When you enter graduate school to earn a master’s in health administration, or MHA degree, you may be overwhelmed by the cost of tuition. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthcare administration degree programs available to help MHA students achieve their goals. Students in MHA programs can obtain financial aid through scholarships, grants, and loans. They may also have access to work-study programs. In some cases, an employer may even pay for a worker to earn his or her master’s in health administration.
Direct Stafford Loans
A Direct Stafford Loan is a loan with a low interest rate offered to students solely to help with the cost of undergraduate or graduate school. These loans are offered to MHA students at participating schools by the U.S. Department of the Education. A Direct Stafford Loan may be subsidized or unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are available to masters in health administration students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). A subsidized loan does not accrue interest as long as the borrower remains in school at least half-time. An unsubsidized loan is offered to all masters in health care administration students regardless of financial need, but interest accrues while the student remains in school.
Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students
A Direct PLUS loan is a loan offered to graduate students, including those studying for their masters in health administration degree, to help with the expense of higher education. These loans feature a fixed rate of 7.9 percent. They are available to masters of health administration students who can show that they don’t have an adverse credit history. To qualify for this loan, you must complete a FAFSA, and you must have already taken out your maximum Direct Stafford Loans to fund your healthcare management MBA or related health care administration degree.
Campus-Based Financial Aid
Many schools offer scholarships and fellowships specifically for their students. Some of these programs may be available to all students at a school, while others may be geared toward students in the MHA program. Other campus-based aid that can be used to cover masters health administration tuition includes the Federal Perkins Loan program and Federal Work-Study. Each of these three programs is available to students in MHA programs who complete FASFA forms and qualify for financial assistance.
The Federal Work-Study program can provide part-time employment for graduate students in masters of health administration programs that demonstrate financial need. Students in this program will typically work in settings related to their field of study. A Federal Perkins Loan is a loan with a 5 percent interest rate that is available to masters of health administration students with extreme financial need. MHA students must repay the loan directly to the school, but it is made with government funds.
Corporate Tuition Assistance
Many employers are willing to pay for their workers to obtain a master’s in health administration. Financial assistance from your employer may cover all or some of your MHA program tuition, the cost of your books and materials, and any other educational fees you incur while pursuing your master’s in health care administration. Some employers may require you to remain an employee for a minimum amount of time after you obtain your MHA degree. Otherwise, you may be required to reimburse the employer for the assistance he provided toward your masters in health care administration training.
Private Student Loans
Master of health administration students who cannot qualify for other types of financing can apply for private student loans from non-government lenders. Banks and credit unions usually offer this type of loan, but approval will be based on your credit score. Most private student loans will remain in deferment as long as you remain at least a half-time student in your MHA program. Interest rates for these loans may be higher than those of government-funded loans.
Financing for Online MHA Programs
If you enroll in an online MHA program, you may still need financing for your tuition and other fees. Some of the same financing options available for traditional MHA programs are also available for online MHA programs. If the master of health administration program in which you enroll is accredited, you may be eligible for government-sponsored funding, such as the Direct Stafford Loan. Campus-based funding, such as the work-study program may or may not be available depending on your school. However, you can qualify for a private student loan as long as you can show that you are enrolled in a valid MHA program.