While your pay in a physical therapy or physical therapy assisting career will be excellent, you'll still need to find ways to pay for your education.
For a 2-year physical therapy assistant program at a public school in-state, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) estimates the cost around $14,427.* At a private school, tuition increase to about $31,716.
Luckily, finding physical therapy financial aid can be easy, if you know where to start.
Applying for Grants through the FAFSA
By completing and submitting the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), students are immediately eligible for student grants, loans and work-study opportunities. You can obtain the FAFSA from a college financial aid office, a local public library, the Federal Student Aid Information Center (at 1-800-433-3243), or online. To receive the best financial aid package possible, the FAFSA should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1 for the next school year.
Federal and Professional Grant/Scholarship Resources
Many employers may offer physical therapy financial aid, paying some—or all—tuition costs for those who are already employed in the field and wish to upgrade their skills. Here are some federal and professional scholarship and grant resources:
- American Physical Therapy Association has extensive resources for students and prospective students, including links to grants, scholarships and student loans
- Federal PELL grants are available to undergraduates who have not earned a professional degree
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is for low-income undergraduate students
- Federal Work-Study provides funds that are earned through part-time employment
Ask schools you apply to about their deadlines and make sure your physical therapy financial aid paperwork is submitted as early as possible. The federal loan process takes a while, so apply as soon as possible and get your college financing in place so you can concentrate on more important tasks—like applying yourself to your coursework.