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How common is financial aid for med school?

MIMommaMIMomma Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
Any resource to find out what percentage of admitted students to med school receive either merit or need-based financial aid packages from their schools? I'm sure it fluctuates from school to school, (in-state/private/OOS) but do students typically receive some sort of aid, or do most pay the sticker price?
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Replies to: How common is financial aid for med school?

  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    edited August 5
    It is rare that med schools give out merit aid and because it is a grad school, need base aid is non-existent. Vast Majority of med school students are living on Loans.

    I'd venture that only 5% of the med students get some merit aid, even they do, it won't cover the COA. In rare occasion, a med school student gets a full ride. My cousin did 30+ years ago, because of a local endowment specifically granted her a full ride.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,622 Senior Member
    edited August 5
    A few medical school are very generous. Cleveland Clinic Lerner SOM gives every one of the 20 students they accept a full tuition scholarship. Mayo SOM offers some generous scholarships (half tuition), but only accepts 46 students/year.

    Some private med schools offer merit awards of varying amounts (up to full tuition, but usually significantly less than that) to attract highly desirable/highly competitive applicants who have multiple other acceptances, typically at higher ranked med schools.

    But the key here is to have multiple acceptances and 70% of med school matriculants only get ONE acceptance.

    Occasionally, a newer state med schools (UCF, for example) will offer OOS tuition differential waivers to high stats OOS students to help boost their student profile for USNews. And often a brand new med school will offer a tuition discount to the their first class of students. (But only for MS1, after that everyone pays full sticker price.)

    There are a handful "meets full need" med schools (Harvard, Yale, Duke. Stanford, Chicago....maybe 1 or 2 others), but these schools require that student first take a base loan (typically around $40k/year), and pay an expected family contribution** before any need-based aid is awarded.

    **To be eligible for need based aid at these schools, the student and both the student's parents and spouse (if there is one) must fill out the Needs Access--which is like the CSS Profile on steroids--even if the student is older (up to age 35), married and/or has been self-supporting for years.

    State med schools tend to award token scholarships for a few thousand $$ simply because most don't have endowments that can afford scholarships, though for the right applicant (think Harvard/Stanford/Yale accepted level), they might find more $$. Also there are smallish scholarships at some schools for students who meet specific criteria. (Third year female student who plans to become a OB/GYN. Or student who resides in XX County who plans to specia;ize in family medicine, etc.)

    So some merit aid is available, but not a whole lot. Nearly all med students are full pay.

    All med schools (except fo CNU in CA) offer need based aid in the form of federal student loans and Grad Plus loans.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    Watch this, this girl got a full ride and her Mcat is only 509

    https://youtu.be/L2tjlf0nzBs
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,622 Senior Member
    I neglected to mention Herbert SOM at USU--free medical education for military service members studying medicine. Plus matriculants are commissioned as officers upon matriculation & receive an officer's salary & benefits. Non-military personnel can apply, but must enlist in a service branch before matriculation. Preference is given to current and former members of the armed forces.

    There are two national programs that offer full COA scholarships to pay for med school. These are service-for-scholarship programs.

    HPSP--this requires the student to enlist in one of the branches of the military service upon acceptance of the scholarship. HPSP requires a military residency (there are some exceptions granted) followed by 4 years of active duty service as a military physician. Speciality choice is theoretically not limited but the needs of the service come first.

    NHSC--this pays for med school tuition plus gives recipients a living expenses stipend. Students can enroll in NHSC for 4, 3 or 2 years. Scholarship recipients are required to complete a residency in a primary care field (FM, IM, OB/GYN, or pediatrics), then immediately after residency owe 1 year of service in a federally designated, medically underserved area clinic or hospital for each year of scholarship received.

    A number of states offer their own in-state version of NHSC with the same basic requirements. Primary care residency followed by 1-for-1 years of service in medically underserved location within the state. Check with the dept of public health in your state to see if your state offers a program.

    With the increasing cost of med school and reductions in program funding, HPSP and NHSC scholarships have become increasingly competitive to get.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,622 Senior Member
    edited August 5
    I forgot to add that there is no central location to find out which school offers what because the criteria for most merit awards changes every year depending on the applicant pool and the school's finances. With the elimination of the monthly multiple acceptance reports starting this cycle, I suspect med schools will be slower to offer merit aid because they won't know which students are holding offers at other schools.

    Note that medical schools are not required to provide a financial aid package to accepted students before the April 30 deadline for selecting a med school.

    I think a good rule of thumb is to expect to be full pay and be pleasantly surprised if you're offer anything besides loans.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    edited August 5
    After you get admitted in a med school (private more often than public), check for specific scholarships pertaining to your personal background.

