Financing Your Online Medical Billing and Coding Classes

Discover medical billing and coding programs with financial aid support, find schools with scholarships, and learn other ways to pay for your MB&C training.

There’s no doubt about it: Paying for higher education is one of the top concerns of aspiring students. Those who want to earn a credential in medical billing and coding might have no trouble finding a great program, but often run into a stumbling block when it comes to paying for that education. Fortunately, there are a number of funding options at their fingertips, from federal financial aid and scholarships to school-based aid and others. These funding sources can make medical billing and coding school more affordable, thus helping students reach their educational goals easier. We’ll walk you through the process by looking programs that offer key financial aid support, from help with federal aid and FAFSA to direct scholarships and payment plans. Take your first step toward a medical billing or coding career.

Medical Billing and Coding Schools Online with Financial Aid (2019)

To help ease the financial burden for medical billing and coding students, we took a look at some of the most popular schools and dug into their financial aid offerings. We looked only at schools that are accredited – because that’s a vitally important point – and then looked at other factors, all related to financial aid and funding options. Our spotlights give students a real-world overview of the financial scene for each school and what they can expect if they enroll there.

Cambridge College of Healthcare & Technology

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Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology offers the Diploma/Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding, an online program that can be completed in as little as nine months of full-time study. Courses focus on the points that matter most in the field, such as ICD-9 and ICD-10, computerized practice management, medical office procedures, medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, CPT-4, records management systems and the like. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Certified Electronic Health Records Specialist exam.

All Cambridge locations hold institution accreditation through the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The school also holds approvals through the Florida Department of Education and the State of Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission

In addition to federal and state funds students might be eligible for when pursuing the medical billing and coding program at Cambridge, the school also offers a variety of assistance for those who qualify. Students begin by filling out the FAFSA; they can get help with this from school staff. The school offers a variety of loan types to help students cover any expenses that are not covered by other financial aid, including unsubsidized and subsidized loans. College staff will walk students through loan disbursement, what to expect from financial aid options, interest rates and repayment terms, and any other information necessary to fully comprehend the financial aid package. Students who are interested in this financial aid can speak to an advisor, who will lead them through the process from start to finish.

Everett Community College

North-West College

Alternative Financing for Your Billing and Coding Education

When most students think about financing for college, they think of federal financial aid. Financial aid from the federal government can include grants and loans that help students shoulder the monetary burden. While federal financial aid is a good way to secure funding – and by all means, students should always look into this option – there are other opportunities to ease the wallet, such as state financial aid, payment plans and private scholarships.

State financial aid.

Financial aid from the state is often less than what the federal government offers; and it makes sense, since a state’s budget is much smaller. State financial aid often takes the form of loans, which usually have advantageous interest rates and deferred payments, just like what you might expect from federal subsidized loans. Keep in mind that in order to be eligible, students must both live in the state and be enrolled in a school that is located in that same state.

Payment plans.

These plans can make it much easier to afford tuition, fees and books by spreading the cost out over the span of several weeks, months or semesters. These plans allow students to break the cost of their education up into smaller, more manageable payments. Depending upon the school, there might be a small fee for implementing a payment plan. Medical billing and coding schools often provide the option for payment plans, especially those that do not offer traditional financial aid options, such as grants.

Private Scholarships.

These scholarships are offered by nonprofits, corporations, schools and the like. Often designed for particular students, such as those who choose to pursue an allied health field, these scholarships can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars for books to a large amount of money that is suitable to pay for tuition. Scholarship requirements can vary widely, and some of those requirements might be very narrow, such as awarding only to those who work for a particular employer or meet certain demographic criteria.

Grants & Scholarships for Medical Billing and Coding Students

Many students find that they need some help with the tuition and fees of a certificate or diploma program, no matter how accelerated it might be. Scholarships are a great way to bridge the financial gap. In fact, since scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back, they make the perfect way to save money on a program. Here are several scholarships available to medical billing and coding students:

1. American Health Information Management Association Merit Scholarships.Available for those seeking an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate in areas related to health information, this private scholarships provides between $1,000 and $2,500 for current members of AHIMA who are enrolled in at least six credit hours in pursuit of a degree, have at least six credit hours remaining and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA. Deadline: September 30.

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2. Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions Scholarship of Excellence. This $1,000 private scholarship is available to those who are enrolled in any of the ASAHPS schools, have completed at least one term and are pursuing a degree of any level. Students must be nominated by their school. Deadline: June 9 for nominations (check with the school to determine the deadline for expressing interest).

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3. Dr. Donald and Barbara Williams Scholarship.Open to individuals who are employees at Fort Healthcare (Fort Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin) and pursuing education in a health-related field, this private scholarship awards up to $3,000. Financial need of the applicant is taken into account. Scholarships given each year depend upon the number of applicants accepted for the award. Deadline: Varies.

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4. George Health Information Management Association Scholarship.Open to students who reside in Georgia and are enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s or master’s program in health information. This is a regional scholarship of variable amounts from year to year. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be involved in a variety of extracurricular activities related to healthcare. Applicants must be GHIMA members. Deadline: June 1.

