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Online Medical Assistant Programs with Financial Aid

See which online schools offer financial aid to medical assistant students. Learn about FAFSA, find scholarships, and read through alternative funding methods for your medical assistant training.

Last Updated: 08/11/2020
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For many aspiring medical assistants, finding a quality training program is the easy part. Community colleges and training institutes across the country have certificate, diploma, and degree programs available. And many offer their courses fully, mostly, or partially online, which makes earning a credential far more convenient. The biggest challenge for these students, however, it becomes funding their campus or online medical assistant classes.

Fortunately, medical assisting students have a number of real options out there to them to help fund their educations, including federally-sponsored financial aid, school-specific funding programs, grants, scholarships, loans and payment plans. This page is designed to walk readers through the full education funding process for medical assistant students, with useful information on all of the above-described financial aid sources – what’s available, where to find it, and how to get it.

Top Online Medical Assistant Programs with Financial Aid Support (2020)

There are many excellent medical assistant programs that can be completed either fully or partially online for which students can use financial aid. Proper institutional regional accreditation – i.e., schools accredited by a regional accrediting organizations recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) – is key. That’s because federal financial aid, as well as most other types of financial aid support, is typically only available to students enrolled in regionally-accredited programs. Medical assisting programs themselves – as distinct from the schools that offer them – may also be accredited, most commonly by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and/or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Schools (ABHES). Below you’ll find a list of the top online medical assistant programs with financial aid support, starting with detailed spotlights of our top three schools.

Herzing University

Herzing University offers two medical assistant training programs, both of which can be completed 100% online. Herzing’s 34-credit, 10-month (average) Diploma in Medical Assisting provides students with the education and skills needed for entry-level medical assistant positions. The 60-credit Associate Degree in Medical Assisting Services program is a combination of the diploma program’s curriculum and the general education course requirements for an associate degree. The associate degree program requires an average of 16 months to complete. Prospective students have access to a wide range of program funding information and services, including an online introductory video and on-demand webinar on financial aid, financial aid FAQ’s page, and access to an education funding advisor.

Cost per credit for either program is $580. Total costs vary by program length and credits transferred in. Additional fees apply. The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits both the associate degree and diploma programs.

Southwestern Community College

Southwestern Community College, with its main campus in Sylva, North Carolina, offers an Associate in Applied Science in Medical Assisting degree in a two-year, five-semester (includes one summer session) hybrid program format that allows students to complete 50% of the required coursework online. Tuition, activity fees and tech fees are charged together on a per-credit basis (currently $79.00 for North Carolina Residents, $271.00 for out-of-state residents). Southwestern CC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and the AAS in Medical Assisting program is accredited by the CAAHEP. CAAHEP accreditation means that graduates of the AAS program may sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) certification exam to become a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA). Southwestern additionally offers a 13-credit, fully-online Medical Assisting Basic Certificate. Graduates of the certificate program, however, are not eligible to sit for the AAMA CMA exam.

Southwestern offers prospective students a wide range financial aid information and services through its Financial Aid webpage, including Q&A videos, information on available scholarships, and more.

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College offers a 37-credit Medical Assistant Diploma. The diploma program is presented in a hybrid format with most coursework available online and additional classes requiring attendance on the school’s Detroit Lakes, Minnesota campus. The program culminates with a 160-hour physician-supervised clinical experience. Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis (currently $160.70 for on-campus courses, $198.95 for courses delivered over the internet). Additional fees apply. The Higher Learning Commission regionally accredits Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Comprehensive information on paying for the Medical Assistant Diploma program can be found on Minnesota State’s Financial Aid webpage, where students can access videos on the financial aid process, links to school financial aid contacts, and much more.

Ways to Fund Your Medical Assistant Training

Students seeking help in paying for their medical assistant education (and that’s pretty much all of them) have several resources that may be available to them that don’t include a cash infusion from their parents. Here are the four most common:

Federal Student Aid

By far the most common type of financial aid for college students, including those seeking a medical assisting education. Federal student aid, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education, is available in three forms: Loans (money to pay for school that must be paid back), grants (money awarded that does not require repayment) and work-study jobs (part-time jobs for students demonstrating financial need). The process for obtaining any of these types of aid begins by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Remember, most but not all medical assistant training programs, both online and on-campus, are eligible for federal student aid. Be sure to confirm aid eligibility with any program you are considering before enrolling.

School-Based Financial Aid

Additional funding resources for medical assistant students may be offered through the college or medical assistant training program itself. Forms of school-based financial aid are usually the same as for federal student aid (scholarships, grants and loans). Be sure to make asking about availability of school-based financial aid options a priority when considering any medical assistant training program.

Payment Plans

A popular option offered by many medical assistant training programs that allows students to pay for their tuitions, fees and other related costs over time in weekly or monthly installments. Payment plans may or may not charge interest, although the longer the plan, the more likely interest will be charged. A one-time flat fee may be charged in place of an added interest rate. Schools often make this option available on a case-by-case basis and may require proof of financial need. Check your program for payment plan availability.

