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How to Get WIA Free Money to Become a Nurse

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In an effort to meet community workforce needs and help those just entering the workforce or who have been displaced from their jobs, the U.S. government passed the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) in 1998. It's a program that offers free money for qualifying students (no matter your age) to help with tuition, fees, books, etc. Because nurses are in demand in so many areas, there's a good chance that you can find a nursing program approved for WIA funding.

Obtain your acceptance letter from a nursing school. When checking out schools, you may want to ask about WIA because the school may have a contact on campus who you can talk to.

Find your local One-Stop Center. These centers administer the WIA and will be able to help you apply. You can find them by contacting your state's Department of Labor. Or your nursing school's financial office may be able to direct you to the center. Make sure to give yourself time to apply before classes start -- at least two months -- to ensure you get the money when you need it.

Make sure you have the appropriate documents. When applying, you will need to have certain documents. Each state has different qualifying factors and requires different documents. Contact the One-Stop Center before you apply to determine what documents you will need. However, there are some basic requirements. You will need to bring your birth certificate; Social Security card; driver's license; income documents covering the past six months from the date of your appointment -- check stubs, payment records from your employer, etc.; and college transcript if you have prior credits.


Each state's program is different. Check with your state's department of labor to determine whether nursing school is covered by its One-Stop Center.