Financial Aid for College Students in Need of Eating Disorder Treatment

Woman suffering from stress and anxiety

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The cost of college tuition is on the rise, and many students struggle to make ends meet while also achieving a higher education. The college price inflation has increased dramatically over recent years, making expenses associated with college often beyond what a student can reasonably afford.

This may also be influenced by deep budget cuts in state funding for public programs available for higher education and decreased subsidies at private schools, resulting in an increased cost to students and their families.

Affording College While Receiving Eating Disorder Treatment

As if the cost of higher education is not enough, families who are also supporting a loved one recovering from an eating disorder may find the chances of affording both next to impossible. Eating disorder treatment is incredibly vital and necessary for recovery, but without adequate insurance coverage, the cost of treatment can be overwhelming. College student working on financial aid

Many families are forced with difficult financial decisions when it comes to affording treatment for an eating disorder, including refinancing a home, downsizing, taking out loans, and more.

Even once treatment for an eating disorder has been concluded, a family may find themselves paying on treatment bills for many months or years to come. Sending a recovered child off to college is no doubt a blessing to celebrate, but the finances of it all can be overbearing.

It is also not uncommon for a college student in recovery to need some level of sustaining treatment while in school, such as an intensive outpatient level of care (IOP) or regular outpatient appointments. The cost of ongoing treatment can make it difficult to fill in gaps for affording college tuition.

Financial Aid for College Students

If you are a college student needing assistance with affording school, know there are options available. There are many federal programs that offer financial aid to college students, which could be helpful for a student who is also in need of eating disorder treatment.

This may vary based on several factors, so it is important to check with your college to determine what might be available to you, and what you and your family may qualify for. Other programs, such as work study, scholarships, grants, and more, may also be available and help reduce the upfront cost of college. Work with your admissions department to determine how you can best afford your college education while also keeping your health and recovery a priority.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think are some of the challenges college students face who are also in recovery?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 30, 2016
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