Resources on Funding Professional SchoolWhile contemplating a professional career is easy, thinking about the costs can be daunting. The financial aid offices at professional programs will be your greatest sources of information and help with paying for school. This section will provide you with some resources to start learning about the topic.
If you have applied to a professional program and still have not heard whether you have been accepted, go ahead and submit your FAFSA form (if eligible). It is better to be awarded money and then to decline it if you end up not being admitted than to wait until the last minute to apply and to not have money in time.
All of our Career Guides (linked in the Careers sections of the website) link to fee assistance programs for aptitude tests and for application services where available. Check those handouts for this feature.
You do need to apply for fee assistance well in advance and often need to be granted this assistance before spending the money--you will not be reimbursed after spending the money.
The National Health Service Corps is committed to providing health care to medically underserved people in the United States. The U.S. Government offers scholarships to medical professionals who practice in areas of need and will either pay for your education up front and you "pay it back" with your time. For example, 4 years in medical school means 4 years working in a clinic of need. This is the NHSC Scholarship.
They also have loan repayment offers. You would take out your loans for dental school, medical school, PA school and then for each year that you work for them, they will pay off a certain amount of your loan. Most of the clinics are federally qualified health centers which are located throughout the U.S. They have 2 loan repayment programs: the NHSC Loan Repayment Program and the Students to Service Loan Repayment Program.
You must be a U.S. citizen to participate in these programs as they are federally funded.
Our PPA Information Page on the National Health Service Corps provides a general overview and links to the NHSC websites.
FIRST Financial Aid Fact Sheets pages on the Association of American Medical Colleges websites has a huge amount of information. Even if you aren't applying to medical school, their pages on how applying for financial aid works, loan repayment, etc, can be very helpful.
For Pre-Law Students, Make use of the AccessLex Student Loan Calculator which helps you calculate how much individual schools will cost and how much you should take out in loans.
Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) has information about foundations offering scholarships to underrepresented students for law school.
Hopefully you will find yourself in the position of having one or more scholarship offers from law schools. Some schools are willing to work with you if they are able to on the offer. Others will not be able to do so. A couple of important points:
You need to be very professional and polite when working with schools. They will not help you if you are not.
They can and will do the math. Asking for more money just because another school offered more money is not a good plan. The other school may calculate that their overall costs are still lower and they will let you know that. They will also expect that you should have done that yourself.
Read additional tips and find resources in Law School Scholarship Negotiations.