As the demand for physical therapists in the United States continues to rise, the need for financial support for aspiring physical therapy students has become crucial. To address this, numerous organizations have established scholarships to help students pursue their education in this in-demand field. In this article, we will explore 25 great scholarships specifically designed for students enrolled in accredited physical therapy programs. These scholarships aim to alleviate the financial burden and support students on their path to becoming licensed physical therapists.
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American Academy of Physical Therapy Scholarships
- Deadline: December 1st
The American Academy of Physical Therapy awards multiple scholarships, each worth up to $2,500, to outstanding students enrolled full-time in an entry-level degree physical therapy (PT) or physical therapist assistant (PTA) program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Eligible applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, genuine concern for the healthcare of minority communities, and active involvement in related community activities.
APTA Outstanding Physical Therapy Student Awards
- Deadline: December 2nd
Established by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Outstanding Physical Therapy Student Awards provide financial assistance of up to $5,000 to student physical therapists and physical therapist assistants who have demonstrated exceptional achievements in the physical therapy profession. Eligible candidates must be APTA members in good standing, currently enrolled in an accredited physical therapy program in the United States, and provide a support statement from a clinical instructor.
Charlotte Money Beatty Memorial Scholarship
- Deadline: February 11th
The Charlotte Money Beatty Memorial Scholarship, offered at the University of North Carolina, provides an annual award of $1,500 to a deserving graduate student enrolled in the physical therapy program. While open to all students in good academic standing, priority is given to minority students, followed by individuals with a strong commitment to a career in pediatrics.
David Potter Physical Therapy Memorial Scholarship
- Deadline: May 14th
Established by the University of Michigan at Flint, the David Potter Physical Therapy Memorial Scholarship is granted annually to career-changers who have overcome adversity to enroll in the physical therapy program. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, community service record, professional career goals, and recommendations.
Dr. Alvin and Monica Saake Foundation Scholarship
- Deadline: February 20th
Administered through the Hawaii Community Foundation, the Dr. Alvin and Monica Saake Foundation Scholarship provides financial assistance of $1,000 to junior, senior, or graduate students enrolled full-time in accredited degree programs related to physical therapy, such as kinesiology, sports medicine, or occupational therapy. Candidates must be Hawaii residents, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7, and demonstrate financial need.
Gary L. Soderberg Doctor of Physical Therapy Award
- Deadline: March 1st
Sponsored by the Doctor of Physical Therapy Visionary Foundation, the Gary L. Soderberg Doctor of Physical Therapy Award is available to graduate students nationwide in the final year of a professional entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Eligible candidates must have good academic standing and submit an official school transcript, current curriculum vitae, three letters of recommendation, and a two-page essay.
Harold “Herk” Cooper Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Deadline: March 15th
The Harold “Herk” Cooper Memorial Scholarship Fund is designed to provide financial assistance of up to $2,500 to a non-traditional full-time graduate student enrolled in the physical therapy program at the University of Indianapolis. Selection is based on academic performance, financial need, professional goals, and service involvement.
IHS Health Professions Scholarship Program
- Deadline: May 31st
Created by the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Health Professions Scholarship Program offers tuition assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in eligible health profession degree programs, including physical therapy. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, members of a federally recognized tribe or village, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and commit to a minimum two-year service commitment to practice at an Indian health facility.
Florence P. Kendall Post-Professional Doctoral Scholarship
- Deadline: September 1st
Sponsored by the Foundation for Physical Therapy, the Florence P. Kendall Post-Professional Doctoral Scholarship provides financial support of up to $5,000 to highly qualified physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in the first year of graduate studies towards a post-professional doctorate. Qualified candidates must possess a license to practice physical therapy in the United States, be enrolled as a full or part-time student in an accredited doctoral PT program, and demonstrate a commitment to furthering the physical therapy profession.
Janet L. Hemzacek Memorial Scholarship
- Deadline: October 1st
The Janet L. Hemzacek Memorial Scholarship is offered at Northwestern University’s Department of Physical Therapy and Human Movement Sciences. It provides a $2,500 award to deserving students enrolled in the first year of the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program who demonstrate financial need. Recipients must exhibit integrity, humanity, and extensive involvement with diverse communities through volunteer activities.
Joseph Ray and Lorna S. Broadbent Scholarship
- Deadline: April 1st
Created in honor of their son who recovered from a serious truck accident with the help of physical therapy, the Joseph Ray and Lorna S. Broadbent Scholarship is granted to a graduate physical therapy student enrolled in the University of Utah. Preference is given to minority students in the profession, based on gender, race, or disability status. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, demonstrate financial need, and show participation in professional organizations.
Katherine H. Dilley Scholarship Fund
- Deadline: February 1st
The Katherine H. Dilley Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Arizona State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), offers a $1,000 scholarship to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a career in physical or occupational therapy at any accredited four-year institution in Arizona. Applicants must provide a college transcript, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay on their career interests.
Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarships
- Deadline: Varies
The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarships are available to female Christian undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in the medical, nursing, or allied healthcare fields, including physical therapy. Preference is given to those committed to serving the elderly in their declining years at nursing homes or hospice facilities. These scholarships are offered at over 200 accredited institutions across the southeastern United States.
Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship Program
- Deadline: March 1st
The Linda Craig Memorial Scholarship Program, sponsored by the NBA Indiana Pacers Foundation, awards $2,000 scholarships to undergraduate students enrolled in accredited Indiana institutions. Eligible students must major in medicine, sports medicine, physical therapy, or related fields, and have completed at least four semesters of college studies. The scholarship seeks applicants with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and outstanding character and integrity.
Mary McMillan Scholarship Award
- Deadline: September 1st
Funded by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Mary McMillan Scholarship Award provides financial assistance of up to $5,000 to graduate students who are within 12 months of completing all requirements for graduation from an entry-level professional physical therapy program accredited by CAPTE. Selection is based on exceptional scholastic performance, potential contribution to the physical therapy profession, and service to the APTA.
These 25 scholarships offer valuable opportunities for students pursuing careers in physical therapy. From prestigious national awards to scholarships sponsored by local foundations and associations, there are numerous options available to help alleviate the financial burden of pursuing a physical therapy education. By taking advantage of these scholarships, students can focus on their studies and future careers, ensuring that the growing demand for physical therapists is met with well-prepared professionals.
Remember to carefully review the details of each scholarship, including the application process, eligibility criteria, and deadline. Start preparing your applications well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to gather the necessary documents and write compelling essays. Best of luck with your scholarship applications and your journey towards becoming a licensed physical therapist!
How can I apply for these scholarships?
To apply for these scholarships, carefully review the application requirements and deadlines for each scholarship. Visit the provided scholarship links or contact the respective scholarship organizations for more information. Follow the application guidelines and submit the required documents before the specified deadlines.
Are these scholarships only available to U.S. citizens?
Some scholarships have specific eligibility criteria, including U.S. citizenship requirements, while others may be open to international students. Review the eligibility criteria for each scholarship to determine whether you qualify.
Can I apply for multiple scholarships?
Yes, you can apply for multiple scholarships as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. Be sure to carefully read the requirements and deadlines for each scholarship and submit separate applications for each.
How will these scholarships benefit me?
These scholarships provide financial support to help cover the costs of pursuing a physical therapy education. By receiving these scholarships, you can reduce your reliance on student loans and decrease the financial burden of your education. Additionally, these scholarships can enhance your resume and demonstrate your commitment to the field, making you a more competitive candidate for future job opportunities.