Money For Your Medical Billing and Coding School
No schooling comes free there will always be a price for obtaining your education, the same goes for those that are wanting to attend medical billing and coding school. Those that are planning to get their education from a vocational institution should know that many of them will offer perspective students financial aid to attend. If you speak to the schools financial aid office on the options they have available and some will provide references to other financial aid programs and instructions on how they can apply. So before you apply let’s start with the basics:
What is financial aid and who can get it?
Financial aid is to assist students that are enrolled in a program at a 2 or 4 year college, university or vocational school that participates in student aid programs (grants, work-study, loans, etc.). Those that are accepted through a financial aid program will have the following covered:
- Tuition and any school related fees
- Room & board
- School supplies
You will have to contact your perspective school and find out what you’re best financial aid option would be based on your qualifications. Some of the basic financial aid eligibility requirements that you will need in order to apply and show your financial need include:
- Being either a United States citizen or a legal non-citizen with a valid SSN (social security number)
- You will also need to show that you are qualified to earn a post-secondary education
- Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent which would be a general education degree (GED)
In order to apply for FAFSA, you will need to complete a free application either electronically or via paper. The electronic application is faster than filling out the paper form and you generally receive a response back sooner than you would a paper application. However, if you do not have access to the internet you should be able to obtain one from either:
- Guidence office at your high school
- Financial aid office at a college or university
- Public library
- You can also just contact FAFSA information center: 1-800-433-3243 Monday-Friday 8am-Midnight (EDT)
Once you have applied you will receive your SAR (Student Aid Report). The SAR will contain the same information on your FAFSA and will generally include your EFC number (Expected Family Contribution).
During you visit at the financial aid office there are going to be numerous things that they will tell you and your eligibility will be one the topics discussed. It would be in your best interest to speak with all of the financial aid offices of the schools that you would like to attend and ask them about the total cost to complete the program.
It is also important to note that there are some things that a financial aid office will not tell you when you go into their office. Some of these things include:
- If you make an error on your financial aid application the processor will send it to the school so you may not know that you made a mistake until you are turned down by the school you applied to.
- Some will offer you more financial aid then you can afford to pay back
- The low tuition cost mean less money you will receive in financial aid
STAY CLEAR OF SCAMS
In your search for financial aid you be come across programs and services that state they will do much of the work for you to find you money for school…if you pay them a small fee in return, ask you for a credit card or bank information to hold the scholarship or guaranteed or your money back. This is UNTRUE and there are laws in place that will protect you from falling victim to these scams. If you run across this scam then you should report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). To file a complaint then you can either contact them via the form on their website or call them toll-free at (877) 382-4357.
One of the laws available to help keep you safe from scams and fraud is the College Scholarship Fraud Prevention Act (CSFPA). You should NEVER pay for assistance. Applying and free, hence why FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid and you even get help filing the form as well if you need it.
Ceete Sheekels is a Certified Professional Coder (CPC), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) through the American Association of Medical Assistants and also has her CMAA through the National Healthcareer Association. If you plan on entering into the CNA or CMA field or becoming a medical coder, you may wish to visit her website at AboutMedicalBillingAndCoding.Org so you can obtain the information needed to get you started on the right track in a high demand field.