“Knowledge is like money: to be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.” Louis L’Amour
Seekers of knowledge know the value of a great education. The cost of attending graduate school can be daunting to those who don’t know all of their options. Learners at AOMA have many choices for funding the masters and doctoral degrees in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
Developing financial literacy should be the first step in the process of exploring your funding options. Learners who manage their finances closely while enrolled lay a foundation for better financial health after graduation. Many AOMA students choose to work while they are in acupuncture school, and use this income to offset the amount they need to borrow for tuition expenses.
In an effort to encourage students to avoid and/or minimize debt, AOMA recommends that you to investigate all possible sources of financial support prior to borrowing, and borrow only if absolutely necessary. In situations where other funding sources do not exist and you choose to fund your education through student loans, we encourage you to budget carefully. Careful financial management before, during, and after enrollment can reduce overall debt and create a solid financial foundation from which you can grow after graduation.
To assist students in this process, the AOMA financial aid office provides support and resources for students in the area of budgeting and money management. You can read more on our financial literacy page or contact the financial services administrator to make an appointment for financial advising.
Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid opportunities for studying acupuncture and Oriental medicine at AOMA include Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Work Study, veteran's/military tuition benefits, and scholarships.
Direct Student Loans
AOMA is certified by the Department of Education to participate in the Title IV Federal Student Aid program. Loans include the Direct Unsubsidized and Direct PLUS Loans for graduate students. Direct Loans are low-interest loans issued by the federal government to students enrolled in eligible programs at least half-time (six credits). Read more about Direct Loans.
Federal Work Study
The Federal Work Study (FWS) program provides part-time employment to AOMA students with financial need, in order to help cover the cost of attendance. In addition to financial support, the FWS program offers relevant training that supports post-graduate student success. Finally, the FWS program encourages students to participate in community service activities and literacy projects throughout the Austin area. Find out more about work study jobs at AOMA.
AOMA awards a number of scholarships each year to current students. Scholarships include: the President’s award, the AOMA Scholarship, and the Golden Flower Chinese Herbs Scholarship. The number and amount of scholarships awarded depend on the funds available each year. Peruse an extensive list of available scholarships.
AOMA is approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the training of veterans and other eligible persons. In order to receive Veteran’s Benefits, the veteran must first establish his/her eligibility with the VA. Once eligibility has been established, AOMA certifies the veteran’s enrollment. Read more about veteran’s benefits and military tuition assistance.
Applying for Financial Aid
Step 1: The FAFSA
The first step in applying for financial aid for acupuncture college is the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for all forms of federal aid, including Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Federal Work Study. AOMA also awards some scholarships on the basis of financial need, so we encourage you to complete a FAFSA even if you do not intend to request student loans. Veteran's/Active Duty Military benefits have an alternate application process.
The FAFSA is completed online at www.fafsa.ed.gov and the process typically takes five to seven days. In addition to supplying your Social Security Number (or alien registration or permanent resident card if you are not a U.S. citizen), you will also need to have records of money earned during the previous tax year and AOMA's School Code (031564).
You receive the results of your FAFSA in the form of a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is delivered electronically in an email from the Federal Student Aid office of the Department of Education. Please review your SAR very carefully! The SAR is multiple pages long and contains important information about your financial aid eligibility, including your EFC and a report of any potential issues that may prevent you from obtaining financial aid.
Once you have received and reviewed your SAR, please contact the AOMA Financial Aid Office. We can advise you regarding your eligibility and the remaining steps in the application process.
Step 2: AOMA Financial Aid Process
After completion of the FAFSA, prospective students should communicate with the Admissions Office and complete their application to the Master’s or Doctoral program according to the published admissions deadlines.
If accepted into an AOMA graduate program in Chinese medicine, your next step will be to register for classes and meet with the Financial Services Administrator for preliminary financial aid advising. During this meeting you will be able to discuss financial options, develop a budget for your first terms, and to complete all necessary financial aid paperwork. Students can work with the Admissions Office to schedule both their registration and financial aid advising appointments.
The choice to attend graduate school is a major life decision and figuring out how to pay for it is an important step. Most students take out federal loans to pay for acupuncture school and many also work part-time jobs. The most astute students also apply for scholarships.
Each year AOMA awards scholarships to current students. The AOMA scholarship webpage informs students of internal and external scholarship opportunities.
President's Award - $500 - Deadline: May 15, 2014
The President’s Award is a scholarship awarded by AOMA to a currently enrolled AOMA student in good academic standing. The President seeks to support AOMA students who contribute to the professional community of Chinese medicine through leadership and/or publication. Leadership activities can include involvement with national, state, or student professional associations, or participation in legislative efforts.