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5. Health Information and Management Systems Society – Arizona Chapter Scholarship.This $5,000 regional scholarship is for those who are Arizona resident HIMSS members. Applicants must be attending a health-related program at an accredited Arizona school with the intention of earning a degree. Full-time or part-time students may apply. Recipients receive a trip to the HIMSS Global Conference and Exhibition as well as the scholarship award. Deadline: Varies.

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6. New York Health Information Management Association Returning Student Scholarship.This regional scholarship is earmarked for those who are returning to higher education, whether to advance or transition to a new career in health information. Students can be full-time or part-time, enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s program, and must be attending a school in New York. The award is $1,000. Deadline: Varies.

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7. New York Health Information Management Association Student Book Fund Scholarship.This $300 regional scholarship is designed to cover the cost of books for students enrolled in a health information degree program in New York. Two awards are given each year. Deadline: Varies.

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8. Robert D. Kruse Memorial Scholarship Fund for Allied Health Professionals.Though this scholarship is open to any student in allied health programs, including medical billing and coding certificates, preference will be given to those who might have clinical rotations at Cleveland Clinic. Students must be in the final year of their program and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. The award consists of up to $5,000 paid directly to the school for tuition costs. Deadline: April 30.

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9. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Volunteer Guild Scholarship.Illinois residents enrolled in any healthcare program, including allied health, are eligible to apply for this private, variable-fund scholarship – even if that program is not in Illinois. They must be going to school full-time, have at least a 3.5 GPA and in an accredited or approved program. Deadline: April 15.

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10. University of Alaska Anchorage Administrative Scholarship.This school-sponsored scholarship is open to all UAA students in the allied health programs, including medical billing and coding. Awarded three times annually during Fall, Spring and Summer semester, the award can be enough to cover tuition for the term. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and carry at least three credits. Deadline: Varies.

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Application Tips for Medical Billing and Coding Scholarships

Make no mistake: Scholarships are very competitive. There are many people vying for the same award, and only a handful will receive it in any given cycle. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to even the smallest of details. These best practices for applying for scholarships can help ensure you have a fighting chance to stand out from the crowd.

Apply early.

Some scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis; that means the sooner you get the application in, the better. But applying early is also recommended to help ensure you never miss a deadline. Since scholarships are so competitive, those who make the decisions on who gets them might look for any reason at all to narrow down the field of applicants – that means that those who turn an application in late might not get any consideration at all.

Make sure you are eligible.

The last thing anyone wants is to waste precious time on applying for a scholarship, only to find that they don’t actually qualify for it. Before starting the scholarship application, make sure you meet every criteria required. If you’re not sure, put that scholarship at the bottom of your list and work on those that you know you are eligible to receive. If you have extra time, then work on the one that fell into the “not sure” category.

Satisfy all the requirements.

When filling out the application, make sure to check off all the requirements of the scholarship. For example, if the scholarship application says you must have high school transcripts, get them as soon as possible. If it says you must write an essay, write one – keeping in mind the word count, of course. Bonus points if you make sure that essay ties into medical billing and coding!

Make it personal.

Scholarship committees read over hundreds of applications. Make yours stand out by being enthusiastic and honest. If you’re writing an essay, explain why medical billing and coding, or simply working in the healthcare field, matters so much to you. One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to simply be yourself and let your uniqueness shine. That’s the kind of application that will get some attention and put you on the short list.

Have a friend or family member proofread your work.

Remember, medical billers and coders must have strong attention to detail. That’s why you want to make sure there are no typos or other embarrassing issues in your essay or application. To that end, ask a friend or family member to read over your work, looking specifically for anything that could be improved or those small things you might miss, such as those annoying little typos. The result will be a more professional, polished application.

Financial Aid & Funding: Q&A for MB&C Students

Financial aid matters always come with questions. From understanding what makes a program eligible for aid, to figuring out how to get it, to navigating the sometimes complex world of payment plans, there are more than a few questions that need answering before you choose to enter a particular program. Below are the most popular questions students have submitted about paying for a medical billing and coding program.

Am I eligible for financial aid?

That depends on your personal financial situation. The best way to know if you are eligible is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The result of that application will tell you how much you might qualify for, as well as the amount of loans you might be able to take out through federal programs.

Is my MB&C program eligible for financial aid?

How do payment plans work?

Additional Financial Aid Resources for Medical Billing and Coding Students

Although we’ve tried to answer the biggest financial questions you might have on your journey to medical billing and coding school, there are many other sites out there with great content and pertinent information. You should explore every one to ensure you have the best, most up-to-date information available. Check out these 10 resources on financial aid for students looking to complete their medical billing and coding training online.

  • CollegeScholarships.org. This site offers scholarships in many areas, such as Health Informatics or Health Information Technology.
  • Edvisors. This helpful site discusses various forms of financial aid, including tuition payment plans.
  • Federal Student Aid. This government page provides a wealth of information on various financial aid options for students in all programs.
  • Sallie Mae. This government organization help students understand, obtain and manage student loans.
  • Scholarships.com. This clearinghouse of scholarships available online allows students to search by majors, including things like Medical Technology.
  • Student Loan Hero. This comprehensive look at student loans can help students understand the wide range of options.