The cost of attending med school is well over $100,000 (yikes!), and on top of that, you’ll need to pay to apply to med school. Let’s look at how much the different application components cost:
1. MCAT: The MCAT registration fee is $310. This includes the cost of the exam and the distribution of your scores. Additional fees can include late registration, changes to your registration, and testing at a site outside the U.S. Additionally (though not required), most applicants choose to take an MCAT prep course. These courses can set you back anywhere from $400 to more than $2500. The cost depends on factors such as whether the course is in-person or online, and on the number of hours of class and practice tests. Private tutoring can cost between $88/hour and $135/hour.
2. Primary application: To use the AMCAS primary application (which is what most schools require), you’ll need to pay $160 for the first school and $39 for each additional school. Not all schools use AMCAS. If the med schools you’re applying to don’t accept the AMCAS app, you’ll need to pay their individual application fees. Application fees for DO programs, which are done through AACOM, are $195 for the first program and $45 for each additional program, even if you submit those applications at a later time. AACOM has a fee assistance program for those students meeting the criteria. Some programs charge additional fees. Check each program’s website to determine if there are supplemental fees.
3. Secondary application: Most med schools require a secondary application. This will run you up to $150 per application. Students eligible for AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program may have the secondary app fee waived at some med schools. This program is directly tied to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ poverty-level guidelines. Other benefits of the Fee Assistance Program include reduced MCAT fees, MCAT prep materials, and a waiver of AMCAS fees for one application submission including up to 16 med school designations.
4. College registrar services: This will vary based on where you went to college, as some schools charge a fee for transmitting your transcript and/or letter of recommendation and some don’t. Check with your school for details.
5. Interview expenses: A recent survey of med school applicants showed that, on average, they attend 4.5 interviews with a cost of $406.15 per interview. The total of these costs per student is a whopping $2202.12! This is actually down from last year (though not by much), when students attended 6.4 interviews with a cost of $417.42 per interview, for a total of $2020.12. The students were asked about the following categories:
• Number of interviews
• Travel costs
• Miles traveled
• Hotel stay prices and number of nights
• Whether the interviewing program offered free stay
• Days off
• Clothing costs
• Whether the students decided not to attend
• Other (included food, interview books, cabs)
6. Acceptance deposit: The fees don’t stop once you’ve been accepted to med school. You’re allowed to hold multiple acceptances until May, when you have to decide which program you will attend. However, many schools require a (sometimes refundable) deposit of approximately $100 to hold your spot.
Other expenses may include:
It’s vital that you retain strong credit as you start the med school application process. Med schools have been known to defer admissions for students with extremely poor credit until the issues have been resolved.
The average future med school student applies to 14 programs. The cost of just primary applications to 14 schools through AMCAS would be $667, and $780 for DO schools. You’re looking at up to an additional $2100 if you are fortunate enough to do secondary applications at all 14 schools. Adding in the cost of interviews ($2020.12), and you’re looking at over $4,000!! It’s easy to see how quickly application costs add up, so do your research carefully.
Don’t forget – there’s also the cost of reapplying if you don’t succeed the first time. Make sure that this application is your last application when you work one-on-one with an expert admissions advisor. Check out our consulting and editing services now, and get accepted!
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