What Scholarships Are Available for Masters in Healthcare Students?
On average, it costs around $40,000 to earn a master’s degree in the health science field. At first, a large figure like this can seem like an insurmountable hurdle, but scholarships and grants can help make your post-graduate education more affordable. Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants don’t need to be repaid, which makes them the preferred source of financial aid among college students.
Where to Find Scholarships and Grants for Health Care Students
Once you narrow down your school search to a few different programs, you should contact each school’s financial aid office to learn more about scholarships, fellowships, or grants that you can apply for. Campus-based scholarships may be need-based or merit-based and usually require you to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
The healthcare community has many different professional organizations, some of which promote education through scholarships, fellowships, and grants for healthcare students. Search for organizations associated with your degree or career goals to learn more. Obtaining a scholarship from a well-respected professional organization can pay in more ways than one. A connection to a national healthcare organization stands out to employers on a resume and may make it easier to make connections with professionals in your field.
Even if you don’t find a scholarship, these organizations may give you insight into potential career opportunities, so keep them bookmarked for future career planning.
In addition, there are thousands of scholarships and grants available to students who are willing to hunt for them. To find a scholarship or grant that will help fund your graduate degree in health science or a related field, begin with searches related to your area of study or career goals. From there, expand your search to more general qualities. Many scholarships are designed to support students from particular backgrounds, especially those who are traditionally underrepresented.
Finally, keep in mind that research grants in the health care field are generally reserved for students who are studying medicine. But graduate students who are studying within a scientific field that requires extensive research and lab work, such as epidemiology, there may be some research grants available. Grants like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program are reserved for research-based graduate degrees.
Please note, however, that the federal government does not currently offer any grants for graduate students. Visit your state’s Department of Higher Education to learn more about local options for funding.
Scholarship Search Engines
- Big Future: The site is run by The College Board (the organization behind the SAT), so you can expect all scholarships to be from a well-established sponsor. The College Board also publishes a book of scholarships each year. The Big Future search engine can help you navigate financial aid, find colleges, explore careers, and search thousands of financial aid and internship programs.
- Scholarships.com: This site has been helping students find scholarships and grants since 1998 and is the largest free scholarship search and resource tool on the Internet. In addition to its search engine, Scholarships.com has resources on scholarship application strategies and other financial aid tips.
- FastWeb.com: FastWeb updates its database of scholarships on a daily bases and removes those that have expired. Founded in 1995, the site was the first online scholarship-matching service.
Top Scholarships for a Master’s Degree in Healthcare
- Foster G. McGaw Graduate Student Scholarship: Founded by the American College of Healthcare Executives, this scholarship awards up to 20 scholarships of $5,000 each year to students in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program.
- Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship: Also funded by ACHE, this annual scholarship offers up to 20 scholarships of $5,000 for minority students who are in their final year of a healthcare management graduate program.
- David A. Winston Health Policy Scholarship Program: This scholarship is available to first-year graduate students who have completed a minimum of five courses. The program offers a maximum of ten $10,000 scholarships to promising health policy students.
- Johnson & Johnson/AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship: This scholarship provides financial support to graduate nursing students from minority backgrounds who agree to teach in a school of nursing after graduation. In 2013, five $18,000 scholarships will be awarded. Awards may change based on funding.
- The Vivian Drenckhahn Student Scholarship: Student members of the Society for Public Health Education are eligible for this award of $1,500. Students must be enrolled full-time and have one-third of their coursework completed.
- List of Healthcare Administration Scholarships: Compiled by The Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
- Resources for Graduate Nursing Students: Compiled by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
- Scholarships for Public Health Students: Compiled by the American Public Health Association (APHA)
More Financial Aid Options
Students in clinical programs who are working to become nurse practitioners, physician assistants, midwives, or nurses can receive scholarships in return for their service in an underserved community. Students may also be eligible for special loan repayment programs after graduation.
- National Health Service Corps: The goal of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is to build healthy communities in areas with limited access to care. In exchange for a commitment of service, generally 2-4 years, students can receive tax-free payment of tuition, fees, and other educational costs in addition to a monthly stipend. After graduation, the NHSC helps graduates find a job in an area with a health professional shortage.
- NURSE Corps: Graduate students in a nursing program can receive a scholarship for tuition, fees, other educational costs, and a monthly living stipend in exchange for a 2-year commitment to an underserved area. Up to half of the award funds in the program are reserved for nurses who are pursuing a master’s level nurse practitioner degree.
Avoid Scholarship Scams
The best way to avoid a scholarship scam is to never pay for information. Some websites or "financial aid consultants" claim they can match you with financial aid, but they request a fee to do so. Scholarships are designed to help students, not garner a profit, so this rule applies to scholarship application fees as well. If a scholarship requires a fee, it is likely a scam designed to make money, not help students afford college. There are plenty of free resources available to you: your school’s financial aid office, free scholarship-matching websites, and departments of education websites at state and federal levels. The U.S. Department of Education provides more guidelines for avoiding scholarship scams.