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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Speech Therapist

Becoming a Speech Therapist Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Speech Therapist Cost?

 
low costTuition & Fees, Public Schools: $18,000-$75,000+average costTuition & Fees, Private Schools: $50,000-$90,000+ high costTotal Costs: $50,000-$135,000+

Officially known as speech-language pathologists, speech therapists diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders resulting from a variety of causes -- stroke, developmental delays or disorders (like autism), learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, cleft palate, hearing loss or emotional problems. Speech therapists typically work in schools, healthcare facilities or patients' homes, and most jobs require a master's degree.

Typical costs:

  • A master's degree in speech-language pathology at a public university can cost $23,000-$75,000 for tuition and fees each year, depending on the focus and length of the program and the student's state of residence. Books, supplies, room and board and other expenses can bring the total costs to $50,000-$125,000 per year.
  • For example, the two-year program at the University of Iowa[1] costs $22,285 per year for tuition and fees for Iowa residents and $44,203 for out-of-state students; books and average living expenses are estimated at $31,340, for total costs of $56,500 for residents and $75,600 for out-of-state students.
  • At the University of Washington, for students wishing to work in a medical setting[2] (hospitals and rehabilitation centers), tuition and fees cost about $28,000 per year.
  • At a private university, tuition and fees for a master's degree in speech-language pathology can be $50,000-$90,000, depending on the focus and length of the program, the student-instructor ratio, whether the school is not-for-profit or for-profit, and the reputation of the school. Books, room and board and related expenses can bring total costs to $70,000-$135,000 or more.
  • For example, estimated costs at Pacific University[3] in Oregon are about $57,000 for tuition and fees for both years, and about $25,000 for supplies and living expenses for two years, for total costs of about $82,000. For the two-year program at Boston University[4] , estimated tuition and fees are about $89,500; estimated books and living expenses are about $40,500, making typical total costs of $130,000 or more.
  • Most programs require full-time attendance, but some schools offer online master's programs; tuition and fees are similar to traditional programs, but living and travel expenses vary widely depending on each student's circumstances. For example, in addition to its traditional on-campus, two-year program (tuition and fees of $33,516 for residents and $67,221 for out-of-state) the University of Northern Colorado offers a three-year online program with one on-campus summer lab session; tuition is estimated at $35,490 for the required 65 units.
What should be included:
  • Speech-language pathology master's programs combine classroom lectures and research with time spent working with patients in clinics. Boston University outlines a sample curriculum[5] .
Additional costs:
  • Each state has its own licensing and certification requirements; fees can vary from $100-$300 or more. For example, Tennessee [6] charges $100 for an initial license and $80 for a biennial renewal, while New York[7] has a license fee of $294.
  • Many states require speech-language pathologists to be certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which means taking and passing the Praxis II test[8] ($115 exam fee).
Discounts:
  • Students in master's and doctoral programs are eligible for up to $20,500 in Stafford Loans[9] annually, depending on income level and other criteria as determined by the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid[10] .
  • A limited number of paid graduate assistantship positions may be available at some universities, such as Pacific University[11] .
  • The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association awards an annual scholarship[12] .
Shopping for becoming a speech therapist:
  • The admissions process is often highly competitive, and many programs want students to have an undergraduate degree in speech and hearing sciences or communication disorders, or a related undergraduate degree with sufficient coursework in speech and hearing sciences or communication disorders. For example, Boston University lists its requirements for admission[13] .
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association explains how to choose an academic program[14] and offers a tool to search for schools that offer speech-language pathology programs[15] at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
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External Resources:
  1.  grad.admissions.uiowa.edu/academics/speech-language-pathology-ma
  2.  depts.washington.edu/sphsc/academicprograms/medical-speech-language-pathology/medi...
  3.  www.pacificu.edu/coe/csd/cost/index.cfm
  4.  www.bu.edu/sargent/academics/programs/speech-language-hearing-sciences/master-of-s...
  5.  www.bu.edu/sargent/academics/programs/speech-language-hearing-sciences/master-of-s...
  6.  www.tennessee.gov/sos/rules/1370/1370-01.pdf
  7.  www.op.nysed.gov/prof/slpa/speechlic.htm
  8.  www.ets.org/praxis/about/fees/
  9.  studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
  10.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  11.  www.pacificu.edu/coe/csd/cost/index.cfm
  12.  www.ashfoundation.org/donations/NSSLHAScholarshipFund/
  13.  www.bu.edu/sargent/academics/programs/speech-language-hearing-sciences/master-of-s...
  14.  www.asha.org/students/academic/Graduate-School/
  15.  www.asha.org/edfind/
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