Why Not Let Your Favorite Uncle Fund Your Healthcare Education?
Nursing Scholarship Program
The Nursing Scholarship Program provides tuition, fees, educational expenses, and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses to those pursuing nursing degrees; the stipend was nearly $1,300 for the 2011-2012 school year. Students may pursue various types of RN programs, including those culminating in BSNs, MSNs, or even an associate degree or diplomas. Preference is given to full-time nurses in financial need. In return, students must commit to 2 years of service in a health care facility located in an area with a critical shortage of nurses.
National Health Service Corps
Funding is available through the National Health Service Corps for physicians, family nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, physician assistants and dentists. Notably, this program is actually a loan-repayment program, allowing participants to receive up to $170,000 in educational loan repayment with 5-year service commitments. ($60,000 awards come with 2-year commitments, and part-time, 4-year arrangements are available, as well.) There are many NHSC-approved sites in various areas of the country, located in areas classified as Health Professional Shortage Areas, or HPSAs. Many Corps members work in federally-funded health care centers, but others serve in Indian Health Service clinics, rural areas, and public health department clinics. Some also serve in managed care networks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sites, prisons, or hospital-affiliated primary care practices.
Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students
Unlike the other programs available through the HRSA, The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program does not require students to make commitments regarding after-graduation employment. Qualification is based on financial need, as determined by the school. Students are also free to choose from a broader spectrum of healthcare careers; funding is available for those wanting to become optometrists, pharmacists, chiropractors, physician assistants, veterinarians, speech pathologists, clinical social workers, and other medical professionals. Scholarship amounts are determined by the educational institutions, to which the funding is paid, in order to allow for tuition, educational expenses, and reasonable living stipends.
Websites for Saving Money as a College Student
Coupons.com offers coupons for nearly everything you need to survive in college. By signing up for a free account, you’re able to access hundreds of coupons for groceries (no more cafeteria food!), cleaning supplies for your apartment or dorm room, and personal care items for your hygiene and well-being. Better yet, many of these coupons are eligible to be combined with other coupons and offers, meaning your savings could be downright enormous. Some students even combine the coupons to earn free (yes, free!) stuff.
Cool bonus feature: Coupons.com offers a counter showing how much money you’ve saved so far just by printing the coupons. The savings rack up awfully fast!
2. Groupon.com or LivingSocial.com
Although these websites are not affiliated with one another, they are grouped together in this list because they both operate under the same basic premise: Groupon and Living Social offer “flash deals,” deals that are only available for a limited amount of time or in limited quantities, and they also offer steep discounts (usually 50% or more). These discounts span a huge range of products and activities and can include everything from sailing lessons to groceries. Both sites make it easy to take part in deals; if you sign up for their mailing list, they’ll send you an email each morning describing your area’s local deal. As a college student, you can use these deals to help cover necessities, or you can purchase deals to help cut costs on leisure activities without sacrificing on entertainment value.
Cool bonus feature: Groupon and Living Social both offer users the option of redeeming their deal coupon using a smartphone instead of carrying around a paper voucher, which, especially for environmentally concerned college students and/ or students who are prone to forgetfulness, is extremely useful.
Upromise is slightly more complicated than the above websites, but if you’re diligent about using their features, you could earn some serious savings. Instead of offering instant savings on products and services, Upromise helps you to earn cash back on the things on which you already spend money, meaning it can be combined with all sorts of coupons and special offers. Upromise also offers coupons of its own. By agreeing to join their email list, which- beware- permits sponsors to send you advertisements (Their money has to come from somewhere, right?), you can create a free account and begin using it immediately. When you make an eligible purchase, which could be anything from dinner at a participating restaurant (if you pay with a card that is linked to your Upromise profile) to online shopping through Upromise’s dedicated shopping network (which includes over 800 retailers), your percentage of cash back is automatically deposited into your profile’s account. Starting at a specified amount, you can redeem your cash, and your earnings never expire.
Cool bonus feature: Upromise offers three ways to redeem your earnings. First, you can have it deposited into a long term 529 college savings account. Second, because Upromise is affiliated with Sallie Mae, you can use your earnings to pay down any student loans you may have with the lender. And if neither of the first two choices seem appealing, your third option is to have your earnings sent to you via a check in the mail.