Paying for the education can often by the biggest hurdle to becoming a radiology technician. Scholarships are a good way to go to help pay for school, but they are also very few in number and often very competitive to receive. Another good way to pay for education is through financial aid, which is offered through the federal and state governments, as well as through private banks and through specific institutions.
Federal Student Aid
Federal student aid is provided based on demonstrated need. Students submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through their institution and the government will provide an offer for the amount of financial aid they are willing to offer in the form of loans and tuition remission programs.
Federal aid is often the best solution for people in the most need as the government provides very low interest loans that do not start accruing interest until after you graduate. You also do not have to worry about paying for loans until after you graduate and have been working for a while.
There are also a number of ways to reduce these loans by providing services to the government through programs like Americorp, Peacecorp, and the Military. Often times these programs also seek people with specialized knowledge, particularly in the healthcare field, making it a strong possibility for radiology technicians.
Both the state and federal government also offer work study programs which provide the finances for people who qualify to find part time employment while they are still in school that is paid for by the government. This employment can often help people earn a little extra income to help with expenses while they are still attending college.
Many private banks offer loans that are specifically tailored to students. These loans are not quite as good as government loans, but if you do not qualify for enough financial aid through the government (many do not) then private loans can be a very good option. Like the federal student loans, private student loans often have fairly low interest rates. Many also do not have to be paid back until after graduating from college, but that is not a universal rule so make sure you know what the payment terms are on your loan before signing any documents.
Most national banks offer private loans at different rates and with different advantages and disadvantages. Finding the right private student loan can be difficult at times but some resources like FinAid.org and PrivateStudentLoans.com are very useful in narrowing the possibilities and finding a loan that you qualify for that also fits your personal situation.
The Advantages of Scholarships
Oftentimes, scholarships are the most advantageous of financial aid options, for the simple fact that scholarships present students with funding that can be used to pay for various aspects of study such as tuition, books/supplies, and fees associated with housing or commuting. Scholarships can be obtained by a number of either public or private sources, some of which are offered by particular learning institutions.
Grants are very similar to scholarships in that they are a monetary award that can be used for various aspects of a student’s education. The principle difference between scholarships and grants is that grants tend to be issued by more public agencies. Often these awards may be for a finite duration such as for a year or a semester, and students are required to reapply for a similar award at the end of the duration.
Loans are the least advantageous form of financial aid, for the simple fact that loans must be remunerated by the student at some point in his or her career. This point usually comes within a year or two after a student has completed his or her studies.
Loans certainly help to offset the cost of one’s education. However, students should take into account the fact that loans accumulate interest and must be paid back with the interest included. Loans are generally offered by large, public entities such as those offered by the federal government. Examples of loans that may be used for radiology education include Federal Perkins loans, Federal Stafford loans, as well as various programs that may be offered through Fanny Mae.
Check with your school to find out about options for work-study, paid for-credit internships, and teaching assistantships. These are great options for many students, and are often overlooked.
It is best for students to check all of their options for financial aid before committing to a particular learning institution. Oftentimes, the issuance of financial aid is based upon a student’s current economic situation and depends upon factors such as income, dependents, and other factors. Scholarships may be earned for certain niches such as for students who are pursuing a particular line of study or who can be categorized by a certain demographic.
Scholarships for Radiography Students
If you've decided on pursuing a career as a Radiology Technician, finding the money to pay for your education is a logical next step. Make sure that you check out this list of great funding opportunities.
American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology: The American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology provides at least five scholarships for budding practitioners in the field, including the Radiology Centennial Scholarship and the William H. Rollins Award.
CollegeScholarships.org: This page on radiologic science scholarships provides a great overview of the scholarships that are available, many of them through the American Association of Radiologic Technologists.
CRN Exam Scholarship Award: Members of the Association for Radiologic and Imaging Nursing are eligible for this award, which covers the cost of taking the CRN exam.
Elekta Radiation Therapy Educators Scholarship Program: Elekta, a pioneering manufacturer of radiation therapy equipment, sponsors this $5,000 scholarship for radiation therapists who are also educators in the field.
The Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarship Program: This $2,500 scholarship is available for students beginning a radiologic science program at the entry level.
The Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship: This scholarship is for academically outstanding minority students in a radiologic science program. Awards are up to $4,000.
Siemens Clinical Advancement Scholarship Program: The Siemens scholarship for $5,000 is given to established professionals in the field of medical imaging and radiology who are seeking to further their education and increase their ability to provide quality patient care.
