If you’re hoping to get started in a career in emergency medical services, but are concerned about the costs associated with enrolling in an EMT training program, you may very well be able to find EMT scholarships and grants available to help you ease the financial burden. While EMS programs typically aren’t as costly as many other health care certifications or degrees, they can often still range into the thousands of dollars depending on the level of certification you’re seeking. In this article, we’re going to take a look at several resources for EMT scholarships and grants which you may want to consider researching to help you pay for the cost of your training.
State EMS Agencies
In many states across the country, the agency or association which is responsible for EMT training and certification oversight may also provide financial assistance to individuals who are seeking EMS certification. The awards are offered as either a scholarship or grant and can be a great way to find help in paying for your training. The awards which are offered are generally subject to funding availability, however, it’s a great place to begin your search for assistance. To find contact information for your state’s EMS agency, click on this link and then select your state from the map.
National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)
There are also national EMS associations which offer a limited number of grants and scholarships to students each year. The most well-known association to offer awards each year is the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, or NAEMT. This professional association offers several scholarships each year to its active members. Although you do not need to hold current certification as an EMS responder to join the NAEMT (which you can do through this link), you will need to be certified as a First Responder or higher to apply for scholarships. Currently, awards of up to $500 are offered to First Responders who wish to enroll in EMT-B training, up to $5,000 for EMT-B certification holders who wish to apply for EMT-Paramedic courses, and current paramedics are awarded scholarships of up to $2,000 for furthering their education. Once you have registered as a NAEMT member , you may submit a scholarship application along with a 1,000 word essay on why you are pursuing the scholarship and how you would benefit from it. You can find out more details regarding eligibility requirements and the application process on this page.
Bound Tree Legacy Scholarships
For those aspiring EMS professionals who are children of career paramedics, EMTs, or firefighters, Bound Tree Medical, a medical device distributor based in Ohio, offers several scholarships each year. The awards are given to those individuals who want to seek EMT-Basic certification or increase their certification from EMT-B to EMT-I or paramedic. Those applicants who are seeking to attend an EMT-Basic program are eligible to apply for 50% of the cost of their program (up to $500) in scholarship funds and candidates seeking funding for an EMT-I or EMT-P program may apply for up to $2,500. Furthermore, those individuals who are currently enrolled in a state-approved training program may also apply. Find out more about the Bound Tree Legacy Scholarship fund through this link.
Privately Managed Memorial Scholarships
Several privately managed scholarships have been set up around the country to honor individuals who have served in the EMS community. These are typically funded through donations and fundraising events. The Carlos Lillo Paramedic Scholarship, for example, has been established to honor a fallen EMS professional who gave his life in service during the September 11th attacks in New York City. The fund provides assistance to current EMS professionals in the area who wish to further their professional development by attending a paramedic program. The Michael J. Latta EMS Scholarship Foundation is also a private scholarship fund honoring a fallen EMS professional which provides assistance to those individuals who wish to serve their communities as a paramedic.
While not technically a scholarship or grant, many EMS employers offer tuition reimbursement as a benefit. Companies such as American Medical Response, one of the nation’s largest private ambulance services, offer this benefit for employees who wish to pursue advanced certification. In most cases, the employee must work with the organization for a minimum number of months before becoming eligible for this benefit and may be required to remain employed with the company after attending the training program for which the benefit was allocated. However, these programs can be a great way to advance your training with little or no out of pocket expense.
Receiving Financial Aid Through an Accredited Degree Program
If you are planning to attend EMT training through an accredited educational institution, you might also be able to seek assistance through the financial aid department of the school you attend. In most cases, this option will only be available if you will be enrolled for a two-year or four-year degree, however, it can provide you access to institution-specific scholarships and grants that are allocated to specific areas of study. Even if you aren’t eligible to apply for aid, most vocational schools and community colleges will provide several payment plan options to ease the financial burden of attendance.