Scholarship Fund

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Information about the NISF scholarship offered annually by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.​​​​

​When to Apply for the NISF Scholarship?

​The period to apply will open January 1, 2024 and close June 8, 2024. 

The Application period for 2023 is closed.​

Where to Apply for the NISF Scholarship?

Inside the ORBS Portal ​you will arrive on the ORBS Portal Home Page. The NISF application is under "Other Applications" near the bottom. Click the apply button to the right to see those other applications. NISF Scholarship Fund Application will be in the ​list of other application types. If you do not see the application it may be temporarily offline. Check back soon.

NISF Application screenshot showing location of Apply button in top right corner.

Important Links​

It is strongly recommended that you carefully read through the Frequently Asked Questions below and NISF ​Application Instructions to determine eligibility and assist with the application ​process.​

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact if I have questions?

​​Faster Response Please use the KBN Nurse Portal Message Center​
Or Via Email​​​​​​ ​ Jason Oney, NISF Coordinator or by phone at 502-380-6023
Vendor Account questions?
For technical questions with Kentucky Vendor Self Service, please contact the Finance Customer Resource Center by email at or by telephone at (502) 564-9641, toll free (877) 973-HELP.

​What is the Nursing Incentive Scholarship Fund?
Official Transcript (How/Where To)
To provide an Official Transcript you can do so using the information below: To provide an Official Transcript you can do so using the information below: Preferred ORBS Submission (Preferred) You can also get a copy of your transcript from your school, have them notarize it, scan that into ORBS as well. This is preferred. Digital Copies A digital official transcript sent to the KBN via services like Parchment: Attention: NISF Coordinator or emailed to Hard Copies Copy Printed by school or mailed to you Notarized by a Notary Republic Typically provided by your school Scanned in as a digital PDF Then uploaded into the ORBS system during your NISF application
Where can I get an application for the NISF?
Inside the ORBS portal on the home page you land on when you first login, the NISF application is under "Other Applications" click the apply button to the right to see those other applications. ORBS Portal Location:
Who is eligible for the NISF?
The following requirements must be met in order to be considered for the award: Kentucky resident Accepted into and enrolled in a program of nursing: prelicensure (LPN, RN, BSN), BSN completion, or graduate program or certificate program Enrolled in an academic term beginning after August of the application year and not completing coursework before November of that same year Must be able to complete a minimum of 9 credit hours for graduate programs or 12 credit hours for prelicensure or BSN completion programs. The credit hours required can be spread across the fall, spring and summer semesters. The credit hours must be for published requirements of the school of nursing, and not courses that are general education requirements or prerequisite to being granted acceptance to the school of nursing (in other words, you must have already been accepted to the school of nursing and enrolled/enrolling in the coursework it specifies)
When can I apply for the NISF?
Applications must be received between January 1 thru June 8 of each year. Applications submitted outside these dates are ineligible. Please note: When you apply, you are applying for the upcoming academic year. Funding cannot be awarded retroactively. There are not “leftover” funds after award recipients are selected; in other words, the maximum amount of funding is always awarded.
Can I apply the scholarship to coursework I’ve already completed? What about my current Spring semester classes?
The scholarship is for nursing students enrolled in coursework for the upcoming academic year. For example, applications submitted between January 1 through June 8, yearly are for the academic year beginning Fall yearly​ through Spring yearly.
I graduate in the Fall, can I still apply?
You must be enrolled for the coming fall semester. If you graduate before November, you are not eligible.
I’m not admitted to a program of nursing yet, can I still apply?
No, you must be admitted in the program in order to be eligible. The NISF does not cover an academic period where the student is completing prerequisites only.
Are online courses accepted?
Most online courses are accepted; however, this is situational. It is recommended that you review our webpage on online and out-of-state programs for general guidance. Please note that, due to the annual cycle for receipt of NISF applications, this external URL will produce an “application unavailable” message until January 1, 2021.
I do not have a GPA, what do I do?
If you are a high school graduate and have not attended a post-secondary institution, use your high school GPA or GED scores. We will use the copy of your official high school transcript or of your GED transcripts that you submit with your application to verify your GPA. If you have attended a post secondary institution, use the GPA from grades received. You will submit a copy of your official transcript from your current or previous post-secondary institution with your application.
How do I obtain a copy of my GED scores? has a request portal and instructions that can be found on their website. The request process varies depending on if you received your GED before 2014 or after.
