Paying for PA School

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:

  • Tuition
  • Exams
  • 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.

Funding sources

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.

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 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.