A career in physical therapy can be both lucrative, and rewarding. The current demand for licensed physical therapists is strong, and that demand is only going to get stronger. An aging populace, and a longer life expectancy mean that many healthcare services will be growing in demand and physical therapy will definitely be one of them.
As a physical therapist, or physical therapist assistant, you will be working with aging adults, patients rehabilitating following a traumatic injury, or patients in need of pain management and body strength training. Many physical therapists also find abundant career opportunities in the field of sports medicine, working with athletes and sports teams.
Yes, as a physical therapist you can expect to earn a fine living while taking part in a much needed healthcare profession. But becoming a licensed physical therapist, or PT assistant, takes years of college. Whether you study at the undergraduate, graduate or doctorate level, you will need to find enough financial aid to help make your career goal a reality. Federal grants, like the Pell grant, government loans like the Stafford are a good start. However, the right scholarship can make all the difference when going for a degree in physical therapy. Some general sources for educational scholarships applicable to Physical Therapy students:
Many professional associations, as well as private organizations, provide annual scholarship awards to qualifying students in an effort to expand and diversify the physical therapist workforce. These scholarships may be company sponsored or, more likely, may be sponsored by affiliations of professional physical therapists.
Here are a few examples of the types of physical therapy scholarships available from private and professional organizations. These are not, by any means, the only associations to offer physical therapy specific scholarships, but they do provide a good idea of the kind of scholarships and organizations you will be looking for during your search for college funding.
Physical Therapists play a key role in the delivery of healthcare and health services, and as such may find scholarships and grants available from the Federal, or their local state, government. Government grant and scholarship programs are designed to aid students with great financial need, or students from typically under-represented minority groups. Oftentimes these grants will require that the student take a position in an under-served community after graduation in order to qualify for the financial aid. Some examples of government scholarships and grants for physical therapy students include:
Your state government is likely to have a number of scholarships or grants designed to aid students pursuing a career in a wide range of healthcare professions. These can be prime sources for much needed college financial aid. Be aware that many of these grants and scholarships will be scholarship for service contracts, meaning you will have to agree to take a position at an under-served facility in your state for a determinate period of time.
Finally, no search for financial aid is complete without considering your college of choice. Many colleges and universities sponsor substantial scholarship and grant programs designed to attract exceptional students to their campus. Check with the financial aid administer at your college, as well as the head of the physical therapy department to learn of any scholarships specifically designed to benefit students in your field. The right scholarship or grant can mean a much needed boost to your college fund.