The Rising Cost of Medical School
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), the average debt facing medical school graduates in 2011 was $161,290. At the current professional student loan rate of 6.8%, you’re looking at almost a quarter million dollars for the total cost of medical school. Paid over 10 years, the total price of the current average loan is $222,735.
What are your plans to pay for this? With a mortgage, a car payment, and student loan payments, it is no surprise that doctors are struggling to pay their loans.
Fortunately, there is help out there to help pay for medical school.
Know Your Options for Medical School Scholarships
With the need to commit yourself 100% to your studies, there is no room for distractions on your path to becoming a physician. Worrying about your finances while you are in medical school is the last thing you should be doing.There are numerous medical school scholarships that can help you shoulder your educational expenses. Click To Tweet
There are numerous medical school scholarships that can help you shoulder your educational expenses. The best way to make sure you get the most out of these opportunities is by finding out more about them as a premed. This post will go over several different kinds of medical school scholarships and what you need to know about them.
Merit Scholarships for Medical School
One of the abundant types of scholarship offered in medical schools are those scholarships based on merit. When it comes to merit scholarships, merit refers largely to your GPA and your MCAT score. Requirements for a merit scholarship vary depending on the specific scholarship. You can increase your chances by applying to as many merit scholarships as possible.When it comes to merit scholarships for medical school, merit is largely based on your GPA and MCAT score. Click To Tweet
At the University of Miami, Miami School of Medicine, the students accepted into the program are automatically considered for a merit scholarship. They have allotted millions of dollars every year for merit scholarships for their students. High scores on the MCAT and GPA will increase your chances of getting a merit scholarship.
HPSP Scholarship for Medical Students Through the Military
Another possible way to obtain a scholarship to fund you all the way through medical school is through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). Three branches of the military have the HPSP program—the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The HPSP scholarship provides a full-tuition scholarship with an allowance for the medical student to pay for living expenses.Recipients of the HPSP scholarship are required to serve in the military for the same number of years as they were supported by the scholarship.Click To Tweet
Recipients of the HPSP scholarship are required to serve the same number of years as they were supported by the scholarship. For example, if the medical student took a 4-year HPSP scholarship, they owe 4 years of active-duty service. It also includes 4 years of IRR (individual ready reserve). Prior to applying for the HPSP scholarship, you need to be admitted to the medical school of your choice.
For more information on the HPSP scholarship, listen to this podcast episode.
Medical Association Scholarships
Another option for students who want to enter medical school is through associations that offer financial support in the field of medicine. One of these is the American Medical Association (AMA), which offers numerous scholarships each year.
The Physicians of Tomorrow Award is a scholarship offered to medical students facing financial debt due to their studies. You can inquire from your school regarding the application and nomination for these scholarships.
Minority Scholars Award
Medical students from historically underrepresented groups can seek out scholarships that exist to increase diversity in medicine. The AMA also has these Minority Scholarships totaling $10,000 for first and second-year students. Check at your individual medical schools of interest for these scholarships, as well.
Service-Oriented Scholarship Programs
Another medical school scholarship opportunity for students is offered by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The NHSC scholarship offers full scholarship plus a monthly living allowance to medical students looking to work in primary care in underserved areas.
Students committed to primary care fields such as family practice, pediatrics, and gynecology can apply for this scholarship. For more information about the NHSC scholarship, check out this podcast episode.
[Related episode: Don’t Count on Public Service Loan Forgiveness.]
Whatever route you go, you have to look into medical school scholarships. Money is available to help you avoid paying back loans forever.
A $10,000 scholarship to medical school will be equal to almost $14,000 of repayment based on the 10-year payment schedule listed above. That same $10,000, if you were to get it every year, would reduce your total debt load by $55,000.Your ability to pay back your medical school loans will also be affected by your choice of in-state versus out-of-state schools, your choice of specialty, and how you live in your first years as an attending physician.Click To Tweet
Your ability to pay back your medical school loans will also be affected by your choice of in-state versus out-of-state schools, your choice of specialty, and how you live in your first years as an attending physician. For a great overview of these financial factors and how to prepare yourself for success, check out my interview with Dr. Dahle from the White Coat Investor.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: How Do I Pay for a Postbac and Will I Be Able to Repay My Loans?
- Related episode: Common Mistakes and More About Financing Medical School.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!