Physical therapist scholarships exist to help those students preparing to enter a field which could always use more helping hands attain their educational goals. Since it is not always easy to get access to financial aid outside of student loans, these sorts of scholarships for physical therapist are an essential way to help fill any gaps which may exist for students attempting to enter the field. On top of applying for more general scholarships, or those that are applicable to an individual outside of physical therapy such as demographic characteristics, physical therapist scholarships should absolutely be a category of funding students should look after into once they have applied everywhere else. Because there are so many different kinds of physical therapist scholarships available, waiting to apply to these programs until all the other applications are out of the way enable students to have a firm idea of what kind of funding they still need, allowing them to reduce their overall worry and not have to submit an immense amount of more applications should there be no real need.
Students entering physical therapist education as a field should be aware that this career path will not always be easy – bringing function back into people who are have been seriously injured can be trying work, so there is a need for heavily dedicated people into physical therapy. This level of dedication will be fairly present in many applications to scholarship selection committees, so students should understand that competition will likely be fairly stiff.
Apart from checking with the local financial aid office for scholarship programs offered locally, students should always look into the national organizations to which physical therapists belong. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), for example, offers a number of physical therapist scholarships for outstanding students. In order to be eligible for an APTA physical therapist scholarship all applicants must be student members of the organization, working through a student organization with links to the group. Applicants must also be currently enrolled in an accredited university program and majoring in physical therapy. Beyond filling out the application form students must also receive a letter of recommendation from one of their teachers and a separate letter from a teacher directly involved with their clinical learning. Transcripts and a copy of an applicant’s APTA membership card must also accompany the application. Scholarship amounts are determined on a case by case basis and all application materials are due no later than December 1 of each year.
Physical therapy scholarships are not only given out by national organizations, or even groups directly associated with the field itself. The National Society for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) also provides scholarships for physical therapy students to members of the organization. In order to be eligible for this scholarship students must be members of a local or state DAR chapter and obtain a letter of sponsorship for the group they are a member of. DAR offers $1,000 scholarships to members who are selected by their scholarship committee which can be renewed in subsequent years as long as students also supply the selection committee with a copy of the their transcripts. Students will need to be able to demonstrate a financial need and verify that they are attending or have been accepted into an accredited school while majoring in physical therapy. Requests for an application must be made directly to DAR headquarters and accompanied by a self addressed, stamped envelope. Rewards are given based on financial need, academic merit, and overall dedication to the field, all of which should be able to be addressed in the application. The deadline for the DAR physical therapist scholarship is February 15 of every year.
Narrowing down a student’s own demographic characteristics will also be helpful in applying for physical therapist scholarships. There are many instances in which scholarships for minorities or women are offered. On top of this, always check in with the local financial aid department, or talk to teachers regarding potential sources of aid, as there are many available routes of funding available to students in this field.