Medical assisting is a rewarding career where you can earn a decent salary and enjoy great job stability. Working as a medical assistant is also a fantastic way to get experience for more advanced healthcare careers.
You can become a certified medical assistant by attending a community college to get an associate degree, completing an online medical assistant training program, or going to a trade/technical school.
Before enrolling in a program, you should consider options for how to pay for your medical assistant training. Medical assistant scholarships are one option. They’re offered by nonprofits, private organizations, federal programs, and more.
This guide will go over medical assistant scholarships that can help you fund your education so you can get one step closer to reaching your career goals.
5 Medical Assistant Scholarships Options
As far as paying for school goes, scholarships are the best option. Scholarships are money provided to students that does not have to be repaid.
Each scholarship opportunity has a different application process. Some require an essay or interview, while others require proof of community service or good grades. Some large scholarships may be determined by interviews or by winning scholarly awards.
Scholarships for medical assistants and other vocational programs can be difficult to find, but there are opportunities out there.
Maxine Williams Scholarship Fund
- Organization: American Association of Medical Assistants
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: April 15
- Requirements: One completed quarter of an accredited medical assisting program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a completed application with essay questions.
- Description: The Maxine Williams Scholarship is named after one of the founders of the AAMA and is funded by private contributions.
Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship
- Organization: The BECA Foundation
- Amount: $500 to $2,000
- Deadline: March 30
- Requirements: Completed online application, two letters of recommendation, personal statement, and academic transcripts submitted.
- Description: The Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship is for San Diego students who wish to pursue a career in healthcare.
Outstanding Student Award
- Organization: American Medical Technologists
- Amount: $250
- Deadline: March 1
- Requirements: A student currently enrolled in a healthcare program must be nominated by their classmates and faculty. The nominee must complete an online form and write an essay.
- Description: Students who are nominated are expected to have a good academic record, a strong work ethic, show initiative, and have an ability to cooperate and work well with others.
“Save a Life” Scholarship for Students of Healthcare and Education
- Organization: American Academy of CPR and First Aid
- Amount: $1,500
- Deadline: May 1 and October 1
- Requirements: A 750 to 1,000-word essay, a copy of most recent transcripts, and a copy of a letter of acceptance to a medical assisting program.
- Description: The American Academy of CPR shares finalists' essays on their website to help spread awareness about the importance of CPR and basic knowledge of first aid. Winners are selected about 30 days after the scholarship deadline.
Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant
- Organization: The Kansas Board of Regents
- Amount: $500-$1,000 per year.
- Deadline: May 1st
- Requirements: Graduated from a Kansas high school, enrolled in a medical assisting or another technical program, and completed the FAFSA.
- Description: The state of Kansas awards this scholarship every year to help develop a strong workforce and provide opportunities for citizens in the community to advance their careers.
Tips for Winning Medical Assistant Scholarships
Because scholarships are such a great way to pay for school, the application process can be competitive. These strategies help give you the best chance of being awarded scholarship money to put towards your medical assisting education:
- Apply for as many as possible. The scholarship application process can be highly competitive. The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely it is that you are awarded one.
- Follow the instructions. Read the application instructions carefully before submitting your application. You don’t want to lose a potential scholarship because you made a small mistake on the paperwork.
- Look for scholarships specific to you. You are more likely to be awarded a scholarship if it is specific to you and your situation. There are many scholarship opportunities for specific groups of people based on race, religion, gender, major, location, and background which are less competitive since there are fewer applicants.
- Have multiple people review your essays & application. Have a friend or family member read over your essay and application to get feedback before you submit it. Many colleges also have writing centers where expert writers can review your work and help you create a fantastic final essay.
- Know your audience. While it might seem like a good idea to copy and paste essay answers to submit more applications, you really should take the time to cater each application to the organization offering the scholarship. Find out a little bit about the organization before you write your final essay.
Financial Aid Options Other Than Medical Assistant Scholarships
While scholarships are usually considered the best choice for paying for an education, they are not the only way to get funding for school.
Pell Grants are similar to scholarships because they do not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded based on financial need, and if you are single and under the age of 25, financial need is determined by your parent or guardian's income.
You must first fill out the FAFSA to see if you are eligible for a Pell Grant (as well as all other types of federal financial aid).
Medical assisting students must be enrolled in at least an associate degree program to be awarded a Pell Grant.
The Federal Educational Opportunity Grant can be awarded in addition to a Pell Grant for students with exceptional financial need. Recipients of these grants generally receive between $400 and $4,000 per year.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans should be maxed before turning to private student loans as they have lower interest rates, better repayment terms, the option for an income-driven repayment plan, the possibility of student loan forgiveness, and more borrower protections.
You can see what types of federal student loans you’re eligible for by filling out the FAFSA form.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans can be obtained through a bank or credit union, and are usually considered a last resort to fund your education. These often have high interest rates and few borrower protections.
Keep in mind that all student loans must be repaid, even if you do not complete your degree or training program.