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.

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, are in the middle of your surgical tech training, or are 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, and showcasing 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 by offering cash awards to qualified students. Most colleges and universities offer their own scholarships for enrolled students. Local nonprofits, professional organizations, and other businesses may also offer awards to surgical tech students. Find out more about these opportunities below.

School-based Scholarships for Surgical Tech Students

Scholarships awarded by individual schools or programs tend to be one of 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 in some cases. They also draw from a smaller pool of applicants, as you will only be competing with students at your school or in your surgical tech program. Below, we’ve spotlighted a few of the best schools offering in-house scholarships for their surgical tech students, but there are quite a few out there. The best way to locate these is by contacting your program administrator or your 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. Applicants to scholarships like the one discussed below must submit a FAFSA by June 1 each year.

Excellence in Allied Health Scholarship

amount

Amount

$6,000

calendar

Deadline

12/2/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified applicants must be first-year students in an allied health program, including the surgical tech course of study. They must maintain a 2.5 GPA and satisfy leadership and service requirements.

How to Apply

Prospective recipients must verify their recent GPA standing and provide ACT scores. They must complete a FAFSA along with the 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 technology. 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

wallet

Amount

$1,000

calendar

Deadline

TBD (Annual)

Eligibility

All surgical tech students with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or better may apply. They must possess a high school diploma or GED and have completed at least one semester of study.

How to Apply

Qualified students must complete a general scholarship application form and provide at least one recommendation letter. This letter must come from a former supervisor or academic instructor.

National and Regional Surgical Technology Scholarships

organization

Organization

Foundation for Surgical Technology

wallet

Amount

Varies

calendar

Deadline

3/1/21

Eligibility

Interested students must be enrolled in an accredited surgical technology program with demonstrated academic excellence and clear financial need.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must complete the provided form. Additional materials include program contact information and written responses to two essay questions.

collaboration

Organization

California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

wallet

Amount

$8,000

calendar

Deadline

2/23/21

Eligibility

This award is open to all California allied health students, including those studying surgical technology. They must be enrolled in at least 6 credits and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. They must also be willing to work in an underserved area for at least 12 months.

How to Apply

Prospective recipients must take an eligibility quiz and complete the online application.

collaboration

Organization

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

wallet

Amount

$500

calendar

Deadline

3/31/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible students must be AST or ASA members attending an accredited program with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete the provided form and supply at least one letter of recommendation from their program director. They must also submit a 1500-word essay discussing how the scholarship will support their educational aspirations.

collaboration

Organization

Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions

wallet

Amount

$1,000

calendar

Deadline

7/1/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship supports students attending ASAHP-affiliated schools with at least one completed term of study.

How to Apply

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

collaboration

Organization

Specialty Care

wallet

Amount

$20,000

calendar

Deadline

4/22/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Interested students must be currently enrolled in a CAAHEP-accredited program with intent to work as a surgical assistant following graduation.

How to Apply

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

collaboration

Organization

TriHealth Bridge

wallet

Amount

$5,000

calendar

Deadline

7/8/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be employed by Good Samaritan Hospital with at least two years of experience at TriHealth.

How to Apply

Application materials include employment and education history and a written essay responding to prompts provided by the scholarship committee.

collaboration

Organization

Indian Health Service

wallet

Amount

Varies

calendar

Deadline

TBD (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. They must also be members or descendants of a federally recognized American Indian Tribe enrolled in a qualified program with a 2.0 GPA.

How to Apply

Prospective recipients must navigate to the scholarship portal and provide documentation verifying their eligibility.

collaboration

Organization

Mosaic Life Care Foundation

wallet

Amount

$1,000

calendar

Deadline

3/15/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified students must be enrolled full-time in an approved surgical services program. They must maintain a 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.

collaboration

Organization

Mosaic Life Care Foundation

wallet

Amount

Varies

calendar

Deadline

3/15/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

This award is open to all surgical tech students enrolled on a full-time basis with a 2.5 GPA or better.

How to Apply

Application materials include official transcripts, proof of enrollment, a statement of purpose, and two reference letters.

collaboration

Organization

Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

wallet

Amount

Varies

calendar

Deadline

TBD (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipients must be ASCA members with at least one year of professional experience and an active license

How to Apply

Interested students must complete the application form and provide written responses to short answer questions. They must also supply a recent resume and a copy of their certification credentials.

collaboration

Organization

North Colorado Medical Center Foundation

wallet

Amount

$1,250

calendar

Deadline

3/13/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Qualified applicants must be studying surgical technology at a community college or technical institute in Colorado. Preference is given to those interested in working at the North Colorado Medical Center following graduation.

How to Apply

Application materials include biographical information, a current resume, two letters of reference, official academic transcripts and recent SAT/ACT test scores.

collaboration

Organization

Washington Hospital Healthcare System

wallet

Amount

$1,000

calendar

Deadline

4/1/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

All applicants must be U.S. citizens and residents of the Washington Hospital District service area. They should be full-time students in an accredited school with at least 100 hours of volunteer service.

How to Apply

Interested students must complete the provided application form and submit three letters of recommendation from former teachers, counselors, or employers.

collaboration

Organization

Tylenol

wallet

Amount

$5,000-$10,000

calendar

Deadline

7/30/20 (Annual)

Eligibility

Prospective recipients must be U.S. residents enrolled in a qualified healthcare program, including surgical tech courses of study.

How to Apply

Qualified students must navigate to the application portal and provide test scores, official transcripts, recommendation letters, an updated FAFSA report.

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; 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 to the point of contact. The same is true of your professional connections; these people 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 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 to 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 offer 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.
  • Healthcare Community on Indeed
    Indeed provides a digital space for healthcare professionals to gather and support one another. It hosts a wide-ranging discussion board that includes individual threads dedicated to surgical technology. Recent posts look at the rigors of the field and local demand for skilled workers.
  • 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 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 nearly 95,000 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.