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Full Story

Physical Therapy Student Debt

Apr 27, 2020

A new report from the Student Debt Task Force of the Educational Leadership Partnership (ELP) examines issues influencing physical therapy student debt, including:

  • ratio of debt to income,
  • financial aid,
  • cost of education,
  • reimbursement for clinical services,
  • curricular issues, and
  • the impact of student debt on physical therapy programs.

The Partnership - which comprises representatives from APTA, the American Council of Academic Physical Therapy (ACAPT) and the Academy of PT Education (APTE) -- recently released the Student Debt Task Force Final Recommendations Report, which includes five recommendations:

  1.  ACAPT, APTA, and APTE will promote the use of fact sheets that provide financial information on DPT and PTA programs in a consistent manner so that student and prospective students can more easily compare costs between schools.  See the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program Financial Fact Sheet 2020-2021 here.

  2. All academic programs will provide access to current and prospective students to the financial literacy information available at the APTA Financial Solutions Center

  3. ACAPT, APTA, and APTE will provide the report's financial FAQs -- which addresses loans, financial aid, cost comparison, managing debt and financial aspects of a program's clinical experience -- to prospective and current students and encourage their members to do so.

  4. The ELP partners’ liaisons to CAPTE will discuss potential inclusion of the financial disclosure information in the Annual Accreditation Report (AAR).

  5. The ELP partners’ liaisons ask will ask CAPTE to require information the PTA and DPT Program Financial Fact Sheet be posted on an academic program’s web page.

APTA is developing a report on the state of physical therapy student debt, scheduled for release in June, in support of the association’s 2019-2021 Strategic Plan goal to foster long-term sustainability of the physical therapy profession in part by championing student and early-career issues including debt burden and career-earning potential. It’s expected that findings from the ELP partners Student Debt Task Force Final Recommendations Report will inform APTA’s upcoming report.

Check out the Center for Excellence in Academic Physical Therapy


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