I am a miracle made up of particles and in this existence I'll stay persistent and I'll make a difference and I will have lived it - Medicine for the People

The Cost of Applying to Medical $chool

Friday, July 12, 2013

(See what I did with the title there? Haha)

Everything seems to be getting more expensive these days and applying to medical school is no different. For the primary AMCAS application this year the processing fee is $160 (which covers one medical school designation) with an extra $35 charge for every additional school you designate. This might not seem like much until you consider that in the 2011 AMCAS application cycle students applied to an average of 15 schools.

Secondary application fees typically run from $25 to $100, so roughly $60 per school and then there are incidental expenses that you might not even realize exist. These include small fees for transcripts or letters of recommendation transmission and the cost of taking the MCAT ($270) and any associated exam costs (like MCAT prep books or a course, which end up being several hundred to thousands of dollars).

Total fees for the MCAT, AMCAS and secondary apps together can range well into the thousands and that’s not even taking into consideration the costs associated with interviews such as flights, hotel, etc.
Luckily, there is help. The AAMC fee assistance program (FAP) is “available to individuals with financial need” and helps applicants by reducing various fees and offering complimentary resources such as free online MCAT assessments. If you received fee assistance benefits from the AAMC, most schools will also waive the fee for your secondary application. Eligibility is determined by poverty level guidelines; if your total family income is less than or equal to 300% of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services determined poverty level for your family size then you can receive assistance.

I think it’s really important to highlight these kinds of programs because there are many economically disadvantaged students that have the intelligence, drive and passion for medicine that would not be able to apply to medical school without help. I hope that in the future, this kind of assistance can be extended to help defray the costs of attending medical school as well, so that one day students can graduate without being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt (gasp!). I know, it sounds totally crazy, but how amazing would that be?

You can find more information about the financial cost of applying to medical school here and if you know of any additional resources that help with application fees, please let me know!

Medical School Applications, Financial Assistance, Debt


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