Scholarships and College Grants
A Master of Public Health (MPH) degree prepares you for an exciting and fulfilling career in public health. Even if it seems like you can’t afford to return to school, advice scholarships and college grants can make it possible for you to earn your Master of Public Health without succumbing to the financial strain that comes with higher education. Seeking financial aid should be one of the first items on your higher education to-do list.
Scholarship Seeking Strategies for Future MPH Students
The Master of Public Health is a multidisciplinary degree that brings a wide variety of class subjects together to prepare students for a career in the public health field. Biology, statistics, management, and writing classes are all a part of learning to effectively gather public health data and effectively design and execute programs to improve a community’s wellbeing. Getting an MPH doesn’t exclude you from getting other degrees later, and you should take that fact into account when applying to MPH programs. If you think you might want to get into business in the private sector after working in public health, then pursuing the administrative and managerial side of an MPH may benefit your later endeavors. If you are more interested in providing one on one care, and may want to become a nurse later on, you’ll want to take different elective courses during your time in graduate school. There are scholarships and grants available for students pursuing all types of health degree, so knowing what you want to do before applying can help you get more money to offset your educational costs.
There are a few steps that absolutely every higher education applicant should take in their search for financial aid, and here they are in list form, for your convenience:
- The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a great resource for determining the types of scholarships and grants you qualify for. In fact, many institutions that provide financial assistance ask for the results of a FAFSA to determine the financial need of an applicant. Some of the governmental financial aid offerings that the FAFSA may qualify you for are:
- Perkins and Stafford Loans
- Pell Grants
- DirectPLUS loans for student or parent borrowers
- The government offers college grants for healthcare students including those pursuing a master’s degree. You should compare colleges for the grant programs they run independently. This is often a deciding factor in selecting a college for an MPH degree.
- Hope and Lifelong Learning Tax Credits are available from The Internal Revenue Service for students who are working while they’re in school. These credits allow you to write off some of your expenses and save up to $2,000 on taxes.
- For those with some time to spare for a good cause, Americorps offers college cash to those who give a year of service in the program. This can be a good way to build up your resume with a line of volunteer service and some experience in diverse workplaces, while also earning you a few thousand dollars to put towards your public health degree. If you express an interest in public health when you apply to Americorps, there’s a chance you’ll get a placement that is relevant to your future career path, and students with a background in the field will find it easier to get merit based scholarships.
The application procedures for scholarships and college grants may be a little tedious; but you have to be deadline oriented and have all supporting documents ready beforehand. Competition for financial assistance is stiff and you have to be prepared to show that you are a deserving candidate for it.
Health Specific Financial Aid
In addition to the general financial aid options outlined above, there are scholarships and loan repayment programs that are only offered to those who are doing research or working in careers that benefit the public welfare. A few scholarships for people who are studying, or have studied health related fields are as follows:
- The National Institutes of Health offer a loan repayment program for recent graduates who are working on clinical research, pediatric research, health disparities research, contraception and infertility research, or clinical research for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. These loan repayment programs can’t be applied for while you are still in school, but should still be considered viable financial aid options for students who are serious about going into the public health field in a research capacity.
- The Health Resources and Services Administration offers several loans, scholarships, and loan repayment programs for students in clinical health fields like nursing, medicine, dentistry, and podiatry. While these are not classical public health careers, they are certainly elements of the overall public health industry, and someone interested in public health and in providing treatment could certainly combine those two interests.
- The Veterans Affairs Office has a few different financial aid offerings for current or former military servicemembers and their families, so if you’ve spent time in the armed forces, you can probably get some assistance in paying for school.
Other Financial Aid for Public Health Students
Once you’ve exhausted the government options, which usually come with the best interest rates and repayment plans, it might be time to start looking in other places for money to finance your education. Talking with someone in the financial aid department of any schools you apply to is a good place to start. Most colleges and universities offer merit based scholarships, and some even offer teacher assistantships and work study options that allow students to earn money toward their education by grading papers or helping the professor with other routine tasks. Asking around in your community can also yield some surprising results. Many churches and community organizations offer small scholarships to community members, and these little bits of assistance can add up to balance out a significant percentage of your overall costs.
Financial Outlook for Public Health Workers
If you’re worried that the debt you may take on to finance your Master of Public Health degree won’t be worth the salary you’ll earn once you graduate, it may comfort you to know that the health related industries are experiencing massive job growth compared to most other industries. Nurses, clinicians, and other health support staff and administrators are among the most rapidly growing job fields, and with a Master of Public Health you’ll be qualified for leadership positions in various types of health organization. The chart below shows some of the most common facilities in which public health social workers are hired, along with the median wages paid at those facilities.
Finding the MPH Program You Want
There are so many Master of Public Health degree programs offered online, offline, and hybrid, that it can be difficult to discern which one will best meet your needs. A few strategies for effectively sifting through the pile and finding a good program are:
- Talk to People: Asking around and having conversations with other students you know can help you get perspective on what makes a school good versus great, and which schools you should avoid like the plague. Former students of schools you’re applying to can be a great resource. If you don’t know any in person, look online!
- Scour the Internet: When people are super happy, or super unhappy, with any product or service, they take to the internet to talk about it. Look around for conversations that are already happening about the school and degree program you’re looking at. Do people seem happy with what they got for their money? That’s a good sign!
- Use Trusted Sources: We’ve gathered data from thousands of people who are interested in going back to college, and used that data to create the list of accredited online programs below. Clicking the links will put you in touch with schools that have generated significant student interest. Best school lists that are based on data are always more reliable, and the one below is a great place to start.
Public Health is a Rewarding Field to Work In
The financial burden of going into higher education is tough to face down, but most people who are looking to Master of Public Health degrees have other benefits in mind besides the financial gains that can be reaped by those with such a high degree of education. Helping people and communities stay healthy and improve their lives is rewarding in a way that money can’t buy. If you’re ready to start down the road toward an MPH and a career with both personal and financial benefits, try getting in touch with a few accredited online colleges by clicking the links below, and learn more about your options for improving your education, and the lives of people in your community.
Online Degrees in Public Health
Public health is the science of preventing disease and promoting health at the population level. Programs prepare students to become leading public health professionals capable of addressing current global public health problems. By clicking on the logos below, you can receive more information regarding your degree and school of choice.
Master of Public Health
||George Washington University – George Washington University's Master of Public Health program features a curriculum of public health core with a focus on the needs of today's healthcare industry. Courses feature a conceptual, factual, and skill base where students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. GWU is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).|
MS: Public Health
||Southern New Hampshire University – Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS in Public Health that readies graduate students for the business, programming, planning, and policy aspects of public healthcare management. This degree is a 46-credit hour program that includes a compulsory healthcare practicum.|
Master of Public Health
MPH: Health Education
|Kaplan University – Graduates of the Kaplan University MPH program are ready to take their careers to the next stage at the government, nonprofit, or private level. The online program provides students with an education on how to analyze and apply scientific research, prepare public health policies, develop health education programs, and review the impact of occupational and environmental factors. Kaplan offers several specializations within their MPH program, including health education.|
Master of Public Health
||Indiana Wesleyan University – Indiana Wesleyan University offers an innovative and effective accredited online program. The Master of Public Health prepares students for high-level careers as healthcare managers, managed healthcare plan coordinators, hospital administrators, and much more. Courses cover a variety of subjects including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, Health Services Administration, and Social and Behavioral Studies. IWU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
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