The best way to afford medical school is, of course, with medical school scholarships. With medical school scholarships you don’t have to worry about paying the money back after you graduate. Instead you can pay for your medical schooling and not be overwhelmed with debt six months after you graduate.
If you are wondering how you are going to afford medical school, then you need to realize just how many medical school scholarships may be available to you. Even if you are not lucky enough to land college scholarships there are still other ways to afford your medical schooling so that you can pursue your dream of working in the medical field.
One of the first places that you should look for college scholarships is through your actual medical school. Medical schools will offer a variety of different scholarships based off several factors. Some of them may be based off grades, which are merit scholarships. Some colleges will give medical school merit scholarships for MCAT scores or for grade point averages. This is another reason why it is so important that you take the MCATs and your undergraduate studies very seriously. They may just get you free money for medical school. For merit scholarships you most likely will have to fill out an application with your college and may have to then go through an interview process. You will be expected to maintain a certain grade point average if you want to keep your scholarship from year to year.
Another college scholarship that is often given is when a medical school partners with a certain hospital or organization and they offer money to students who sign a contract stating they will work at the hospital or organization for a specific period of time in exchange for scholarship money. If you don’t mind determining where you want to work after you graduate then this type of medical school scholarship may be for you. An added benefit of this type of scholarship program is that you know you will have some sort of job when you graduate. These types of scholarships are often given out to students majoring in a specialty medicine.
The American Medical Association (AMA) also gives out medical school scholarships every year to students who qualify financially. They offer minority scholarships as well scholarships for students who are in their fourth year of medical school.
Other places that you can look for scholarship money for medical school is through your local rotary clubs, medical organizations, scholarship organizations like Sallie Mae and any private entities that may offer scholarships in your local area.
If you find that you are unable to successfully obtain any medical school scholarships, there are still other ways that you can afford medical school. Medical colleges are far from cheap, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams. There are federal loans that you can qualify that are based off your financial information that don’t need to be paid back. When you fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) you can apply for such federal loans like the Stafford Loan which does not need to be paid back but is only given to students who show financial need.
If you find that you don’t qualify for any federal student loans there is always the option of private student loans through banks and other financial institutions. These loans have an interest rate that is based off your credit history and you need to start paying them back 6 months after you graduate. Beware that these loans will never disappear until you pay them off. Even if you file for bankruptcy, you still have to pay student loans back.
If you truly want to succeed and attend medical school, then you will find a way to pay for it. Look everyone you can for medical school scholarships and make sure that you fill out the FAFSA for any potential help from the government.