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Part 3: Accreditation Matters
16 November 2011
Congratulations, you have decided to pursue a career in health care. What next? How do you choose an institution or program? Are all academic health career programs the same? What about accreditation?
In this three-part series, ExploreHealthCareers.org looks at accreditation and why it is important to how you choose which school you will attend, both for your under-graduate and your graduate education.
Part 1: How to Be a Smart Consumer of Academic Programs in Health Care
Part 2: Consequences of Attending a Non-Accredited School
Part 3: Financing Your Health Sciences Education at a Non-Accredited School
You can also find more information on accreditation in the Issues section of ExploreHealthCareers.org.
Financial Challenges of Attending a Non-accredited School
In general, two important challenges may affect you:
Private Student Loans
In general, private student loans tend to have less favorable terms and conditions when compared with federal student loans. These loans are also based (at least in part) on credit. However, if you have to borrow through private student loans, there is no reason you cannot do so responsibly.
Consider asking the following questions when choosing a private loan. Pay special attention to the questions that apply to borrowers considering a second health sciences degree, especially one with advanced training such as a residency program:
The recently established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be able to help with your decisions about private student loans. They help consumers understand how their loans work before they borrow, including students who borrow private student loans. Check out their website at www.consumerfinance.gov/students/knowbeforeyouowe.
Keeping Federal Student Loans in Good Standing
If you have federal student loans borrowed prior to matriculating in your health sciences institution, they will not be eligible for the “in-school deferment” until your school is accredited. However, you still have some options for keeping them in good standing:
Finally, remember what we said in the earlier article on How to Finance Your Health Sciences Education:
This article was written by Paul S. Garrard, President and Founder of PGPresents, LLC and a 27-year veteran of student financial aid and higher education.
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