ABSN Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Investing in your Future

Your education at Samuel Merritt University is an investment in you and in your future.  Not only will you have the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in health care, but Samuel Merritt University graduates have a loan default rate of less than one percent.  This means that students who borrowed to attend Samuel Merritt University have found employment in their chosen field that allows them to pay off their student loans. 

The Financial Aid Office at Samuel Merritt University has helped thousands of students afford their education.  We are here to help you through the financial aid process and make your academic dreams come true.

Please review the following tabs for more information.


Student who needs financial assistance to attend Samuel Merritt University may be eligible to receive financial aid. 


  • You must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen to apply for federal, state and institutional aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program. 
  • You must be enrolled at least halftime and seeking a degree.
  • You must not be in default on any federal aid.
  • You must be registered with the Selective Service if you are male, at least 18 years old, and were born after December 31, 1959 – unless you meet certain specified exceptions.
  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress while enrolled.

Financial Aid Package:  Budgets and Cost of Attendance

Your Financial Aid Package at Samuel Merritt University is personalized to you using regulations and guidelines set by the Department of Education.

In addition to the cost of tuition, financial aid can also cover other educational costs as follow: 

  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Board
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other fees as determined by program
  • Loan Origination Fees

The estimated cost of tuition for ABSN for the 2017/18 academic year is $73,241.  The Cost of Attendance below includes all anticipated costs to attend Samuel Merritt University.  

These costs are estimated. The Financial aid staff is available Monday thru Friday from 9am - 4pm to assist you with budgeting based on your individual needs.


Off Campus

With Parents




Student Body Fee



Lab Fees



HESI Testing Fee



HESI Live Review Fee

$301 $301

Background Check



Loan Fees



Physical Exam



Health Insurance/ Medical Expenses













$5,055 $5,055










Graduation Fee

$130 $130




Once you receive your financial aid package, you will check this budget against your actual living expenses and we can make necessary adjustments to meet your needs.

Types of Financial Aid

Scholarships and Grants
These are “gift aid” and do not need to be repaid.  These funds may come from the government, private groups and/or directly from Samuel Merritt University.

In the academic year 2016/2017, Samuel Merritt University awarded over $792,000 in scholarships to students.  Scholarships for ABSN include:

  • Sharon Clark Diaz
  • Employee Campaign
  • Alumni Scholarship
  • Highsmith Scholarship
  • Huber Scholarship
  • Steele Scholarship
  • Osher Scholarship

These need to be repaid and could include a combination of several types of loans from federal and private sources depending upon the program you are in, your year in school, and other education loans you have.  

Direct Loans - Undergraduate students may be eligible to apply for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan).  Loan terms are set by the federal government.  This is money that must be repaid, and payments do not begin until six months after you graduate. 

  • Direct Subsidized Loans   No interest accrues on these loans while you are enrolled at least half  time, but you are responsible for the interest accrued during the six month grace period after you graduate.Eligibility is based on FAFSA results and this loan is for undergraduate students only. Fixed Interest Rate at 4.45%. Loan Origination Fee of 1.069%.
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans.  These loans are not need-based. Loan amounts vary based on your program.  Interest accrues on this loan while you are in school. Fixed Rate at 4.45%. Loan Origination Fee of 1.069%.

Alternative Loans-Credit-worthy students can apply for alternative loans, also called private loans.  These loans are not guaranteed by the federal government.  Interest rates are dependent on borrower credit, cosigner’s credit and lender. Should you choose to pursue a private loan, you will apply with a lender of your choice.  For a list of lenders and further details, please refer to www.elmselect.com. Note: Your choice of lender is not restricted to the lenders on this list.  Samuel Merritt University is providing this list as a possible resource.

Applying for Financial Aid

FAFSA: All prospective and current students wishing to apply for financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and use the Samuel Merritt University school code of 00701200. If you have already completed your FAFSA you can check the status by going on-line to www.fafsa.ed.gov or call the U.S. Department of Education at 1.800.4.FEDAID.
CREATE A BUDGET:  A student’s financial aid package begins with the cost of attendance.  The cost of attendance is the sum of all the costs related to your attendance at Samuel Merritt University.  Included are tuition, fees, room, board, transportation, health insurance and personal expenses related to educational expenses.  Prior to accepting any financial aid, it is important to create a budget of reasonable expenses. This should include all the items listed in the cost of attendance, as well as any other expenses for which you are obligated.

FINANCIAL AID AWARD PACKET: Approximately two weeks after completion of your FAFSA, the results will be sent to the Financial Aid office at Samuel Merritt University. You will be sent an email when your financial aid award is ready for viewing on via the Financial Aid Portal.  Students should log into the Financial Aid Portal via SMU Total Access and look for the ‘Financial Aid Portal’ icon  in the My Finances quick launch menu to access their current financial aid awards.

In the Financial Aid Portal, students can:

  • View award letter
  • Accept/Decline awards
  • Reduce loans
  • Print forms to submit to the financial aid office
  • View disbursement information

COMPLETE ENTRANCE LOAN COUNSELING: Student accepting and Direct Loans must complete Entrance Loan Counseling. To complete the entrance counseling on-line, please go to www.studentloans.gov and log-in with your FSA ID to proceed. This is valuable information about your student loan and it will quiz you on your understanding of the Direct Loan program. Once you have completed the Entrance Loan Counseling, Samuel Merritt University will be informed that you have met this requirement.

COMPLETE MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE: Go to www.studentloans.gov and complete the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford AND Graduate Plus Master Promissory Notes. Upon arriving at the website, log-in with your FSA ID to proceed. If you are applying for Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Parent Plus Loan and Graduate Plus Loan.  You will need to complete a separate promissory note for each loan.


Contact us

We realize that the financial aid process can be difficult and overwhelming.  We are here to help.  Financial Aid staff can assist with budgeting, and help you understand the financial aid process.  SMU staff is committed to each and every prospective student and enrolled student.  The financial aid office have an open door policy and are available via phone or email.

Financial Aid Office:
3100 Telegraph Avenue
Suite 1110
Oakland, CA 94609
Fax 510.869.1529

Campus Service Center:
3100 Telegraph Avenue
Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94609
Phone 510.869.1550
Fax 510.869.1551

Hours of Operation
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (M-F)
or by appointment call 510.869.1550

Request more information

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