Scholarships

Scholarships are a great way to fund your medical assistant education, especially since – like federal grants – the funds received are not paid back. Eligibility for scholarships varies by specific scholarship, so be sure to contact your school’s financial aid office for detailed information on any scholarships that may be available for your medical assistant program. Keep reading to learn more about scholarships for medical assistant students.

Top Scholarships & Grants for Medical Assisting Students

Almost all medical assistant education programs require either one year (certificate and diploma programs) or two years (associate degree programs) of study to complete. That makes them both shorter and less expensive than most post-secondary education programs, like those for four-year bachelor degrees. Nevertheless, medical assistant students shouldn’t be deterred from seeking out and applying for scholarships and grants to help fund their educations. Scholarships and grants are available for medical assistant students, both those specifically for medical assistant programs and those offered based on other criteria, such as income level, ethnic background, academic achievement, and more. However, most (but not all) scholarship programs open to medical assistant students are limited to those enrolled in 2-year degree programs.

Below is a sample of the scholarships that medical assistant students can apply to today:

Sponsor:
180 Medical

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
June 1

Application Requirements: Open to full-time students who are U.S. residents and under a physician’s care for a spinal cord injury, spina bifida, ostomy (ileostomy, colostomy or urostomy), neurogenic bladder, or transverse myelitis.

Sponsor:
Alaska Medical Assistants Society (AMAS)

Amount:
$ 500

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Deadline:
March 15

Application Requirements: Must be a medical assisting student at an Alaska AAMA-accredited school. Criteria for selection include financial need, academic achievements, essay, letters of recommendation, and overall appearance of application.

Sponsor:
BECA Foundation

Amount:
$500 to $2,000

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Deadline:
March 2

Application Requirements: Applicant must be of Hispanic heritage and attending a high school or college in San Diego County, California. Selection criteria include financial need, scholastic determination, and community/cultural awareness.

Sponsor:
American Medical Technologists

Amount:
$500

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Deadline:
April 1

Application Requirements: Applicant must demonstrate financial need, be a graduate of, or senior at, an accredited high school (GED also acceptable), and enrolled in a regionally-accredited medical assisting program.

Sponsor:
Anchorage Chapter of the Alaska Medical Assistant Society (AMAS)

Amount:
$250

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Deadline:
March 15

Application Requirements: Applicant must be currently enrolled in the University of Alaska Anchorage Medical Assisting program. Selection based on financial need, academic achievements, essay, letters of recommendation, and overall appearance of application.

Sponsor:
Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP)

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
June 11

Application Requirements: Applicants must have successfully completed at least one term (semester, quarter, etc.) in a career-entry, degree-granting program at a college or school that is an institutional member of the ASAHP. Selection based on demonstrated excellence by the applicant in his/her academic program.

Sponsor:
AvaCare Medical

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
December 15

Application Requirements: Must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien, a high school senior or currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. All students meeting these criteria may apply. However, preference will be given to students with a physical disability.

Sponsor:
ARRL: The National Association for Amateur Radio

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
January 31

Application Requirements: Open to U.S. citizen students pursuing a degree in the medical field at an accredited college or university. Applicant must also be an amateur radio operator with any class of Amateur Radio license (preference to those with basic Morse code capability). Both full-time and part-time students are eligible.

Sponsor:
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Amount:
Varies

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Deadline:
December 31

Application Requirements: Must be 24 years of age or older and a resident of Sarasota County, Florida. Selection based on financial need and on the applicant’s educational objectives leading to a career in the health care field.

Sponsor:
Patty Takemoto Education Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children

Amount:
Up to $5000

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Deadline:
August 1

Application Requirements: Applicant must be a mother with minor children, and enrolled in a not-for-profit, accredited institution or program. Must also be able to demonstrate low income. Selection based on financial need, personal circumstance, educational path, vocational or occupational goals, and service, activist or civic goals.

Sponsor:
Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA)

Amount:
$1,000 to $5,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
March 25

Application Requirements: Open to full-time or part-time federal or postal employees, their spouses, and children and legal dependents under the age of 25. Children and grandchildren of members of the National Active and Retired Employees Association (NARFE) are also eligible.

Sponsor:
SeniorAdvisor.com

Amount:
$2,000

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Deadline:
December 31

Application Requirements: Open to both full-time and part-time students who are U.S. citizens. Requires submission of a 500-750-word essay on a given topic. For more information contact: scholarship@senioradvisor.com.

Sponsor:
Iowa College Student Aid Commission

Amount:
Maximum of $900 for up to two years of study. Reduced award amounts may be available to part-time students.

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Deadline:
July 1 (Completed FAFSA application)

Application Requirements: Applicant must be an Iowa resident enrolled at an Iowa community college in a program of at least 15-weeks duration. Must demonstrate financial need.

