Medical School: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Expected Graduation Year: 2024
Undergraduate Institution: Western Michigan University
Major: Biomedical Sciences
Minors: Chemistry and Psychology
Why I’m becoming a doctor
Like many others in health care, I have seen how illness and disease affects those around me. As I saw the progression of disease in my own family, I felt powerlessness and wanted nothing more than the ability to help. I used to accompany my family members to their clinic appointments where I was able to witness how their physician could effectively treat their physical symptoms while addressing their emotional concerns. I noticed how much comfort that interaction brought, and I realized that medicine would provide me with the knowledge that I craved.
My experience with the AAMC Fee Assistance Program
I used the following benefits during my premed journey:
- MCAT Official Prep Online-Only Bundle
- Reduced MCAT registration fee
- Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)
- Waiver for AMCAS fees
When I learned about the cost of the MCAT, the cost of the associated study materials, and the cost of the application process I was lost. I knew that there would be no way for me to go through this process alone. Fortunately, after a bit of researching I found the Fee Assistance Program and saw how it had helped others like me.
I applied to the Fee Assistance Program before studying for the MCAT and took advantage of all the MCAT benefits. I used all the questions provided by the AAMC including the practice exams, official guide, section banks, and MCAT style questions. These resources were essential during my MCAT preparation and it helped me get a score needed to matriculate into medical school. As someone who took the MCAT exam twice I urge you to reapply to the fee assistance program if needed. I was able to apply to the fee assistance program twice and received the same benefits both times.
When I was ready to apply, I used MSAR to make a list of schools that I was competitive for and interested in. I recommend paying attention to median GPA/MCAT scores of each school along with the proportion of in-state versus out-of-state students. These metrics are some of the best ways to determine if you will be competitive for a specific program.
The Fee Assistance Program also allowed me to be a successful reapplicant. In both cycles my primary and secondary applications fees were completely waived. During my second cycle I applied to over 20 schools and the Fee Assistance Program paid for it all (aside from interviews).
For me, the combination of the MCAT resources and the fee assistance was life changing. Without this program, I would not have had the materials needed to succeed on the MCAT and would not have had the means to apply to medical school. A large part of why I am in medical school today can be attributed to the AAMC Fee Assistance benefits program.
Advice to future applicants
Apply early! Getting some of the documents for this application may take some time, so be sure to plan appropriately. This program allows you to access many MCAT study resources for a reduced fee (or free!) so take advantage of that and use those resources wisely.
Make sure to explore what benefits are available to you and take advantage of them! If you are unsure of how to use the MCAT resources search premed forums to see what others have done and go from there. Your fellow medical school applicants, current medical students, and practicing physicians share some of the techniques that helped them be successful.
While I did not receive a scholarship due to receiving fee assistance benefits, my school did offer a scholarship based on social economic status which I was fortunate to receive. Many schools offer scholarships based on financial need so talk with your school’s financial aid office.
One last piece of advice: If you look at the data on medical school matriculation you will see that students from a lower socioeconomic status represent a significant minority. While this has been true for decades do not let that data deter you. There are others with similar backgrounds who make it and so can you. Use the resources that are provided, study hard, and you too will be a doctor someday. 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.