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Get Organized, Analyze Your Costs and Resources
Develop a System
Below are some suggestions for preparing for your search:
- Copy important documents and store the originals in a separate, secure location. Keep in mind that you will need to refer to the materials for years to come.
- Secure sensitive information that includes personal and financial information about you or your family. If you must throw away copies of information, be sure to shred sensitive documents.
- Establish a relationship with an experienced financial aid officer from your college and/or the medical school(s) to which you plan to apply.
Analyze Your Expenses
- MCAT/AMCAS Fees - To apply for medical school, you must first take the MCAT. If you don't have the financial ability to pay for the test, some financial assistance is available through the Fee Assistance Program at the Association of American Medical Colleges.
- Living Expenses - Use an online budget calculator like the one at Bankrate.com to plan your living expenses. If you'd have to move to attend medical school, you may want to contact the city's chamber of commerce or the medical school's financial aid office to get an accurate estimate of the cost of living (rent, utilities, etc.)
- Medical school related expenses - Many school Web sites provide information about how much you can expect school to cost. Don't forget that you'll also need to budget for the USMLE and residency application fees.
- Loan Organizer and Calculator - The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has developed FIRST for Medical Education (Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools) that can help students manage their student loans (AAMC members only).