What Financial Aid Is Available for Medical Coding School?

There is a lot of excitement surrounding the medical coding profession, and the employment opportunities it brings. It isn’t surprising then, that more and more people are signing up for training programs. Prospective students do face a potential challenge though: money. Courses are not extravagant, but there are fees involved, including costs for textbooks and software programs. Students quickly realize that several thousand dollars may be needed in order to get the education required for the career they desire. This may be more than a person can reasonably afford; as such, financial aid may not only be an option, but a necessity.

Financial Aid Programs – Grants and Loans

The good news is that such financial aid is available. This could be in the form of outright scholarships, but Federal Student Aid – in the form of federal loans and grants – is a more common form of assistance to help a student pay for education. Here are some financial aid programs worth considering:

  • Ultimate Medical Academy offers both campus and online education in medical coding. They also have advisers on staff who help prospective students create a financial aid package to cover costs.
  • Federal Family Education Loan Program provides Stafford Loans. These are direct loans funded by the government and are available through financial institutions.
  • Federal Work Study (FWS) program provides part-time employment that a student can use to pay for education. Funds can be received through this program at close to 3,400 institutions.
  • Federal Perkins Loans are low interest student loans offered to those applicants who are economically deprived, but are only available at participating institutions (currently around 1,700).
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) program is another need-based program that require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form to be completed. There are approximately 3,800 institutions that participate in this program.
  • PLUS loans are there for parents whose dependent child is at least a part-time student in an eligible program, and are provided by the U.S. Department of Education through schools who take part in the Direct Loan Program.
  • Pell Grants are a form of federal aid that does not need to be paid back. They are only awarded to undergraduate students (some exceptions apply), and the maximum amount given changes annually ($5,550 for 2012-13).

Paying Off Your Student Loan

Some caution should be used while looking for financial aid. Unlike grants or scholarships, financial aid might have to be paid back at a later date. Anyone reviewing financial aid options should read the paperwork carefully, as it’s important to have an understanding of what obligations, if any, are expected of the student receiving the financial aid; not surprisingly, failing to do so can carry heavy financial consequences.

It’s possible that a schedule of payments can be arranged that will not destroy a person’s budget, but an applicant has to realize that any federal money provided through financial aid is a sum that will sooner or later have to be repaid. That being said, those people seeking an education in medical coding will discover that there are means available to help afford the coursework. What it does take is a little homework to ensure the right financial aid package is selected.

What About Scholarships?

Scholarships are the most desirable form of financial aid because they ordinarily do not have to be paid back. For more information about the various scholarships available, please read 5 Scholarship Opportunities for Medical Coding Students.

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