Are you floored by the cost of higher education, especially if you want to become an ultrasound technician or a medical sonographer? You can be proactive in lowering the total cost of your education by seeking schools that cut costs by providing online courses and home study programs and searching for grants and scholarships. If you don’t go after them, someone else will get the money you deserve.
Since students need an undergraduate health care degree before they enter a clinical sonography program, the cost of an education for this profession adds up. But, remember that the higher degree and special training also may lead to higher-paying jobs within a specialty such as ultrasound and sonography. If you choose a good school and maintain a high grade point average, you may realize a better salary in the long run.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, faster-than-average employment growth is expected for diagnostic medical sonographers. Job opportunities should be favorable through 2016, which provides plenty of time to research scholarships and grants and to finalize your degree. Your search for scholarships and grants can be productive and fun; the fun part is realizing that none of this money needs to be repaid.
You might be surprised at the opportunities available to students who seek health care degrees such as allied health and medical assisting, as this field is growing in demand to an aging population that needs health care services. You may find grants and scholarships designed specifically for health care students based upon merit (good grades) or upon need (poor financial status). You can apply for money through government-based financial aid resources such as FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or through state-based programs. Various colleges also offer scholarships to attend their schools, and if your high grades are any indication of your future as a college student, those colleges may help you find a way to finance your studies.
You also could find money through other sources that aren’t designed specifically for health care studies. If you are the daughter or son of a U.S. military veteran, or if you are a veteran or current military servicemember, resources may be available to you. 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, even if you receive enough to pay for your books for one year.
There are a few web sites that all prospective students should visit to get an idea of the publicly funded financial aid that may be available to them. Governmental scholarships can take a huge chunk out of your overall school bills, and that’s something anyone can be grateful for. Sites that every forward looking college student should explore include:
The graph below illustrates the maximum dollar amount available to one student anually through various governmental education financial aid programs.
Of course, the government and outside private sources aren’t your only options for scoring educational financial aid. The support of friends and family is important at every juncture, throughout your education and into your career, and sometimes that support can take financial form. Asking for money can be hard, but there are services and software that can help you manage loans from friends and family fairly. Getting a low interest loan from someone who wants to see you succeed can be the tipping point for helping you afford college. Don’t ignore this possible resource.
If the cost, both in time and money, of getting a degree seems like more than it is worth, consider the stunning job and salary growth in the field of diagnostic medical sonography in the past years, and the projected growth over the next six years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects over 9,000 new jobs to be created by 2018, an 18% increase in total jobs. Salaries are on the rise as well, with an increase of over $4,000 in median annual wages for diagnostic medical sonographers between 2006 and 2008, when it was $62,340 (in the offices of physicians) and slightly less in general hospitals.
Although you may need to take on debt to complete your education, the salary that will be available to you will let you easily pay off your loans while having plenty of money to pay living expenses and even save for the future.
Loans are complicated, and even when it seems like you understand what you’re getting into, there are probably financial equations under the surface that aren’t completely obvious. Here’s one crucial way to minimize the overall amount that you pay for educational loans:
Now that you know how to go about applying for scholarships, where to find good ones, and how to manage your money once you’ve got them, it is time to get into a school that has what you need, and start taking classes. Use the widget embedded in this article to find a degree program in medical assisting or imaging, or an allied health program that feels right, and send in your application!
There are multiple educational paths that students can take to become an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. The schools below do not offer ultrasound-specific training, but they do offer medical assisting and other healthcare programs that are closely related. You can request information by clicking on any of the links below.
||DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.|
||Pima Medical Institute — Pima Medical Institute, founded in 1972, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, and bachelor's degrees for careers in the healthcare industry. The BS in Radiologic Sciences program prepares students to perform the duties and responsibilies of a radiologists. Pima is accredited by organizations in several fields of healthcare including the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology|
||Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
||Virginia College Online — Founded in 1983, Virginia College is a private institution of higher education committed to offering associate degrees, diploma courses, and baccalaureate degrees at over 20 different campuses. The BS in Health Services Management program prepares you for mid-level management positions in health care organizations including hospitals, physician practices, and home health agencies. Virginia is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.|
||Hodges University — Founded in 1990, Hodges University is one the premier private universities in the State of Florida. The AS in Health Information Management and AS in Health Administration programs, while not ultrasound training programs, do teach students how to use information technology to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.|
||Adventist University of Health Sciences — Founded in 1992, the Adventist University of Health Sciences is formerly the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, a school focused on privding higher education in the several fields of healthcare. The BS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become radiologic technicians. Adventist University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.|