Entering Medical School Checklist

Preparing for Your First Year of Medical School

Use this checklist as you prepare for your first year of medical school.

  • If you need to apply for financial aid, be aware of your school’s deadline(s).
  • Thoroughly review your school’s financial aid offer.
  • Learn about the types of financial aid offered to you to determine which aid you want to accept.
  • Familiarize yourself with any financial aid terms that are new to you (see the Federal Student Aid Glossary below).
  • Find out what your school’s cost of attendance (COA) is as a first-year medical student (and each year thereafter).
  • Determine the amount of aid you will need and accept your financial aid package by the school’s deadline.
  • Complete required federal “Entrance Counseling” on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website and any other school requirements for incoming students.
  • Complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN) to obtain the federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or Direct PLUS Loan and familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions of your loan(s).
  • Create a budget and spending plan based on the aid you will receive and your school’s COA.
  • Set up a meeting with financial aid staff if you have questions or would like to review your budget.
  • Review additional resources about paying for medical school and preparing for future expenses.
  • Create an AAMC Financial Wellness account to access free money management resources and tools.