Before you go back to school, the all important question of how much that education is going to cost needs to be answered. This is crucial, because it will help you determine whether or not you can really or feasibly get back to school, and then what it might mean for you down the road once you’re earning a paycheck and need to pay that off as well. Use this guide to learn more about the cost of tuition for occupational therapy school.
The costs for occupational therapy schools can vary greatly from one institution to another. This, of course, holds true for all educational programs, and one reason why there is such a wide disparity available here is that occupational therapy programs are offered by institutions ranging from local or city colleges, to some of the top universities in the country.
For example, you can attend Columbia University and end up paying over $1,000 per credit. Meanwhile, Wilbur Wright college, which offers an occupational therapy assistant program, costs just $89 per credit. It’s not the same degree level either, but it’s an entrance into the field. The point is that there is a wide disparity in costs depending on which institution you choose.
A good median example of the cost of a masters level occupational therapy program comes from the University of New Mexico. They charge about $9,500 per semester for out of state residents, but only $3,000 per semester for in-state students. With an average of five semesters needed to complete a two-year occupational therapy program, that’s a cost of just $15,000 for in-state residents attending UNM, and $47,500 for out of state residents.
Of course, keep in mind that there are many financial aid options at your disposal. All of the general student and minority student financial aid options and scholarships available for all educational programs are available here as well.
There are also many scholarships and aid options available specifically for occupational therapy graduate students. For example, the Association of Occupational Therapy Foundation awards more than 50 individual scholarships each year, and they range in value from $150 to $5,000. Additionally, the AOTA E.K. Wise Scholarships annually awards three female students pursuing entry-level degree programs with $5,000 each.
Another piece of good news is the salary that you’ll be earning as a practicing occupational therapist. The median salary for professionals is in the mid $70s, while even the low 10% of the field earns up to $49,000. That means that even when you have to pay a lot for your education, you should be able to pay it all back in short order, too. Keep in mind that you should also be able to head straight into the workforce as well, since occupational therapists are in such high demand right now.
Hopefully by now you know a little bit more about the cost of an occupational therapy education. Occupational therapy assistant programs are very affordable and can help you become a licensed professional in the field, although not a full occupational therapist. Full masters level OT graduate programs are more expensive, and highly variable depending on the program, but there are a number of scholarships and aid programs available.