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Is there financial aid for nursing students?

QUESTION: We are grandparents of a child going to a junior college in Oregon who will transfer to an Oregon university next year. She is studying nursing. In high school, she was an excellent student and has done well so far but has not applied for anything. We are helping pay her expenses as her parents have other children. We have a niece in Arizona who is also studying nursing and who is getting financial help from the local hospital in exchange for working there. Do you have any ideas for our grandchild? Signed, Giving Grandparents

Dear Giving Grandparents: Millions of students across the country only wish that they had grandparents as generous as you are. It's admirable that you are helping to ensure that your grandchildren have the opportunity to attain college educations. But you are right that your granddaughter can take steps to help herself.

First, if she hasn't already, your granddaughter should work with her parents to apply for financial aid. She should contact the financial aid office of the university to which she is going to transfer. The financial aid office will indicate what forms she needs to complete. She should also inquire about scholarships offered by the university for transfer students.

Your niece has found a great way to fund her education. Many hospitals have programs to support students in health care in exchange for the students working at the hospital. Ask your granddaughter to inquire at hospitals close to the university. She may be required to work at the hospital during her summer breaks or even after she graduates, but it may be worth the commitment for her to get that extra support.

Since your granddaughter has done well academically, scholarships are also a possibility. Nursing awards are offered by the American Legion Auxiliary, National Student Nurses' Association and Oregon Student Assistance Commission, which can be reached at (800) 452-8807. Students outside of Oregon can contact their state's higher education agency to see if nursing scholarships are offered in their area. Contact information for these agencies is available at

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.