Sponsor:
JIT4You Medical and Lab Supply

Amount:
$500

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Deadline:
January 15

Application Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in their final year of high school or currently a student at an undergraduate-level college or university in the U.S., and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Sponsor:
ESA Foundation

Amount:
$700

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Deadline:
February 1

Application Requirements: Applicant must attend or plan to attend a college in Nebraska, and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Sponsor:
Keller Law Offices

Amount:
$1,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
July15

Application Requirements: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen and a full-time student at a 2-year college. Award made to student who submits best essay (1,500 words or less) on a given topic.

Sponsor:
American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
February 15

Application Requirements: Available to students who have completed one quarter or semester in a CAAHEP-accredited medical assisting program with 3.0 or better GPA. Applications are made through the program director, not directly by the student.

Sponsor:
Medical Scrubs Collection

Amount:
Minimum $1,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
December 15

Application Requirements: Open to high school seniors and current college students with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or possess an Alien Registration Card. Both full-time and part-time students are eligible.

Sponsor:
The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked

Amount:
$1,500

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
August 15

Application Requirements: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen accepted to or enrolled at an accredited college or university in pursuit of a degree in the medical field. Must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA up through the time of application for the scholarship.

Financial Aid Q&A for Medical Assistant Students

It’s no surprise that students have a lot of questions about funding their medical assistant educations. Here are the three most asked questions by students about paying for school:

Do I qualify for financial aid?

It depends on the type of financial aid you are seeking. Each type of financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) has its own set of requirements. Federal student aid, for example, requires medical assistant program applicants to meet several eligibility criteria including, among others:

  • Demonstrated financial need (for most programs);
  • U.S. citizenship or eligible noncitizen status;
  • Valid Social Security number;
  • Selective Service registration;
  • Enrollment in an eligible medical assistant education program; and
  • Maintenance of satisfactory academic progress in your medical assistant program.

Many state-run student aid programs follow the same criteria as the Federal Student Aid program. The bottom line is to check with any financial aid program you are interested in for specific eligibility requirements.

Does my medical assistant program qualify for financial aid?

It depends on both the specific medical assistant education program and specific financial aid sought. In most cases, students enrolled in a medical assistant degree or diploma program offered by a properly regionally-accredited institution are eligible for financial aid. However, shorter, less extensive programs – particularly certificate programs – may not qualify their students for financial aid. Again, it’s crucial to check with any program you are considering before enrolling to find out if financial aid is available.

The program I’m interested in has a payment plan. How does that work?

Payment plan specifics vary by school and program. Generally speaking, payment plans work like any other installment plan. Students pay their program costs (tuition, fees, etc.) plus an additional flat fee or interest over time in affordable weekly or monthly installments. Payment plans are typically three to 12 months in length, but may be longer in certain cases.

Financial Aid Resources for Medical Assistant Students

We’ve hopefully covered all of the important information to get you started on funding a medical assistant education program. If you have additional questions, however, or if you’re simply ready to further explore the subjects of medical assistant training, medical assistant careers, and funding your education, here are several useful online resources to check out:

Medical Assistant Professional Associations and Organizations

CMA

American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA): Provides medical assistant professionals with education, certification, credential acknowledgement, networking opportunities, advocacy and more. Includes links to AAMA-affiliated state organizations.

ADAA

American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA): Association that advocates for the dental assistant profession in areas such as education, credentialing, legislation, professional activities, and more.

ARMA

American Registry of Medical Assistants (ARMA): Organization representing medical assistant professionals throughout the U.S.

CMAA

National Healthcareer Association (NHA): Organization devoted to the improvement of careers and businesses in the healthcare field. Sponsors the CCMA Medical Assistant Certification.

Financial Aid Resources

CFPB

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – Paying for College: Federal government website with student loan and student banking financial guides, a tool for comparing financial aid offers, and more.

FSA

Federal Student Aid: Department of Education website providing comprehensive information on federal loans and grants. This is where you go to fill out your FAFSA form.

FINAID

FinAid.org: Free site featuring information on student loans, scholarships, saving for college and military student aid, as well as a wide range of helpful college cost-related calculators.

NASFAA

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) – State Financial Aid Programs: Provides links to government financial aid programs in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Government Agencies

BLSOOH

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – Medical Assistants: BLS website offering useful information and statistics on the medical assistant profession.

HRSA

Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA): Information and data site for the federal government’s Bureau of Health Workforce.

USDVA

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – VA Education and Training Benefits: Clearinghouse page for information regarding GI Bill and other education benefits for veterans.

Scholarship Search Sites

college board

College Board: Link to the College Board’s scholarship search engine. College Board also provides lots of helpful information on paying for college, exploring careers, and much more.

fastweb

Fastweb: Scholarship and student loan tools that target searches based on the searcher’s interests, strengths and skills.

peterson

Peterson’s: Comprehensive scholarship search engine. Peterson also offers search tools for colleges and online schools, as well information on college test and career prep, and more.

UNIGO

Unigo: Site includes search engines for colleges and student loans as well as for scholarships.