Whether you’re applying for medical school or are just starting your medical education, this section helps you understand the costs associated with attendance so that you can formulate a money management strategy with clear expectations. Being informed about overall expenses will help you know how much loan money you may potentially need, and what resources you’ll need to seek out, including scholarships and grants.
Most students must take on debt to attend medical school because of the high cost of tuition. The average amount of debt for a majority of graduating family medicine residents is more than $150,000. The final loan amount you decide you need will depend largely on your school’s tuition and other factors such as cost of living, United States Medical Licensing Examination® (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 examination fees, and fees and expenses for travel related to residency interviews and conferences. All of these factors are important for success in medical school, but that doesn’t make it any easier to afford them.
Part of assessing your expenses includes asking medical schools’ financial offices about the cost of education at their schools and what kind of assistance and aid they offer.
It's easiest to manage your financial aid documents if you have a strategy to track and store your communications, financial information, academic records, scholarship materials, and other financial aid resources. Here are some steps to take early on:
Here are some common costs that you’ll encounter when you apply to medical school and become a medical student. Keep these medical education expenses in mind when making financial decisions and seeking out payment assistance. Many school websites provide specific information about how much you can expect school to cost when adding in these factors:
You might already be familiar with how loans work because you have some that funded your undergraduate and/or graduate education. Make plans for what you’ll do with this loan debt if you cannot pay it off before medical school begins.
Federal loans have a short grace period after graduation, in which time you do not need to make any payments. Before you begin medical school, you will need to contact your loan servicer(s) to learn what options you have for loan repayment or postponement over the next several years of your education. Some loans (those that are private) will continue to accrue interest while you are in medical school. Each lender is different. For example, a subsidized loan from the federal government can be deferred in medical school without accruing interest.
Financial literacy is crucial during medical school and residency. Use the resources below to better understand how money works and to create your personalized plan for financial success.