The Cost of Applying to Medical School

Before you're accepted to medical school, you'll have some admissions-related costs to plan for, including the AMCAS® application service and the MCAT® exam.
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Application Fees

The fees related to your medical school application are likely to comprise your largest expense. Usually, these costs 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 2018 AMCAS application fee is $160 for the first school and $39 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 regarding their admissions processes.
  • Secondary application fee. The majority of medical schools require a secondary application. Those fees typically range from $0 to $150. If applicants qualify for the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program, some medical schools will waive the secondary application fee.
  • College service fees. There is usually a small fee for transmittal of your transcript from your college registrar, and occasionally a fee for transmittal of letters of recommendation.

The Cost of the MCAT Exam

The basic registration fee for the MCAT exam is $310, which covers the cost of the exam, as well as distribution of your scores. Beyond that, you will incur additional fees for late registration, changes to your registration, and testing at international test sites. Information regarding these 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.

Other Expenses

Keep in mind other costs that may associate with the application process. Some of those expenses include:

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.

The Fee Assistance Program eligibility decisions are tied directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' poverty-level guidelines. For the complete list of eligibility guidelines and benefits, visit the Fee Assistance Program home page.

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 on the importance of good credit.

Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)

MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)

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

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