The Rx for Medical School Debt: How Scholarships Lighten the Load


If you’re considering a career in medicine, chances are that the cost of a medical degree has crossed your mind. Although there are many ways to pay for your education, scholarships and loans can offer solutions that other funding sources don’t. Say’s Dr. Julian Mitton, here’s what you need to know about finding and applying for scholarships—and how they can help reduce the burden of student debt in the long run.

Medical school is expensive.

Medical school is expensive.

For most students, the cost of medical school alone is more than $100,000–and that’s not even including the cost of residency training and malpractice insurance. Add in retirement savings, and you’re looking at a lifetime investment of $1 million or more.

Scholarships save money and time.

While scholarships are a great way to save money and time, they can also be used for other expenses. Scholarships can help you pay for living expenses while you’re in medical school, from housing to food and transportation costs. These types of awards are usually given out by individual schools or organizations rather than federal agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you’ve been accepted into an MBBS program but don’t have enough money saved up yet, consider applying for one or more scholarships before starting classes next fall.

Not all scholarships are created equal.

Not all scholarships are created equal. Some are merit-based, meaning that you must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for the award. Others are need-based, which means that you must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for the scholarship. In addition to these distinctions, some scholarships require special skills or talents (like playing an instrument), while others may be awarded based on ethnicity and gender identity.

While it’s important to research all possible options when looking for money for medical school, it’s also good practice not only because some sources will fund your entire education while others won’t even cover half of what they say they do on their websites–but also because different types of awards might help you reach different goals during your time as a student or professional physician later down the line.”

There’s a lot of merit-based money out there.

You can still save a lot of money and time by applying for scholarships. In fact, there’s a ton of merit-based college money out there–and some of it is easier to get than others. For example, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards over $32 million in scholarship funds each year to high school seniors who score well on the SAT or ACT exams. These awards are highly competitive: only about one percent of test-takers qualify for them! But if you do manage to win one (or more), your education will be paid for by someone else instead of yourself or your parents.

The good news is that there are many other types of scholarships available at both the state and national levels as well as through local organizations like Rotary clubs and chambers of commerce; these can range from $1,000 up into six figures! You just have to do some research into what types of organizations might offer scholarships relevant to your particular field(s) interest(s), then apply accordingly

Student loans aren’t the only option.

Scholarships are a great way to pay for school. They’re not loans, so you don’t have to pay them back! Scholarships can be used for tuition, books and living expenses at any accredited college or university.

Scholarship awards range from $500-$10,000 per year (and sometimes even more). That doesn’t sound like much money until you consider that the average medical school tuition is $29K per year (and rising). If someone gave me $29K as an undergraduate student…well…I’d probably still be in college right now instead of writing this article!

Find and apply for scholarships that fit your needs and interests.

The first step to finding a scholarship is to not limit yourself to the first few that come up in your search. You might be afraid that they’re too small or too big, but don’t let this stop you from applying! The truth is that there are thousands of scholarships out there and most are not advertised on any one website. If a particular scholarship doesn’t seem like it fits your needs or interests perfectly, then don’t let that stop you either–it may still be worth applying anyway.


Medical school is a great investment, both in terms of personal fulfillment and financial security. But if you’re worried about the cost, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are plenty of scholarships available for medical students who want them–you just have to do some research and apply!

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