PA school is demanding, and applicants will have limited time, if any, to work while attending school. The time to start researching financial aid options is when you begin researching PA programs.
The cost of PA school varies based on which program you choose to attend. When considering programs, be sure to include the total expenses for completing the program, including:
- Books & supplies
- Room & board
- Required professional memberships (AAPA, etc.)
- Travel and lodging during clinical rotations
You may request cost and fee information from the schools you are interested in attending. Once you have that information, you should consider how you will pay for your education.
Money from federal loan programs may form the foundation of your financial assistance package. Many states also offer financial aid funding. Additionally, there are specialized scholarships, traineeships, and loan programs available to help pay for your education.
Remember to apply for scholarships and grants before you accept federal or state loans, and then only accept loans that you need. Work closely with your financial aid department — they will be able to inform you about special loans and scholarships for which you may be eligible.
CASPA Fee Assistance Program
A core belief at PAEA is that an applicant’s finances should not be a barrier to applying to a PA program. Each cycle, PAEA provides a limited number of fee waivers to qualified applicants.
Scholarships and Other Resources
- Numerous loans and grants guaranteed by the federal government and available to eligible students can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.
- Every state has an agency that guarantees federal student loans and provides additional sources of financial assistance. In addition, some states offer their own educational assistance programs with loans or grants. Check with your financial aid office to locate the offices in your home state.
- Sallie Mae Tuition Pay Plans provide quality, low-cost, innovative solutions to paying for education. Tuition Pay 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 and State Loan Repayment Program are available to PAs in primary care or current students who plan to become primary care providers after graduation. You must agree to provide primary care services in a priority health professional shortage area for a minimum of two years. NHSC opened the application cycle for their Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) on August 31, 2021. PA students in their final year of school can apply through November 4, 2021.
- The African Heritage PA Caucus offers a $500-$1,500 award range to a deserving student who is currently enrolled in an accredited PA program, has completed one term of PA studies, is in good standing with their PA program, and has submitted a completed application.
Scholarship details / Deadline: January 31
- The Physician Assistant Foundation offers competitive scholarships for PA students who are currently attending an accredited PA program, are in the professional phase of the program and are student members of AAPA.
- The Association of Physician Assistants in Oncology offers a $2,500 award for PA students. The award consists of two parts: $500 to help with travel to AAPA’s Annual Conference to receive the award and $2,000 (unrestricted).
- The California Academy of Physician Assistants offers three annual student scholarships for student members.
- The LGBT PA Caucus offers $1,000 grants for two PA students to attend AAPA’s Annual Conference to help foster involvement and awareness of the caucus within the AAPA.
Scholarship details /Deadline: January 15 annually
- The Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants has three scholarships available through the Nathaniel Alston Student Scholarship Award, each $2,000, and three scholarships available through the Thomas J. Lemley Award for Health Disparity Competition.
- The Physician Assistant Academy of Vermont offers a scholarship of $1,000 and free attendance at the annual PAAV Winter CME conference for PA students who are residents of Vermont.
Scholarship details / Deadline: June 30 annually
- Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery offers two $5000 scholarships from the Susan Lindahl Memorial Scholarship Fund, established to encourage young PA students to enter the field of orthopedics.
Scholarship details / Deadline: April 1, 2021
- The Society of PAs in Otorhinolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery offers monetary scholarships to physician assistant students interested in a career in ENT.
Scholarship details / Deadline: May 1 annually
- The Society of Army Physician Assistants offers the Captain Sean P. Grimes Physician Assistant Educational Scholarship Award and three annual $1,000 scholarship grants which are available to SAPA members or their beneficiaries.
The Captain Sean P. Grimes Physician Assistant Educational Scholarship Award details. Deadline: February 1 annually
SAPA Annual Scholarship Award details. Deadline: February 1 annually
- The AAPA Veterans Caucus Scholarship seeks to recognize the achievements of an outstanding veteran of one of the seven branches of the Uniformed Services who is currently enrolled in a PA program. Multiple scholarship options are available.
- The PAs for Latino Health Caucus of the AAPA offers a $1000 scholarship to currently enrolled PA students each year.
Scholarship details / Deadline: April 17, 2020
- The Connecticut PA Foundation student scholarship is posted annually
- The U.S. 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 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native students enrolled in health professions and allied health professions programs.
- The U.S. Army Health Care team offers a three-year loan repayment program for any certified physician assistant who wants to serve as an Army PA.
- AMERICORPS is a national network of hundreds of programs throughout the United States 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.