Your Guide to Financial Aid for Second Degree Nursing Students

Guide to financial aid for second degree nursing students

Want to apply to our 16-month ABSN program but not sure you can afford it? It’s a valid concern. After all, you’ve already paid for college once, so the cost of a second bachelor’s degree in nursing probably seems intimidating. With the right planning, however, it just might be one of the wisest investments you’ll ever make. Let this post be your guide to financial aid for second-degree nursing students.

A Worthwhile Investment

Before getting into your financial aid options, we wanted to highlight the value that comes with being a Northeastern student. Known for our innovative curriculum and experiential learning opportunities, we make sure our students step outside of the classroom to further develop their knowledge and skills in the real world.

Northeastern University Rankings

For 2021, U.S. News and World Report ranked Northeastern:

  • #1 in its list of co-ops and internships
  • #11 in its list of most innovative schools
  • #49 in its list of top national universities

In other words, by choosing Northeastern, you’re not just investing in a quality nursing education, you’re also getting clinical experiences that will put you at the top of your game. We take great pride in our ability to graduate nurse leaders who go out and make a difference in the world.

Shaelyn on Northeastern education

It’s a great school and a great program. Employers are going to look at your application and know that you have the right nursing education and that you’re prepared.


In terms of our ABSN program, which has site locations in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, North Carolina, you’ll find that we’re a top choice among students for a variety of reasons, including our:

    • Straightforward admissions process paired with personalized support.
    • Supportive faculty who provide innovative learning experiences.
    • Outstanding healthcare partners that offer diverse clinical placements.
    • Three start dates a year with a high enrollment capacity per start.

About Federal Direct Loans

Given the various low-interest loan options available through the U.S. Department of Education, we encourage you, no matter your income level, to apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)—it’s the only way to know what type of loan you’re qualified to receive.

Federal Direct SubsidizedEligible undergraduates who demonstrate financial need.Interest starts to accrue after a student graduates from or leaves school.
Federal Direct UnsubsidizedEligible undergraduates regardless of financial need.Interest starts to accrue after the first loan disbursement occurs.
Parent PLUSEligible parents of dependent undergraduate students.Borrowing parent must have a good credit history and apply for the loan every year.

To be eligible for federal student financial aid, you must be:

  • Accepted into a degree program.
  • Enrolled in at least six credit hours per term.
  • A U.S. citizen in good financial standing.
  • Registered for Selective Service, if required.


You must complete a FAFSA every school year within federal, state, and university deadlines. When filling out your FAFSA, here are some details you’ll need to know:

  • School Code: 002199
  • Grade Level: Fifth year/other undergraduate
  • Degree Type: Second bachelor’s degree
  • Graduate/Professional Program: No

About Private Loans

More times than not, federal student aid will not cover the total cost of attending our ABSN program. Therefore, it’s a good idea to research private lenders, such as banks or credit unions, and try to borrow from an institution with low-interest rates and good terms.

With private loans, you can choose a fixed interest rate (stays the same) or a variable interest rate (fluctuates). It’s also a good idea to see what type of borrower protection a lender offers, such as flexible repayment plans or payment deferral.

Furthermore, because private loans are credit-based, it’s important to know your credit score. If you have poor credit, you’re likely to pay a higher interest rate than you would with a federal loan. You may even need a co-signer on your loan.

Once you’ve decided on a private lender, contact our Student Financial Services Office to make sure you understand loan periods and how they relate to the semester and yearly limits on private loan certifications. The office can also assist you in calculating the loan amount you’ll need to finance your nursing degree.

Loan Limits

Before applying for a private loan, you should complete a FAFSA to see if you have any remaining federal student loan eligibility. It’s a good idea to exhaust your federal student loan limits before applying for a private loan. Also, make sure you get accepted into nursing school before asking to borrow money.

About Third-Party Scholarships

You can also seek out award-based funding through a third party. Each scholarship follows different criteria, usually reflecting the values and/or purposes of the donor or founder of the award.

Scholarship Search

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing
  • FastWeb
  • NURSE Corps Scholarship Program
  • org/massachusetts
  • org/north-carolina

Is a Second Degree Nursing Program Worth it?

If your goal is to accelerate your nursing career, a second-degree nursing program is definitely worth it. You just have to make sure the ABSN program is accredited and that you’re ready to take on a rigorous, full-time education.

Northeastern prepare students for the NCLEX.

Northeastern definitely prepared me for the NCLEX. I passed in 75 questions.


When it comes to our accredited ABSN program, you can expect a blended education format that combines online coursework with hands-on nursing labs and clinical rotations. Together, these learning components provide the academic foundation and real-world experience you need to:

  • Sit for the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam with confidence.
  • Deliver quality, compassionate care to diverse patient populations.
  • Apply sound clinical judgment in complex patient care situations.
  • Understand and apply ethical standards in nursing practice.
  • Work as an effective member of an interdisciplinary healthcare team.

Your Future in Nursing

Whether you graduate from our ABSN program in Massachusetts or North Carolina, here’s what the nursing profession has in store for you. Take note that several variables influence RN salary, from state of residence to employer type.

 United StatesMassachusettsNorth Carolina
Job Growth


Registered nurse jobs are expected to grow by 7%.Registered nurse jobs are expected to grow by 8.2%.Registered nurse jobs are expected to grow by 10.8%.
Salary Range$53,410 – $116,230$61,660 – $146,480$50,820 – $93,250
EmployersCorporate clinics, home healthcare services, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, private practices, military bases, schools, and so on. Plus, there are more than 90 specialty areas of nursing practice.
Source: CareerOneStop, 2020 data

Ready to Earn a Second Degree in Nursing?

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and are interested in learning more about our 16-month ABSN program, contact our admissions team today! Also, be sure to ask for a free digital copy of our financial aid guide for second-degree students.

Get Started Today

  1. Educational Background:

    Bachelor's Degree

    Master's Degree

    Associate's Degree

    60+ College Credits

    35-59 College Credits

    0-34 College Credits


    RNs with ADN/BSN/MSN

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