Financial Aid Guide for LPN to RN Programs

LPN to RN Scholarship Resources

scholarship information graphicThere are a lot of online scholarship resources for nurses. Just searching for the term “nursing program scholarship” brings up thousands of results. It can sometimes be hard to tell which scholarships are open to students in LPN to RN programs. Thankfully, almost every scholarship that is open to undergraduates is also open to bridge program students. We researched and poured through the results to find the following three great nursing scholarship resources for students looking for some extra help to pay for their LPN to RN programs.

Best Nursing Scholarships Lists

AACN’s Financial Aid Resource Page

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, or AACN, has a very comprehensive list of scholarships. They list scholarships for both graduate and undergraduate programs. If you are in an LPN to RN program, you will want to stick to the undergraduate scholarships. Some of the scholarships are national, and can be applied to by anyone in any nursing program year round. We highly recommend the following scholarships from their page:

And, look into LPNBSN.net LPNBSN.net's Nursing School Scholarship.

Discover Nursing Scholarship Search Engine

DiscoverNursing.com is a leader in nursing student information. They have many great resources on their website, including a scholarship search engine. You can narrow down your scholarship results by education levels, GPA requirements, and location. We recommend that you set the education level to “Undergraduate”. The location can also be narrowed down by state. Make sure to set it to “All Locations” first. That way you don’t miss out on the “National” scholarship available to every nursing student in the US.

Nursing Journal’s Scholarships and Grants List

NursingJournal.com is a social community for nurses worldwide. As the name suggests, they compiled a list of more than 70 awesome nursing scholarships and grants. Their list organizes these scholarships by several factors. These include name, educational level required, the amount of the scholarship, and a link to the scholarship website. Unfortunately there’s no search function on this list yet. To make it easy to identify which items on the list are for undergraduates you can press “ctrl+f” on your keyboard, and type in “undergraduate”. This will highlight every instance of the word “undergraduate” on the page, and make it easy to scroll through the list and see which scholarships you qualify for.

FAFSA Requirements for LPN to RN Programs

FAFSA information imageThe Federal Application For Student Aid (or FAFSA) is exactly what it sounds like. It's an application that you fill out for the federal government to give you money for school. Every FAFSA applicant must follow basic rules to qualify for aid.

  1. You must be a citizen of the United States.
  2. You must have a social security number.
  3. You must have a high school diploma or GED.
  4. You must be active or enrolled in a federally eligible program or school.
  5. You must keep your grades high enough to maintain “satisfactory” academic progress.
  6. You can't be in default with a student loan.
  7. You cannot have ANY drug related offenses on your record.

By keeping with these basic rules, you can apply for federal financial aid. The actual amount that you receive depends on different factors. These factors change every year, so you must send in a new FAFSA every single year that you are in school.

Basic FAFSA Information for LPN to RN Programs

tax and FAFSA information on blue backgroundYour FAFSA can be filled out online, or in your school’s financial aid office. If this is your first time, you may want to visit your financial aid office for help with any questions you may have. The application process is fairly simple, but requires a lot of time and documents. These documents include:

  • Your social security card, or number.
  • Your tax return (W-2) from the previous year (if you have one).
  • The PIN you created when you setup your FAFSA account.
  • Your parent’s tax return information from the previous year if the IRS considers you a dependent
  • You will also be required to list all of the schools you might attend. You should figure out which programs you might attend before filling out your FAFSA.

How to Fill Out the FAFSA for an LPN to RN Program

Once you have your documents and your list of schools, you are ready to start filling everything out. There are only a few steps.

  1. Go to fafsa.ed.gov
  2. If this is your first time, click “Start a New FAFSA”. If you’ve done this before, click “Login”.
  3. Create an account, or log in.
  4. Fill out the application completely from start to finish. This may take a day or two depending on how much information you have with you at the time.
  5. Sign the application and send it in for processing.

After you’ve sent it in, it goes to the U.S. Department of Education for processing. They will determine how much financial assistance you are qualified to receive. After that, they will send confirmation to your LPN to RN school stating how much aid you qualify for. This process takes anywhere from a week to a month to complete. How you can accept the aid all depends on your school. You will need to speak with your financial aid office for details. For online LPN to RN programs, you can speak with your recruiter or program counselor for details.

FAFSA Deadlines and Important Dates

The FAFSA period for submitting applications begins in September and ends in June. For example, the deadline for the 2014 to 2015 school year was June 30, 2015. There is a period of time where you can make corrections to your FAFSA from the end of June to the end of September. A typical year goes like this…

Beginning of the year to the end of June: You can fill out a FAFSA and submit it for aid in the following school year.

End of June to end of September: You can make corrections to your application.

End of September to beginning of the year: You can fill out a FAFSA and submit it for aid in the following school year.

Realistically, it would be difficult to fill out a FAFSA in December. This is because you need your tax return to accurately determine the amount of aid you can receive. Tax returns aren’t typically filed until February to April.

A good rule of thumb is to fill out your FAFSA right after you’ve finished filing your taxes.

Let us know of other great scholarships sites or financial aid tips.

Ellen Garmon

About Ellen Garmon

Officially, I'm a writer. Unofficially, I connect people with each other in honest, unique, and beautiful ways.