Considering Physical Therapy Grants For Students

In order to become a physical therapist you may need to look into the various physical therapy grants that are available for students of this profession. The college or university where you plan to study may have a number of grants on offer, so enquiring there is a good place to start. In addition there are a number of professional organizations, private sources, and professional associations related to physical therapy that may be willing to provide you with financial aid for your studies. To receive a physical therapy grant specifically you will need to show that you have a genuine financial need for the money. Some grants also require you to be a top academic achiever before you can receive the grant.

Colleges And Universities

Physical therapy is one of the areas of health care that is not as well served as it could be. Consequently there are a number of schools, colleges, and universities that offer grants to their students in order to convince more of them to join the program. Consequently one of your first lines of enquiry when looking for physical therapy grants should be at your school. Here is an example of just two schools that offer physical therapy grants to their students:

  • University of Nevada at Las Vegas’ School of Allied Health Sciences offers the Kitty Rodman Award
  • The University of Maryland’s Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science sponsors the Kendall Scholarship fund

The financial aid department of your school is a good place to start your enquiries. These grants are sometimes not openly publicized, so it helps your chances if you make your own enquiries.

Private Providers

Physical Therapy GrantsThere are a number of private individuals and companies that are also willing to provide physical therapy grants to those who need them. Once again, these are grants that are not going to be openly advertised. In addition, even though they are not generally openly advertised as options, there will be a lot of competition. This is because, unlike grants offered but the government and physical therapy schools, private grants are low in quantity. Usually one provider will offer only one grant, which means that you will always face competition and that there is very little chance that you will receive the grant unless your application shines out above the rest. However these are suitable options and it cannot hurt to try because you never know what may happen. The worst that can happen is that you will not receive that particular grant.

Federal PELL Grants

Federal Pell Grants are among the several grants offered by the government to students who require financial aid with their studies. In order to apply for a Federal Pell grant you will need to apply through FAFSA. FAFSA is a resource that will inform you of the various government grants and loans for which you are eligible to receive. In order to receive this information you ended to go to the FAFSA website and fill out the form provided honestly. Your responses will determine which grants you can apply for. When the list is returned select the most appropriate options and apply immediately. The more options you apply for, the higher your chances of receiving a grant will be. Here is some useful contact information for receiving Federal Pell Grants:

Federal Student Aid Information Center


Professional Organizations

There are a number of professional organizations out there that specifically offer physical therapy grants to students involved in physical therapy studies. The Special Olympics, for example, will fund certain students in this regard as they are working in an area that benefits others. Another such professional organization is the Texas Physical Therapy Organization. Here are the contact details for these two organizations:

Special Olympics

1133 19th Street, N.W.

Washington, DC 20036-3604 USA

(202) 628-3630

(800) 700-8585

(202) 824-0200 (Fax)

Texas Physical Therapy Foundation

C/o Mike Geelhoed

7703 Floyd Curl Drive, (MSC 6247)

San Antonio, Texas 78229

Remember that there are also a number of other options available and that it is important that you investigate the options offered by all professional organizations before making a final choice regarding which physical therapy grants and other financial aid you will apply for.

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

The American Physical Therapy Association (or APTA as it is commonly known) is one of your best resources when looking for physical therapy grants. This website has a comprehensive database of all of your options. In addition to grants, which are monetary amounts awarded on the basis of a strong financial need, the association also lists scholarships that are available. Scholarships are also monetary amounts that are awarded to eligible candidates and like grants they do not need to be repaid. However scholarships are usually based on merit rather than on financial needs. APTA also offers a number of awards to physical therapy students which could come in handy, as well as a number of specific section awards that are also well worth your consideration if there is a particular section of the physical therapy field that interests you more than others.

Scholarships & Grants

The following is a list of the scholarships and grants that APTA has listed on its website:

  • Federal/State Scholarship Resources: APTA provides links to various websites that provide information on the many federal grants that are available. This is one of the association’s more useful resources.
  • Private Scholarship Resources
  • Mary McMillan Scholarship Award: This is an award specifically aimed at physical therapy students. APTA provides a comprehensive analysis of what the award is and what the eligibility requirements in order to apply for this physical therapy award.
  • Minority Scholarship Award
  • Minority Scholarship Web Sites
  • Minority Grants: APTA provides a comprehensive list of the various websites and resources to which physical therapists that belong to minority groups can turn in order to receive the financial aid they need in to become physical therapists through a comprehensive training program.

