Scholarships and Grants

Columbia University School of Nursing is proud to offer approximately $10 million annually in fellowships and scholarships to our nursing students who demonstrate excellent academic achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise for leadership in nursing.

Scholarships, grants, and loans, are available to students to help finance their education at Columbia Nursing. Many students also receive tuition reimbursement from their employers while in school, and doctoral students can apply for teaching assistantships to supplement their educational costs. PhD students are fully funded for the first two years of their program.

All of our instituational aid is awarded during the Fall and Spring terms, and not during the Summer term.

Need-Based Aid

Need-based aid (scholarships or grants) are awarded on the basis of financial aid for the student as determined by the FAFSA. Aid received may change at any point during the academic year if a student no longer has financial need. The following criteria determine a change in financial aid:

  • Updated information on the Student Aid Report (SAR)
  • Changes in family contribution, external scholarships, or any changes in the student's enrollment

Significant changes are required to be reported immediately to the Office of Financial Aid.

Mary Bleecker Simmons Scholarship

Mary Bleecker Simmons (Class of 1960) and her husband Dick Simmons created Nursing’s first full tuition clinical scholarship. This generous gift from the Simmons family will allow the school to support scholars through the Masters Direct Entry program and the completion of their Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Nurses with this advanced training will have the skills they need to lead and succeed in our rapidly changing world. 

The Simmons Scholarship will cover full tuition and fees for both your Master’s and Doctoral programs. Students are selected for a scholarship during the admissions application process.

MDE Pathways to Leadership & Advancement in Nursing Scholarship

MDE PLAN Program

The PLAN (Pathways to Leadership & Advancement in Nursing) Program. PLAN exists to support and graduate students from economically and evironmentally disadvantage backgrounds into the accelerated graduate Masters Direct Entry Program. PLAN offers financial, academic, emotional, and professional support to students enrolling in the accelerated Masters Direct Entry Program (MDE). Students are selected for a scholarship during the admissions application process.

Merit-Based Aid​

Merit-based aid (scholarships or grants) is awarded to students independently of their financial need. The following are merit-scholarships currently available to students:

MDE/DNP Seamless Scholarship

Students who apply to the MDE/DNP combined program and who continue seamlessly from the MDE to the DNP will be awarded a $40,000 scholarship ($20,000/year during the 1st two years of the DNP program).

Post-BSN Scholarship

Students who apply to the Post-BSN DNP program will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship ($10,000/year for 1st two years of the program).

Teaching Assistantships

Assistantships are available to DNP and PhD students after their first semester of classes and MDE students after their first year of classes. Compensation is awarded in the form of tuition exemption. 

*TA Average award for 2021-2022 is $3,000.


iGrad is an award- winning financial literacy app, available to all students for life. For more information, visit the Columbiaigrad website.

Interschool Fellowships

Interschool Fellowships are a form of institutional aid awarded by Columbia University. For more information, visit the Student Financial Services website.

School-Based Loans

HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) was created with the purpose to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty by providing loans to part-time and full-time students. Currently enrolled students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD programs who desire a concentration in the academic educator field are eligible to apply. After graduation, 85% of the total NFLP loan is forgiven over a consecutive four-year period while loan recipients serve as full-time nurse faculty at a nursing school.

Enrolled students are notified by the Office of Financial Aid every fall once the application is available (and upon funding availability).


Priority will be given to students from underrepresented groups or disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to assuming a full-time faculty role or joint-appointed faculty, serving as a preceptor in an underserved area and/or with underserved populations.

  • U.S. citizen or national of the U.S, or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or its territories.
  • Enrolled full-time or part-time in an eligible program at the time the NFLP loan is established and must complete the education component(s) to prepare qualified nurse faculty.
  • Be in good academic standing in an advanced nurse education program at Columbia Nursing.
  • Have no judgment liens entered against him/her based on the default on a federal debt, 28 U.S.C. 3201(e).
  • The borrower must maintain full-time or part-time enrollment status for a minimum of two terms/semesters during an academic year while receiving the NFLP loan.
  • The NFLP graduate who intends to take advantage of this opportunity precept will be committed to serve as full-time preceptor for students in the DNP program. Taking on a minimum of five DNP students to precept each semester.

