Financial Aid and Scholarships for Certified Nursing Assistant Students

Certified nursing assistants are in high demand, which is why it’s important that students interested in pursuing a CNA education have access to financial aid, scholarships and other programs devoted to helping those who want to enter the field pay for school. This guide is designed to help students interested in this fast-growing field by providing information on tuition assistance, financial aid, scholarships and more.

Pay for School: CNA Financial Aid & Scholarships

In addition to financial aid offered on the state and federal level, CNA students can also seek out specialty scholarships that focus solely on funding certified nursing assistant education. These scholarship opportunities are a great place to begin.


Government Funded Aid Programs for CNA Students

There are many government-sponsored financial assistance opportunities and free training programs available to aspiring CNAs. Here’s a rundown of what aspiring students might find during their search for government CNA funding.

Job Corps

The Job Corps offers free CNA training programs at many of their centers across the nation. Training typically includes basic living allowances, clothing allowances and job placement. Some centers require students to live at the Job Corps Center while training, others require students live off-campus. Some programs will also provide child care for students with kids. For those who are lacking a GED or equivalent, Job Corps can also help students get their high school credential before starting their CNA program.


Health Professional Shortage Area (Hpsa) Programs

States across the nation are becoming more dedicated to relieving the shortage of healthcare professionals, combating the problem by offering admissions assistance, financial aid and other tuition assistance to the EMT, LPN and CNA programs in exchange for future work commitments through Health Professional Shortage Area programs. Look up clinics in these eligible shortage areas below to inquire about their CNA student opportunities individually.


Medicare / Medicaid Service Based Tuition Reimbursement

Some states offer tuition reimbursement for certified nursing assistants who are hired by a Medicaid or Medicare approved facility within 12 months of graduation. Costs covered typically include tuition, fees, books, and registration and competency examination fees. Some programs have other special requirements and limits on the amount of money that can be reimbursed, so be sure to check before making a commitment.

Find Medicare/Medicaid CNA Programs by State

The search tool below will aid you in finding training programs in your state, but if you don’t find your state here, please check directly with the Medicare/Medicaid program in your state.


Workforce Investment Act Programs

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is a federal law enacted in 1998 to improve the workforce of the United States. Since then, then WIA has been updated and renewed and is now sometimes referred to as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The WIA/WIOA workforce improvement goals are implemented by state and local investment programs. Given the growing healthcare sector, many state and local initiatives have included training individuals to be certified nursing assistants.

Pay for School: Additional Aid Programs for CNA Students

Financial aid scholarships are a great way to help pay for college, but CNA students should look for other sources of funding that could lower their bottom line and make college more affordable. Many schools offer payment plans and aid programs for enrolled students, while other organizations offer more standard financial aid options like grants and sponsored training programs. Many long-term care facilities, nursing homes and hospice companies also offer free CNA training in exchange for work. Here are a handful of examples of the types of financial help programs to look for locally and regionally.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Calculator

Financial aid, scholarships, grants and more can subtract substantially from the bottom line of college costs. Understanding the numbers, and knowing for certain what financial burden the student will have to meet, can aid in making very important budgeting decisions. This interactive calculator tool can help by allowing students to estimate tuition cost and fees, scholarships and financial aid amounts, and then look at the resulting financial obligation. That result is the out-of-pocket cost a student can expect when attending a CNA program.