller green letters on the right.

Ohio University offers a robust online RN to MSN program tailored for ambitious registered nurses seeking career advancement. With specialized tracks for aspiring nurse leaders, educators, and practitioners, the program provides a focused path to achieve your goals. The MSN curriculum is designed for BSN-prepared nurses and can be completed online. Ohio University provides synchronous and asynchronous learning to provide more flexibility for working professionals.

The program is CCNE accredited and prepares students to sit for their respective certification exams. Courses range in cost from $512 per credit for the MSN nurse leader program to $668 per credit for the MSN family nurse practitioner track. Credits also vary depending on which of the five program tracks students choose but require between 30 to 40 credits for degree completion. Financial aid and scholarships are available, and the school provides support services both in-person and remotely to ensure student success.

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Different Types of Financial Aid for Advanced Nursing Students

Don’t let the financial landscape of RN to MSN programs scare you. There are several commonly used forms of financial assistance available to help students like you save money and still achieve their educational goals. Read on for information on the three most common types of assistance: scholarships, grants, and loans.

Scholarships

Because scholarships do not require repayment, they are an excellent way to fund your RN to MSN education. Many schools and organizations offer scholarships specifically for nursing students. If you’re working as a nurse, don’t forget to check with your employer about possible scholarships and financial assistance. Scholarships are often merit-based, meaning they are awarded for academic achievement, leadership potential, or community service involvement. The amount of money awarded can range from a few hundred dollars to full tuition coverage. Taking advantage of scholarship opportunities allows RN to MSN students to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.

Grants

The pursuit of an advanced degree is more accessible and affordable with grants. Grants provide an excellent source of funding for RN to MSN students who qualify and rarely require repayment. Many grants are awarded based on need. To qualify for a selected grant, students need to submit information about their current financial situation and desired program costs. Grants are available through the federal government, state agencies, and private organizations. Students who qualify and utilize grants can minimize their educational expenses and reduce their reliance on loans.

Loans

Loans are often used by students looking to advance their careers by pursuing advanced degrees. While loans do require repayment, they also offer access to funds that might not otherwise be available. There are federal loans that often come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private loans. RN to MSN students must carefully consider their loan options by evaluating their current financial wellness and long-term goals. MSN grads can advance their careers and earn more to help offset the cost of student loans.

Financial Aid Checklist: From Eligibility to Application

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an application for federal student aid that is required to apply for federal student aid, including federal grants and loans. Completing the FAFSA as soon as possible is an important step in funding your advanced degree.

Complete the FAFSA Early

RNs seeking career advancement with an MSN degree should complete the FAFSA as early as possible to maximize their chances of receiving funds before they run out. Many nurses have successfully reduced the cost of their MSN programs by taking advantage of opportunities provided by FAFSA. Submitting the FAFSA early increases the odds of securing necessary financial support.

Thoroughly Review Eligibility Criteria & Requirements

Securing financial aid for your online RN to MSN education involves thoroughly reviewing the eligibility criteria and requirements for each type of aid. This will help you identify opportunities you qualify for and those that align best with your circumstances.

Check Deadlines and Apply Early

Life as an RN is busy, and important deadlines can slip through the cracks. To help ensure valuable financial aid opportunities are not missed, make a habit of checking deadlines and submitting applications in advance. Keep in mind that financial deadlines can differ based on the type of assistance and organization. Creating a personalized list to stay on top of crucial application deadlines can be helpful.

Gather All Necessary Documents

Gathering necessary documents is an important part of applying for financial aid opportunities. Regardless of the type of assistance needed, it is important to be prepared by having vital documents ready, including personal, professional, and academic records used to verify information submitted in the initial application. Having these documents ready in advance can help aspiring MSN students tackle financial aid applications with confidence.

Receive Feedback on Supplemental Materials

Supplemental documents and materials, such as letters of recommendation, resumes, and personal biography statements will often be required as part of the application process. These materials help attest to personal and professional achievements. Asking for these documents in advance means more time is available to have them returned and reviewed prior to submitting accomplishment. Like any application, putting your best foot forward can improve your chances of securing financial aid or financial assistance.

Review Award Letters

You will receive an award letter if you are selected to receive financial assistance. Take time to carefully review award letters and the important information included, such as the amount of assistance offered and the terms and conditions associated with the aid. Evaluating these award letters can help prospective MSN students make informed decisions about financial aid and any associated debt.