Medical assistants are a crucial part of the healthcare industry. They carry out important administrative and clinical tasks that are necessary for healthcare facilities to function.
Due to this, there is a growing demand for these professionals. Yet, medical assistant programs can be prohibitively expensive – especially for students from low-income backgrounds.
Medical assistant scholarships provide funding to students based on different criteria, including financial need. This helps students to overcome financial barriers and start successful careers in medical assisting.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the different types of Med Assistant scholarships, where you can find financial aid and the common eligibility requirements for these grants. We’ll also give you some examples of MA scholarships that you can apply for.
4 Types Of Medical Assistant Scholarships
Need-based scholarships are awarded to students based on their ability to pay for a training program. These types of medical assistant scholarships are awarded by schools, foundations, professional associations, and any other body that provides scholarships.
Although some of these scholarship programs require a certain GPA score, there is also always a financial component. Typically, they’re not available to students who come from households above a certain level of income.
Need-based scholarships are designed to give students from low-income families the opportunity to attend medical assisting schools they otherwise couldn’t afford.
Merit-based scholarships don’t involve any financial criteria. They’re awarded based on the student’s level of academic achievement. Prospective medical assistants usually need to maintain a high GPA level to be eligible for this type of scholarship.
The bodies that award medical assistant scholarships based on merit also consider extra-curricular activities like volunteer work when handing out these scholarships.
Diversity scholarships are awarded to medical assistant students who come from historically underrepresented populations. There are also often financial and merit-based criteria that must be met.
4.Professional association scholarships
Professional association scholarships are awarded independently of med assistant programs. They come from organizations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and the National Association Of Health Professionals (NAHP).
They encompass all three of the above types of scholarships. Therefore, they are granted based on financial, diversity, or merit-based criteria.
Where To Find Medical Assistant Financial Aid?
Colleges and universities
Many colleges and universities that offer allied health education programs provide students with financial aid. The types of financial aid that are provided by these institutions are usually the same as those that can be accessed through Federal Student Aid. The three forms of financial aid are grants, loans, and scholarships.
When researching a specific medical assisting program, make sure that you ask about the available financial aid options.
Some examples of community colleges and universities that offer financial aid include:
- Southwestern Community College: This college is based in Sylva, North Carolina, and offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting degree. There are numerous financial aid options available for students enrolled in the course with different levels of financial need.
- Herzing University: This is an online university that offers an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Services and a Diploma in Medical Assisting. There are plenty of financial aid options for students in financial need. The university also provides a lot of guidance on the financial aid process.
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College: Financial aid is available for students enrolled in this college’s Medical Assistant Diploma program. It has a financial aid webpage where you can find detailed information about the financial aid process.
Professional organizations and associations for medical assistants
There are also a number of organizations and associations that support the allied health professions with financial aid for students. These include:
- American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA)
- American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA)
Foundations and philanthropic organizations supporting medical assistant students
Financial aid is available for medical assistant students from a variety of foundations and philanthropic organizations, including:
- The Davis Foundation
- The American Medical Technologists (AMT) Foundation
- The National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
- The Health Professions Education Foundation (HPEF)
Online scholarship databases and search engines
One of the best ways to research the financial aid options for specific medical assistant programs is to use online databases and search engines. This allows you to search for a med assistant program that you’re interested in and see if financial aid is available to you.
The best databases and search engines for prospective medical assistant students include:
- Fastweb: Find medical assistant programs that match your interests and offer financial aid.
- College Board: A search engine that helps you find the best medical assistant programs with scholarships.
- Unigo: Helps you find a medical assisting program that offers scholarships as well as loans.
- Peterson’s: Helps you identify a medical assisting program with scholarships, loans, or grants.
Eligibility Requirements And Application Processes For Grants
As mentioned, the eligibility requirements for medical assistant students applying for scholarships depend on the type of scholarship. However, there are some common requirements that apply to most prospective medical assistants.
Typically, to be awarded a scholarship for a medical assistant program, you need to demonstrate some level of financial need. You also usually need to have a proven track record of academic performance and some scholarship programs require you to have had community involvement.
Tips for the application process
When applying for a scholarship, you’re looking to impress the program director and anyone else involved in the process. To do this, you need to have a really strong personal statement and excellent references.
Make sure that you ask multiple people to review your personal statement before you submit it. Plus, a lot of colleges and universities have writing centers with expert writers that can help you to craft your statement – so take advantage of this.
Your references should come from people who know you well and who are respected figures in your community. This can include teachers, employers, and community leaders.
Examples Of MA Scholarships
Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship
- Eligibility requirements: Latino heritage and must live in or attend school or college in San Diego County.
- Award amount: $500 – $2,000
- Deadline: March 30 (Annually)
AAMA Maxine Williams Scholarship
- Eligibility requirements: Must have completed 25% or one semester of a CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting program. Must have had a 3.0 GPA or higher.
- Award amount: $1,000
- Deadline: April 15 (Annually)
Allied Health Scholarships
- Eligibility requirements: Must be enrolled in an undergraduate-level allied health program.
- Award amount: Varies from student-to-student
- Deadline: February 22 (Annually)
What’s the difference between scholarships and financial aid?
Financial aid and scholarships are similar in that they’re both used by prospective medical assistants to pay for their studies. However, there are some key differences. For instance, a scholarship doesn’t need to be paid back once the student completes their studies.
On the other hand, some forms of financial aid do need to be paid back once the student has graduated. This includes student loans. The biggest provider of financial aid in the US is Federal Student Aid. The Federal Student Aid program offers scholarships, which don’t need to be repaid, and loans and grants, which do need to be repaid.
Is it hard to get a scholarship for a medical assistant program?
This depends on the type of scholarship you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a need-based scholarship then you need to come from a low-income household. If you’re applying for a diversity or merit-based scholarship then there are other criteria you need to meet, which makes it more difficult.
Scholarships are very important within all allied health professions as they promote equity and diversity within the field. They allow students from historically underrepresented and low-income backgrounds to start careers as medical assistants.
Make sure you fully explore all of the scholarship and financial aid options available to you. If you find the right one, it can serve as a gateway into a rewarding career in healthcare.