Occupational Therapist College Grant Programs
As an occupational therapy student, you will likely be looking for financial aid to assist with the cost of your education; fortunately, there are several grants for occupational therapy students available to help you obtain your OT degree.

Occupational therapists and physical therapists are often perceived to work in identical professions, but there are significant differences between the two. Both work in healthcare environments although occupational therapy is predominantly focused on the rehabilitation of patients such as those who have had strokes, where as physical therapy involves working with patients with one or a specific set of physical injuries.

If you are preparing for a career as an occupational therapist and have chosen the degree path you wish to pursue, you may qualify for a number of occupational therapy grants and scholarships available from the government, colleges and universities and individual organizations.

Federal Grants for Occupational Therapy Students

The backbone of most funding for college students begins with applying for federal grant programs. However, besides the obvious Pell grant that is limited to undergraduates, the federal government has a rich vein of grant and scholarships available to students studying within the healthcare sector at all degree levels including graduate and doctoral.

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services administers a program called The Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students. Occupational therapy students who are not in a financial position (as defined by the government) to pay for their education may can apply for this grant providing they are enrolled in to an education institution that supports the program.
  • Students studying a masters or doctoral degree in occupational therapy may be able to receive grants and fellowships to aid research projects and dissertations. The National Institutes of Health is a leading provider of national research service awards and training grants and fellowships.

Grants for Ocupational Therapy Students from Education Institutions

Education institutions that offer occupational therapy degrees usually have a small number of merit based and/or need based grants and scholarships to assist students for example;

  • The University of Washington has a need-based grant available through the Minority Achievement Program; this is accessible by minority students who enroll in their Masters in Occupational Therapy program.
  • The University of Wisconsin assists women and minorities pursuing occupational therapy degrees with specialized grants and has several scholarship and fellowship programs for PhD Students.

Grants from Professional Occupational Therapy Organizations

As an occupational therapy student, you will likely decide to become a member of professional organizations, which will provide you with many benefits. Besides the grant programs offered by occupational therapy organizations you will also receive support in your professional development.

In your search for college grants, you should consider the opportunities presented through the American Occupational Therapy Foundation who regularly provides grants for OT students studying masters and doctoral research degrees. Additionally the ‘Rehabs Options USA’ is another organization worth researching for grants and scholarships in addition to Occupational Therapy jobs.