Scholarships & Online Resources for Surgical Tech Students

From scholarships and grants to professional organizations and online communities, find where to get the support you need as a surgical tech student.

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Blake Huggins

- Bio

Blake Huggins is a writer, researcher, and educator based in New England. He writes widely on a range of topics with specific expertise in the higher education, healthcare, and technology spaces. An Oklahoma native, Blake holds a PhD from Boston University and has taught college courses in writing and composition, religion, and philosophy. 

last updated

08/29/2022

If you’re thinking about becoming a surgical tech, the first step is to get a college education, whether it’s through a traditional on-campus program one of the growing number of accredited online surgical tech programs available. And whether you’re just starting to look for programs, in the middle of your surgical tech training, or about to graduate, it’s important to take advantage of all the financial, academic, and career resources you can. This guide helps you do just that by listing valuable scholarship and grant opportunities specifically for surgical tech students. We’ve also included information on a collection of useful resources, online communities, and student support services.

Scholarships and Grants for Surgical Tech Students

Scholarships and grants are one of the best and most popular ways to finance your education through cash awards to qualified students. Most colleges and universities offer their own scholarships for enrolled students. Local nonprofits, professional organizations, and other businesses may offer awards to surgical tech students as well. Find out more about these opportunities below.

School-based Scholarships for Surgical Tech Students

Scholarships awarded by individual schools or programs are among the best ways of funding your surgical tech education. These opportunities typically cover more costs than outside awards and may be renewable for several years. They also draw from a smaller pool of applicants, so you will only be competing with students at your school or surgical tech program. Below, we’ve spotlighted a few of the best schools offering in-house scholarships for their surgical tech students. There are quite a few out there however, and the best way to locate them is by contacting your program’s administrator or school’s financial aid office.

Surgical Tech Scholarship Spotlight: Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College offers a 22-month surgical tech course of study as a part of its allied health programming. Students in this program enjoy a wide-range of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships and grants funded by the school itself and the wider Methodist Hospital Foundation. Other initiatives include national and regional tuition exchange programs and employee education benefits for those currently working within the Methodist Health System. The school also maintains partnerships with outside organizations that offer funding for surgical tech students through external scholarships and other opportunities.

Excellence in Allied Health Scholarship

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Amount

$6,000

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Deadline

2/1/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Qualified applicant must be a first-time, first-year student in an allied health (including surgical tech) associate or bachelor’s degree program. Renewable for two (associate) or four (bachelor’s) years. Must maintain a 2.5 GPA and satisfy leadership and service requirements for renewal.

How to Apply

Apply via the link on the scholarship website. Prospective recipients must verify their recent GPA standing, provide ACT scores, and complete both the FAFSA and school’s in-house financial aid application.

Surgical Tech Scholarship Spotlight: Washburn Tech University

New and returning students at Washburn Tech University have access to over 15 scholarship opportunities provided by the school in strategic partnership with nonprofits and other local organizations. Several of these awards, like the one highlighted below, are specifically set aside for students enrolled in high-demand career programs like surgical technician. Washburn Tech also extends additional funding options through student loans, tuition grants, and external scholarship awards. Its financial aid office provides an innovative forecasting tool students can use to assess their options and determine eligibility. All students must first complete the FAFSA to signal their interest.

Beaman Family Scholarship

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Amount

$1,000

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Deadline

Check with school.

Eligibility

Available to students in a variety of courses of study (including surgical tech). Applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED and have completed at least one semester of study with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or better.

How to Apply

Complete the general scholarship application and submit it to the school’s financial aid office. Application requirements include a letter of recommendation from a professional source (high school teacher, Washburn Tech instructor, work supervisor, etc.).

National and Regional Surgical Technology Scholarships

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Organization

Foundation for Surgical Technology

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Amount

Varies

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Deadline

3/1/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need, and be currently enrolled in an accredited surgical technology program.

How to Apply

Apply via the scholarship website. Materials to be submitted include program contact information and written responses to two essay questions.

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Organization

Weld Community Foundation

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Amount

Varies

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Deadline

2/15/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Available to graduating high school seniors, non-traditional students, and continuing students residing in the state of Colorado and pursuing an education in an ancillary healthcare services position (like surgical technician). Must be enrolled at least part-time in a program at an accredited two-year college or vocational school located in the U.S.