Golden Flower Chinese Herbs - $500-1,000 - Deadline: May 15, 2014
Each year, Golden Flower Chinese Herbs generously provides AOMA with scholarship funds. Two awards are given for overall excellence in Chinese medical studies and six awards are given for excellence in acupuncture studies, herbal studies, biomedical sciences, and clinical internship.
AOMA Scholarship - $250-500 - Deadline: May 15, 2014
The AOMA Scholarship awards are given annually for overall excellence in Chinese medical studies. Recipients are selected based on their AOMA GPA, grades in individual subject areas, financial need, and response to the essay question.
ABORM Annual Scholarship - $1,000 - Deadline: March 31, 2014
The ABORM Annual Scholarship is awarded annually to a student enrolled in either a Master’s Degree Program or the Doctoral Degree Program. The scholarship is paid upon successful submission and acceptance for publication of an article in the Journal of Chinese Medicine (JCM). The purpose of the ABORM Annual Scholarship is to foster new scholarly inquiry in the field of Oriental Reproductive Medicine & Infertility for publication in the Journal of Chinese Medicine.
Evergreen Hua-Tuo Scholarship - $1,000 gift card - Deadline: TBA, 2014
Evergreen Herbs funds a scholarship to further the development of effective TCM treatment protocols, while inspiring bright and passionate students of Chinese Medicine to research and write in the field. The winner will receive a scholarship in the form of a $1,000 Evergreen Collection Gift card good towards Evergreen herbal formulas. The winning research paper will also be published by Lotus Institute of Integrative Medicine as well as posted to the Evergreen Herbs' website. Five runners-up will also be selected and will receive their choice of Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology or Chinese Herbal Formulas and Applications by John Chen and Tina Chen.
Mayway Scholarship - Deadline: TBA, 2014
The Mayway Scholarship Program is open to doctorate of acupuncture and Oriental medicine and master's level students who are currently enrolled in an ACAOM–accredited college of Oriental medicine within the United States and who will be attending a college of OM in fall 2013.
Nuherbs Scholarshi - Deadline: April 1, 2014
The nuherbs Co. Scholarship Program awards three yearly scholarships to current enrollees of ACAOM accredited acupuncture schools.
· nuherbs Scholarship: $2,000
· Herbal Times Scholarship: $1,500
· Jade Dragon Scholarship: $1000
Sokenbicha Essay Challenge - $1,000-4,000 - Deadline: TBA, 2014
The Sokenbicha Essay Challenge is a scholarship contest for students of ACAOM approved Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine schools. First prize is a $4,000 scholarship and paid admission into the annual AAAOM Leadership Meeting and Student Conference (includes airfare and hotel). The first place winner will be recognized at the Student Conference during the Student Caucus. Second prize is a $1,000 scholarship. All winning essays will be printed and distributed to AAAOM conference attendees and will also be published on the Sokenbicha Web site.
Standard Process Scholarship - $2,500 - Deadline: June 28, 2014
Standard Process is sponsoring a yearly scholarship fund for our AOMA students who are in their last three terms of their program. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.9 or higher, must be between 1 - 3 terms from graduation, have a list of contributions to the acupuncture profession, the college, and the community, provide a letter of recommendation and write a 500-750 word essay.
The Trudy McAllister Fund - $2,000 - Deadline: TBA, 2014
This scholarship program was established to support students who have entered the last phases of their clinical training or who have undertaken post-graduate studies in acupuncture and Oriental medicine and show promise of making significant contributions either to clinical practice and/or to the understanding of the role of traditional Oriental medicine in a modern context.
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. Scholarship- $5,000-10,000 - Deadline: TBA
The Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Scholarship supports educational opportunities for future generations of scientists. The scholarship is to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students with a declared major of biology, chemistry, biochemistry, or a related life-science field. To qualify for the scholarship, students must have a GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and be enrolled in an accredited college for university.
Tylenol Future Care Scholarship - $5,000-10,000 - Deadline: May 31, 2014
The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship is available to any student pursuing a career in healthcare. Ten applicants will receive $10,000 in scholarships and thirty applicants will receive $5,000 in scholarships. Visit Tylenol's Facebook page for further information.
Tillman Military Scholar Program - Deadline: March 6, 2014
The Military Scholar Program offers financial assistance to service members, veterans, and their spouses to cover academic and/or living expenses while in school. For more information about the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Tillman Military Scholars program, please visit their website: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/scholars. Members of each class of Tillman Military Scholars represent a rich and diverse set of backgrounds, experiences and ambitions, and were selected based on strong leadership potential and a drive to make a positive impact on others through service.
Additional Scholarship Resources
Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search
Sallie Mae's free Scholarship Search offers access to an award database that contains more than 3 million scholarships worth over 16 billion dollars, and it is expanded and updated daily. For information, please visit the Sallie Mae Scholarship search website.
For more information about scholarships at AOMA, or to make a contribution, please contact the director of financial aid Estella Sears or visit our scholarship page.