It’s no secret that medical school is expensive! There are several types of funding to help you with the expense—for most people, loans are the primary source of support, but it’s also worth applying for grants and scholarships. If you demonstrate financial need, you can sometimes qualify for low-interest or no-interest loans from various sources, which can also be a help.
Here are some resources and advice for medical and pre-med students applying for scholarships and financial aid:
• First, make sure you file your FAFSA every year, by your state’s deadline. (If you are not a US citizen or permanent resident, consult the financial aid office at your institution for the appropriate forms to demonstrate your financial need.)
• Carefully review the financial aid information for each school you’re interested in. The med school’s financial aid office website is an important resource. If you have questions, contact someone there, or ask a financial aid representative in person when you visit campus.
• Many medical schools offer scholarships. When you apply for admission, check to see whether your application will automatically be considered for any scholarships the school offers, or whether you need to submit any additional materials.
• Consult lists of scholarships, and search online. If you find awards that you are not eligible for yet, but will be in a year, bookmark them. Keep a file of funding opportunities.
• When looking for funding opportunities, think BROAD: you might find scholarships based on your hobbies, your community service, your religious involvement, minority status, work experience, etc. Some foundations fund scholarships for people with disabilities or illnesses, often covering the cost of equipment you may need for school. Local organizations often fund small scholarships for people from their hometowns. You get the idea– a little research can pay off!
Here are some helpful resources to guide you:
Careful budgeting can also save you a lot. It can be very helpful to meet with a financial aid counselor at your school. Good luck!
By Dr. Rebecca Blustein, Accepted.com editor and former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Rebecca will be happy to assist you with your grad school applications.