Many factors influence the cost of education, including type of degree, the length of the education program, whether a school is privately or publicly operated, the amount of scholarships and other support received, and whether a student lives on or off campus. The cost of a six-week certificate course for a medical assistant or home health aide will be very different compared to the cost of a master’s degree for a physician assistant from a private university.
Even within specific health occupations, there is variability. A two-year RN degree from a community college in a rural county, with the student living at home, is substantially less expensive than a four-year RN degree from a private college located in an urban area, with the student living on campus. Additionally, many occupations require an associate or bachelor’s degree for entry into the profession and may call for additional degrees for career advancement or increased clinical responsibilities later on.
Ultimately, potential students will need to assess the cost of education with the desired occupational outcome and decide what is in their best interest. The balancing act should take into account the degree sought, financial resources available, time needed to complete the education, and long-term career goals.