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Discover Medical Assistant Classes Online 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.

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WRITTEN BY: Michael Hoffman
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 04/20/2023

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Quality training programs for aspiring medical assistants are readily available, with community colleges and training institutes throughout the country offering certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs are available fully, mostly, or partially online, making it much more convenient to get an education. The biggest challenge facing medical assistant students is figuring out how to fund their classes, whether online or in-person.

Thankfully, there are several financial aid options available to medical assisting students to help fund their education, such as federally-sponsored financial aid, school-specific assistance programs, grants, scholarships, loans, and payment plans. This guide will walk readers through the entire education funding process for medical assistant students, offering them valuable insights on all of the aforementioned financial aid sources. From the basics of what financial aid is available to where to find and access it, you’ll learn it all.

Top Online Medical Assistant Programs with Financial Aid Support (2023)

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 33-credit, fully-online Medical Assisting Administrative 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

Medical assistant students may also have access to extra funding resources provided by their college or training program. School-based financial aid typically includes scholarships, grants, and loans, similar to what’s available through federal student aid. It’s strongly recommended to research the opportunity to receive school-based financial aid when looking into different medical assistant training programs.

Payment Plans

These are offered by many medical assistant training programs and they’re popular among students because they allow them to pay for their tuition, fees, and other related expenses over time through weekly or monthly installments. Payment plans may or may not charge interest, but the likelihood of this goes up the longer the plan is. In lieu of an interest rate, a one-time flat fee is charged instead. The opportunity to have a payment plan is typically decided by the school on a student-by-student basis, which is usually determined by proof of financial need. If you’re interested in one, it’s important to check with your program to determine availability.

Scholarships

Scholarships are a great option for financing your medical assistant education because, similar to federal grants, the received funds do not have to be repaid. Scholarship eligibility varies depending on the specific scholarship, so it’s important to contact your school’s financial aid office to get relevant information about the scholarships available for the program you enroll in. Continue reading to learn more about the scholarships available for medical assistant students.

Top Scholarships & Grants for Medical Assisting Students

Medical assistant education programs typically require either one year (for certificate and diploma courses) or two years (for associate degree courses) of study to complete, making them shorter and less costly than most post-secondary education programs, like four-year bachelor degrees. Despite this, medical assistant students should still seek out scholarships and grants to fund their studies. There are scholarships and grants for students specifically in medical assistant programs, and others based on other criteria like income level, ethnic background, academic performance and more. However, the majority of scholarship opportunities available to medical assistant students usually only apply 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 (Annual)

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. Seven $1,000 awards are made annually.

Sponsor:
BECA Foundation

Amount:
$500 to $2,000

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Deadline:
March 30 (Annual)

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

Sponsor:
Health First Foundation – Northern Arizona

Amount:
$2,500

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Deadline:
March 25 (Annual)

Application Requirements: Open to students who live or work in one of the five Northern Arizona counties (Apache, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, or Yavapai) and enrolled in an accredited degree or certificate program in an allied health field.

Sponsor:
Allied Travel Careers

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
June 1 (fall semester annually) and November 1 (spring semester annually)

Application Requirements: Open to students in undergraduate-level allied health programs. Applicants are required to submit an essay describing their personal journey, inspiration to pursue a career in allied health, and how the scholarship will help them achieve their career goals.

Sponsor:
California Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI)

Amount:
Varies

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Deadline:
February 22 (Annual)

Application Requirements: Available to California residents in a range of allied health fields, including medical assisting. Applicants receive their awards in exchange for a 12-month commitment to providing direct patient care in an underserved California community following graduation.

Sponsor:
American Medical Technologists

Amount:
$500

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Deadline:
April 1 (Annual)

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. Five $500 awards are made annually.

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

Amount:
$1,000

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Deadline:
June 3 (Annual)

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 (Annual)

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

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
January 31 (Annual)

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

Amount:
Up to $5000

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Deadline:
August 1 (Annual)

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 24 (Annual)

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:
Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA)

Amount:
$2,500 and $5,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
March 30 (Annual)

Application Requirements: Open to students attending an accredited institution in the United States. Scholarships are available to applicants in a number of healthcare fields, including medical assisting. Student financial need is determined through the FAFSA’s Student Activities Report.

Sponsor:
Iowa College Student Aid Commission

Amount:
Maximum of $1,200 for up to two years of study. Reduced award amounts may be available to part-time students.

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Deadline:
July 1 (Annual) (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:
ESA Foundation

Amount:
$900

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Deadline:
February 1 (Annual)

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

Sponsor:
American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA)

Amount:
$1,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
April 15 (Annual)

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 (Annual)

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:
Primary Health Network Charitable Foundation (PHNCF)

Amount:
$2,000 to $5,000

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
March 11 (Annual)

Application Requirements: Available to students pursuing careers in the healthcare or allied health fields, including medical assisting. Applicant must be a resident of one of 30 counties in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Sponsor:
The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked

Amount:
$1,500

Deadline-Icon

Deadline:
August 15 (Annual)

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.

Sponsor:
South Carolina Society of Medical Assistants

Amount:
$500

Deadline-Icon

Deadline: January 15 (Annual)

Application Requirements: Open to student members of the American Association of Medical Assistants and enrolled full-time in a South Carolina medical assisting program accredited by either the ABHES or CAAHEP. Must additionally have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.

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 the particular medical assistant program and the type of financial aid. Generally, students enrolled in a certified medical assistant degree or diploma program provided by a regionally-accredited institution will be eligible for financial aid. However, shorter programs, especially those offering certificates, may not entitle their students to receive financial aid. This makes it very important for students to check with the programs they are considering before they actually enroll to make sure financial assistance 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.