Medical school isn’t just academically rigorous, but it’s also expensive. So, while you’re dedicating yourself to some of the hardest studying of your life, you’re also likely to feel overwhelmed with costly fees that you may not be able to pay off right away.
But don’t let this discourage you. There are plenty of ways to finance your dream of becoming a physician with student loans and scholarships. We’ll be focusing on the latter because, unlike loans, med school scholarships provide free money toward your education. Paying off your student loans could take years, but scholarships allow you to enjoy settling into your career as a healthcare professional without the added stress of debt. So, look at med student scholarships as a way to potentially cover all your fees or at least lessen the amount you have to take out in loans.
How much does medical school cost?
To know how much you’ll need as far as loans and scholarships go, you’ll need to learn more about the cost of medical school. Let’s start with an essential question: How much is medical school, anyway? In short, four years in a U.S. med school costs approximately $200,000, whether you decide to attend a public or private institution.
- Tuition: Medical school tuition is the cost of attending university, including all your lectures and labs.
- Fees: Think of “fees” as an umbrella term for everything else related to your medical education, such as textbooks and lab equipment. Living costs and essentials are also important to consider and budget for throughout your education.
Eight medical school scholarship awards
Medical school scholarships fall into different categories. Some are merit-based, while others are only available to those who demonstrate financial need or are part of a specific demographic or background. But the good news is, there’s something for everyone!
1. TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship Fund
This generous scholarship program offers 10 $10,000 scholarships and 25 $5,000 awards to medical students annually. To be considered, you’ll need to impress the program’s board by writing about your goals as a medical professional and showing off your GPA.
2. The White Coat Investor Medical School Scholarship
This unique scholarship opportunity is for full-time students studying in specific fields, including medicine. It’s also open to law and dentistry students, so if your career goals change, this award may still be a possibility for you. Each year, WCI donates 1% of its profits toward this program, which funds the cost of its recipients’ textbooks and courses. To win one of these awards, you’ll have to make your case in an 800-word personal statement.
3. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards
Are you a standout student in your degree program? To be considered for this $10,000 scholarship offered by the AMA Foundation, you’ll need to be nominated by your dean and provide the required submission materials, including your transcript, financial data, a personal essay, and letter of recommendation.
Scholarships for minority groups
4. National Medical Fellowships Scholarship
The National Medical Fellowships (NMF) scholarship is for medical students that are part of specific minority populations. These scholarships range from $5,000 to $7,000 and include designations like the Darrell G. Kirch, MD Scholarship and the Franklin C. McLean Award. Each has distinct eligibility requirements, so make sure to read up before applying.
5. Chinese-American Medical Society Scholarship
This $5,000 scholarship is open to first-, second- and third-year medical students in good standing at their school of medicine. You’ll need to send a letter from your institution’s dean to confirm your academic achievements to be considered for this financial award.
6. The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Can you get a scholarship for medical school that covers a full year? This award goes even further, offering $90,000 over two years. To be eligible, you must be a non-U.S. citizen younger than 30. Keep in mind that this scholarship isn’t open to doctors only, so you can recommend it to your friends in other graduate programs.
Federal medical school scholarships
7. National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
Are there scholarships for medical school that will cover all of your expenses? Yes, and this is one of them! The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program pays for up to four years of tuition and fees and even goes as far as to offer a living stipend too. You just have to work in specific rural, urban or tribal areas.
8. Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
Here’s another full-ride scholarship for medical students that will allow you to graduate debt-free. The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) is for students simultaneously performing military service. Not only does it cover tuition, but it also covers fees and living expenses. This award is open to active members of the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Army.
Medical school scholarships FAQs
Do medical school scholarships have to be repaid?
Remember, the best part of scholarships is that you don’t have to pay them back. Unlike loans, they don’t accumulate interest or require repayment. Scholarship recipients can graduate with a significantly lesser financial burden.
How many scholarships can I apply for?
As many as you’d like (and can!). Send out applications as widely as possible to increase your chances of getting an award.
Do medical school scholarships cover full tuition?
Not all med school awards cover full tuition, but some do, like the options we’ve provided above. When considering scholarships, remember that there’s a difference between full-tuition and full-ride scholarships. Full-tuition scholarships, as the name implies, cover tuition completely, whereas full-ride scholarships also cover fees and may offer a living stipend. If you’re starting school without many savings, you may still need to take out some loans to cover fees, supplies, and living costs.
As you navigate the ins and outs of scholarships and financial aid, we’ll be here to guide you with useful information to help you make the best choices as aspiring healthcare professional. Did we mention we can support you with super comfortable, affordable scrubs, too?