Sarasota School of Massage Therapy is nationally accredited and is approved by the US Department of Education to administer federal student aid. Qualifying students may be able to secure grants and/or loans. Qualifying students may also receive SSMT need-based scholarship funds, or any of several other forms of financial assistance. SSMT uses a single free online application (the FAFSA) to determine eligibility for many types of aid, both federal and institutional.
The following are some of the common sources of aid that may be available to those who qualify:
SSMT Need-Based Scholarship
SSMT offers partial tuition scholarships to students with demonstrated financial need. This SSMT NBS is gift aid that does not have to be repaid. Interested students may contact the Director of Financial Aid.
Federal Pell Grants and FSEOG
A Pell Grant is money the U.S. federal government provides for students who need it to help pay for school. A Pell grant is gift aid offered to students with financial need, who have not yet earned a bachelor's degree, and does not need to be repaid.
A federal supplemental educational opportunity grant (FSEOG) is also gift aid for students with financial need. The federal government provides 75% of these funds; the rest is provided by SSMT.
Federal Direct Student Loans
Direct Loans are low-interest loans for students and parents to help pay for the cost of a student's education after high school. With Direct Loans, you borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education and have a single contact, your loan servicer, for everything related to repayment, even if you receive Direct Loans at different schools. You can choose from several repayment plans, and you can switch repayment plans if your needs change.
Interest-Free Payment Plan
The cost of school (or any amount not covered by other aid) may be divided into monthly payments, without interest, during the period of enrollment at SSMT. Payment options can be discussed with the admissions office.
Low Interest Loans
If the cost of school is not covered by other forms of aid, SSMT has an arrangement with TFC Tuition Finance Company to offer low interest loans for the balance. Interest rates are substantially lower than the usual private education loans from banks.
IRS Tax Credits
There are two tax credits that students (or their parents) may be eligible to claim. A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax you have to pay. Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a credit directly reduces the tax itself. Eligible SSMT students may receive up to the maximum credit of $2,500 as a refund (or a reduction in tax liability). Students with low income who are not required to pay any income tax may be eligible for a refundable credit of up to $1,000.
The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits are detailed in IRS Publication 970. Both credits have income limits and other conditions. Consult your accountant for details.
GI Bill for Veterans
Sarasota School of Massage Therapy is approved by the State Approving Agency for financial assistance for eligible veterans. Students eligible for VA benefits should contact the Admissions office.
Net Price Calculator
SSMT's Net Price Calculator can be found here.
Tuition and Fees
The non-refundable application fee, unless the class has been canceled, is $25, and is submitted with the application.
Tuition cost is $13,500. Federal financial aid is available for those who qualify. There are a variety of alternatives for covering the tuition. We have a flat-rate tuition for the entire program, but for DoD purposes, we break down the tuition into a "per clock hour" cost at a rate of $17.80 per hour.
Books and Supplies
The required books are $375, including sales tax. Click here for a list and cost breakdown of the books and the ISBN numbers.
Students must provide linens, but most massage lubricants (creams, lotions, and oils) are included in tuition.
A high quality massage table will be provided for each student at no additional charge. Students will have a choice of models and options. There are some upgrades that would incur an additional charge. While it is possible to spend $200 in upgrades and accessories, many students will find the table packages provided to be sufficient. In the event of withdrawal or dismissal the table must be returned to the school. Upon graduation, the table becomes the property of the graduate.
Examination & Licensure
Florida law requires a massage therapy license of anyone who practices touch therapies for compensation.
The Florida Board of Massage Therapy requires applicants to submit fingerprints and a background check, as well as proof of passing the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Exam (MBLEx) as a requirement for licensure.
The cost of the MBLEx, the fingerprints, background check, as well as the cost of the Florida license, are all included in the tuition. Students must apply for the MBLEx within 30 days of completion, and for the background check and license within 90 days of completion, or assume these costs themselves.