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Top 10 Questions Premeds Should Ask Medical School Financial Aid Officers

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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.

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The Facts on Cost

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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.

In the most recent edition of the  Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card, which is published every October, the data indicated that 73% of all medical students graduating in 2019 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.

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. Is a supplemental financial aid application required 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. If I get a scholarship for one year, will it continue to be offered in subsequent years?
  7. Does your school offer institutional loans? If you do, 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’s 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 by making an appointment during a campus visit or by email.

Remember, although a medical education is expensive, there are many sources of aid that can help you pay for medical school. Some sources of financial aid may include scholarships, grants, and loans.   

By obtaining the answers to these questions, 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’s FIRST program.

Helpful Resources:

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Contact FIRST
Search Financial Aid Resources

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MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)

The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator was developed to assist medical students and residents with managing their education debt.

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Infographic

This infographic outlines the steps needed to qualify and obtain forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, while also providing helpful insight, tools, and resources to use in the pursuit of PSLF.

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AAMC Financial Wellness

Access free financial calculators, articles, and videos to help you create a budget, track your spending, create financial goals, and enhance your financial knowledge about credit, financial planning, money management, and more!

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Education Debt Manager (EDM) for Matriculating and

This comprehensive financial guide helps professionals at all levels of the medical education continuum navigate the complexities of financing medical school by borrowing wisely and repaying student loan debt responsibly.

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