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Financial aid & scholarships

Find resources to help manage the cost of your nursing education.

Understanding financial aid

Choosing Geisinger School of Nursing means you chose a real-world, hands-on education that will lead to a rewarding nursing career in just two years. Financial concerns don’t have to hold you back! Discover resources that can help make your nursing education affordable

Apply for financial aid

To be considered for Federal Student Aid, Federal Direct Loans, PA State Grants and institutional funds, all prospective and returning students are advised to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Once your information has been received by the school (new FAFSA information is expected to start transmitting to schools in late March/early April) the Financial Aid Office will begin sending financial aid award notifications. Students must complete the FAFSA prior to May 1 for state grant consideration.

The 2024–2025 FAFSA has been streamlined by the U.S. Department of Education to make the process easier. However, processing times have been extended.

Students and contributors will need the following to complete the FAFSA:

  • FSA ID
  • Social Security Number
  • 2022 Federal Income Tax Returns
  • Records of child support received
  • Current balance of cash, savings and checking accounts (Note: You must provide consent and approval to disclose your federal tax information to be eligible for federal student aid.)
  • Bank statements and records of investments (if applicable), net worth of investments, businesses and farms
  • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
  • List school code: G41672
  • Nursing students will need to complete the PA State Grant Form

After completion, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing the FAFSA submission summary (formerly called Student Aid Report), which details your reported FAFSA information. We recommend you review your answers as you will not be able to make corrections until your FAFSA has been processed.


The following grants are available:

  • Federal Pell Grant: awarded yearly and will depend on your student aid index (SAI), cost of the college and enrollment status (full or part time).
  • PA State Grant: Pennsylvania residents may receive a yearly award based on financial need through the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. You must complete the FAFSA by May 1 of the upcoming aid year. Students can apply at

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Direct Loans are offered by the U.S. Department of Education. The type of loan is based on financial need. This is a low-interest loan, and the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. Federal Direct Loans help students bridge the gap up to their cost of attendance (COA).

You may be eligible for the following Federal Direct Loan types:

  • A Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is available to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover educational costs. Interest does not accrue on this loan while you are enrolled in college. The 2023–2024 academic award year interest rate for this loan is 5.50%.
  • A Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is available to eligible undergraduate students to help cover educational costs. This loan is not based on need and accrues interest from the date of disbursement. The 2023–2024 academic award year interest rate for this loan is 5.50%.
  • A Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan is for eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is based on a credit check and not on financial need. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. The 2023–2024 academic award year interest rate for this loan is 8.05%.

Private loans

Alternative private education loans are offered by banks or lending institutions to help bridge the gap between the cost of education and the amount of financial aid received. These are private loans that are not guaranteed by the federal government. If you choose to pursue a private alternative loan, you will submit your loan application directly to the lender.

Alternative private loans may vary in their terms and conditions (such as interest rates, repayment terms and fees). Therefore, the Office of Financial Aid cannot provide you with information about comparative pricing of private loans nor about the likelihood of your being approved with or without a cosigner.

With alternative private loans:

  • The borrower must be credit-worthy or have a credit-worthy co-signer
  • Students can apply for the loan; however, they may be required to have a co-signer
  • Most private educational loans have a co-signer release option
  • Since a credit check is likely, not everyone is approved for an Alternative Private Education Loan
  • Your interest rate is determined when you apply for the loan and a credit check is complete
  • There are no origination fees
  • You do not begin repayment until six months after the student graduates or withdraws from school

To find private loans used by many of our current students, visit ELMSelect and search “Geisinger.”

GI Bill educational benefits

Learn how to use your GI Bill® benefits and military tuition assistance at Geisinger School of Nursing.

Employee benefits

Substantial support is available for Geisinger employees to obtain or advance their nursing education. Learn more about education benefits for Geisinger employees.

Return of Title IV Funds 


A student who withdraws from a course during the refund period will have their financial aid adjusted to reflect their change in enrollment. A student who completely withdraws from their courses prior to the first 60% of a semester will have their Federal Financial Aid adjusted based on the percentage of the semester completed prior to withdraw. The federal government mandates that a student who withdraws from all classes on or before the 60 percent point in the semester may only keep the financial aid they have “earned” up to the time of withdraw. Title IV funds that were disbursed in excess of the earned amount of aid must be returned by the college and/or the student to the federal government. This may result in the student owing aid to the college, the federal government or both. Institutional funds are adjusted based on the percentage completed before the date of withdraw.

A student identified as an unofficial withdraw will have R2T4 calculated based on the last day of attendance. A student attending the nursing, or the graduate school will be reviewed for failing letter grades (F). Medical students will be evaluated based on the Pass/Fail grading system.   


Dr. Tanja Adonizio, vice provost for Student Affairs, Dr. Jennifer Boardman, associate dean of Graduate Education, Beth Finkbiner, director of Nursing will initiate the official withdraw process and notifies affected offices that a student will be withdrawing from the college. The student will need to schedule an appointment with each office that will be affected by the withdraw to receive the appropriate counseling and to obtain the necessary signatures before the withdrawal will be processed. The completed withdraw form is then submitted to the Registrar’s Office for processing. The registrar will send an email to all offices listed on the withdraw form confirming the official withdraw date. The registrar updates the National Clearinghouse with the student’s official withdraw date.   

R2T4 is completed within 45 days upon the school’s date of determination for the withdraw date. The Financial Aid Office will complete the R2T4 calculation. To determine the amount of aid the student has earned up to the time of withdraw, the Financial Aid Office divides the number of calendar days the student attended classes by the total number of calendar days in the semester (less any scheduled breaks of five days or more). The resulting percentage is then multiplied by the total federal funds that were disbursed (either to the student’s account or directly to the student) for the semester. This calculation determines the amount of aid earned by the student and which he or she may keep (for example, if the student attended 25 percent of the semester, the student will have earned 25 percent of the aid disbursed). The unearned amount (total aid disbursed less the earned amount) must be returned to the federal government by the college or the student. The financial aid staff processes the R2T4 and another member of the financial aid staff will verify the calculation.    

The student is notified via email with a letter which contains the results of the R2T4 calculation, including the amount of funds adjusted, as well as an exit package with detailed instructions on completing exit counseling. A revised award letter is sent to the student via email indicating the amount of financial aid the college could keep.  If there is a post disbursement withdraw, the student is notified via email and mailed a letter of their intent to disburse the funds. The student has 15 days from the date of notification to approve or deny the disbursement. If the student does not respond within the time frame, the funds are returned to the Department of Education. After the completion of R2T4, the Financial Aid Office notifies the bursar of adjustments to be made to the student’s account. The bursar will send an updated invoice to the student. The Financial Aid Office will notify and provide instructions to the student who is required to return funds to the federal government.

Allocating Returned Title IV (Federal) Aid

Funds that are returned to the federal government are used to reduce the outstanding balances in individual federal programs. Financial aid returned (by the college and/or the student) must be allocated in the following order: 

Graduate/Medical Students:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Grad PLUS

Associate Degree of Nursing:

  1. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
  2. Federal Direct Subsidized Loan
  3. Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
  4. Federal Pell Grants  

Contact us

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For more information, contact the office of financial aid.

Financial aid team

Michelle Schmude, EdD, MBA

Michele Schmude

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, Associate Professor of Medical Education, Department of Medical Education

Suzanne McNamara

Sue Mcnamara
Director of Financial Aid

Roxanne Seymour, MBS, MSHE

Roxanne Seymour
Associate Director for Financial Aid

Penny Zesiger

Penny Zesiger
Financial Aid Advisor, Lewistown
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