How do I demonstrate financial need?
Submit a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) received after the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the upcoming academic year has been completed and process. s​ provides ​guidance on how to access a copy of the Student Aid Report. This report is usually 1-8 pages if received by mail, or 1-3 (or less) if processed via the Internet. The information on this report (EFC # and statement of Pell eligibility) is needed to determine financial need eligibility. Submitting the SAR is optional. If you do decide to submit this documentation, please make sure you submit only the SAR for the upcoming academic year. For instance, if you are applying for the NISF for the 2021-2022 academic year, you must submit the 2021-2022 SAR, not your SAR from 2020-2021. You are strongly encouraged to submit this documentation with your application if you are in need, as your application will receive preferential scoring.
Can I submit a copy of my Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?
No, you must submit a copy of the Student Aid Report (SAR) received after the FAFSA application has been completed and processed. The SAR is usually 1-8 pages if received by mail, or 1-3 pages if processed via the Internet. The information on this report (EFC # and statement of Pell eligibility) is needed to determine financial need eligibility. More information is available at for help with viewing the SAR. Your institution’s financial aid support services can also provide guidance in this area.​​
I do not qualify for federal financial aid, can I still apply or submit other documents to prove financial need?
No, we do not accept any other documents other than the SAR as proof of financial need. Please do not send copies of tax records. However, you can apply without submitting a Student Aid Report (SAR).
I work at a hospital and am currently inquiring about a tuition payment program through them. If I were to receive aid from my employer, would I still be eligible for your scholarship?
Yes, receiving other educational funding does not preclude you from qualifying for the NISF.
How are recipients chosen for the scholarship?
How will I know you received my application?
Inside the ORBS Portal you can see the other application you submitted to confirm reciept to KBN.
Do I need to fill out all fields on the application form?
Do not leave any blanks on the application. When an application is received incomplete (e.g. no graduation date, GPA, or signature), if time permits, a notification is mailed requesting additional information. Any requested information must be received by the June 8 deadline. Otherwise, the application will stand as submitted (incomplete). The Student Aid Report from FAFSA is an optional item to include. You are strongly encouraged to submit the SAR to receive preferential consideration given to those applicants with financial need.**
When will I be notified regarding the scholarship?
When the award process is completed, all notifications are sent to the email address on the application. This is routinely scheduled before the end of September. If your mailing address or e-mail address change after submission of your application, please provide written notification of this change. Please submit address changes or email address changes to the NISF Program Coordinator using our online contact form.
If I receive the NISF, when will I receive my check?
What is expected of me as a NISF recipient?
What is the work obligation for the scholarship?
After graduation from the program of nursing, a recipient must work full-time (part-time work is prorated) in Kentucky as a nurse for one year for each academic year funded. An Employment Verification Form will be e-mailed to your e-mail address on file following completion of the program. Your employer will complete the form and return it to the KBN office. You will have to submit this form at the beginning of your work obligation and again at the end of your work obligation. Failure to return the form will result in default of your NISF scholarship award.
Do I have to work in a specific part of Kentucky to fulfill the work obligation?
No, you may work full-time anywhere in Kentucky as a nurse to fulfill the work obligation. Failure to complete the work obligation will result in default of your NISF scholarship award.
Am I eligible for continuation of the scholarship until graduation?
Yes, a recipient is eligible if successful academic progression is maintained to continue in the nursing program. You must also submit an application annually for receipt between January 1 and June 8 to apply for continuation.
What are the circumstances that could occur that could cause me to have to repay my scholarship?
Repayment would be necessary if you are unable to complete the program of nursing, never obtain licensure in Kentucky, or you do not complete the work obligation. This would be considered in default status. The repayment amount would be the amount of the scholarship plus accrued interest.
What is the current interest rate?
The current interest rate for repayment is 8%.
If I am in default status, how would I repay the award to KBN?
KBN will work directly with you to determine a one-time lump sum or monthly payment plan. If the terms of the payment plan are not met, your account will be turned over to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. That agency is authorized to issue wage garnishments, bank levies, tax refund interception, credit bureau reporting, etc., and will also add a reasonable collection fee.