NERT – Nursing and Respiratory Therapy Incentive Loan
The primary objectives of this program are to provide educational opportunities to students who wish to become nurses and respiratory therapists and to address Mississippi’s shortage of healthcare workers. NERT awards will be made available, to the extent of appropriated funds, to persons seeking a certificate in practical nursing or an associate of science or applied science in nursing, respiratory therapy or respiratory care technology in the State of Mississippi.
Rules and Regulations
Application dates: October 1- March 31
Document deadline: June 30
Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, as funding is available. However, priority is given to eligible renewal applicants.
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
- Enroll full-time or part-time at an eligible accredited institution of higher learning in the State of Mississippi.
- Be accepted into an appropriate program of study and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in the approved program of study.
- Not be currently in default or delinquent on any federal, state, or local educational loan.
Award Amount and Length of Eligibility
- Award Amount: The maximum annual award amount for full-time recipients will be the average tuition and required fees charged by all Mississippi public institutions for the specified program. The annual award will be pro-rated for part-time students.
- Length of Eligibility:
- Certificate-seeking students enrolling full-time: one (1) annual award or two (2) semesters
- Certificate-seeking students enrolling part-time: pro-rated awards over two (2) academic years or four (4) semesters
- Associate degree-seeking students enrolling full-time: two (2) annual awards or four (4) semesters
- Associate degree-seeking students enrolling part-time: pro-rated awards over four (4) academic years or eight (8) semesters
- NERT is first and foremost a loan. The loan can be forgiven (discharged) on the basis of five full years of working in the appropriate field in Mississippi in exchange for any amount of loan received.
- LIABILITY: Forgivable loan recipients who choose not to fulfill the service obligation will be required to repay the loan in full with interest.
- Complete the Mississippi Aid Application (MAAPP). The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
- New applicants (those who have not previously received a NERT award) must submit an official letter of acceptance from the appropriate program, showing full admission, date admitted and entering classification.
- New applicants and some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment will be required to submit two forms of residency documentation:
Preferred Residency Documents:
- 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 postmarked, by the published document deadline date of June 30.
After the Application – the NERT Award Process
- If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
- 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.
- New and renewal applicants must sign a Private Loan Self-Certification Form every year for which the applicant receives funds. The self-certification form will be signed electronically.
- 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.