There’s no doubt about it: Paying for higher education is one of the top concerns of aspiring students. Those who want to earn a credential in medical billing and coding might have no trouble finding a great program, but often run into a stumbling block when it comes to paying for that education. Fortunately, there are a number of funding options at their fingertips, from federal financial aid and scholarships to school-based aid and others. These funding sources can make medical billing and coding school more affordable, thus helping students reach their educational goals easier. We’ll walk you through the process by looking programs that offer key financial aid support, from help with federal aid and FAFSA to direct scholarships and payment plans. Take your first step toward a medical billing or coding career.
Medical Billing and Coding Schools Online with Financial Aid (2019)
To help ease the financial burden for medical billing and coding students, we took a look at some of the most popular schools and dug into their financial aid offerings. We looked only at schools that are accredited – because that’s a vitally important point – and then looked at other factors, all related to financial aid and funding options. Our spotlights give students a real-world overview of the financial scene for each school and what they can expect if they enroll there.
Alternative Financing for Your Billing and Coding Education
When most students think about financing for college, they think of federal financial aid. Financial aid from the federal government can include grants and loans that help students shoulder the monetary burden. While federal financial aid is a good way to secure funding – and by all means, students should always look into this option – there are other opportunities to ease the wallet, such as state financial aid, payment plans and private scholarships.
Grants & Scholarships for Medical Billing and Coding Students
Many students find that they need some help with the tuition and fees of a certificate or diploma program, no matter how accelerated it might be. Scholarships are a great way to bridge the financial gap. In fact, since scholarships and grants don’t have to be paid back, they make the perfect way to save money on a program. Here are several scholarships available to medical billing and coding students:
1. American Health Information Management Association Merit Scholarships.Available for those seeking an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate in areas related to health information, this private scholarships provides between $1,000 and $2,500 for current members of AHIMA who are enrolled in at least six credit hours in pursuit of a degree, have at least six credit hours remaining and maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA. Deadline: September 30.
2. Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions Scholarship of Excellence. This $1,000 private scholarship is available to those who are enrolled in any of the ASAHPS schools, have completed at least one term and are pursuing a degree of any level. Students must be nominated by their school. Deadline: June 9 for nominations (check with the school to determine the deadline for expressing interest).
3. Dr. Donald and Barbara Williams Scholarship.Open to individuals who are employees at Fort Healthcare (Fort Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin) and pursuing education in a health-related field, this private scholarship awards up to $3,000. Financial need of the applicant is taken into account. Scholarships given each year depend upon the number of applicants accepted for the award. Deadline: Varies.
4. George Health Information Management Association Scholarship.Open to students who reside in Georgia and are enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s or master’s program in health information. This is a regional scholarship of variable amounts from year to year. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be involved in a variety of extracurricular activities related to healthcare. Applicants must be GHIMA members. Deadline: June 1.
5. Health Information and Management Systems Society – Arizona Chapter Scholarship.This $5,000 regional scholarship is for those who are Arizona resident HIMSS members. Applicants must be attending a health-related program at an accredited Arizona school with the intention of earning a degree. Full-time or part-time students may apply. Recipients receive a trip to the HIMSS Global Conference and Exhibition as well as the scholarship award. Deadline: Varies.
6. New York Health Information Management Association Returning Student Scholarship.This regional scholarship is earmarked for those who are returning to higher education, whether to advance or transition to a new career in health information. Students can be full-time or part-time, enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s program, and must be attending a school in New York. The award is $1,000. Deadline: Varies.
7. New York Health Information Management Association Student Book Fund Scholarship.This $300 regional scholarship is designed to cover the cost of books for students enrolled in a health information degree program in New York. Two awards are given each year. Deadline: Varies.
8. Robert D. Kruse Memorial Scholarship Fund for Allied Health Professionals.Though this scholarship is open to any student in allied health programs, including medical billing and coding certificates, preference will be given to those who might have clinical rotations at Cleveland Clinic. Students must be in the final year of their program and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. The award consists of up to $5,000 paid directly to the school for tuition costs. Deadline: April 30.
9. Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System Volunteer Guild Scholarship.Illinois residents enrolled in any healthcare program, including allied health, are eligible to apply for this private, variable-fund scholarship – even if that program is not in Illinois. They must be going to school full-time, have at least a 3.5 GPA and in an accredited or approved program. Deadline: April 15.
10. University of Alaska Anchorage Administrative Scholarship.This school-sponsored scholarship is open to all UAA students in the allied health programs, including medical billing and coding. Awarded three times annually during Fall, Spring and Summer semester, the award can be enough to cover tuition for the term. Students must have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and carry at least three credits. Deadline: Varies.
Application Tips for Medical Billing and Coding Scholarships
Make no mistake: Scholarships are very competitive. There are many people vying for the same award, and only a handful will receive it in any given cycle. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to even the smallest of details. These best practices for applying for scholarships can help ensure you have a fighting chance to stand out from the crowd.
Financial Aid & Funding: Q&A for MB&C Students
Financial aid matters always come with questions. From understanding what makes a program eligible for aid, to figuring out how to get it, to navigating the sometimes complex world of payment plans, there are more than a few questions that need answering before you choose to enter a particular program. Below are the most popular questions students have submitted about paying for a medical billing and coding program.
Additional Financial Aid Resources for Medical Billing and Coding Students
Although we’ve tried to answer the biggest financial questions you might have on your journey to medical billing and coding school, there are many other sites out there with great content and pertinent information. You should explore every one to ensure you have the best, most up-to-date information available. Check out these 10 resources on financial aid for students looking to complete their medical billing and coding training online.
- Accreditation: Universities and Higher Education. This page from the Department of Education serves as a great start for those who want to understand accreditation and how it applies to federal financial aid.
- CollegeScholarships.org. This site offers scholarships in many areas, such as Health Informatics or Health Information Technology.
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Students curious about finding a CAAHEP program can start their search here.
- Edvisors. This helpful site discusses various forms of financial aid, including tuition payment plans.
- Federal Student Aid. This government page provides a wealth of information on various financial aid options for students in all programs.
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. This site offers in-depth information for parents and students, including state financial aid options, tax breaks and more.
- Sallie Mae. This government organization help students understand, obtain and manage student loans.
- Scholarships.com. This clearinghouse of scholarships available online allows students to search by majors, including things like Medical Technology.
- Student Loan Hero. This comprehensive look at student loans can help students understand the wide range of options.