Financial Aid for Health Administration Students
You know you want to help shape the healthcare industry in a leadership capacity, so now you need to figure out how to pay for your education as a healthcare administration student.
Often, healthcare administration students look to scholarships, grants, and financial aid to pay for their schooling at both the undergraduate and the graduate level. This page provides a comprehensive overview of financial aid available through government and private sources.
Federal Financial Aid
Federal financial aid is offered by the federal government to healthcare administration students most frequently in the form of loans, which means this money must be paid back with interest. Because Interest rates on federal loans are frequently lower than those of private loans, many students decide to maximize these loans first. Federal aid can also be offered as educational tax benefits.
Federal loans are provided by the federal government and must be paid back with interest. These loans often have lower interest rates than those offered by private banks and credit unions. They may also contain benefits that aren’t included with private loans. For example, federal loans may come with fixed interest levels and repayment plans based on your income level and/or enrollment status.
The chart below details the various types of federal loans available to healthcare administrative students.
|Type of loan||Description||Who is eligible?||Loan amount|
|Direct Subsidized Loans
(formerly called Stafford Loans)
|The government pays the interest on these federal loans for eligible undergraduate students while they are enrolled in school (at least half-time) as well as the first six-months after graduation.||Students who demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least half-time at the undergraduate or career school level.||Loan amounts vary according to your year in school and your status as a dependent or independent student.|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Federal loans offered to both undergraduate and graduate students.||Students do not need to demonstrate financial need.||Loan amounts vary according to your year in school and your status as a dependent or independent student.|
|Direct PLUS Loans||Federal loans offered to parents (Parent PLUS Loan) and graduate students (Grad PLUS Loans)||Parents (biological or adoptive) of dependent undergraduate students enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school; Graduate or professional school students enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school.||The maximum amount is the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid received.|
|Direct Consolidation Loans||Federal loans that allow a borrower to combine all previous federal loans into a single loan with a single payment.||A student’s loans must be in repayment or grace periods; student must be enrolled less than half-time or finished with school.||N/A|
Federal grants are monetary awards granted to students to pay for their schooling. They are sometimes referred to as “free money” because unlike loans, these grants do not need to be repaid.
Healthcare administration students should consider the following federal grants as they plan to pay for their education.
|Type of grant||Description||Who is eligible?||Grant amount|
|Federal Pell Grant||The Federal Pell Grant is designed for students who display significant financial need.||Undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.||Varies; maximum amount of $1095 for 2019-2020.|
|FSEOG||The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is awarded to students who show exceptional financial need.||Undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.||Varies; between $100 and $4000 annually.|
|Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants||Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants are designed to assist students who have lost a parent in the military while serving in one of those two countries.||Students who have lost a parent who was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11.||Varies; maximum amount of $6195 for 2019-2020|
Federal Work-Study Program
The Federal Work-Study Program helps undergraduate and graduate healthcare administration students pay for their education through part-time jobs. Students who demonstrate financial need can find jobs that are on-campus or off-campus. Off-campus jobs must be in your field, so you might look for work-study jobs at a nearby hospital or nursing home, for example. Students will receive payment of at least the federal minimum wage but should keep in mind that wages can vary according to job. It’s also important to note that work-study jobs are not guaranteed, so students are encouraged to be proactive in seeking them out if awarded this type of federal aid.
How to Apply for Financial Aid
No matter what type of federal aid you seek, you must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. The FAFSA will determine the amount of aid you qualify for and will also show you what types of federal aid are available. Although there are eligibility requirements (you must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen and must be enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program), federal aid is not wholly dependent on need. The size of a student’s family, as well as the year in school, is also considered.
