Career and student services can be helpful for identifying scholarships or professional resources when seeking a chiropractic degree
While prospective chiropractic students may feel overwhelmed by the cost of their education-to-be, there are a number of ways to save money on a chiropractic degree — both on your education itself as well as incidental costs that will also be part of your budget.
“You need 90 semester hours of specific study to become eligible for chiropractic college,” says Steven Kaiser, DC, owner of four clinics in the great Seattle area. Kaiser suggests that you determine which chiropractic institution that you want to attend. “Find their specific requirements and then take those courses at a state school or community college.”
Chiropractic degree credits and transfers
Be sure that your credits will transfer, says Melissa Denton, director of admissions at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC).
“There are only 15 accredited chiropractic institutions in the United States, but literally thousands of colleges where you could potentially complete your general education prerequisite courses,” explains Denton. “Once you know which classes will transfer, do your best to take many of those prerequisite courses as part of your undergraduate degree. Chiropractic colleges have admissions advisors who can help you with this.”
Denton adds that some colleges can really save you money. For example, CUKC enables students to complete the 90 hours necessary in only two years.
“In contrast, a typical state university or community college, on average, would require students three years to complete [these]. That’s one less year of paying tuition,” she says.
Some chiropractic colleges also help students reduce their time in school by offering a concurrent BS/DC program says Denton.
“You earn a BS degree — typically in biology or human biology — while you are earning your doctor of chiropractic degree. This option has the obvious advantage of the student graduating earlier and saving on tuition costs,” Denton says.
“While a student is prepping for chiropractic school, it is smart to save money on accredited online degrees or accredited prerequisite classes,” says Derrell Blackburn, DC, senior manager of chiropractic relations and training at The Joint Chiropractic, as well a s former assistant professor at Life Chiropractic College West.
In terms of financial aid, Denton says there are a variety of opportunities, including Federal Student Loans and Institutional Scholarships.
“There are also scholarships offered by outside organizations that become available throughout the school year,” Denton says.
Blackburn recommends that if students have to take loans, they avoid taking out the maximum loan available, if possible.
“There are often many on- and off-campus scholarships available. Surprisingly, many students do not apply or take advantage of these opportunities,” Blackburn explains. “As a previous professor, I’ve seen it plenty of times — as soon as loan reimbursement checks are distributed, everyone is eating out, having fun on weekends, traveling or attending seminars until the loan runs out.”
He adds that career and students’ services can be really helpful for identifying scholarships or professional resources.
For most students, there will also be costs such as housing, food, gas in the car, and the like. Kaiser says that students often live with roommates — two or four to a place. Blackburn says that budgeting is key.
“Finding creative ways to save money by carpooling, effective grocery shopping, and limiting unnecessary entertainment adds up in the long run,” he explains.
Denton advises students to “live like a student, not a doctor” when they’re attending school. “Live with roommates and apply for scholarships, tutoring positions, or work-study jobs to pay for some of your living expenses,” she says. “You’ll also need funds to pay for your national board exams and state licenses, so set a budget, and stick to it.”