SCHOLARSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS!
September 30, 2022
by Leah Mary
Congratulations! You made it into USC’s Occupational Therapy Program, you should feel incredibly proud of yourself. I have no doubt you will go on and do great things.
But . . . how the heck are you going to pay for this program??? Being a topic program doesn’t come cheap. I wish I had a handbook to guide me when I was first navigating this program. I was often confused from the website and overloaded with information. Because of that, I missed important deadlines for big scholarships. So I find this topic extremely important and I want to make sure that this information is easily digestible and available to students.
I’m going to highlight a couple of websites, scholarships, and strategies.
- Scholarships and awards from USC and other bodies
This link will take you to a comprehensive list of scholarships. It will tell you the amount the award is worth and the eligibility requirements. (I USED THIS SO MUCH.)
- OT External Scholarship Opportunities, from Columbia University
This is another website I used from Columbia University with another comprehensive list of scholarships.
- Town and gown of USC Scholarship
$15,000 for the academic year for graduate students and PP-OTD students and it is renewable! Deadline for the application is December 1st.
- Division Internal Residencies
If you decided to do the PP-OTD and an internal residency, those come with a scholarship of 2/3 tuition. The deadline for the internal residencies is the end of Oct 1st.
- Merit-Based Scholarship
If you decide to do the PP-OTD but do an external residency, students admitted to the program will be automatically considered for Merit-based scholarships which cover around 1/3 tuition.
- Residencies External to the Chan Division
If you are a licensed and registered therapist by the time of your residency, you can negotiate with the residency sites on paid positions. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions to your site because it is important that both your educational and financial needs are met.
My biggest advice is to apply to everything and ask questions. The famous Michael Scott once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take — Wayne Gretzky.” It’s a funny but very true quote. I know these scholarships take a long time to complete or asking for paid positions during your residency can be an awkward conversation, however if you don’t apply or ask, I can tell you 100% you won’t get them. So I urge you to take those shots.