How to Get Grants for Massage Schools

While not as expensive as a four-year degree, getting a degree in a speciality like massage therapy can cost a pretty penny. Depending on the school you choose, you might spend from $5,000 to $9,000 for a full massage school program.

But there are a number of grants and scholarships available for massage school if you know where to look and if you fit specific criteria.

Schools

While you might begin looking outside the school where you plan to attend, the reality is many massage schools have grants and scholarship programs in-house. Contact the school you plan to attend and ask about massage school grants.

When you ask about grants available, indicate why you think you might qualify for a grant. The massage school grants offered by the schools themselves have some similar criteria to other grants. Specially, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you returning to school as an older student who is making a career change?
  • Are you a minority?
  • Do you have some difficulty in your past life such as domestic abuse or a serious accident?
  • Are you low-income or did you come from an underprivileged background?

All of these things can factor into whether or not you qualify for massage school grants, especially those offered by the schools themselves.

American Association of University Women

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and you plan to re-enter the workforce or change careers and you are planning to attend a school to do it, you might qualify for an AAUW grant.

These grants are called “development” grants and are specifically for women and those who will make a career change or advance their career through fresh schooling. The grant might pay for a part or all of your massage school education.

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Spa Foundation Scholarship

These are competitive massage school grants; first, because they aren’t just for massage school but all manner of spa specialities and, second, because it’s more than a grant or scholarship, but also about professional development.

According to the Spa Foundation, these scholarships include not just money, but also monthly assignments that will “help you to become a savvy and committed professional”. The goal isn’t just to help people get their schooling, but help them learn how to become good managers, good employees and good professionals in the spa industry.

These massage school grants aren’t just for people who want to get trained and move into a professional career in the spa industry; the criterion also includes an element of need. The grants committee will consider how dedicated you are to your new career and how passionate you are about changing your life through your new profession.

Once awarded a grant, recipients must complete monthly assignments that include reading books written by and videos featuring the likes of Suze Orman, Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer and Anthony Robbins. Recipients will be required to write reports. The idea is that grant recipients will gain self-esteem and get a sense of responsibility through the exercises.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation

If you are 35 years or older and are low-income, you might qualify for this grant program. This non-profit organization offers grants to women who are older than 35 and who are low income and who are pursuing either a vocational or technical education or who are working toward a bachelor’s degree for the first time or an associate’s degree.

Before you can be awarded a grant under the JRF program, check to make sure your school is accredited as this grant will only be awarded to students enrolled in accredited programs.
Aside from the criteria identified, other factors are considered before this grant is awarded. Some of the factors that are considered include the goals you identify, how you plan to reach your goals and challenges you’ve face throughout your academic career. Your current and past financial situation is also considered.

Stafford Loan

Not strictly a grant program, a Stafford loan is the most common federal loan available today. You can avail yourself of this loan program in order to attend massage school as long as it’s accredited. Some of the loan programs available under the Stafford umbrella include the Federal Family Education Loan and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan. While anyone can apply for loans, many of the Stafford loans are based on need, so limits might be imposed.

Private Loans

Again, while not strictly a grant program, private loans can help to fill the gap between what a grant might provide and what a student still needs to complete schooling. These loans are based less on need and more on both the overall credit risk that you pose and your seeming ability to pay the loan back.

Massage Magazine Grants

Check to see if your school participates in the Massage Magazine Schools Program. The magazine offers $1,000 scholarships each year to five students studying massage therapy.

The Massage Therapy Foundation

The Massage Therapy Foundation is all about research studies and therefore offers grants to students who are conducting studies that are about discovering how massage can benefit people in some fashion. These grants are for $1,000 to $30,000 each and help to support research by letting students fund their education and pay for expenses while the student continues their schooling.

How can you get these grants?

Start by visiting the financial aid office at the school you are attending or plan to attend. The financial aid counsellors can direct you to proper sources for grants and scholarships. There are several keys to successfully getting a grant for your education:

  • Make sure your application is complete and includes any backup paperwork necessary.
  • Get the proper training and experience. Some massage school grants require specific experience or training before you are awarded a grant. Make sure you get that experience or training if that’s the case.
  • Consider your background. If you already have a BA degree, or you worked successfully in another career for a number of years, look into grants that will reward you for your past experience and education. Many grants are available for people who are looking for a career change.