The first step in applying for financial aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA).

This form, which must be completed every year, is required to apply for Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans, work-study, all state and many school student assistance programs. Your FAFSA must be filed after January 1 and before each state’s individual deadline. In Indiana, the FAFSA filing deadline is usually March 10. 

File your FAFSA online

Guide to financial aid and the FAFSA

Types of financial aid

Loans are borrowed money that you must repay. There are three types of loans: student loans (Stafford Loans or Perkins Loans), parent loans (PLUS loans), and private loans.

Grants are based on your financial need and do not require repayment.

Scholarships are gifted money that do not require repayment. Scholarships usually require you to meet specific criteria, such as academic performance, special qualifications or interests in a particular field of study. Scholarship databases can be easily found with a web search.

Student employment includes work-study programs and part-time jobs. Nursing students may be eligible for employment as a student nurse after one semester of clinical nursing experience.

Tuition reimbursement is often available to employees of health care agencies and other work settings as an employee benefit. Eligibility for tuition reimbursement varies and may depend on your length of employment, minimum number of working hours per pay period, and commitment to work following your graduation. Employment as a student nurse does not usually qualify you for tuition reimbursement.