Nursing Education Forgivable Loan – RN to MSN (NERM)

Due to budget constraints, no awards will be made to new applicants for the Nursing Education Forgivable Loan – RN to MSN (NERM) program for the 2017-18 year. Only renewal applicants will be offered additional loan funds.

Program Overview:
The primary objectives of this program are to provide educational opportunities to students who wish to continue their education in nursing and to address Mississippi’s nursing shortage by providing a constant source of qualified nurses. NERM awards will be made available, to the extent of appropriated funds, to persons seeking a master’s degree in nursing through an approved RN to MSN bridge program at one Mississippi institution of higher learning in exchange for employment in professional nursing or teaching in an accredited school of nursing in the State of Mississippi.

Rules and Regulations:
NELS Rules and Regulations

Important Dates:
Application dates: October 1 – March 31
Document deadline: April 30, except for the Letter of Acceptance, which may be submitted through June 30

Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, as funding is available. However, priority is given to eligible renewal applicants.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
  • Be fully admitted and enroll full-time or part-time at an eligible accredited School of Nursing.
  • Hold a current, valid Mississippi nursing license
  • Earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher 0n a 4.0 scale each semester/trimester to maintain eligibility.
  • You are not currently in default or delinquent on any federal, sate, or local educational loan.

Award Amount and Length of Eligibility:

  • The NERM awards up to $4,000 per academic year, not to exceed three (3) calendar years or $12,000. Part-time students are eligible to receive a maximum of $12,000 prorated over four (4) calendar years.

Service Obligation:

  • NERM is first and foremost a loan. However, the loan can be forgiven (discharged) on the basis of one academic year of full-time teaching in an accredited school of nursing in Mississippi in exchange for one year of loan received OR one year of service in professional nursing in exchange for one year of loan received. For those that receive prorated funding over four (4) calendar years, three (3) years of service are required.
  • LIABILITY: Forgivable loan recipients who choose not to fulfill the service obligation will be required to repay the loan in full with interest.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the online application. The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
  2. New applicants (those who have not previously received an NERM award) must submit an official letter of acceptance from an accredited nursing school, showing full admission, date admitted and entering classification.
  3. New applicants must submit a copy of their current Mississippi nursing license.
  4. New applicants and some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment will be required to submit two forms of residency documentation:
    Preferred Residency Documents:

    1. FAFSA
    2. Mississippi driver’s license (can be submitted electronically during the online application)Alternate Residency Documents Accepted:
    State Tax Return (NOT Federal) for the current tax filing year. Dependent students would provide a signed copy of the first two pages of the parent’s return. Independent students would provide a signed copy of the student’s return. Am I dependent or independent?
    — Homestead Exemption
    — Voter Registration
    — Vehicle Registration
    Note: Our office receives FAFSA results electronically for all Mississippi residents. When possible, the state tax return or Mississippi driver’s license pending document will be replaced by the FAFSA.

Documents must be RECEIVED, not post-marked, by the published document deadline date of April 30.

How to Submit Supporting Documents

After the Application – the NERM Award Process:

  1. If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
  2. To accept an award, new applicants must sign a Master Contract and Note, which includes the program Rules and Regulations. The contract will be signed electronically.
  3. New and renewal applicants must sign a Private Loan Self-Certification Form every year for which the applicant receives funds. The self-certification form must be signed with pen and returned in hard-copy.
  4. When the Contract and Self-certification form have been received, the Office will notify the student’s attending institution that the student has been awarded.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. The NERM program requires a copy of my letter of acceptance into a Mississippi School of Nursing. It is my understanding from the school that notice of acceptance will not be forwarded to me until after the April 30 deadline. What should I do?
    The only exception to the document deadline is the letter of acceptance, which will be accepted through June 30.
  2. What if I drop classes during the semester?
    Each semester, your NERM award is calculated based on your enrollment status at the time of registration. If your award is paid based on full-time status and you drop below full-time during the semester, then your award for the following semester will be prorated.
  3. Why must I reapply every year?
    Current legislation requires “…the board shall create a renewal application for each student who received the award for one or more terms during the immediately preceding academic year.” At a minimum, a student must file the following renewal document no later than the close of business on the deadline date: online application.
  4. What if my GPA does not meet the minimum requirement?
    If your cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 at the end of a semester/trimester, you will lose the NERM award for the next semester/trimester of enrollment during a normal academic year. In order to regain eligibility, your cumulative GPA must meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement.
  5. What if I am already enrolled in the RN to MSN program at the time of application? Will my grades be checked before I am considered eligible for an award?
    Yes. If your cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 at the end of the semester/trimester, you will not be eligible for the NERM Program.
  6. As a recipient of NERM, I have a contractual obligation to work as a nurse in Mississippi after graduation. What if I am unable to find a job immediately after graduation?
    All recipients are eligible for a one-year (12-month) grace period while seeking employment. After one year, recipients must submit documentation of proper employment or start making payments to repay the loan.
  7. May I receive funds to pursue another nursing degree prior to completion of my service obligation required for NERM?
    Yes. Students who receive NERM funds are required to work at least part-time (minimum 20 hours/week) in an approved service location to be eligible for nursing funds for another program of study. However, service does not have to be complete.
  8. How do I submit supporting documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid?
    How to Submit Supporting Documents