How to Fill Out the FAFSA
Filling out the FAFSA is a straightforward and free process. The US Department of Education maintains an extensive website and the FAFSA form is readily and freely available online, in print, and through a mobile app. Never pay for a service to access or fill out this form. If you are not ready to apply but want to get a sense of how much aid you will receive, use the free FAFSA4caster tool to help you plan. Once you ready to fill out the FAFSA, you will need to gather the following information and documentation:Social security number parents social security number if you are a dependent student drivers license number alien registration number if applicable federal tax returns (and for your parent’s if you are dependent)Records of untaxed income records of savings and stocks, etc. for you and your parents if you are dependent
How to Submit the FAFSA
Students should submit the FAFSA when they have gathered the information they will need.You must include at least one school to receive your FAFSA information.Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2019, for the 2019-2020 school year, but keep in mind that many colleges and states have earlier deadlines. Be sure to check the deadline of your college and state.
How Accreditation Can Affect Your Financial Aid
When choosing a health administration program, it’s crucial to make sure your chosen school has met standards established by an approved independent agency offering accreditation. If your school is not accredited, you may not be eligible for federal or state aid. It’s easy to check whether your school is accredited. The US Department of Education maintains a database that makes it simple to check the accreditation status of all post-secondary schools and programs.
While many banks and loan companies offer private loans to health administration students, these loans may be pricier than federal loans. Interest rates can be high, and some private loans come with fees that drive up the overall cost of the loan. Don’t underestimate the value of completing your research, though, as you may find private loans that carry lower interest rates than those available through the government. This is especially true if you have a co-signer or good personal credit history. You may also wish to consider whether the loan is subsidized or not, as many private organizations will require borrowers to pay interest even while in school.
Loan Forgiveness Programs for Health Administration Careers
Entering the healthcare field means you may qualify for certain federal loan forgiveness programs. Forgiveness programs, also called loan cancellation programs, mean that the balance of your loan is paid off. The following loan forgiveness program may be of interest to healthcare administration students. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: This federal program pays off the balance of an eligible borrower’s Direct Loans after 120 monthly payments have been made while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Because the process to determine eligibility can be tricky, the PSLF offers a tool to help potential applicants. Once you’ve determined your eligibility, the application itself can be found here.
Financial Aid for Veterans and Servicemembers
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) also provides a variety of grants and educational programs for veterans and servicemembers. Prospective healthcare workers and others may benefit from the following programs: Veterans Educational Assistance Program: This government matching program allows eligible military members to make monthly monetary contributions from their paychecks which the government then matches two-for-one. In other words, they double the amount that you contribute. National Call to Service Program: Educational assistance ranges from a $5,000 bonus to repayment of student loans up to $18,000 for eligible military personnel. Post 9/11 GI Bill: This program offers up to three years of education benefits including tuition assistance to active duty or honorably discharged veterans and those with a minimum of 90 days of active duty after September 10, 2001. Montgomery GI Bill: Active duty and Reservists may be eligible for this bill that provides higher education benefits to eligible servicemembers.
How Tax Credits Can Cut Costs
Saving money on tuition can also come in the form of reducing your taxable income. The Internal Revenue Service provides a number of tax benefits for education for each of a student’s first four years of school, including The American Opportunity Credit of $2500 and The Lifetime Learning Credit of $2000.The American Opportunity Credit is an expansion of the previous Hope scholarship credit and now includes expenses for course-related books and necessary supplies. The Lifetime Learning Credit carries no limit on the number of times a student can apply for it.
In the healthcare field, many employers provide tuition reimbursement to further the education of their employees and attract and retain high-quality candidates. Typically offered to current employees, these programs allow healthcare administrators to take classes online or at nearby universities with the promise of reimbursement for all or some of the tuition. Classes usually must be in your field, and you must earn a minimum GPA in some programs in order to be reimbursed. Be sure to check with your hospital or place of employment for specific details.
Schools often provide financial aid or tuition payment options for students who aren’t eligible for other types of aid. Interest-free tuition payment plans: Many schools work with independent companies who offer short term plans (typically one year) that split your tuition payment up into monthly payments. Some of these companies do charge fees, so check before you sign up. School-sponsored aid: Don’t forget to inquire within your program or institution about fellowships, scholarships, grants, and other aid packages available to healthcare administration students.