So, you've read about the advantages of becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA), but don't yet have the finances to make it happen. Hey, there are options, and it's never been easier to find answers. To get the funds needed to attend a college occupational therapy assistant program, a basic understanding of college financial aid will help.
Steps to the OTA Degree You Want
There are a lot of college financial aid options available for students like you who want to get in an occupational therapy assistant program. The first thing to do is complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Do this even if you think you might not qualify for college financial aid, because income by itself doesn't determine eligibility for financial aid, and the FAFSA application will determine what kind of federal aid you may be able to access.
Remember this: there are essentially three main types of college financial aid: grants, scholarships, and loans. Many students combine their college financial aid options to help them achieve their academic dream.
3 Types of College Financial Aid
A grant is money that doesn't have to be paid back. They are need-based and are helpful for those with the desire to achieve but not-so-big resources. Grants consider income levels along with other variables.
One of your best resources for grant information is the federal government.
Scholarships are financial gifts for your education that don't need to be repaid. There are scholarships of all types, and you can explore which ones you may qualify for online.
Some schools have their own scholarship opportunities, and it may be up to you to explore what's available. Private and local scholarships don't always provide large awards, but they can often be combined.
College financial aid staff can help you achieve your educational goals, so make sure to maximize your use of this resource.
3. Federal Student Loans
Federal low-interest loans are available through the U.S. Department of Education. The FAFSA application will help to determine which loan programs fit your situation. There are many different options.
You may have concerns about student loans, but remember that most students do get a loan to pay for college costs. If you choose to take out a student loan to be part of an occupational therapy assistant program, work with your college financial aid team to create a budget and know your repayment options. This way, you'll know what you need to do to pay off your loan and how long it will take you to do so.
The OTA Degree and Your Future
It's also good to know that promising employment opportunities await you after you graduate from an occupational therapy assistant program. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median compensation for an OTA is $59,310. Newly certified and licensed OTAs can earn $45,000 right after school – even more in high-demand geographical regions.
It's also a career with a future: the OTA profession Is expected to grow by 29 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Cleveland University-Kansas City: Nearly 100 Years of High-Quality Healthcare Education
If you are considering an occupational therapy assistant program, make sure you include Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) in your school search. CUKC is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City.
CUKC offers the A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree that can get you started on your OTA career path. The CUKC College of Health Sciences accepts students into the occupational therapy assistant program three times per year, giving you the opportunity to start the program when you're ready.
The occupational therapy assistant program at CUKC consists of 16 core courses and the four-to-five weeks of fieldwork education where you'll work with clients, guided by experienced OTAs. Concentrated eight-week courses link together classroom training and clinical experience, so you learn and apply concepts, skills, and best practices faster.
To learn more about the 2-year occupational therapy assistant program at CUKC, request information now. You can also get up-to-speed on college financial aid by downloading this free ebook: Your Guide to Navigating College Financial Aid.