College Grants for Students Going into Occupational Therapy

Get One Step Closer to Your Degree

Occupational therapists are often confused with physical therapists, and while there are similarities between the two professions, there are also some significant differences. While physical therapists work closely with patients to help them recover from an injury or illness, occupational therapists concentrate on rehabilitation techniques that prepare their patients to live and work independently. Occupational therapists work closely with individuals who have lost their independence due to physical, emotional or developmental disabilities.

Choosing occupational therapy as a career path requires a high level of dedication, and an extensive education. Occupational therapists typically need a master’s, or other advanced degree, in order to be licensed to practice. They also need an educational background that encompasses biology, sociology, psychology and anatomy. Becoming an occupational therapist takes years of training, and the necessary education is expensive. For many students interested in pursuing occupational therapy as a career, grants and scholarships provide the valuable funding they need to complete their college education. The secret is knowing where to look for them.

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Federal Grants for OT Students

Federal financial aid should be every student’s first stop on the road to college funding, and students pursuing occupational therapy as a profession are no different. While the Federal government doesn’t offer specific grants for occupational therapy majors, they do provide a number of grants that are applicable to all students, and that help to lay a firm foundation for a successful college financial plan. The Federal government also offers a few scholarship and loan forgiveness programs that target the critical shortage of qualified healthcare professionals currently facing the country.

The following Federally administered financial aid programs will be of interest to students pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy.

Colleges and University Grants for OTs

Universities with large colleges of medicine often offer substantial grants and scholarship programs for their attending students. These programs are typically determined more by merit than financial need, though need may be a partial consideration. In many instances, these financial aid programs will target Master’s degree students, and may come in the form of research grants or fellowships. Students should contact their college’s office of financial aid, and their department heads, for information on grants and scholarships that may be available to qualified Occupational Therapy majors.

The following examples should illustrate the types of financial aid programs administered at the college level.

Grants from Professional Organizations

Many national and regional Occupational Therapy Associations offer financial aid for student members who are working toward their professional certification. These organizations actively work to improve the career opportunities of Occupational Therapists, and to provide education and support for their members. Students pursuing a career as Occupational Therapists may find additional college funding through one or more of these professional organizations.

The following are examples of professional associations that provide financial assistance to Occupational Therapy majors working toward their professional degrees.

Occupational Therapy continues to be a growing profession that offers a wealth of career opportunities for the highly motivated student. Occupational Therapists may work with specific populations, such as children or the elderly. Many Occupational Therapists specialize, and dedicate themselves to working with the blind and the deaf, the mentally handicapped, or the emotionally impaired. It is a noble profession that provides comfort and support for people from all walks of life, and in a variety of challenging circumstances.