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Explore the Top Online Health Science Degrees with Financial Aid

Need help paying for an online health science degree? This guide highlights programs with financial aid options and gives an overview of the financial aid process.

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Author: Jenna Tidd
Editor: Kari Scare

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A team of scientists wearing white lab coats work in a high-tech laboratory. Some are examining data on screens, while others are discussing findings and using equipment. The lab is filled with advanced technology and has a modern, sleek design.

You’re excited about your future because you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that an online health science degree is the key to the career of your dreams. The only obstacle looming is the high cost of a college education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, college tuition and fees more than tripled between 1963 and 2021 with four-year programs now costing an average of more than $16,000 per year. With that price tag, maintaining healthy finances is a must both during and after college. For most students, the only way to pay for advanced education is with some form of financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and/or loans. Fortunately, many schools offer their own forms of financial aid, including scholarships for health science students.

This guide can help you find an online health science program with financial aid full of the options you need academically and financially. It explains the most common types of financial aid as well as the basic steps needed to receive it. Keep reading to explore your financial aid options.

School Spotlights: Online Health Science Programs with Financial Aid

Cost is the determining factor for many students when choosing a school, so it’s important to find one with plenty of financial aid options to make it affordable. These options differ greatly between schools, and the three colleges highlighted below provide financial help in various forms to health science students to help them know what to look for when deciding affordability as they choose the best health science bachelor’s degree for them.

Purdue Global

Logo of Purdue Global, featuring an abstract globe graphic in white and beige on a dark circle, next to the words "Purdue Global" in green and black script. Prominently representing their Top Human Services Program.

You can earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science Online at Purdue Global in four years. At $371 per credit, the tuition is significantly lower than similar programs, and Purdue helps students reduce costs by turning prior learning and work experience into college credits. The portfolio development and assessment program at Purdue Global helps students create a portfolio of experiences that took place outside the classroom and determines how it transfers to college credits.

Additional assistance in paying for school at Purdue Global includes the Returning Student Relief Grant for students who withdrew from classes and now want to complete their education. This program pays up to $4,500 of debt to the school. Purdue also offers tuition assistance to active military, veterans, and their spouses by paying up to $4,500 per year for members of the Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and Marines. Army members can receive up to $4,000 per year. Department of Defense civilian employees and members of the National Guard or Reserve can receive $165 per credit hour.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a variety of financial aid options that make education more accessible to those facing barriers to traditional aid eligibility. The program’s tuition is per term rather than per credit hour, so students pay less the faster they complete their classes. Tuition for a six-month term is about $4,200 plus fees for e-books and resources.

To offset expenses, students can take advantage of work-study programs, grants, loans, and the many scholarships offered by the university. There are seven scholarship categories in addition to state-specific scholarships. The general scholarships and grants offer substantial amounts to students who may not qualify for federal financial aid, returning students, those without adequate internet access, first responders, and children or spouses of WGU graduates.

Western Kentucky University

The image shows the logo of WKU (Western Kentucky University). It consists of a stylized red square with a white tower and crescent inside it, next to bold, black letters "WKU".

Western Kentucky University offers a four-year online Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences along with many options for student financial assistance. Incoming freshmen with at least a 3.0 GPA automatically qualify for a number of merit scholarships that range from $4,000 to $30,000 over four years. Minimum standardized test scores are required for the $30,000 scholarship.

There are also a variety of scholarships available to current and returning students and transfer students. Army ROTC members may qualify for a scholarship that covers 100% of their education costs. Tuition waivers are available for several types of students, including WKU employees, foster or adopted children in Kentucky, and family members of deceased military or law enforcement. The university also offers student employment opportunities and accepts both state and federal grants. Veterans and active military members also may qualify for additional benefits.

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As a health science student, you’re most likely looking for healthcare scholarships and other forms of financial aid specific to the medical field. Three of the most common types of financial aid, along with their benefits and some examples, are highlighted below.

Scholarships

Scholarships don’t need to be paid back and can be private, institutional, or governmental. Many are offered by individual schools, and some are specific to the medical and health science fields and others to undergraduate degrees, master’s degrees, or doctorate degrees. Many schools only require one application to be considered for all available scholarships to make it easier for you to get the aid you need.

Private scholarships come from foundations, companies, charities, and professional organizations, while governmental scholarships come from either the state or federal government. Health science scholarships have fewer applicants than general scholarships, which increases your chances of receiving one.

Grants

Like scholarships, grants don’t need to be repaid. They may be awarded by a college, a state or the federal government, or by an outside organization (i.e., private grants). They are typically given based on financial need, but individual colleges determine the eligibility requirements of their grants. Depending on the school and the state you reside in, you may be eligible for grants intended for medical and health students.

Private grants come from local organizations like charities or religious groups. As a prospective health science student, you may find one that wants to support the education of future healthcare professionals.

Loans

Student loans are either federally or privately funded. Based on your financial need, you may qualify for subsidized financial aid from the government that doesn’t accrue interest while you’re in college or during a six-month grace period after you graduate. Private student loans usually come from banks, credit unions, state agencies, or schools. The terms of these loans are set by the individual lender.

Federal loans tend to have lower interest rates, so many students prefer them for the majority of their expenses and use private loans to make up the difference. Because loans and their interest must be paid back, this form of financial aid carries a significant responsibility.

Financial Aid Eligibility & Application Checklist

As a prospective health science student, you have a lot of things to check off your to-do list, and financial aid is probably near the top. Each scholarship, grant, and loan has its specific requirements, but the checklist below explains the basic steps that apply to most of them. Read on to learn how to take charge of your financial aid.

Complete the FAFSA Early

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward obtaining financial aid. Many colleges require it as part of their application process to determine your eligibility for institutional scholarships. Filling out your FAFSA early increases your chances of being awarded aid. Also, early scholarship notifications give you a more accurate picture of your financial need, which allows you to develop an effective payment plan.

Thoroughly Review Eligibility Criteria & Requirements

By carefully reviewing financial aid requirements, you can take advantage of all the available options and minimize your need for student loans by reducing the overall cost of your education. Scholarships that pay annually may require you to maintain certain grades or course load to remain eligible. It’s important to note these stipulations to avoid losing aid mid-program or incurring penalties.

Check Deadlines and Apply Early

In some cases, applying early for a scholarship or grant increases your chances of receiving it, especially if the funding is given on a first-come, first-served basis. At a minimum, early submittal of your application ensures it is reviewed and shows you’re proactive about your education. Because scholarship applications often require extensive documentation, start early to avoid additional stress or missing a critical piece of information.

Gather All Necessary Documents

Applying for a scholarship involves much more than filling out an application. It typically also requires documents such as an educational resume, letters of recommendation, a personal statement essay, financial information, proof of enrollment, and standardized test scores. For health science scholarships, you may need to submit proof of any community involvement or extracurricular activities. Assemble all the paperwork beforehand to help avoid any mistakes.

Receive Feedback on Supplemental Materials

Getting feedback on financial aid documentation helps you to present yourself as a top candidate. A mentor or teacher can review your statement of purpose and/or essays and advise on how to make them more persuasive, professional, and relevant. They can help you tailor your content to effectively highlight your needs, experience, and skills, especially when applying for a health science scholarship.

Review Award Letters

Award letters are official notifications from schools informing students of the financial aid package that they have been given. These letters contain important information about the type of financial aid, the amount, the conditions to retain the aid, and instructions on how to accept or decline the aid. You can use these letters to determine which school is the best financial choice and to confirm you can meet all the requirements.