Our Family’s Direct-Admit Nursing Program Journey

Female student holding books. She has a stethoscope around her neck and is wearing scrubs.
A parent shares how her student got into several direct-admit nursing programs that offered merit and financial aid.

Our Family’s Direct-Admit Nursing Program Journey

Published on June 1, 2023

A parent shares how her student got into several direct-admit nursing programs that offered merit and financial aid.
Female student holding books. She has a stethoscope around her neck and is wearing scrubs.

This story was first published in our Paying for College 101 Facebook community. It’s been edited for clarity and flow. 

At this time last year, my daughter and I were searching Road2College for information on direct admission nursing programs. (Also known as “direct-admit or direct-entry” programs, they guarantee acceptance to students who meet academic requirements in their first and sometimes second year of college.) We knew nothing about nursing admissions, and we were lost and overwhelmed. 

We’ve learned so much this year. In the interest of paying it forward, I wanted to share our outcomes. 

A Little Background 

I’m a single parent with two kids. One is a freshman in high school and the other is graduating this year. My income as a public school teacher is the only income available to help pay for my children to go to college. 

My daughter attends a public high school with a graduating class of about 370. There are no weighted grades, and her school offers no honors classes. In order to earn 4s (they are competency based), students must go far above and beyond what is expected. I think compared to friends in other school districts who do have honors classes, she’s doing honors work, but it’s not reflected on her transcript.

Academics and Extracurriculars 

Academically, she’s graduating ninth in her class and has a GPA of 3.98. She didn’t take any AP classes. She completed two years of an American Sign Language study, plus three years of French. She wrote a book outlining how to become a (Licensed Nursing Assistant) LNA as a high school student and shared it with guidance departments in our state and presented it to the school board. 

She earned her LNA license her junior year and writes a column for the local newspaper. She’s taken biology, chemistry, psychiatry, anatomy and physiology, the science of survival, and other science coursework. She also took humanities courses and explored outside STEM to get a well-rounded learning experience. 

When it comes to extracurriculars, she’s a four-year varsity athlete for cross country and nordic and track. She’s the captain for both. She’s involved in clubs such as the National Honor Society. She also has worked as a lifeguard for two years and now as an LNA for the past year. 

She applied to all schools that were standardized test optional. She took the SATs once but decided to invest in activities she cared about instead of SAT prep to increase her score a second time.  

College List/Outcome

Below are the colleges she ended up seriously considering. In addition to merit, she received Pell Grants and need-based aid at many of these schools. 

Assumption University, accepted 

Offered $29,500 merit
Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $14,500 

Boston College, rejected 

Emmanuel College, accepted
Offered $30,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $15,500 

Endicott College, accepted
Offered $18,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $23,000 

Merrimack College, accepted
Offered $26,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $23,500 

Northeastern University, rejected 

Saint Anselm College, accepted  
Offered $28,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $14,200 

Salve Regina University, accepted 
Offered $28,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $18,500 

University of Hartford, accepted
Offered $31,000 merit
Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $15,500 

University of Massachusetts Boston, accepted
Offered $14,000 merit 

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $24,000

University of Massachusetts Lowell, accepted
Offered $12,000 merit

Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $23,000

University of New Hampshire, accepted
Offered $8,000 in merit
Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $9,100

University of Pennsylvania, rejected

University of Vermont, accepted
Offered $20,000 merit
Cost of attending after $5,500 in federal loans: $23,500 

Lessons Learned 

At the time I first wrote this, she had narrowed it down to two schools – University of New Hampshire and Emmanuel. 

In the end, I think a combination of grades, extracurriculars and activities related to nursing all led to her success in applications and financial aid received. 

Update: The Chosen Direct-Admit Nursing School

She ultimately chose our state flagship university, the University of New Hampshire where she was admitted to their Direct-Admit Nursing Program. A recent article mentioned that the University of New Hampshire accepted their most academically talented class in its history.   

Considerations for picking this school include:

  • Having a larger (and beautiful) campus
  • Opportunities to do research beginning freshman year
  • A large campus feel with a small nursing program (80 students)
  • Clinicals beginning the first semester of sophomore year 
  • It’s the most affordable option 

All of these resulted in her mature, wise choice to attend the University of New Hampshire.

She’s headed off to Nursing School with a year of LNA experience, shadowing experience at our local hospital, and comfort and confidence in the health care settings she will one day work in.

I could not be prouder.

_________

Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like: 

How to Become a Nurse: Degrees in Nursing

How to Pick a College That Loves You Back

Three Established Facts about College Selection from an Expert

JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

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