Kristen Reese Willingham

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I was able to apply to many more schools than I would have been able to otherwise, and I cannot thank the AAMC enough for all of the benefits of this program.

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Medical School: University of North Carolina School School of Medicine
Expected Graduation Year: 2024
Undergraduate Institution: University of North Carolina Asheville
Major: Psychology
Minor: Neuroscience

Why I’m becoming a doctor

I want to go into medicine because I grew up in an under-served area. Many members of my family had chronic illnesses and they would have to drive 45 minutes to an hour in order to receive care and proper management. I want to go into primary care so I can reach as many patients as possible and act as the initial and full-time point person for the patients that I work with.

My experience with the AAMC Fee Assistance Program

I used the following benefits during my premed journey: 

The Fee Assistance Program was essential to helping me apply to medical school. I used the written guide, the practice exams, and the question banks that were given to me. I also used the MCAT registration fee reduction and MSAR benefit, which was a wonderful resource that helped me make wise choices about my application. I ended up applying to 20 schools, all of which were covered by fee assistance benefits. The Fee Assistance Program was absolutely vital to my premed journey and my ability to apply to medical school. I was able to apply to many more schools than I would have been able to otherwise, and I cannot thank the AAMC enough for all of the benefits of this program.

Other ways I benefited from the AAMC Fee Assistance Program

Most of the secondary fees were completely waived because I was a Fee Assistance Program recipient. This was done automatically through the school's secondary application process. I was also offered scholarships for travel and accommodations from certain schools that were far from home. This information was sent out by the interview coordinator(s), so be on the lookout for those emails when you are receiving interview invites!

Advice to future applicants

Do your research before you apply. The information is readily available, so make sure you do your due diligence. Also make sure you have you and your parent's tax forms on hand so you don't have to chase them down for your Fee Assistance Program application and eventually the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Use EVERYTHING that the Fee Assistance Program program sends. It is the gold standard (they write the exam!) so it will be the most representative resource you can use. Also, use the MSAR to strategically apply to schools. When looking at the MSAR, you need to have an idea of what your MCAT score will look like (use those practice exams! They will help!) and your GPA. The MSAR has a filter so you can determine which schools are within your reach. Remember though, there is no such thing as a “safety school,” so make sure you apply broadly and do your best on every application. Good luck!

These students’ testimonials were selected because they represent diverse stories. The views expressed herein are those of the students and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the AAMC.

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2023 Fee Assistance Program Essentials

Understanding the 2023 Fee Assistance Program Essentials is the first step in applying. This is required reading before completing your AAMC Fee Assistance Program application and necessary for a smooth application process.

2023 Fee Assistance Program Application Workbook

This resource is designed to help you prepare your materials for the 2023 AAMC Fee Assistance Program application but does not replace the online application.

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The AAMC's FIRST (Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools) program provides free resources to help you make wise financial decisions. 

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MCAT Official Prep Hub

The MCAT Official Prep Hub is where you can access your products received through the Fee Assistance Program, purchase new products, and view free resources.