Great, now how are you going to pay for it?
With the average undergraduate education debt prior to PA school at $36,300 and the average anticipated debt load from PA school at $112,500 it's probably time to ask the next logical question:
How much does PA school cost?
Like most college and advanced degree programs in the United States, the price of PA school is rising.
Based on current data supplied by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), The Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the most recent NCCPA Statistical Report:
The Average Cost Across all PA Schools for the 2019 Application Cycle is as follows:
- The average cost of public resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $79,941
- The average cost of non-resident tuition for a 27-month physician assistant program is: $90,659
- Average program length is 27 months
The average increase in nonresident tuition over the last five years was 3.5%, whereas resident tuition rose by 4.1%.
The Cost of Public vs. Private PA Programs
Of particular interest was the difference between public and private institution tuition and fees.
- The average total resident tuition and nonresident tuition were higher for PA programs from private institutions than from those from public institutions.
- There was a 4% to 7% increase in the average total resident tuition for public and private institutions.
- The average total incidental costs (books, medical equipment, etc.) for public and private institutions increased by 23% and 139%, respectively.
- Today, 62.5% of PA programs are private, while only 35.6% are public.
Average Costs of PA Program Fees Public vs. Private
- Physician assistant program fees at public institutions: $5,937
- Physician assistant program fees at private institutions: $4,672
The good news is that these are averages, so the price of PA school is variable and based on factors such as private vs. public institutions, location, fees, etc., etc. For a detailed comparison of tuition cost by school make sure to check out my PA School Tuition Comparison Table or use my brand new 14 variable Perfect PA Program Picker!
You can also search and sort through schools on my PAschoolfinder PA program directory website.
How much did I pay to go to PA School?
When I was attending the Rutgers University PA program in 2001 the annual tuition was just $10,000 per year (without fees)! Since this was a 3-year program my total cost, minus fees, was roughly $30,000.
I was one of the lucky few who received a stipend from the National Health Service Corps and had my PA school paid for. I would suggest you look into this program as well.
How much would my same PA program cost in 2019?
Here is the breakdown of my school (Rutgers) and the projected annual cost of tuition and fees for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Since they use a rather confusing credit system (this is common among PA programs) I will provide a breakdown here.
Cost of Rutgers Physician Assistant Program in 2019-2020
- $736 per credit for residents
- $1,009 per credit for non-residents
Total Credits: 114
- Total cost of in-state tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year: $83,904 (cost in 2012: $69,524)
- The total cost of out-of-state tuition for the 2019-2020 academic school year: $115,026
How about the Fees?
- $175 campus fee
- $700 technology fee
- $360 school fee
- $2,312 health insurance fee per year x 3 = $6,936
- $450 lab-intensive fee
- $150 clinical admin fee
- $100 parking/year x 3 = $300
Total in Fees: $ 9,071
In a later blog post, I will be discussing the cost of books, medical supplies, and general living expenses. Unless you attend PA school on a part-time basis it is difficult to maintain a job along with a full-time PA school curriculum.
Also, you may have noticed that Rutgers University has a three-year PA school curriculum. How does this compare with shorter programs?
Take a look at my 14 variable Perfect PA Program Picker!
How much did your PA school cost?
Is it worth it?
- Stephen Pasquini PA-C