Funding Online Medical Assistant School

Learn about FAFSA, find scholarships, and see which online schools offer financial aid to medical assistant students.

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.

Online Medical Assistant Programs with Financial Aid Support (2019)

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

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

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

Deadline-Icon

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

Deadline-Icon

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

Deadline-Icon

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.

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?

Does my medical assistant program qualify for financial aid?

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

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.