Online Radiology Technician Scholarships
While some schools provide online courses and home study programs at reduced rates, you also can search for grants and scholarships to further reduce your tuition burden. Grants and scholarship are the best way to finance your education, as they do not need to be repaid, but low-interest educational loans from the U.S. government are also a viable option. The government offers grants to students who can prove financial necessity, and loans with reasonable interest rates are available to just about any student.
Certificate Programs and Testing Costs
Year-long certificate programs are the most common education paths for people trying to become radiologic technicians. These programs are appealing because of their low price tag compared to two- or four-year degree programs, but for students who want an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, this is not going to be enough. Some 12-month programs can be finished partially online and at night so it is possible to hold a job while going to school. According to the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians, most application fees for these certifications are under $300.
Finding Grant and Scholarship Money
By far the easiest way to get financial assistance for your education is to ask the government for it. There are tens of billions of dollars set aside annually for education aid, and the process of applying is relatively simple. Here are the steps an aspiring student should take to access government funds:
- Fill Out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): This is a fairly quick and easy way to apply for loans and grants from the government, and it lets you apply for multiple types of funding at once. Stafford and Perkins loans, which have fair interest rates and long repayment schedules, are the most common forms of funding, but there are also Pell Grants for students in need, and other types of loans that are available to a student’s parents who are helping pay for school.
- Talk to Your School’s Financial Aid Office: Colleges and training programs often administrate their own financial aid options, even if the funding comes from the government. Asking your potential school’s financial aid office about money that might be available to you is a must.
- Look Into Health Care Specific Scholarship Programs: Because the health care industry is booming, and is so integral to the national quality of life, the government sinks more money into training health workers than workers in other industries. A little digging can help you find all kinds of scholarships meant for students in health care related fields.
- Consider Military Scholarship Options: If you or an immediate family member are or were in the military, there are likely extra educational funds available to you. The Post 9/11 G.I. Bill provides military families with education assistance funds during and after their tours of duty.
The graph below shows the percentages of total financial aid that were accounted for by various sources, according to The College Board.
Scholarships from Private Organizations
Private scholarships are the other big source of money for higher education students. If you or your parents belong to a fraternal organization or to a specific religion, you may find college money there as well. Other resources include incentives for disabled individuals, ethnic groups, and for people who are descendants of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution. The resources seem endless, and it takes time to discover them all, but it can be worth the effort, especially if it helps you to gain a college education.
Another potential source of educational funds, especially for workers in medical fields, is an employer. Some hospitals will pay for continuing education classes for their employees in exchange for the promise of continuing to work there for a certain amount of time. This way, the employees get more education, and the hospital gets better educated workers. For students already working in hospitals who are interested in being trained in radiologic technology, this is worth pursuing.
Working While Studying to be a Radiology Tech
Some educational programs take up all of a student’s time and attention, but in the case of radiology tech programs, it is totally possible to maintain a regular job, perhaps part-time, while attending training during the evenings or on certain days. For some, this is the best way to finance an education. Working while studying can keep a student out of debt and provide them other useful workplace skills while they build up a new skill set.
Combining Radiology Tech Training with Another Discipline to Score More Funding
Since radiology tech training is mostly just that, training, and not an actual degree program, there may be limitations on the amount of aid students can get. However, there are loads of scholarships and aid programs for students studying to be nurses, physician’s assistants, and other careers that can provide primary care. If you’re interested in working in the medical field, and willing to take on more responsibility than just working with imaging equipment, it might be worthwhile to go to school for nursing or medical assisting, and take radiology tech classes as your electives. A few related fields you could go into while still receiving radiology tech training include:
- Physician’s Assistant: These well-paid hospital workers help doctors and surgeons in situations where a great deal of skill is needed, such as during surgery or when treating patients in unstable condition. Physician’s assistants have to complete a great deal of training that can be as intense as medical school, but not as long.
- Medical Assistant: Typically working in private family practices or clinics, medical assistants do routine tasks to maximize the efficiency of the facility and to free up the doctor to see patients. This job is not as well paid as a radiology tech job, but a combination of these skills and radiography skills would look great on a resume.
- Dental Hygienist: Assisting a dentist with oral cleanings, taking dental x-rays, and managing the flow of patients so that everyone is served efficiently, is a demanding but rewarding career, and combining dental hygiene training with radiography makes for a worker who is highly employable in dental practices.
Students interested in combining one of the above disciplines with training in radiography should look into the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) a government program that offers educational assistance funding for students who plan to provide primary medical care in an underserved area such as a rural town or inner city neighborhood.
How to Pick a Good Radiology Tech Training Program
Since the only reason to go to radiographer training is to become a radiographer, the primary differentiator between programs is how much they help you get licensed and subsequently employed in the field. Longer term plans can be a factor as well. Whether you plan to work as a radiology tech for a long time, or just want to use it as a bridge job to another career, may affect how much time and money you’re willing to sink into this training. Either way, securing employment is pretty much the most important result of the training so finding out how well your program does at placing graduates in jobs is a good first step. Other ways to investigate radiology tech training programs include:
- Contact Former Students: Find some former students of programs you’re applying to, and ask how things turned out. Did they like the program? Did they get a job easily?
- Talk to Professional Radiographers: Asking a radiographer who is already working at a hospital or clinic how and where they were trained can be a great way to find out about a program that works.
- Use This Site!: The links at the bottom of this page and elsewhere on this site lead to online colleges that are accredited and provide training in various medical support staff fields, including radiography and sonography.
Facts to Remember about Radiology Tech Careers
Radiology technicians are not the same as radiologists, and do not require nearly as much training. Radiology techs do not diagnose illness or injury, prescribe medicine, or in any way participate in the treatment of patients. Their job is to produce high quality images of potentially damaged parts of a patient’s body and then deliver those images to a nurse or doctor in a timely fashion. If you want to treat illness, radiology tech is not the career for you, though having a radiology technician’s license can still benefit you if you decide to work as a nurse or medical assistant.
Getting Into Training
Since the only requirement to attend radiology technician training is that you have a high school diploma or GED, there’s no reason not to apply today. Earning this certificate can be the first step toward a career that is financially and personally rewarding.
Radiology Technician and Health Science Programs
|Adventist University of Health Sciences — Adventist University of Health Sciences (formerly Florida Hospital College) offers an accredited online BS degree in radiological sciences that offers medical imaging technologists and radiologic technicians the opportunity to learn more skills to advance their careers in the healthcare field. Earning this degree ensure that its graduates are wholly prepared for the fast-paced and quickly adapting environment of medical imaging clinics and hospitals.|