FAFSA Independent Status on second bachelors degree?

Anything I find is for taking out loans for a second degree. I just want to know if getting a second bachelors degree qualifies me to file for Independent status. There is a need based scholarship I want to apply for since my parents are unable to help me pay for this degree (couldn’t for my first degree either), and my income alone would qualify me. But as it currently stands, my parents EFC is too high for me to qualify, but they do not make enough to help with my education.
FAFSA states that independent status is gained with a graduate or professional education. I will technically be a graduate going back for a second bachelors. I just really need a way to qualify for this nursing scholarship. I cannot take out more private loans for school, I can hardly afford mine now as it is considering I got no financial aid and had to take out over 40k in loans over the past 4 years.
So does a second bachelors degree qualify me to file as independent or will I have to find another way to do so?

Check very carefully. In the very vast majority of cases…regardless of independent vs dependent status…need based grants are not awarded to folks seeking second bachelors degrees.

So first off…are you positive you qualify for this grant?

Stop the music.

Why a second BA? Start there. They are rarely as useful professionally or academically as people think they are- even if you could comfortably afford it. Since you can’t afford it- stop and think.

Are you trying to become a nurse? What is your first degree in and have you taken any of the pre-req’s required for a nursing degree? Do you have practical experience in patient care- can you get a job- right now- as a CNA or LPN-- to figure out if you are suited for nursing?

You are not technically a graduate going back for professional education or graduate school. You are trying to reset the clock and start all over again as a Freshman. This sounds like a bad plan on so many levels.

What are you trying to do here?

Graduate degree would be a masters degree or any further licensing.
I don’t know of any federal funds that would help you pay for a second BS.

Once you graduate, you are done for Bachelors financing by the government.

I did not know what I wanted to do so I picked a degree in women’s studies. I have completed enough pre requisites to get into an accelerated bachelors nursing program and I would be certified in 16 months. To get into an accelerated masters program I would have another 2 years of prerequisites to complete. I just need independent status to qualify for a nurse corps scholarship, not financial aid from fafsa itself.

If you have taken the requisite courses…would you be eligible for a bachelors to nursing program in your state? You would need to have ALL of the science and related coursework required for nursing, and have a bachelors degree. The bachelors to nursing programs are highly competitive for admissions, but they are usually fully funded…and lead to nursing degrees in about 18 months.

Because you would,already have the coursework…the bachelors to nursing concentrates on the practicals…with some coursework.

A second bachelors degree…I’m with @blossom . Not sure I would recommend that route.

There are need based Health Professions Loans, I think there is one for nursing.
Ask the school with the accelerated nursing program what kind of aid you can apply for.

I know to be considered for the pharmacy Health Professions Loan my D will have to provide parent information on the FAFSA, even though she would normally be considered to be a graduate student and thus independent for FAFSA.

With the nurse corps scholarship, do you have a service requirement?

Which of the programs on this list is in your state and most affordable for you?


They all accomplish what you want, so go to the most affordable program that accepts you.

What changed between deciding on your major the first time around and now?

For a second bachelors you are not eligible for any need based federal aid other than loans.

Even then you will only be eligible for $7500 if you have not maxed out your federal loans. If you have maxed out your loans then you will not be eligible for any more aid.

@sybbie719 is correct - loans are it, and they are at dependent undergrad limits for whatever “year in school” they assign to you. The only other federal option is for your parents to borrow Parent PLUS loans; otherwise, you will need to consider private loans. I was the financial aid liaison for the accelerated nursing program at my former school, so I understand the issues this causes, but it’s the unfortunate truth.