How to Apply

Apply via the link on the Weld Community Foundation scholarships website.

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Organization

California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

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Amount

Up to $15,000

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Deadline

10/31/22

Eligibility

Open to California allied health students, including those studying surgical technology. Applicant must be enrolled in at least 6 credits and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA, and agree to a 12-month service obligation period working in an underserved area in California.

How to Apply

Complete the eligibility quiz and online application on the AHSP website.

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Organization

The Accreditation Review Council on Education in Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting

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Amount

$500

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Deadline

2/18/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Open to AST and ASA student members attending an accredited program who have completed at least one term with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

How to Apply

Application requirements include a completed application form, letter of recommendation from the applicant’s program director, and 1500-word essay discussing how the scholarship will support the applicant’s educational aspirations.

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Organization

Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions

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Amount

$1,000

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Deadline

6/10/23 (annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship supports students attending ASAHP-affiliated schools with at least one completed term of study in a career entry-level, degree-granting program. All degree levels (associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral) are eligible.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must first be nominated by their program. They must also provide a current resume or CV and a maximum 200-word essay that details their professional goals.

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Organization

SpecialtyCare

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Amount

$20,000

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Deadline

3/26/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicant must be currently enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited perfusion education program or a clinical technician and/or ECMO clinical specialist interested in advancing their career by enrolling in perfusion school.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must complete the online form and provide any additional information required by the selection committee.

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Organization

STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.

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Amount

$1,000

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Deadline

6/15/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Available to students in a range of medical and veterinary programs, including surgical technician. Applicant must be a current STARFLEET member and been a member for a minimum of one year prior to the scholarship application deadline.

How to Apply

Complete and mail the application on the website along with required submittal materials, including a brief employment history (if any), two-page personal essay, and three letters of recommendation including one from a STARFLEET member of the rank of Captain or above.

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Organization

Mosaic Life Care Foundation

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Amount

$1,000

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Deadline

6/15/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Qualified students must reside in the Mosaic Life Care Foundation service region and be enrolled full-time in an approved surgical services program. Additionally, the applicant must maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and demonstrate clear financial need.

How to Apply

Interested applicants must complete the required form and provide at least two recommendation letters from previous supervisors or academic mentors.

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Organization

Mosaic Life Care Foundation

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Amount

Varies

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Deadline

3/15/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Emphasis in awarding the scholarship is placed on individuals pursuing careers in surgical services and surgical nursing, including technology, nursing, and other surgical-related fields. Applicant must reside in a Mosaic Life Care Foundation service region, be enrolled full-time in their program (maintaining a minimum 2.5 GPA), and demonstrate financial need.

How to Apply

Complete and return the application form accessed on the scholarship website. Materials required include official transcripts, proof of enrollment, a statement of purpose, and two reference letters.

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Organization

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital

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Amount

Up to $3,000 per semester for up to four years.

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Deadline

2/25/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Open to residents of St Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert counties in Southern Maryland only seeking a nursing or allied health degree or other credential for a health care occupation essential to the care of patients as St. Mary’s, surgical tech included. Recipient must commit to working at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, Maryland upon graduation if a job is available.

How to Apply

Access and complete the application form on the scholarship website. Submittal materials include a current resume, essay, two letters of recommendation, and appropriate standardized test scores, if applicable.

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Organization

Texas Business and Professional Women’s Foundation

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Amount

$5,000

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Deadline

3/31/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Open to women applicants pursuing a degree or certification in any of a number of medical and healthcare related professions (including surgical technician) at an accredited Texas college, university, or certification program. Must have completed at least two semesters of the program if seeking a degree and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply

Fill out and submit the application on the scholarship webpage. Submittal materials include two letters of reference and an essay (maximum of two pages) on one of two topics: “Why have you chosen medicine as your career path?” or “The importance of women in medicine”.

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Organization

North Colorado Medical Center Foundation

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Amount

Up to $1,000 per semester for up to two semesters.

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Deadline

3/31/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Available to applicants who have met the required prerequisites and been accepted into an AAS in Surgical Technology degree program at an accredited Colorado-based technical institute or community college. Scholarship recipients are encouraged to work for the North Colorado Medical Center following graduation.

