Financial impact of COVID-19 on DPT students in the United States

Rotondo, Amanda L.

Purpose: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had an impact on students with a change in method of delivery of education, loss of employment, food insecurity and increased stress levels. The purpose of this study was to determine the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students in the US.
Methods: Nine hundred four DPT students participated in a cross-sectional survey study, completing a 47-question survey including information regarding demographics, level of financial concern, reasons for and consequences of financial concern, student loan debt and employment.
Results: Results indicate an overall increase in the level of financial concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two-thirds of participants who were employed part-time had disruption of employment. African Americans report higher levels of financial concern compared to Caucasians (P < 0.05). Asian/Pacific Islanders, African Americans and Hispanics report higher difficulty purchasing food compared to Caucasians (P < 0.05). Those with household income levels below $100,000 report higher incidences of needing to purchase additional equipment for online learning compared to higher household income (P < 0.05). Two-thirds of them feel that their employment will be impacted upon graduation, with half anticipating $100,000 and up in student loan debt.
Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic was considered to have a significant financial impact on DPT students. Race plays an important role when examining the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. DPT programs and employers need to be cognizant of the financial strain affecting DPT students and new graduates and seek support from government or private programs to assist students.


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Also Published In

The Journal of Clinical Education in Physical Therapy
Columbia University Libraries

More About This Work

Published Here
December 7, 2022


COVID-19, finances, DPT students, student loans, pandemic, job outlook