The purpose of this advisory is to outline the costs associated with Elon's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) degree and to provide you with the available financing options to assist in meeting those costs. If, after reading this advisory, you should desire additional information, please contact Lynette Lorenzetti in Elon's Office of Financial Planning at firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-278-7640 or 800-334-8448 ext. 2.
Tuition for the PA program for the 2014 term (January 1 through December 31, 2014), is set at $33,420. Additional expenses not charged by the university and that will vary from student to student include rent and utilities, meals, books, supplies, transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses. In determining a student's eligibility for student loans and any other financial aid, the university has established an estimated $61,120 as the total annual Cost of Attendance (COA) of the first year of the PA program.
*Costs for the 2015 and 2016 terms are estimated at this time based on current year tuition and projected expenses.
For information on the tuition payment process, please see When to Apply for Financial Assistance below.
A table summarizing the costs is found below:
|Year 1||*Year 2 (projected)||*Year 3 (projected)|
|Living Expenses (variable)||$27,700||$25,500||$6,377|
|Rent and Utilities||12,500||12,500||3,126|
|Books and Equipment||3,800||1,600||400|
A limited number of scholarships ranging from $5,000-$10,000 annually will be awarded to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic ability and commitment to the physician assistant profession. Each admitted student will be considered for scholarship based on the following criteria: academic record, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, interview scores, patient care experience, demonstrated service and leadership ability. Motivation, maturity, interpersonal skills, knowledge of the PA profession and the healthcare system and the mission of the Elon PA program are also considered. Students will be notified of their award at the time of acceptance if selected. Students who receive a scholarship are required to maintain good academic and professional standing in the program.
The department seeks to recruit and educate students who have an interest in learning how to integrate best–practices in the provision of primary care. Recipients of the Primary Care Leadership Fellowship are committed to compassionately provide primary care and serve communities in need. Additionally, recipients should demonstrate ability to provide leadership to identify improvements that enhance the delivery of primary care.
The fellowship criteria include prior academic, service and leadership record; prior experiences that demonstrate a commitment to primary care and the medically underserved; and a willingness to commit to fulfilling elective clinical rotations in areas that enhance primary care training. Fellowship awards are $15,000 per academic calendar year. Students will be notified of their award at the time of acceptance. Students who receive a scholarship are required to maintain good academic and professional standing in the program. Total fellowship award for the 27-month graduate program is $33,750.
Elon’s PA program is participating in the federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Program, designed to assist post-9/11 veterans with secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities. Elon’s PA program will contribute $5,000 to three post-9/11 veterans on a first-come, first-serve basis, which will be matched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The primary source of financial assistance for physician assistant students attending Elon University will be the federal Stafford Student Loan Program. Graduate students may borrow up to $20,500 through the Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program. The student will be charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If the interest is capitalized (allowed to accumulate) it will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the amount the borrower will have to repay. If the choice is made to pay the interest as it accumulates, the total interest charges paid during repayment will be considerably less. The maximum unsubsidized loan for graduate and professional study is $20,500 per year.
The total amount a graduate or professional student may borrow from all Stafford Loans combined is $138,500 (no more than $65,000 of this amount may be in subsidized loans). The graduate borrowing limit includes any Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study.
Under current law, the interest rate charged on Federal Stafford Loans is fixed at 5.41 percent. There are also origination and guarantee fees associated with each loan up to 1.051 percent. These fees are deducted up front and thus lower the actual amount of each disbursement.
Repayment of Stafford Loans begins six months after graduation or withdrawal from the PA Program. This is called the grace period. During the grace period on a Stafford loan, no payment of any principal is due.
Federal Stafford Loans are disbursed in two payments; one at the start of the academic term and one at the midpoint of the term. The loan funds will be sent to the university in equal disbursements.
For information on how to obtain a Federal Stafford Student Loan, see How To Apply for Student Loans. First-time borrowers are required to complete student loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note, which are available at www.studentloans.gov.
For students who need financial assistance beyond the $20,500 Stafford Loan maximum, there is the federal Graduate PLUS Loan program. The PLUS Loan allows for the deferment of repayment while the student is enrolled in the PA program. The PLUS Loan carries a fixed 6.41 percent interest rate. The maximum amount a student may borrow from the PLUS Loan program is $61,120 (Elon’s Cost of Attendance for the PA Program) less any Stafford Loans and other forms of financial aid a student may be receiving. The Department of Education will withhold up to 4.204 percent in fees from your requested loan amount.
Information about the Graduate PLUS Loan may be obtained from the Office of Financial Planning website. First-time borrowers are required to complete student loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note, which are available at www.studentloans.gov.
Created by the 2011 NC General Assembly, this program is a forgivable loan providing funding for students pursing degrees in certain critical fields. Students must be NC residents. Students in the physician assistant program may be eligible for up to $10,000 annually with a maximum aggregate limit of $20,000. Recipients must sign a promissory note agreeing to repay the loan by working in North Carolina in their approved field of study. Applications and all additional information are available online at www.CFNC.org/FELS.
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship is a competitive program that pays tuition, fees and provides a living stipend to students enrolled in accredited medical (MD or DO), dental, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, and physician assistant training programs. Upon graduation, scholarship recipients serve as primary care providers between 2 and 4 years in a community-based site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) that has applied to and been approved by the NHSC as a service site.
Awards are made to applicants most committed to serving underserved people and most likely to build successful careers in HPSAs and meet future needs for care throughout the nation. Application instructions can be found at the NHSC website.
Note: Candidates must be accepted for enrollment or enrolled in a program on or before September 30 in order to apply for the scholarship. Because the Elon PA program enrolls in January, our students are eligible to apply during their first year of enrollment. For example, an Elon PA student could apply as early as March* of their first year and if awarded the scholarship begin receiving funding in July of their first year. As a result, the PA student could receive funding for a total of 21 out of their 27 months of the program.
Other Possible Funding Sources
Candidates and students are encouraged to apply to clubs, organizations, corporations, agencies and foundations for funding that may be used at any school the student chooses to attend. These groups may be able to offer students scholarship and grant funding that does not have to be repaid. In addition, many healthcare institutions offer tuition reimbursement for students who contract to work at their facility where they currently work or are interested in working after graduation. Students should inquire about this possibility at the facility where they are interested in working.
Students may also obtain a listing of potential funding sources by reviewing the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) website.
Students should apply as early as possible, and certainly no later than mid-October 2014, to ensure loan proceeds will be available at the commencement of the 2015 term. Students who do not apply prior to the start of the 2015 term may still do so during the term. However, for Federal Stafford Student Loans and the PLUS Loan, the FAFSA application must be completed, submitted, received and processed by the federal processor no later than June 30, 2015. You do not need to wait until you have been admitted into the PA program to begin the financial aid application process. However, students will not be notified of aid eligibility until they are admitted.
Billing and Payment Process
For the 2015 term, students will receive a bill from the Bursar’s Office in early December that will be due in January 2015. A second bill will be sent in May that will be due in June.
Information on tuition refund policies can be found on the Bursar's Office website.
How to Apply for Student Loans
1. Complete and submit to the Office of Financial Planning the 2015 Elon Financial Aid Application for PA students.
2. Complete and submit the 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA should be filed electronically online at www.fafsa.gov. (Please note you will need your 2014 federal tax information).
Elon’s Federal Title IV School Code is 002927.