Toni Milan, BSIT, EMT-P, Respond Right EMS Academy
Will the cost of college ever go down? As with everything in today’s economy, the cost of education continues to grow. It is now that you must start planning how you will pay for your education.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics the estimated annual tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year for an undergraduate student was1:
- $14,300 at public institutions
- $37,800 at private nonprofit institutions
- $23,300 at private for-profit institutions
At Respond Right EMS Academy a student that completes the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Anatomy and Physiology, and Paramedic Program can expect a total cost of approximately $13,500 (price varies based on books, uniforms, etc). You could be working as a Paramedic after about 1 ½ – 2 years of training and the cost is less than that of one year at other institutions. Although this is considerably less than the estimated annual tuitions listed above, it can still be financially difficult to come up with the money.
Here are a number of tips outlined below to help you navigate paying for EMT and Paramedic school.
1. VA Benefits
Respond Right EMS Academy is certified and approved for you to use VA benefits. Not sure what benefits you have available? We can help. Call 888-GIBILL-1 (888-442-4551). Call between 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday and find your local VA Rep. Then come to our office to register for class and we will complete our paperwork for your VA benefits.
2. Your Employer
Many employers, even if you work part-time, have paid many of our student’s tuition. We have told all of our students to ask. Just ask if your employer offers tuition assistance. Every little bit helps, even if your part-time employer only offers $500, that’s free money for you. Many employers may ask you to stay for a certain length of time after the tuition assistance has been delivered to you, so be ready if they ask you to stay 6 months or a year.
Instead of investing money in stocks or bonds for your retirement, maybe you can ask your grandparents to put that money toward your education instead. Many grandparents are happy to invest in your future. That’s why they start savings accounts and start investing in stocks for you at such an early age. But, wouldn’t that money be just as productive if it could be used toward your education? You’ve always dreamed of being a Firefighter / Paramedic and I’m sure they would be very proud of you.
4. Laid off? New Career?
The Missouri Career Center is a great resource for anyone who has been affected by a lay-off, is a veteran, or has had a disability. Respond Right EMS Academy is a certified training entity for the Missouri Career Center and works hand-in-hand with them assisting our students with funding. If you qualify, they can offer you a certain amount of funding for EMT or Paramedic School. To see if you qualify contact a local office: http://jobs.mo.gov/jobseeker/career-tools/why-visit-a-missouri-career-center
5. Scholarships / Grants
Who doesn’t want more FREE money? We often post new scholarships and grants we come across on our website and in our monthly newsletter. Currently, there are two available that we know about.
Bound Tree Medical offers educational funding to those continuing a family tradition in the field of EMS through the Legacy Scholarship Program.
MEMSA – Offers a year scholarship intended to further the training of students in the Emergency Medical Services field. These scholarships are awarded twice a year. The first deadline is April 1st for submitting your application and will be awarded at the May board meeting. The second deadline is October 1st for submitting your application and will be awarded at the November board meeting.
When other methods fail, you must resort to a loan. Respond Right EMS Academy is a private institution and is unable to accept Federal Financial Aid. However, we have worked hard to create great relationships with some local banks to offer private loans to our students. The best way to build your relationship with these banks is to apply for a small loan. Don’t apply for the total $13,500. Start by applying for the tuition amount for EMT school. Pay that off and show the bank you are responsible. Build your relationship with them. When it’s time for Paramedic school, then apply for the remaining money.
If you are unsure about your credit score or debt to income ratio, make sure to bring a co-signer with you. If you would like to work with one of the lenders our students have used in the past, they are listed below:
Regions Bank – Spencer Crossing
229 Spencer Rd
Saint Peters, MO 63376
Tel: (636) 441-4664
583 Mid Rivers Mall Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376
Saint Peters Square
American Eagle Credit Union
2531 Highway K
O’Fallon, MO 63368
Hopefully these tips will give you a jump start for the upcoming semester. Be prepared and know your expenses. If you have any questions about the current cost of tuition please call our office at 314-713-1645.
1. National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76