Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

DNP Financial Aid Information

Financial aid is available from the School of Nursing in the form of a partial scholarship and federal loans. The majority of DNP nursing students at Vanderbilt receive some form of financial aid. Financial aid packets begin being mailed in January to all students that have applied for the DNP program to begin in the fall.

Is the Financial Aid sufficient to cover the cost of the program and living expenses?

Students find that the monies they receive in Federal loans cover the cost of the program and modest living expenses.

How Do I Qualify for Financial Aid?

All DNP students are awarded a partial nursing scholarship unless their tuition is paid in full from another scholarship source. For 2021-2022, DNP students will be awarded a partial nursing scholarship of $3,500 for the year (or $ 1,666 a semester). You must be enrolled in at least two credit hours a semester to receive the semester scholarship amount. You must be enrolled in 3 semesters to receive the full amou n t of $3,500. To view a list of outside scholarships, click here >

All aid for the DNP program is considered non-need-based aid.  Non-need-based aid for graduate students includes a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan and a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan on which the interest accrues from the date of disbursement for both loans.  In order to be eligible for a federal student loan(s), DNP students must be enrolled in at least 2 hours a semester.  All financial aid awards are made through the School of Nursing Student Financial Services Office. For more information about student loans, click here >

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

Students do not need to complete any forms to receive the partial nursing scholarship. To apply for the federal student loans (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and the Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan), a current or prospective DNP student must complete one application: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (  Our school code for the FAFSA is 003535. The FAFSA will require tax information from your previous income tax return so you can wait until you file your taxes to complete the form, or you can estimate your tax information to the best of your knowledge. Information from the FAFSA is then provided to the VUSN Student Financial Services Office which determines the amount of loans available based upon financial eligibility. The FAFSA must be filed annually and is available to complete in January of the year you plan to attend.

Students are welcome to research any outside scholarships or other assistance to help cover their tuition and fees. Any outside aid that is received is added to their total financial aid package. Contact the VUSN Student Financial Services Office at 615-322-8986 or 1-800-288-2186 for more information.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) of the Department of Health and Human Services provides financial support to full or part-time students who meet the qualifications of the loan.

The program provides financial support for tuition and other fees associated with advanced nursing degrees for individuals interested in pursuing a faculty role upon graduation. Loan recipients who complete the nursing education program may cancel up to 85 percent of the loan in exchange for four years of service as a full-time nurse faculty at any accredited school of nursing in the United States. DNP students will be required to take two education electives if you borrow the Nurse Faculty Loan. If you have been awarded the Nurse Faculty Loan, you will need to complete an online promissory note. You will receive an email from ECSI with the instructions of how to complete the promissory note for the loan.

Funding for this program is determined on a year-by-year basis by the Department of Health and Human Services. There is a designated amount that can be awarded to students each year and it is based on a first come, first serve basis.  Students do not need to complete the FAFSA to receive the Nurse Faculty Loan. If you have questions about this program, please contact Kristie Smith Futrell, VUSN Student Financial Services Director, at 615-322-8986 or by email to:

For more information about the NFLP, watch this previously recorded session.

How are financial aid awards disbursed?

All financial aid is credited directly to a student's account. A financial aid file must be complete in order for available funds to credit the student’s account. In particular, any online loan promissory notes and paperwork must be completed and signed before loan funds disburse to the student account. All loans are disbursed in three (two if you are only enrolled for two semesters) equal installments to the student's account at the beginning of each semester.

What if I have additional questions?

Questions regarding financial aid should be directed to:

Kristie Smith Futrell
Director, Financial Aid
Vanderbilt School of Nursing
461 21st Ave. South
180 SON Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37240
Office: 615-322-8986 Toll Free: 800-211-2186