According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors are among the highest paid professionals, earning over $200,000 per year on average. However, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the average medical school student will also accumulate roughly $250,000 in student loan debt. So, while doctors can expect to earn a high salary, many prospective medical students must rely heavily on medical school scholarships to finance their education.
Jump ahead to…
- How to win medical school scholarships
- Need-based financial aid in med school
- Frequently asked questions
- Explore these additional scholarship categories
How to win medical school scholarships
Remember, finding scholarship opportunities is only half of the task involved in earning funds for your education. Once you’ve found some good fits from our list, it’s time to start applying. Before you begin your applications, sit down and do some reflection to decide what approach you’ll take. Ask yourselves some questions and write down the answers with no regard to grammar, word limits, or anything like that; just get them out on the page to pull from as you begin to write. Here are a few questions you might ask:
- When did I first become interested in medicine?
- What change do I hope to make in the world through my career as a doctor?
- When have I demonstrated skills that indicate my potential as a future doctor?
- Where do I see myself in 10 years?
You can also try asking these questions to your friends, family, and other trusted adults. Oftentimes, they have some insight into your past accomplishments that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
Writing your essays
Writing scholarship essays is an art, and we are here to teach you how to do it as efficiently as possible. We have guides to help with every aspect, such as starting your essay, writing to a 250 or 500 word limit, and answering the common prompt, “Why do you deserve this scholarship?”. Here are a few more articles to help you out:
- How to write an essay about yourself
- “Show, Don’t Tell” essay primer
- How to write a winning scholarship essay
Need-based financial aid for medical school
Medical school students can also apply for need based financial aid to pay for their M.D. There are two main applications that students should know about when thinking about need-based financial aid:
- FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid is how financial aid from the federal government is awarded, which includes federal student loans.
- CSS Profile is a financial aid application offered by the College Board. The CSS Profile is how some medical schools will award institutional financial aid, which can include grants, scholarships, and student loans. Yale School of Medicine is one medical school that uses the CSS Profile for both scholarships and Yale student loans.
Students who need even more financial aid can consider private student loans. Remember, these private loans should be a last resort as they may have higher interest rates and less flexible repayment options than loans from the federal government.
Frequently asked questions
Can doctors qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness?
Doctors who work in a non-profit or public sector and make regular loan payments for ten years should be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. This would mean that any remaining federal loan balance after those ten years would be forgiven; they would never have to repay it.
It’s worth noting that PSLF has a notoriously strict set of rules for eligibility, so if you plan to take advantage of the program, be sure to educate yourself on all of the stipulations to ensure that you fulfill them.
Also see: How to get PSLF as a healthcare worker
Can you use the Pell Grant to pay for medical school?
Only undergraduate students are eligible for the Pell Grant, so although you can use it to pay for a pre-med education, you won’t be able to use it for med school.
Additional scholarship lists to explore
- Top public health scholarships
- Top leadership scholarships
- Easy scholarships to apply for
- Top community service scholarships
- Top scholarships for grad students
Join for exclusive scholarships, personalized matching, and application tracking. 0% Spam, 100% Free.