What Types of Financial Aid are Available for a Healthcare Degree?

It may seem impossible to afford the rising cost of college, but there are several types of financial aid available to lower the cost of your healthcare degree. Whether you're just starting out with an associate's degree or advancing in a master's program, it's essential that you take advantage of the unique monetary options offered to aspiring healthcare professionals. Extra funding assistance can facilitate a smoother entry into today's in-demand healthcare industry and a strong ROI on your healthcare degree. The following are the different financial aid types you should consider using to reduce the costly burden of college.


Federal or Private Loans

Most universities will offer federal loans within your financial package for borrowing money from the government. For instance, the Federal Perkins Loan is a school-based program offered to exceptionally financially needy undergraduate and graduate students. Through the William D. Ford Direct Loan program, you could qualify for Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parents' PLUS, or Graduate PLUS loans. A maximum of $12,500 per year can be borrowed. It's also possible to receive private alternative loans from banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. However, remember that federal loans have more flexible repayment options and typically have lower interest rates.

Federal and State Grants

When you complete the FAFSA form, you'll be considered for a range of grant opportunities offered federally and in your state of residence. For example, the Federal Pell Grant will provide up to $5,775 for financially needy students without any strings of repayment. Ranging from $100 to $4,000 annually, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is given as free gifted money to eligible U.S. undergraduates. Former military studying healthcare could utilize the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. State governments also fund need-based grants for low-income students. The Cal Grant, New York TAP Grant, and Pennsylvania State Grant are just a few examples.

Merit or Need-Based Scholarships

Scholarships are another great funding option for future healthcare workers to lower their debt upon graduation. Whether their based on your financial need or your academic merit, scholarships can be worth anywhere from $100 to full tuition. Check with your university's financial office to discover a list of scholarships you could qualify for locally. On the national level, you could apply for the HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Other popular options include the NIH Undergraduate Scholarship, Tylenol Future Care Scholarship, and National Health Service Corps Scholarship.

Employee Tuition Assistance

There's a shortage of professionals in several healthcare professions, so facilities are often investing in a well-trained workforce through employee tuition assistance. If you're already working in a hospital, clinic, medical group practice, or another health-related organization, ask the HR department about tuition benefits being offered. Employers can legally provide up to $5,250 in benefits annually for undergraduate and graduate courses tax-free. Remember that employee tuition assistance programs often come with a contract where you pledge to keep working there for a minimum number of years.

Overall, there's no need to give up your dreams of becoming a healthcare professional due to financial costs alone, because funding assistance is abundant. You'll simply have to put in the time and effort to narrow down options that suit your eligibility to find the perfect funding path to success. In addition to these popular forms of financial aid, you could cover the price of your healthcare degree through veteran's benefits, in-house tuition payment plans, federal work-study, and graduate assistantships.

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