APTA Awards

APTA itself offers a number of specific awards for physical therapy student who require financial aid in order to complete their studies. Generally speaking these awards are aimed at academic excellence in students and you should therefore only apply if you are safely in the top 10% to 5% of your class. There is comprehensive information provided about each award on the APTA website, specifically at: The awards offered are:

  • Outstanding PT Student and PTA Student Awards (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.
  • SPT Minority Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.
  • SPTA Minority Scholarship Award for Academic Excellence (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.

Section Awards

There are a number of physical therapy sections that you could choose to focus on and APTA offers several awards based specifically on these various sections. These are:

  • Neurology Section Student Research Awards (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.
  • Orthopedic Section Outstanding PT/PTA Student Award (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.
  • Pediatrics Section Thesis and Dissertation Awards (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.
  • Performing Arts Special Interest Group (PASIG) Student Scholarship (more information about this award can be found on APTA’s website.

These awards are only considered feasible for students who already have a clear idea of which area of physical therapy they would like to work in and are willing to commit to that area.

Foundation For Physical Therapy

The above mentioned scholarship and grant opportunities are generally aimed at those physical therapy students who are just starting their studies. In addition to these financial aid options there are also several options for postgraduate physical therapy students who need financial aid in order to complete their research. There are several sources from which you can receive such financial aid. The Foundation for Physical Therapy is one of the better associations to which you can apply. This foundation offers financial aid to post graduate physical therapy students in the form of scholarships, fellowships, and grants, all of which are feasible options for a physical therapy post graduate student who wants to advance his or her educational qualifications in this area of the health care industry. More information about these opportunities can be found by visiting here.


The first type of financial aid that this foundation offers is in the form of scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are based on academic excellence and, as these are aimed at post graduates, having finished at the top of your class or having written and exceptional paper or two will help you greatly in receiving these scholarships. They are:

  • The Florence P. Kendall Doctoral Scholarship: This scholarship provides $5,000 to a student that shows significant potential for their first year of their post-professional doctoral degree program.
  • The Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) I Scholarship: This scholarship provides you with financial aid of $7,500 for the course of one year and is aimed at the coursework component of your studies.
  • The Promotion of Doctoral Studies (PODS) II Scholarship: This is a 1-year, $15,000 scholarship to support individuals in the post-candidacy phase of post-professional doctoral studies.


The term “fellowship” refers to:

  • The financial grant made to a fellow in a college or university.
  • The status of having been awarded such a grant.
  • A foundation established for the awarding of such a grant.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy offers the following fellowship opportunities to physical therapy students:

  • New Investigator Fellowship Training Initiative (NIFTI): According to this website: “A 2-year, $78,000 post-doctoral fellowship intended to fund a mentored research experience in continuation of the development of recent post-professional, doctorally prepared physical therapist researchers as they investigate and assess broader issues relating to the provision of health care and how it impacts the quality of health care provided”.


The Foundation for Physical Therapy also provides the following grant opportunities to physical therapy students:

  • Research Grants which last for a period of about 1 or 2 years and that are aimed at assisting “emerging investigators to promote scientifically-based and clinically-relevant research related to the effectiveness of physical therapist practice” by providing them with financial support of $40,000 in grant money for the one or two year period that will not need to be repaid.

There are a number of these grants available from the Foundation for Physical Therapy and it is therefore well worth applying as your chances of receiving one will be slightly higher than average.

As you can see, there are a number of physical therapy grant options, as well as several other financial aid paths that are open to you if you need to find a way to fund your physical therapy studies. The very least that you can do is to enquire as to:

  • Whether there are grants available from a particular institute, and
  • Whether you are eligible

The worst that they can do is to turn down your application. The more grants that you apply for, the higher your chances are of receiving one, and there are many options. There are also a number of other educational grants offered by the government, for example, that are not specifically related to physical therapy, but which can still be considered as a physical therapy grants in that they allow you to fund your physical therapy studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *