Scholarship Programs For Occupational Therapy Students

Graduates of Occupational Therapy are in demand nowadays not only in their usual venues such as hospitals, schools, and sports facilities, they are also now being hired as consultants for tests such as driver assessments and research in developing helpful aids for the disabled. Along with the increased demand, support for students hoping to be part of the workforce has also heightened.

If you are planning to take up Occupational Therapy and you think you need financial support, you can use the Internet to find hundreds of benefactors who are willing to help you get that Occupational Therapy degree.

If you already have a list of schools that you plan to attend, go straight to their websites and look for scholarships there. Rather than wading through thousands of results in search engines, looking for scholarships in the colleges, universities, or institutions that you know you can actually get into is more realistic and is time saving. Do not just look for scholarships that are worth large amounts of money or have stipends; look for those that you can actually apply for and use. For instance, if you are not willing to travel far to study, a $50,000 scholarship is going to be useless to you if it is offered by a school in Australia.

On the other hand, if you really do not know any school that offers Occupational Therapy or you are willing to travel as long as the scholarship is good, here are some examples of schools that have Occupational Therapy scholarships:

- Washington University School of Medicine
- Columbia University
- University of Texas, Medical Branch
- Western Michigan University
- Creighton University

Aside from the above-mentioned schools, you can also turn to Occupational Therapy-related organizations for financial support. They are easy to find on the Internet as the schools that offer Occupational Therapy courses and scholarships. With a few exceptions, scholarships from organizations have criteria that are also pretty much the same as scholarship programs in school: scholarships for students with outstanding grades, for members of minority groups, or for those with grave financial needs.

The American Occupational Therapy Foundation is one such organization; they have more than 50 scholarship programs for Occupational Therapy students of all levels. Meanwhile, there is also the Health Careers Foundation. Their scholarships are worth up to $4,000 annually for up to two years. There are even business-based scholarships for Occupational Therapy students and other students studying health-related courses such as the Tylenol Scholarship. There are also regional organizations that help Occupational Therapy students in their respective locales such as the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon and the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association.

One piece of advice when searching for Occupational Therapy scholarships: make sure that you have finished your search for schools with Occupational Therapy courses and scholarships before you begin looking at programs from organizations. You see, school websites also post other kinds of scholarships that are not necessarily for certain fields of study only. If you are qualified for them, then by all means apply. This means that a good school is virtually home to several scholarship programs for you, and as such searching their websites will be like looking at several different scholarships at once. In contrast, organization- and business-based scholarship programs usually restrict their scholars to enjoy one of their offers only. Additionally, half of the organizations you will find out there will have offers only for post graduates and for researchers so if you have yet to start or you are still an undergraduate in Occupational Therapy, these organizations won’t be able to help you.

What if you’ve already exhausted all the possible options in your chosen school, you’ve already looked at all the Occupational Therapy organizations and yet the scholarships you have applied for are still be inadequate for you needs? Don’t worry; the government is also offering financial support to Occupational Therapy students through its various agencies. The US Department of Health offers scholarships to all students taking up medical and health-related careers. You might also find links to other, more specialized government agencies that offer financial assistance to Occupational Therapy students.

Lastly, there’s always the government’s Federal Financial Aid program. If you’re in quite financially stable and you’re a US citizen, you’re practically halfway through being accepted into the program. Although most of its funds are directed towards loans instead of scholarships to students, these loans are set up with the most agreeable of terms. Payment of these loans can be installments within periods that can go as long as ten years. Their interest rates are also very low, from 5% to even 0% in certain programs. You’ll be working and earning money long before the deadline of the loan, so paying it back won’t be such a headache for you.