How to Apply

Apply using the form on the scholarship website. Application materials include biographical information, a current resume, two letters of reference, official academic transcripts, recent SAT/ACT test scores, and essay.

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Organization

Washington Hospital Healthcare System

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Amount

$1,000 (renewable each year for up to three additional years)

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Deadline

4/1/23 (annual)

Eligibility

Open to graduating high school seniors and current college students pursuing studies full-time in a health-related field, such as surgical technician. The applicant must also be a U.S. citizen and either a resident of the Washington Hospital District (in California) or a current Washington Hospital volunteer. Additionally, the applicant must be 22 years of age or younger at the end of the year in which they apply for the scholarship.

How to Apply

Download the application on the scholarship webpage. Application requirements include three letters of recommendation and proof of a minimum of 100 hours of community volunteer service or working in a health-related field.

5 Keys to Landing Your Surgical Tech Scholarship

Always be sure that you follow your scholarship application instructions carefully. Each award is different and selection committees often ask for specific documents or pose different questions (this is especially the case with written essays). Recycling the same material or responses is never the best approach. Here are some additional keys for maximizing your chances of winning your surgical tech scholarship.

  • Key #1: Review your application closely
    Double and triple-check all your materials before you submit. This might seem obvious, but your application is an extension of yourself and even the smallest errors can make a big difference.
  • Key #2: Choose professional references early
    Some awards may only ask for references while others may require recommendation letters written by those references. In each case, select relevant individuals with professional surgical technology experience and discuss the award with them in advance.
  • Key #3: Don’t be afraid to speak up
    If you have questions about the scholarship or the application process, don’t hesitate to reach out to the point of contact. The same is true of your professional connections. They may be aware of awards not widely publicized.
  • Key #4: Be punctual and persistent
    Be sure that you submit all your application materials on time. It’s also a good idea to submit more applications than you think you will need. Be persistent!
  • Key #5: Prioritize relevant awards first, then branch out
    The best rule of thumb here is to start with the most specific and lucrative awards first, and then move on to those of lesser value. This will help you channel your efforts and put your best foot forward.

If You Still Need Help Paying for Surgical Tech School

Where do you turn if you’ve won a few solid scholarships but still need help paying for school? Additional financial aid opportunities available to surgical tech students include student loans, work-study placements, and employment tuition reimbursement programs. Work-student opportunities place students in a relevant work setting in exchange for reduced tuition. Student loans function similarly to scholarships, but accrue interest over time and need to be repaid following graduation. Specific offerings vary by program, so be sure to reach out to your school’s financial aid office to find out what is available. In the meantime, check out our financial aid guide for more information.

Academic and Career Support Resources for Surgical Tech Students

Getting through your surgical tech program and starting your career will come with challenges, but there are a ton of places to find the help you need overcoming them – you just need to know where to look. The resources in this section can provide academic and professional support at every stage of your surgical tech education, training, and career. The resources we list here include school-based support services, helpful articles for online students, professional organizations, networking communities, and study assistance.

Surgical Technician Student Support Centers and Services

Almost every college offers dedicated student support services, and some offer additional services for surgical tech students through the department where the surgical tech program is housed. Whether you need help signing up for clinicals, choosing electives, looking for a tutor, or with something else, your first stop should be your school’s main student support center. Below we spotlight two surgical tech schools with standout student services. Check to see if your school offers similar services.

Montgomery College

Montgomery College provides its surgical tech students with a wide range of student support services. Its career center provides exploration tools, occupational search resources, and hosts regular job fairs and recruitment events. Students nearing the end of their studies can use an intuitive career coach tool to strengthen their resume and take targeted skills assessments. The school also offers TEAS resources specifically designed for allied health professionals that need to verify academic skills in reading, math, and, science. Its Health Sciences Institute administers additional training for aspiring healthcare professionals looking to obtain entry-level employment in areas like surgical technology.

Triton College

Triton College’s student support services include standard academic advising and career planning resources as well as a student handbook specifically tailored for surgical tech learners. The career planning resources involve job assessments tools, recruitment activities, virtual workshops, and an online job board with real-time updates. Triton also extends additional support resources to first-generation and low-income students as a means of promoting academic achievement and professional advancement. The school’s team of dedicated tutors and academic support specialists work to ensure that all surgical tech students receive the resources and attention they need to succeed.

