If you’re interested in a healthcare career such as physical therapy, dental hygiene, cardiovascular technology, or occupational therapy, there is no shortage of opportunity. To drive that point home: An approximate 48 million Americans are living with some form of disability, creating a massive need for occupational therapists alone.
So how might you get there? Enter the associate’s degree.
Many two-year associate’s programs can lead to busy, fulfilling careers in healthcare and are worth considering for those interested. When it comes to financing these degrees, there are a few things that sometimes get overlooked. Careful planning—just as with medical school—is critical.
Associate’s degree loans can carry high interest rates and be expensive despite the shorter length of the program. However, there are different types of federal and private loans that cover associate’s degrees, so be sure to do your homework ahead of time.
To find out if pursuing as associate’s degree is right for you, you have the option of job shadowing. Sometimes doctors and medical assistants let you shadow them to learn the profession. The ‘soft’ skills required of a medical assistant, for example, as well as hands-on technical skills, could be observed through learning from a current practitioner on the job. It’s a great way for those interested to ‘preview’ their field of interest before pursuing a degree.
If you’re going the route of a degree program, try to exhaust all the options for scholarships and grants beforehand to reduce your overall costs. A private student loan can be a useful tool to help fill in any additional financial need. Don’t let cost be a barrier—remember that many associate’s degree-holders are in high demand and can enjoy successful, deeply meaningful careers changing lives for the better. It’s a great time to consider these vocations, and we’re here to help you realize your potential.
Note: Before you consent to any lender pulling your credit score (and taking the credit hit), be aware that not all lenders will refinance associate’s degrees. You’ll find a list of degree approved for refinancing with Laurel Road, here.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed within the linked content above are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Laurel Road or KeyBank National Association (“KeyBank N.A”).