Paying Outside of the Box: Unique Sources of Funding for Your Health Care Education

You may be generally aware of loans, grants and scholarships, but did you know that there are other unique sources of funding that could potentially pay for your health care education as well? In this post, we’ll explore two of these “outside of the box” funding sources: corporate and association scholarships and employee tuition assistance programs.

Corporate and Association Scholarships

Corporate scholarships are offered by companies to qualified students. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) award many different types of scholarships for students in financial need who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and community involvement. The RMHC/African American Future Achievers and RMHC/HACER scholarships are specifically targeted to African American and Hispanic students, respectively. Each scholarship has specific requirements. However, general eligibility requirements include: legal U.S. resident; high school senior, younger than 21 years old; and residency in a participating RMCH Chapter’s geographic area. Students can apply online beginning October 1 for the following academic year with a deadline date in mid-December. Walmart offers a variety of scholarships for students including the Future Leaders in Pharmacy Award. This scholarship provides a monetary award and career development opportunities through the Student National Pharmaceutical Association (SNPhA). Target, Rite Aid and many other major pharmacy chains offer similar opportunities.

You might not think about national associations that represent the health professions, but many of them award scholarships as well. The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions offers $1,000 scholarships each year to allied health students enrolled in its member schools. The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize outstanding students who are achieving academic excellence in their academic programs. The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) provides scholarships to eligible student members enrolled in an accredited Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse, associate, diploma, baccalaureate and doctoral programs. To support tomorrow’s health care management leadership, the Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA) offers scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in AUPHA member schools. Many other health profession associations offer scholarships for students enrolled in member institutions’ programs. Contact the association directly for more information.

Employee Tuition Assistance Programs

Financial incentives are sometimes offered to full-time and part-time employees or dependents of employees to help pay for college. Contact your company’s human resources division to learn more about such benefits.

In addition to corporate scholarships, some companies offer tuition assistance programs. Starbucks, Target, Walmart and Apple, just to name a few, may help you reduce your loan debt, start a new career or advance your current career. Having someone else pay for a portion of your education can be a win-win situation. The skills you learn can help create a new drug to cure a disease, enhance customer service or improve the delivery of health care.

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