Top 10 Questions Premeds Should Ask Medical School Financial Aid Officers

December 27, 2023

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Attending medical school is expensive, and most medical students will need to borrow federal student loans to cover their medical school’s cost of attendance. Below is a list of 10 questions to help you get a conversation started with the financial aid office professionals at the medical schools you are considering attending.  

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The Facts on Cost

In the most recent edition of the Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Cardwhich is published every October, the data indicated that 70% of all medical students graduating in 2023 reported leaving medical school with student loan debt. Most medical students will need to borrow at least some federal student loans to cover the cost of their medical education, so it’s good to start thinking about how to pay for medical school early. Remember, although a medical education is costly, there are many sources of aid that can help you pay for medical school. Financial aid may include scholarships, grants, and loans.

What You Should Ask

Here are 10 questions to get the medical school financial aid discussion started:

  1. How much does a medical education cost at your school? 
  2. What was the average amount of debt for the most recent graduating class?
  3. What applications are required to apply for financial aid at this school?
  4. Do you require parental information to determine a financial aid package?  
  5. What scholarships and grants are available, and when can I apply for them?
  6. Do I have to apply for financial aid each year, and if I am awarded a scholarship or grant, will it be offered in subsequent years?
  7. Does your school offer institutional loans? If so, what are the terms and conditions, and how much of my yearly cost will they cover? Are they awarded each year?
  8. How can I cut down on my yearly expenses, costs, and borrowing?
  9. Do students who are awarded the AAMC Fee Assistance Program qualify for any additional financial aid benefits at your school?
  10. Can medical students work part time while attending this medical school?
Finding the Answers

Visit the school’s financial aid web pages and review the Tuition, Aid & Debt section of the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR®)You can also speak directly with a financial aid officer at the medical school. Call or email the office to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions.

By obtaining the answers to the questions listed here, as well as any others that are on your mind, you’ll better understand the medical school’s financial aid application process, the types of aid available at each school, and you can equip yourself with tips to help minimize your student loan debt.

In addition to talking with the medical school financial aid staff, you should also utilize the free resources and tools from the AAMC FIRST program.

Helpful Resources:

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