So you are thinking about becoming a doctor! Medicine is a field that affects the lives of so many and you are ready to influence the health and well-being of others. However, medical school is undoubtedly a very costly program. The high costs of medical school do not have to stand in the way of you standing over an operating table with your scalpel or taking care of a newborn baby. With the appropriate knowledge and proper planning, you can be well on your way to wearing the white coat.
The average debt for after medical school is more than $120,000. The money starts adding up as soon as you send in those applications. Once you are accepted, you have tuition, room and board, travel expenses, books and normal cost of living expenses. A medical degree is a lifelong investment that will pay off in the long run. However, it has to be financed now.
Complete the FAFSA.
Medical students are also required to complete the FAFSA. Typically, med students will also be required to provide their parent’s information if they wish to be considered for aid distributed through their medical school. However, your loan status will still be considered independent. Remember to include your school code on the application. You must also reapply each year in order to renew your aid throughout medical school.
Be proactive about looking for grants and scholarships.
Now that you have the M.D. after your name, it does not mean the cost of your education is over just yet. The ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) transmits applications, recommendation letters, transcripts, and other important credentialing materials to fellowship, residency, and internship programs. And you guessed it…this costs money. For example, if an applicant applies to 23 internal medicine programs and seven radiology programs that will cost approximately $255. At the start of your medical career, when money is tight, you do have the option of postponing repayment during your residency. In addition to the six month grace period, recent graduates can defer their loan payments. This is a common occurrence for medical residents are economic hardship and graduate fellowship. You must contact your loan carrier for information on how to defer your loans.