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Unlocking opportunities: Financing your Athletic Training Education

A degree in athletic training is a transformative experience, opening doors into a rewarding career with ample job opportunities in a variety of placements.  However, the financial aspect of graduate studies can be daunting.  In this blog, we will help you navigate the realm of financing your graduate education, ensuring that you can focus on your academic and professional development without unnecessary financial stress.

Scholarships and Grants

One way to help finance your graduate education is through scholarships and grants.  Many organizations, including professional athletic training associations and private foundations, offer financial assistance to athletic training students.  Here are scholarship opportunities that have been beneficial to our students, but is by no means an exhaustive list:

Off-campus Employment

Many students choose to work off-campus during their athletic training education.  This can be a double-edged sword, as employment can pull students away from studying, homework, and other course preparation.  Here at the University of Idaho, we find that our in-person summer semester is often too intensive for our students to be able to hold outside employment while continuing to be successful in their coursework.  However, some students have successfully balanced part-time employment with their fall and spring semesters.  With students expected to spend between 225 to 500 hours in the clinical setting per semester, full-time employment is not advisable.

Student Loans and Financial Aid

Unfortunately, while many universities offer scholarships and grants for undergraduate students as part of their financial aid options, few do so for graduate students.  A graduate student in athletic training at any university will find predominantly loans offered through their financial aid package.  We recommend that our students research these loan options and consult the university’s financial aid office for guidance on navigating the loan process.  Remember to carefully consider loan terms, interest rates, and repayment plans to ensure you make an informed decision.  At the University of Idaho, you’ll need to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for these opportunities.

What about Graduate Assistantships?

There was a time when many universities, including the University of Idaho, offered graduate assistantship programs for athletic training students.  However, these athletic training graduate assistantship programs have been largely discontinued, as they were often not beneficial to students.  At present, there are few (if any) schools with athletic training graduate assistantships. 

What about post-graduate athletic training programs?

After you complete your master-level degree in athletic training, there are post-professional athletic training programs that may offer financial assistance for furthering your athletic training education.  Our Doctor of Athletic Training program allows students to continue their full-time employment while pursuing their degree, with their employment setting also serving as their clinical setting.  We also offer TA positions, where DAT students assist with the delivery of the MSAT coursework and work in our on-campus athletic training clinic to cover the cost of their tuition, with an additional stipend.  Some other post-professional programs offer fellowships and residencies.

Considering a program’s cost

When considering athletic training programs, take some time to research program costs.  These costs can vary widely from program to program.  This is further complicated by some programs having additional hidden fees you may be unaware of until registering for classes, like web fees per credit or textbook fees.  Also, costs for housing can differ from state to state and region to region.  There are many websites available that can help you compare the cost of living for various cities, and it is a good idea to do a little research before you choose a program.  Before you apply for a program, visit their website, and learn what you can about the tuition and fees, including what is or isn’t integrated into those fees.  When you interview for a program, ask about additional fees that you may encounter.  Although you may feel uncomfortable asking these questions, program faculty react positively to these financial questions, as they demonstrate a student’s understanding of the financial responsibility needed to pursue a graduate degree.

Here at the University of Idaho, our MSAT degree is flat-rate, and we post the cost prominently on our website (click on Tuition and Fees).  Our tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students, and includes textbooks, web fees, and all course fees.  It does not include housing, although our unique clinical model means many of our students choose clinical locations where they can stay with family and friends. 


Financing your graduate education in athletic training is undoubtedly a challenge, but with careful planning, it is an achievable goal.  Take advantage of scholarships, employment, and student loans as needed, and be mindful of costs before entering into a program.  Remember that investing in your education is an investment in your future career success.  Stay proactive, seek guidance when needed, and embrace the journey toward a rewarding and fulfilling profession in athletic training.



MSAT Rolling Application Deadlines:
Priority application deadline: Nov. 15
Secondary deadline: Jan. 25
DAT Application Deadlines:

Only one for Summer admissions: April 15 each year


First day of classes and Summer semester dates:
MSAT: June 3- August 2nd 2024
DAT: July 1st through July 26th 2024

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