7 Creative Ways to Pay for Massage School

If you’ve been considering massage school, but are stymied on how to pay for it – I’ve come up withPay for Massage School 7 Creative Ways to Pay for Massage School, and I think one of them should help you cover tuition. But first, a little background.

When I went to massage school in 2005, times were different.  Most of my classmates used a Sallie Mae loan to fund their education.  However, during the recession of 2008-2009, vocational loans were one of the first to be cut by the federal government.  Bodymechanics School was not immune to the financial woes that many potential student were encountering and had temporarily closed because there weren’t enough students who could finance their education.

Why Bodymechanics School does not accept federal financial aid

Many of the larger, for-profit schools have relied heavily on federal financial aid programs.  Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage (Tumwater and Vancouver) has chosen not to go down that road.  This decision has made it difficult for many students to fund their education with Bodymechanics.

We are a small school with low overhead.  If we took federal financial aid, it would require us to have more staff, which in turn would mean we need more students and the merry-go-round would continue.  More staff means more students which means more staff – and so on.

When I bought the school in 2010, I was committed to keeping class sizes small.  We limit our massage school to 16 students so that we can be sure each student gets the individual attention they need to succeed as an exceptional Bodymechanics School graduate.  I made the decision right away to not become federally accredited.  I didn’t want on the merry-go-round.

In 2016, 2 of the larger for-profit schools were closed by the Department of Education for financial aid problems.  (Read about them here:  ITT Technical  and Corinthian College)  Many students were left with debt without an education – although much of the debt was forgiven.  In fact, there are 400 LESS massage schools in the US since 2011 – largely related to funding issues.

Rather than taking federal financial aid, I chose to fund student education inside and am able to work with most budgets.  This has given many students an opportunity to go to massage school in Olympia and Vancouver and still be able to afford monthly expenses.  This decision has kept Bodymechanics School financially stable.  We’ve grown year after year – adding school programs, locations and building innovative strategies to develop successful massage therapists and personal trainers.

Take 1 Million People Out of Pain

How to Pay for Massage SchoolI trust and believe that someone who is as motivated to help people who are hurting as I am will find a way to pay for their education.  I have a big mission to help more than 1 million people get out of pain by 2025.  I cannot do this alone.

By helping my students pay for massage school through in-house financing,  we are able to help those in pain get lasting relief. Massage therapy is a noble profession and growing every day.  A shared mission encourages success.

This big mission is one I set when I first became a licensed massage therapist in 2006.  Every day, Bodymechanics School helps educate students, and help the public.  We are well on our way to helping 1 million people get out of pain.

Without further ado, lets look at ways that you can pay for massage school.

7 Creative Ways to Pay for Massage School

  1. Ask friends and family to loan you the money
    1. Make a list of your family and friends.  Invite them over and tell them your plans for school.  Share your passion for massage therapy, and why you think this program will set you up for success after graduation.
    2. Talk with them individually and make the ask for funds.
    3. Set the terms for repayment – including interest at 4 – 8 percent
    4. Look into a peer-to-peer lending program (such as Prosper, Kiva or Lending Club) to manage the loans.  You make one payment a month, and the program disperses the funds equally.
  2. Loan yourself money from your 401k / retirement fund
    1. This is how I funded my education.  We took the funds out of my husbands 401k plan, and then paid it back over the course of a couple of years, with interest.  When it was paid off, it was as if he hadn’t taken the money out at all.
  3. Bank loan
    1. When talking to a bank, make sure you use “personal loan” rather than student loan.  The distinction is important.  Student loans come from the federal financial aid program, and since Bodymechanics School is not federally accredited, it won’t cover our school.  A personal loan to cover the full massage school tuition of $13,188 + additional expenses such as massage table and books would get you off to a great start.  This loan would be similar  to buying a car.
  4. Finance directly with Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage
    1. One thing I dislike is when money gets in the way of helping someone reach their massage therapy goals.  Its a great thing when the student and I come to terms on an in-house repayment plan.  Many students over the years have enjoyed easy terms that have extended out up to 3 years to repay school tuition.
    2. If this is something you are considering for our Tumwater or Vancouver massage school locations, pick up the phone and call us at (360) 350-0015 and lets talk.
    3. You can also look at more options on our Tuition and Fees page
  5. Check with your employer for education benefit dollars
    1. Many places offer incentives to employees to further their education.  You won’t know if you don’t ask.  We have had some chiropractic offices and smaller clinics pay for student tuition to help – and well, to pay it forward.  They gain a grateful employee and can trust that the education will meet their office needs.
  6. Worker retraining programs / WorkSource
    1. If you are coming out of a declining industry, check in with state programs that help displaced workers.  Massage therapy is an in-demand job in most counties in Washington State.  Even if it is not deemed as “in-demand” it’s not an automatic no.  Often, they want to know that there is demand and will have you go out and look for potential employers who would sign off that they are looking for a massage therapist.  Judging from the hundreds of massage job postings and requests  that we see each week, it is definitely in-demand.
    2. If you are coming in to the work force for the first time in a long time, or maybe you have a low paying job, but also have a family to support – there may be state dollars to help fund your education.  Check in with your local WorkSource office.  We’ve had many moms get funding for massage school.
  7. Scholarships
    1. There are many companies out there that offer scholarships for massage students.  The AMTA and ABMP offer student scholarships, as do many companies.  Start using google and search for massage therapy scholarships.
  8. BONUS!  GI Bill
    1. We are eligible to accept the GI Bill (all programs) and work nicely with many veterans who desire a career helping people.

Thank you for reading 7 Creative Ways To Pay for Massage School.  I hope that one of these ideas sparks your creative thinking and that you can make it work.  More than anything, your goal to become a massage therapist is the most important decision right now.  So, lets make it happen.

Committed to your success

Shari Aldrich, LMT
Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage
(360) 350-0015