Interest Rate

  • Interest on your Nurse Faculty Loan will accrue at the rate of 3% per annum beginning three months after you cease to be a full-time student in the nurse education program at Columbia Nursing. 
  • Interest will be payable at the end of your nine month grace period. This 3% interest rate is contingent upon your completion of the advanced nurse education program and verification of your employment as a nurse faculty member once you graduate. 
  • You must submit a properly completed form certifying your employment to the school that granted your loan. If you fail to complete the advanced nurse education program or fail to serve as a full-time nurse faculty member upon graduation, interest on this loan will accrue on the outstanding balance at the prevailing market rate. The prevailing market rate is determined by the Treasury Department and is published quarterly. 


  • Repayment of your Nurse Faculty loan is repayable in equal quarterly or monthly installments over a ten-year repayment period that begins nine months after you cease full-time enrollment at Columbia Nursing in the advanced nurse education program. 
  • You have the right to pay more than the amount that is due on your loan. This process will shorten the time that your loan is in repayment and reduce the overall interest that you will pay over the life of the loan. 
  • You may also prepay any amounts without any penalty all or any part of the principal and accrued interest on the loan at any time. 


  • If you fail to make an installment payment when due or fail to comply with any other term of your promissory note, your loan will be considered in default. Columbia Nursing has the right to report any delinquency or default to credit bureaus. 
  • Columbia Nursing may also accelerate the loan, which means the entire loan balance will be due and payable immediately and legal action could be taken against you. If you have difficulty making your loan payments, contact Columbia Nursing's billing service immediately at 212-342-4790 or


  • Deferment benefits are available to borrowers for up to three years if you are ordered to active duty as a member of the uniformed service of the U.S. (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Oceanic, and Atmospheric Administration Corps (NOAA), or Public Health Service). Volunteer service is not eligible for this type of deferment. 


  • Forbearance is an alternative option if you do not qualify for deferment and you are having difficulty making your loan payment. Columbia Nursing may grant forbearance for a limited and specified period or an extension of the time to repay your loans. You may qualify if you request it and provide documentation to support the request. During periods of forbearance, interest continues to accrue. However, the interest is not payable until the forbearance ends. Forbearance periods may cover up to six months at a time. 
  • Remember to make your student loan payments until you hear that your request has been granted. If you do not make payments while your request is being processed, your loan may become delinquent and late fees may possibly be assessed. 
  • The purpose of the NFLP is to increase the number of doctorally-prepared advanced practice nurse (APN) faculty and preceptors. The NFLP mitigates financial barriers and provide financial support for students enrolled in the Columbia Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree programs through the NFLP loan cancellation program. Priority will be given to students from underrepresented groups or disadvantaged backgrounds who are committed to assuming a full-time faculty role or joint-appointed faculty, serving as a preceptor in an underserved area and/or with underserved populations.
  • Graduates are eligible to fulfill their service obligation through the Expanded Employment opportunity serving as a full-time preceptor for DNP APN students in their employment setting. The NFLP graduate who intends to take advantage of this opportunity will be committed to serve as full time preceptor for students in the DNP program, taking on a minimum of five DNP students each semester. The NFLP graduate will be appointed as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing on an annual basis.
  • The appointment will be contingent upon a fully executed Clinical Practice Agreement (CPA) between Columbia Nursing and the employing agency and establishes a mutually agreed upon relationship between the entities to develop, establish, and maintain clinical education for Columbia Nursing NP students. This closes the loop between Columbia Nursing, the faculty preceptor and the agency and assures a shared vision of quality NP clinical education.


