I didn't know that about the extension in certain circumstances for teacher certification, but you are right. The details can be found here IFAP - Student Financial Aid Handbooks
It is a very limited exception with lots of rules. Unfortunately I don't think it will be of any help to you in your nursing plans.
Eligible Postbaccalaureate Program |
Certain students who have received a bachelor’s degree can receive a Pell Grant when enrolled in postbaccalaureate teacher certification programs. This is a very limited exception to the requirement that a Pell Grant recipient must be an undergraduate student enrolled in an undergraduate program. Because of the
restrictions that apply to this provision, only a limited number of programs exist where students will be eligible for Pell Grants. An otherwise eligible student who has a bachelor’s degree, and is enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification or licensure program, is eligible to receive a Pell Grant for the period of time necessary to complete the program only if:
• the program consists of the courses required by a state to receive a professional certification or licensing credential necessary for employment as a teacher in an elementary or secondary school in that state;
• the program does not lead to a graduate degree;
• the school offering the program does not also offer a bachelor’s degree in education;
• the student is pursuing an initial teacher certification or licensing credential within a state;
• the student is enrolled at least half-time; and
• the program is a postbaccalaureate program.
Under this very limited provision, a postbaccalaureate program is defined as a program that generally requires a student to have a bachelor’s degree before being admitted to the program.
It is the only exception to the rule - there does not seem to be one for nursing. I am not sure if you can still get the Pell even if your postpone your graduation, if you will have achieved the credits required to graduate.
| Completing Bachelor’s Requirements Without Receiving |
a DegreeOccasionally, a student will complete all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree but will continue taking undergraduate courses without accepting the degree. The school must decide at what point it considers the student to have completed the baccalaureate course of study. If the school considers the student to have completed the baccalaureate course of study, the student is no longer eligible to receive a Pell Grant
I would think there should be some sort of scholarships for nursing. I don't know of any federal grants for it unfortunately. I can completely understand you wanting to avoid loans as much as possible. Good luck.