As you prepare for and apply to medical school, many of the services and resources have a cost associated with them. To ensure that the cost of applying is not a barrier for aspiring physicians, the AAMC's Fee Assistance Program assists those who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the Medical College Admission Test® (MCAT®), and apply to medical schools that use the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®).
The Fee Assistance Program includes a number of benefits to help alleviate some of the costs associated with the application process, including reduced MCAT registration fees, free MCAT Official Prep products, fee waivers to cover the cost of the application, and more. Before you apply, we’ve compiled eight tips to help you complete your Fee Assistance Program application and avoid processing delays:
- Applicants are required to read the “Fee Assistance Program Essentials for Calendar Year 2020” prior to submitting an application. The guide offers all the information you need regarding program eligibility, award benefits, and application and post-submission processes. You’ll find this document on the Fee Assistance Program homepage.
- There are no limits on the number of people granted fee assistance each year. This means if you qualify and are approved, you will receive the benefits.
- Fee Assistance Program benefits are available until the next calendar year on Dec. 31st regardless of when you apply and receive the award during the current application year and you may receive the award up to five times in a lifetime. When re-applying, you must still meet all qualifying criteria to receive the award again. Note, the MCAT Official Prep Products are awarded only once in a lifetime.
- You do not need to wait two full calendar years to re-apply. If you need to re-apply, you may do so anytime during the second year of your award benefits. You will not need to submit a new application if re-applying within two consecutive years.
- Pay close attention to the tax year of the required financial documents. For example, the 2020 application requires 2019 tax documents. There are no exceptions to this requirement.
- You are required to provide parental tax information for both parents. Use the "Fee Assistance Program Essentials for Calendar Year 2020" to understand the difference between independent and dependent statuses. You may have a dependent status (for example, if your parents claim you as a dependent on their tax forms), but still file your own taxes (for example, if you had a work-study job). Your parental information is viewed independently from your data, but must also fall within eligibility guidelines for this award.
- To fulfill the above requirement, use the appropriate documents such as a financial award letter from your school, and do not use tax forms (such as the 1098-T). This will delay the application process.
- To access the benefits, you must be approved before you register for the MCAT exam or apply to medical schools using the AMCAS application. Benefits are not retroactive. The application process can take up to five (5) business days to be approved, so keep that in mind as you prepare to apply.
The 2020 Fee Assistance Program Application opens on January 27. To find out if you are eligible for the Fee Assistance Program, check out the eligibility criteria. If you have any questions throughout your application process, please get acquainted with the Fee Assistance Program website and its resources. If you require further assistance, feel free to reach out to the AAMC Services Contact Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 828-0600.
Best of luck on your journey to medical school!