SIR Scholarships: The Society of Interventional Radiology offers this list of scholarships. Email the organization for the most up-to-date information on how to apply.
Varian Radiation Therapy Scholarship Program: Sponsored by Varian Medical Systems in honor of Eileen McCullough, this scholarship provides $5,000 to students in entry-level radiation therapy programs.
- Atlantic General Hospital Scholarship: The James G. and Nancy W. Barrett Scholarship Program awards financial support to a radiology student, in exchange for agreeing to work at Atlantic General post-graduation. Atlantic General pays for all tuition and books and the student’s healthcare, and provides them with a flexible work schedule after graduation.
- Radiology Centennial Scholarship Award: This scholarship is awarded by the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. The $5000 award is particularly for students in oral and maxillofacial radiology graduate programs.
- American Society of Radiologic Technicians: This professional society has a related foundation with a number of available scholarships. They have scholarships for those just entering the field, and for established professionals.
- Society of Nuclear Medicine Scholarships: The Society of Nuclear Medicine has scholarships for students involved in molecular imaging at all levels. Funding is available for bachelor’s degree students, post-doctoral students, and researchers.
- University of North Carolina Scholarships: UNC radiology students can currently apply for 6 endowed scholarships at the school. The awards cover tuition and enrollment fees at UNC.
- Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technicians: If you’re a student pursuing your radiology education in Minnesota, you may be eligible for awards from this professional group. They offer awards for good grades and for stellar scientific exhibits and essays.
- St. Patrick Hospital Foundation Knowledge Fund: The St. Patrick Hospital in Providence offers radiology scholarships to current employees and their children and to prospective healthcare professionals. The scholarships range in amount from $250-2,500.
- International Veterinary Radiology Association: The IVRA offers an educational fund to current veterinarians who do not have access to radiologic technicians in their office. The fund gives supervisors $5,000 towards identifying and training a veterinary radiologic technician.
- Association for Radiologic Imaging Nursing: Current ARIN members looking to study radiology should check out these scholarships. The scholarships range from school tuition to travel funding for radiology conferences.
- ARRS Annual Scholarship: The American Roentgen Ray Society offers financial support to current professionals looking to become leaders in academic radiology. Applicants must have board certification from the American Board of Radiology.
- Columbus Community Hospital Scholarships: High school students in the Columbus area should check out these scholarships. There are scholarships for prospective radiology and nursing students.
- Association of University Radiologists Awards: If you’re interested in doing academic research into radiology, take a look at these awards. The award is open to current junior radiology faculty members.
- Society of Interventional Radiology Scholarship: Current radiology residents who would like to radiology conferences will be interested in this travel scholarship. Applicants must submit a CV and short essay to be eligible to win.
- Partners in Healthcare: This private organization funded by the Massachusetts General Hospital works to try to promote the collaboration of healthcare needs and services both in Massachusetts and around the country. The organization hosts large fundraisers and events to help professionals network. They also prominently assist patients in finding healthcare professionals in their area. One thing that many people do not know about Partners in Healthcare is that they also offer competitive merit based scholarships in a number of healthcare fields, including radiology. These scholarships are awarded to the most qualified candidate in order to help traditionally under-served populations achieve medical degrees and break into the healthcare profession.
- Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarships: The Jerman-Cahoon Student Scholarships is funded by the ASRT Education and Research Foundation which believes in the ability to support radiology technicians at the entry level, awarding up to $2,500 to students who are in their first year of radiology education. The scholarship is named after two pioneers of radiology, Ed. C. Jerman and John B. Cahoon Jr., and is awarded based on merit.
- The Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship: The The Royce Osborn Minority Student Scholarship is awarded to minority students who are just beginning an entry-level radiology program. The scholarship is based on merit, but candidates must demonstrate financial need to be considered.
- Howard S. Stern Scholarship: The Howard S. Stern Scholarship is awarded to a member of the American Association of Radiology Technicians who is in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in radiology. You mush be a member of ASRT to be considered, but once a member, the scholarship is awarded based on merit and recommendation. Every year, as many as 9 people are award up to $1,000 to help pay for their education.
- Siemen's Clinical Advancement Scholarship: The Siemen's Clinical Advancement Scholarship is a scholarship for graduate level students who are generally professionals in the field of radiology seeking to go back for an advanced degree to help advance their career.