    My cousin gave up Harvard and Yale acceptance and attend NYU, because she was from a small town that a doctor in town had set an endowment that any one is a resident of that town who got admitted by NYU med school will get a full ride with stipend if attending.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,218 Forum Champion
    because she was from a small town that a doctor in town had set an endowment that any one is a resident of that town who got admitted by NYU med school will get a full ride with stipend if attending.
    Lol, what an oddly specific endowment. Great opportunity for her though. Definitely made the right choice.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,383 Senior Member
    edited August 5
    ^^ You still can move to that town any time and graduated from its high school, the trick is to get admittance from NYU med school afterwards.

    My cousin, who did not pay for med school, still has to pay med school loans upon graduation. The thing is that she met her husband Danny Boy at NYU and Danny Boy had substantial loans, so when they got married, she owe half of what Danny Boy owed. :) I believe those loans were paid off quickly as she now owns three dermatology clinics with several doctors working for her.
  • MIMommaMIMomma Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Thanks for the insight! Not the news I was hoping for, but good to be prepared. I like WOWMom's advice: expect to be full pay and then you *might* be pleasantly surprised with an award.

    Also good to know that the student won't necessarily know any aid package before accepting (kind-of a stinky situation if you've got multiple acceptances!).

    My D's MCAT is in 2 weeks (so no idea yet how competitive she'll be), with another 10 months before she applies, but I appreciate knowing what to expect from the process.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 71,029 Senior Member
    MIMomma wrote:
    Also good to know that the student won't necessarily know any aid package before accepting (kind-of a stinky situation if you've got multiple acceptances!).

    Does not seem to make sense from the school's perspective, since isn't the point of FA and scholarships to try to lure students who have choices to your school? Making the offer before the decision maximizes that effect, while making the offer after the decision minimizes it.

    Of course, since most applicants get 0 or 1 admission, there is little reason for medical schools to compete for matriculations with FA and scholarships. The students have to take it or leave it.
  • HImomHImom Registered User Posts: 32,334 Senior Member
    My relative got merit aid that was equal to one year NRes tuition and 3 years resident tuition to attend OOS med school. I had never before heard of getting merit aid for med school. My friend’s D got 1st year of med school free, as did all her classmates in Mayo’s Rochester med school. Otherwise, rarely have heard of merit or FAid awards for med school.
  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom Registered User Posts: 9,622 Senior Member
    edited August 6
    Does not seem to make sense from the school's perspective, since isn't the point of FA and scholarships to try to lure students who have choices to your school? Making the offer before the decision maximizes that effect, while making the offer after the decision minimizes it.

    Of course, since most applicants get 0 or 1 admission, there is little reason for medical schools to compete for matriculations with FA and scholarships. The students have to take it or leave it

    In the past, "rock star" multiply-accepted applicants usually had merit offers in hand well ahead of the April 30 commitment deadline. It's the average applicant who has to wait for their FA info.**

    But FA at med school is an evolving situation. In order to avoid a DoJ lawsuit like the one that colleges got hit with about sharing acceptance information, AMCAS has issued new traffic rules. Beginning this application cycle, AMCAS will no longer publish the weekly multiple acceptance report that shows which students hold multiple acceptances. So med schools and their FA depts. will be blind to that data.

    It's unclear what effect the new traffic rules will have on merit awards going forward.

    **One of the reasons why med school are not required to offer FA packages to students before the April 30th deadline is because students (and parents) have until after the April 15 tax filing deadline to submit FAFSA, NeedsAccess or the school-specific FA application. It almost impossible for the tiny FA depts (usually only a single individual with part time seasonal help) at med schools to have packages ready for some 300-1200 accepted and waitlisted students in 8 business days.

    You are correct that most med school matriculants only get a single acceptance. Approx 60-70% of matriculants get exactly ONE acceptance.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 83,902 Forum Champion
    edited August 8
    My son received a half-tuition merit award at the med school he attended. He had good stats, but the real reason for the merit offers was because he was accepted to multiple med schools and each one offered merit. Around February of the app cycle, med schools would find out if any of their acceptees are holding multiple acceptances. Once they find out, they often offer merit as an enticement to enroll. Yield protection.

    The applicants that I’ve helped in recent years have found the same. Holding multiple acceptances often means getting small or generous merit offers. One such student this year had 5 acceptances. 3 med schools offered money. She had her white coat at the top school last week....no merit offered there.

    There was a student in this forum that was offered free tuition to (I think) Northwestern. Student had top stats and was also holding 1 or more tippy top med school acceptances.

    However, I’ve heard that the traffic rules have changed and med schools will no longer be informed about multiple acceptances.

    WowMom is right...assume no merit aid, assumed costs will be covered by loans.
  • MIMommaMIMomma Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    So, since the schools will no longer be informed about multiple acceptances from some external database, is it ever appropriate for a student to inform the schools of multiple acceptances prior to making the decision about where s/he will attend? "I'm really interested in your school, but I've also been accepted to Med School X and Med School Y." In those situations, can a student be more direct in asking for merit offers?
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