The fees related to your medical school application are likely going to be your largest expense. Usually, these fees will fall into the following three categories:
- Primary application fee. Most medical schools use the AAMC's American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) to process applications. Through this service, you are able to submit a single set of application materials and have them sent to the schools you specify. The 2021 application fee is $170 for the first school and $41 for each additional school. Keep in mind that not all schools use AMCAS, so be sure to check with the respective medical schools you’re interested in applying to determine their admission’s processes.
- Secondary application fee. The majority of medical schools require a secondary application. Those fees range in cost. If applicants qualify for the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program, some medical schools will waive the secondary application fee. Check with the school regarding their policy.
- College service fees. There is usually a small fee for transmitting your transcript from your college registrar, and occasionally a fee for transmitting your letters of recommendation. Check with your school’s registrar to verify if there will be fees associated with these requests.
MCAT Exam Fees
The initial registration fee for the MCAT exam is $320, which covers the cost of the exam, as well as distribution of your scores. Information regarding fees is available on the MCAT website.
For details on exam content, the registration system, test-day procedures, score release process, and more, read the free MCAT Essentials, on the MCAT website.
Keep in mind there may be other costs associated with the application process. Some of those expenses include:
- Travel and overnight accommodations as well as appropriate attire for medical school interviews
- The purchase of medical school application tools and guidebooks such as The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions and the Medical School Admission Requirements subscription
- Costs related to MCAT preparation (MCAT Exam practice materials)
The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program
The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program assists MCAT® examinees and AMCAS® applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT exam or apply to medical schools that use the AMCAS application.
Eligibility for the Fee Assistance Program is tied directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' poverty-level guidelines and other requirements. For a complete list of eligibility guidelines and benefits, visit Fee Assistance Program.
The Importance of Good Credit
It is critical that you maintain strong credit as you begin the medical school application process. In extreme cases, a medical school may actually defer your admittance until you resolve any issues with your credit history. Read Borrowing 101 and Your Credit Score for more information about the importance of good credit.