  • You are eligible to have up to 85% of your loan cancelled (forgiven) for employment as a full-time faculty member in a school of nursing. To receive this loan cancellation, you must be employed full time as nurse faculty at a school of nursing for a complete year, as defined by the employing school of nursing for 12 consecutive months. 
  • During a period of cancellation, principal and interest will be cancelled. If eligible, you may receive the following cancellations: 
    • 20% for the first, second, and third year of employment 25% for the fourth year of employment.
    • These percentages are calculated on the amount of the unpaid balance on the first day of employment. To receive these cancellation benefits, your employment must also be consecutive. 
  • You are responsible for submitting the properly completed forms to the school that granted your loan. Two forms are required for each year of eligible employment.
    • A postponement request should be submitted 30 days before your original nine month grace period expires and annually thereafter. 
    • You must also complete and submit a request for cancellation for that same years’ service upon completion of each year of employment as faculty at a school of nursing.   
  • You may be ineligible for further cancellation benefits under the following circumstances: 
    • If your employment is not consecutive, you are ineligible for further cancellation benefits. Repayment of your loan will begin and interest will accrue at the prevailing market rate. 
    • If you discontinue employment, you are ineligible for further cancellation. Repayment of your loan will begin and interest will accrue at the prevailing market rate. 
  • Paid leave such as vacation or sick leave is not considered a break in service. Once you receive the maximum portion (up to 85%) of the principal amount of the loan and interest, the remaining amount (15% or more depending upon years of employment) of the unpaid balance is repayable at a 3% interest rate over the remainder of your repayment period. The maximum repayment period is ten years. 
  • In the event of your permanent total disability or death, your loan obligation will be discharged. In both cases, documentation must be sent to the institution that granted your loan. Loan discharge due to disability requires certification from a physician and is subject to approval by your lending institution. The Department of Health and Human Services will make the final determination of a disability discharge. 

Nurse Faculty Loan Program FAQs

What does the Nurse Faculty Loan Program provide?

Students may borrow a maximum of $35,500 per year for no more than five years of support. NFLP loans may be used to cover full/partial tuition and the costs of fees, books and other reasonable education expenses (personal living expenses/stipends are not supported).

What are the awardees’ responsibilities?

If you are granted a Nursing Faculty Loan you must:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Maintain at least part-time student status
  • Commit to assuming a full-time faculty position or to serve as a full-time preceptor for DNP students
  • Sign a promissory note, Truth in Lending Act (TILAs), with the Office of Student Financial Services

What is the application process?

Complete an online application (provided each fall semester by the financial aid office) and submit by the deadline.

Are unpaid maternity/family leave considered a break in service?

Paid or unpaid leave needs to be consistent with the institution's policy and is subject to supervisory approval. This is not considered a break in service. Only termination of full-time employment is considered a break in service.

Is the loan applicable for the fiscal year, academic year, or calendar year?

The semesters we are awarding are the fall and spring semesters for the academic year (for first-time borrowers). We can award for summer if a student is continuing/based on availability of funding. A continuing NFLP borrower is prioritized versus a new NFLP borrower.

Do students need to reapply for the NFLP each year?

Yes, students will need to reapply each academic year through the financial aid office. Updated documentation (entrance, Master Promissory Note (MPN), Truth in Lending Act (TILA) will be collected for each academic year students participate in the program. Students need not accept the maximum $35,500 each year.

Who is responsible for assigning students to preceptors and scheduling?

Student placements are coordinated by the academic affairs office, the program directors and vice dean, and the dean of students. Student scheduling is determined by the preceptor/site in conjunction with NP students. We are flexible in how scheduling gets implemented.

Where can I find coronavirus guidance for school loan-based programs?

For more information, visit the HRSA website.

HRSA Nurse Student Loan

To increase the diversity of the health professions workforce and the number of providers working in underserved communities, HRSA makes grant funding to schools, which in turn provide scholarships and low-interest loans to disadvantaged students with financial need.

The Nursing Student Loan program is one of these funding sources. It provides long-term, low-interest rate loans to full-time and half-time financially needy students pursuing a course of study leading to a diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing

Eligible enrolled students are notified by Financial Aid Office every fall once the application is available. Funding is limited and not guaranteed.

Aid for Veteran and Service Members

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program is an initiative authorized by the Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (the Post-9/11 GI Bill ®) in which educational institutions provide eligible student veterans with a tuition waiver or grant matched by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This program supplements the base educational benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill ®. Participation in this supplementary program is determined by Columbia's participating schools on a first-come, first-serve basis for up to $5,000, and is available only to enrolled students who meet the 100 percent entitlement according to their VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility.