Building a successful career in the healthcare administration field can be incredibly satisfying. But the college education you’ll need to get there can be both expensive and academically challenging. Fortunately, there are a number of financial aid options and student resources to help you along the way, whether you’re just starting to look into healthcare admin degree programs, nearing graduation, or somewhere in between.
If this type of help sounds like something you could use, this guide is for you. You’ll find 15 of the best scholarship and grant opportunities currently available for healthcare administration students, along with other academic and professional support resources you can take advantage of before and during your time in college, as well as throughout your health administration career.
Scholarships and Grants for Healthcare Administration Students
While the most popular source of college funding is student loans, the problem is they have to be paid back – with interest. And paying off a student loan can take more years than you spend in the degree program itself. That’s why scholarships and grants are so attractive, as they’re essentially free money. Scholarships and grant programs are sponsored by colleges and universities, government agencies, nonprofits, private companies, and individuals, as well as religious, civic, and special interest groups. Here’s a detailed look at some of the best sources of scholarships and grants currently available for healthcare administration degree seekers.
School-based Scholarships in Healthcare Administration
While many organizations offer scholarships open to students attending any of a number of accredited healthcare administration degree programs, others sponsor scholarships that are designated for students pursuing healthcare administration degrees at a specific college or university. Additionally, many schools sponsor their own scholarships for their healthcare admin students, greatly expanding the education funding options for those students. To find out if your school offers internal scholarship programs for its healthcare administration students, contact the financial aid office or your healthcare admin program director. Information on both internal and external scholarship opportunities may also be found on school financial aid or healthcare administration department websites.
Below are two examples of colleges that feature substantial scholarship opportunities exclusively for their healthcare admin students:
The Master of Healthcare Administration program offered by the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business is a two-year, full-time degree program available on the school’s main campus in Salt Lake City. To help fund their studies, the university sponsors a range of scholarship awards open to its MHA students, including several available only to MHA students. These include, among others, the MHA Program Scholarships described below. Award amounts and eligibility requirements vary by specific scholarship. Details on the awards available to University of Utah MHA students can be found on the program’s Scholarships and Tuition Assistance webpage.
MHA Program Scholarships
Open to MHA students enrolled full-time who have completed their undergraduate studies with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The eligibility of MHA/Professional MHA dual-degree students is considered on a case-by-case basis.
How to Apply
Students must submit their applications and essays prior to the stated deadline. For applications and detailed submission information, contact the MHA program directly.k to the student support advisor for details on exact requirements.
National and Regional Healthcare Administration Scholarships
American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
Open to minority students (based on minority definition by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) who are entering the final year of their master’s degree studies. Preference is given to ACHE Student Associate members.
How to Apply
Complete the online application accessed from the scholarship website. Include resume or CV, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, application essay, and three letters of recommendation.
Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
Applicant must be an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at a U.S. university in a healthcare administration or closely-related major. Must also be a MGMA student member.
How to Apply
Application requirements and submittal information can be found on the scholarship website.
Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
Open to full-time students entering their second year of studies in a residential graduate program. Preference is given to individuals who are either first in their family to pursue a graduate program, female, or demonstrate financial need.
How to Apply
Complete the application and provide transcripts, financial statement, letters of recommendation, resume, GPA, and personal statement. Application details on the scholarship webpage.
Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
Open to full-time, minority (African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Latino/Hispanic, or Multiracial) students with a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate coursework in an AUPHA Full Member master’s program.
How to Apply
Submit completed application, including resume, personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and financial statement. Detailed application information on scholarship webpage.
David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship
Open to first-year graduate students in their second full-time semester or third full-time quarter of studies.
How to Apply
See scholarship website for application details. Submission requirements include resume, personal statement, transcripts, and two letters of nomination.
5 Keys to Landing Your Healthcare Administration Scholarship
To win scholarship awards, you have to do two things. First, choose the scholarships you apply to carefully. And second, impress with your scholarship applications. Remember, you’ll be competing against other applicants for awards, so you have to find a way to stand out from – and above – all the rest. Below are five actions you can take to do just that. These tips may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often scholarship applicants fail to follow them.
- Start early: Your scholarship search is going to take some time and effort, both in seeking out the best scholarships to apply for and in completing all application requirements fully and on time. So, the earlier you start your scholarship search the better, ideally at the same time you start looking for your HA degree program.
- Be strategic: You’re looking to earn a HA degree, so try to tailor your scholarship search to those contests looking to help HA students. Also, consider scholarships with smaller awards or limited to applicants in a particular geographic area or at a particular college. You’ll likely have less competition, which means a higher chance of success.
- But don’t rely on just one scholarship: Most scholarship contests limit their awards to one recipient annually. And you will have competition. So, while it’s a good idea to go after scholarships that best suit your qualifications and academic and career goals, don’t be so strict that you limit yourself to only one or two contests.
- Write a great essay: There’s no better way to set yourself apart from the competition than through your essay. So, make it a great one. Be concise and personal, and make clear why you’re passionate about a career in healthcare administration. Start by writing the essay on your own. Then, if you need to, find a great writer to help you with the polish.
- Meet your deadlines: As we said above, winning scholarships takes real time and effort in making the right scholarship choices and coming up with stellar application packages. All of that hard work will be a total waste if you miss a deadline. So, be sure to keep in mind all deadlines throughout the application process.
Where to Find More Financial Aid for Your Healthcare Admin Degree
Scholarships and grants are, of course, not the only funding resources available to fund your healthcare administration degree. Other popular options include employer tuition reimbursement programs, work-study programs, internships and assistantships (mainly for grad students), the GI Bill (for military vets), and the aforementioned student loan.
Talk to your employer’s HR person about tuition reimbursement opportunities. As for internships, assistantships, and work-study opportunities, they may not be as accessible to online students as their on-campus counterparts. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to speak with your school’s financial aid office to see what might be available. Those obtaining student loans may also be able to take advantage of loan forgiveness, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program from the federal government.
To learn more about college funding, visit these EduMed student loan and financial aid guides.
Academic and Professional Support Resources for Healthcare Administration Students
Choosing to pursue a healthcare admin degree is a big decision, and getting through college and starting a new career is challenging. But the challenges don’t end there. Advancing your career also takes real time, effort, and planning. The good news is that you’re not alone. There are tons of great resources you can take advantage of before, during, and after college. Below is our list of some of the most useful student organizations, academic support services, professional associations, and other resources, all geared toward helping you achieve your college goals and career success.
Healthcare Admin Student Support Centers and Services
The first step along the health administration career path is college. Whether you’re just starting to look at degree options, planning your college funding strategy, looking for suitable housing, or simply trying to get your academic bearings, your first stop should be your school’s or department’s student support center. Getting you connected to the resources students need is their number one job, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of their services as often as you need them. And that goes for both students pursuing their degrees on-campus and online.
To get a better idea of what you can expect from your college’s student support center, here’s a look at three schools providing their healthcare administration students with outstanding support services:
George Mason University
George Mason University offers both graduate and undergraduate degree programs in healthcare administration, including a fully-online Bachelor of Science degree. All George Mason HA students have online access to a wide range of department and university services through the school’s Student Resources webpage. Visitors to the page will find links to academic advisor services, scholarship and fellowship opportunities, IT training, on-campus jobs offerings, off-campus housing and transportation services, the university writing center and library services, and much more. HA organizations available to GMU students include the AcademyHealth Student Chapter, MHA Healthcare Leaders of Tomorrow, and Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society.
University of New England
The University of New England offers its Master of Healthcare Administration degree program in a 100% online format. It also offers a comprehensive program of student services exclusively for its online HA students. At the outset of the application process, HA program applicants are assigned a dedicated enrollment counselor to walk them through the process from start to finish. Upon acceptance into the degree program, each student is assigned a support specialist to provide information and advice, as well as answers to any questions they might have regarding costs, financial aid, textbooks, and all other aspects of the UNE academic experience. HA students can access a range of additional services online through the department’s Student Resources website.
University of North Florida
Located on UNF’s Jacksonville campus, the Brooks College of Health is home to both undergraduate and graduate health administration degree programs, including an Executive Master of Health Administration available in an online/on-campus hybrid format. Both online and on-campus HA students at UNF can access a range of student services specifically for them through the department’s Student Resources webpage. Included are links to the Brooks College of Health Professional Development Center, the UNF Writing Center, and the UNF Student Involvement Center. HA students can participate in the activities of the Health Administration Student Association and Upsilon Phi Delta National Honor Society.
Resources for Online Healthcare Administration Students
As online and hybrid postsecondary education programs have become more popular and accessible, so have the student resources designed to support them. And that includes those for students pursuing their healthcare administration degrees online. Here are five particularly useful resources for students pursuing their healthcare administration degrees online:
- ACHE Learning Center
This American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) website provides access to a wide range of resources for both online HA students and working professionals, including online seminars, webinars, self-study courses, research, and publications. ACHE Student Member membership is required.
- Guide to Online Healthcare Administration Degrees
EduMed’s own guide to helping you find the online healthcare administration degree program that best suits your academic needs and professional goals. Included are spotlights of three standout programs, and a helpful overview of different healthcare admin degrees available.
- Healthcare Administration, Management & Policy Centralized Application Service (HAMPCAS)
HAMPCAS provides HA students with a simplified “one-stop” location and process for applying to multiple health administration, management, and policy degree programs, including many online programs. Be sure to check with each school to which you’re applying to see if it employs HAMPCAS for their program applications.
- Journal of Hospital Administration
The Journal of Hospital Administration is an international, peer-reviewed scientific journal dedicated to the publication of research papers covering all aspects of the HA profession. Published in an open-source format by the Sciedu Press, articles accessed here can be used by online students in their HA research for papers, projects, theses, etc.
- Tips for Success in an Online Degree Program: Study Techniques
Useful advice from Boston College for succeeding in an online healthcare administration degree program. Included are tips on time management, self discipline (always crucial in the online learning environment), and more.
- Tips for Successful Online Learning
This edX webpage offers a healthy dose of solid advice on how to succeed in the online learning environment. Included are links to a blog featuring more online study advice from edX students and an edX’s How to Learn Online course (fee required).
- Transitioning to Online School: A Guide for Healthcare Students
Another excellent and useful EduMed guide, this one focused on helping students who are new to distance learning succeed in the online college learning environment. Included here is lots of helpful information and advice on learning management systems, communicating with teachers and fellow students, good study habits and time management, and much more.
Student Organizations and Professional Associations
- American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM)
Founded in 1968, the AAHAM bills itself as the “premier professional organization in healthcare administrative management”. The AAHAM focuses primarily on the areas of admitting and registration of patients, data management and medical records, reimbursement, and patient relations, as well on the professional development of its members.
- Association for Healthcare Administrative Professionals (AHCAP)
The AHCAP is an organization of healthcare administration professionals whose members are dedicated to the support of healthcare leadership throughout the U.S. The AHCAP sponsors a number of professional development events and education resources. Its website offers (mostly members-only) access to a discussion forum and other useful professional services.
- American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE)
Not a college, but a highly-respected professional organization dedicated to the professional and personal growth of its almost 6,000 health administration and management members. The ACHE is also the certification arm of the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).
- Health Care Administrators Association (HCAA)
The HCAA is a nonprofit trade association that supports advocacy, networking, education, and other resources for a wide range of HA-related occupations, including benefit administrators, stop loss insurance carriers, medical managers, human resource managers, and many others.
- Medical Group Management Association
MCMA helps its members advance their personal skill set and reach their professional goals. Both students and professionals benefit from its online resource offerings and in-person networking opportunities. Members enjoy access to an online job board, board certification preparation classes, professional fellowship opportunities, and medical practice consulting services.
- Upsilon Phi Delta
Sponsored by the AUPHA, Upsilon Phi Delta is the national academic honor society for health administration students. There are currently ten full and five organizing Upsilon Phi Delta chapters located on college and university campuses throughout the U.S.
Online Communities, Networking Sites, and Other Social Groups
- Association of University Programs in Healthcare Administration (AUPHA) Facebook Page
Facebook page for a well-known HA professional organization. The page offers up-to-date information on activities and events for both AUPHA member schools and the organization itself.
- Career in Healthcare Administration? Reddit Discussion
Reddit discussion post started by a prospective bachelor’s in healthcare administration student. Discussions center around career prospects and opportunities available in the HA field, as well as the different degree programs and levels associated with launching a successful HA career.
- Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) on Twitter
Twitter account of The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) is a nonprofit alliance of trade associations and health plans whose purpose is to create shared initiatives for streamlining and positively impacting the healthcare business.
- Health Professionals Graduate Student Alliance (HPGSA)
Associated with the ACHE, the Health Professionals Graduate Student Alliance is an organization of HA professionals providing networking opportunities for graduate students and supporting the collaboration with experts in the HA industry to keep up to date on emerging healthcare trends.
- Healthcare Physician Practice Management
Excellent forum dedicated to providing information and opinions about the practice of healthcare management, with contributions from a variety of perspectives, including physicians and professionals in healthcare administration/management and other related fields.
Articles, Blogs, Videos, Books and Podcasts
- Health Administration Press (HAP)
A division of the Foundation of the ACHE, the Health Administration Press (HAP) publishes textbooks and other books related to the HA profession on topics such as communication, diversity, ethics, economics and financial management, law, leadership, and career resources.
- Alumni Insights: Healthcare Administration (Colorado College Career Center)
This YouTube features three alumni of the Healthcare Administration program at Colorado College discussing their experiences and insights as HA students and professionals working in the administrative side of the healthcare industry
- Careers in Healthcare Administration
You don’t have to be a student in the University of Georgia eMajor degree program to gain some significant insight into the process of earning an HA degree online and pursuing a healthcare administration career.
- The Health Care Blog
This site features an interactive blog that covers topics in health technology, health policies, medical practice, and healthcare business. Users can comment on articles, interact with others in the forum, and keep up with some of the latest topics and debates with entries written by active healthcare professionals.
- The Business of Healthcare
This excellent podcast series produces twice-monthly episodes featuring business leaders and others discussing issues and challenges in the rapidly changing healthcare industry. Produced by the University of Texas at Dallas’s Center for Healthcare Leadership and Management.
- A Year in the Life of an MHA Student
Insightful article consisting of a series of blog posts written by a first-year student in the MHA program at Ohio State University’s College of Public Health.