American Academy of Physician Assistants

SAAAPA Financial Aid Resources

PA education is not inexpensive. Paying for it is possible and there is money available, but you have to know where to look for it and how to get it.

The cost of your PA education varies based on which PA program you choose to attend. You should start your financial aid research at the same time as you apply to a PA program. To evaluate the total cost of completing a program, you should request information on expenses from all schools you are thinking of attending, including tuition, books, supplies, travel and lodging for rotations, and exams. Once you have that information you will want to consider how you will pay for your education. PA school is demanding and you will have limited time (if any) to work while you are in the program.

Use the links below to read about your financial aid options as a future health care professional.

Funding Sources

Money from federal loan programs will probably form the foundation of your financial assistance package. Many states also offer financial aid funding. There are also many specialized scholarships, traineeships and loan programs available.

Remember, apply the resources from scholarships and grants before you accept loans. Then, only accept loans that you need. Work closely with your financial aid department; they will be able to inform you of special loans and scholarships for which you may be eligible.

Federal and State Resources

  • Loans and grants guaranteed by the federal government. Visit the website for Federal Student Aid sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • State sources of financial assistance include an agency in each state that guarantees federal student loans. Also, some states offer their own educational assistance programs with loans or grants. Check with your financial aid office to locate the office(s) in your home state.
  • Sallie Mae  
  • Tax Credits are another option to explore.

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Scholarships and Traineeships

  • The American Academy of Physician Assistants in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology offers 4 annual scholarships - $1000, $700 and two $500 scholarships to PA students who have interned in a board-certified allergist’s office.  Apply by July 1, 2015.

  • The Physician Assistant Foundation offers competitive scholarships for PA students who are currently in the professional phase of an accredited PA program, and are student members of AAPA. Visit the Foundation web pages for a current application.
  • The United States Navy Health Services Collegiate Program is designed to provide financial incentives for college students in designated health care professions while completing baccalaureate degree requirements.
  • The Indian Health Service scholarship program provides financial assistance for American Indian and Alaskan Native (federally recognized only) students enrolled in health professions and allied health professions programs.
  • The National Health Service Corps Program is a competitive federal program. Students dedicated to practicing primary care in communities of greatest need can compete for educational scholarships.
  • The U.S. Army Health Care team offers a three-year loan repayment program for any certified PA who wants to serve as an Army PA.
  • AMERICORPS is a national network of hundreds of programs throughout the U.S. and is open to U.S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent residents aged 17 or older. This program helps pay for education in exchange for a year of service.

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AAPA Constituent Organizations Scholarships

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Loans, Repayment Programs, and Consolidation Services

  • Sallie Mae TuitionPay Plans provide quality, low-cost, innovative solutions to paying for education. TuitionPay is an interest-free plan that lets you break down the large lump-sum payments due at the beginning of each semester into easy-to-manage installments.
  • The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program is available to PAs in primary care. You must agree to provide primary care services in a priority health professional shortage area for a minimum of two years.

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Other Resources

  • Grants are similar to scholarships, and availability is based on resources and financial need. When you submit your FAFSA form, you will be considered for Pell grants. Also, check your place of employment, organizations and place of worship for any grants for which you may be eligible.
  • OCTAMERON Associates publishes numerous books and guides on college financial assistance and how to obtain it.
  • There are also several websites which provide information about financial aid, such as FinAid. Check with the U.S. Department of Education for information on financial aid.
  • SimpleTuition offers an online student loan comparison tool that allows students and their families to make informed borrowing decisions. In addition, contains a large online resource center full of relevant articles and blogs dedicated to preparing, paying and saving for your education.

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