Resources for Online Surgical Tech Students

Online education is on the rise as more students and busy working professionals turn to remote learning to achieve their education and career goals. The resources listed below are specifically designed for surgical tech students enrolled in online or hybrid learning programs. They provide study guides and research tools, interactive learning modules, and other resources that can help new students adapt to the unique demands of online study.

  • Guide to Online Surgical Tech Programs
    Those who are still researching online surgical tech schools will find everything they need in this EduMed guide, from a list of top schools with online surgical tech programs to a detailed look at accreditation and common courses.
  • Surgical Tech Online Quizzes
    Offered by Quizlet, these web-based quizzes help online surgical tech students keep their knowledge base up to date. They are searchable and cover key terms, common tools and instruments, and other material you might see on the national certification exam.
  • Surgical Tech Flashcards from Cram
    These flashcards are a perfect resource for online surgical tech students on the go. They can be reviewed in traditional and interactive formats and include over 175 key questions. The site also offers a free app for those interested in using a mobile ecosystem.
  • Understanding Clinicals and Fieldwork in Online Healthcare Programs
    This EduMed guide offers new surgical tech students vital information on how fieldwork and clinicals work in most online programs. It discusses what to expect, how to get the most out of the experience, and includes first-hand information from a former online healthcare student.
  • Surgery Squad Interactive Games
    This site uses an interactive gaming environment to help online students gain practical experience through common surgery simulations. Users can sort simulations by category or search for specific procedures.
  • PubMed Central
    PubMed is an extensive research repository maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and offers to the public for free. It contains over 6.3 million peer-reviewed articles that online surgical tech students can access anytime to support their studies.

Professional Associations

  • Association of Surgical Technologists
    With over 40,000 active members nationwide, this association has advanced surgical technology through innovative research and advocacy efforts since 1969. It aggregates public policy information, sponsors scholarly publications, and supports state-level chapters. It also administers continuing education programs and professional development opportunities.
  • The National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting
    Headquartered in Littleton, Colorado, this national board supports new and experienced surgical techs through scholarships, career services, and professional development workshops. It offers web portals where professionals can verify or renew their credentials. For newcomers, it provides an app designed for certification prep and exam study.

Online Communities, Networking Sites, and Other Social Groups

  • The Student Doctor Network Discussion Forums
    This site is home to a number of healthcare-related discussion threads, including issues pertaining to surgical technology. Students and working surgical techs can ask questions, provide advice, and work to broaden their professional networks.
  • Surgical and Central Services Technician Career Network
    This LinkedIn group offers a career networking discussion forum for new students and recent graduates. It has nearly 3,500 members and is a great place to find new work opportunities, discuss on-the-job issues, and share industry updates.
  • Follow #SurgTech on Instagram
    This hashtag currently aggregates over 20,000 photo posts related to surgical technology. Users share their experiences, answer questions, and post study tips for aspiring surgical techs looking to obtain certification.
  • Surgical Technologist Student Help Facebook Page
    This Facebook page is devoted to providing surgical tech students with the help and resources they need to succeed in school. Sponsored by the Association of Surgical Technologists, many use the space to share study tools, ask credentialing questions, and offer general support.

Helpful Articles, Videos, Blogs, and Podcasts

  • Surgical Technologist Duties: A Day in the Life
    This blog post looks at a typical surgical technology workday and details some common duties like operating room preparation, instrument inventory, and bandage application. It also discusses important technical skills and how to maintain them.
  • Surgical Tech Tips
    With 142,000 subscribers, this is one of the most popular surgical tech YouTube channels. New videos are posted every few months and examine common tasks, skills, and procedures every surgical tech student must know.
  • The Scrub Life Podcast
    This podcast endeavors to create a forum for surgical technologists and other health professionals. Episodes range from interviews with experienced surgical techs to healthcare-related news discussion and other stories. New episodes post on a weekly basis.
  • The Surgical Technologist
    This monthly periodical is published by the Association of Surgical Technologists. New issues look at recent developments in the field and discuss how to improve student success. Active AST members can opt to receive the magazine as a part of their membership.