The Best Med School Scholarships for 2021
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that 76 percent of American medical school students graduate with debt. This debt is not light — in 2019, the median debt post-graduation was $200,000.
Medical school is a costly investment in one's future. While it certainly provides a plethora of rewards, it can be tolling on a student along the way.
Luckily, there are many medical school scholarships out there to help reduce the financial burden of the process. Keep reading to hear some of the best med school scholarships moving into the new year.
Medical School Scholarships
Of course, you can use the FAFSA to apply for government financial aid when applying to medical school. This might help reduce the cost of your education with loans, grants, and other awards.
Keep in mind, though, that this is a needs-based system. This means that those outside the parameters of greatest need may still be stuck with a large out-of-pocket investment.
This is where other scholarship awards come into play. Many of these include membership in a club or honor society that can provide additional benefits beyond the monetary award.
Furthermore, having this award on your resume can help prove your merit to potential employers. The sense of camaraderie from having this stamp on your record provides great networking opportunities. Simply being part of the organizations that award these scholarships for medical school can open many doors down the line.
Depending on what social, economic, and cultural groups you fit into, there are further opportunities in securing med school scholarships to help with tuition costs.
National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
The NHSC Scholarship Program is one of the most inclusive opportunities for med school scholarships. But, it also carries a hefty commitment after graduation.
The NHSC scholarship can potentially cover all tuition and fees for all four years of medical school. Plus, the NHSC provides a stipend to cover living expenses.
The tuition-covering part of the award is tax-free. The stipend is taxable income.
It's important to note that although this scholarship is very generous, it comes at a cost in other ways. Students who accept an NHSC scholarship commit to working in primary care in a location designated as a health professional shortage area.
The service obligation varies based on how many years you accept the scholarship.
If you take one year of the scholarship, you owe two years of full-time service or four years of half-time service. If you take four years of the scholarship, you owe four years of full-time service or eight years of half-time service.
Besides committing to the service aspect, there are a few other qualifications.
Applicants must be a US citizen. They must be enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited school in the United States (or an American territory). Students must also be eligible for federal employment, which sometimes includes security clearance.
Priority is given to those students who are academically accomplished, from a disadvantaged background.
White Coat Investor Scholarship
The White Coat Investor Scholarship actually switched up the structure of their scholarship beginning in 2020. Candidates should send in their applications online. More information about the 2021 scholarship is set to be posted in June.
Instead of their typical multi-tiered system, the White Coat Investor Scholarship will only be awarding med school scholarships at two levels. There will be 10 winners, all of whom will receive a White Coat Investor online course.
The five second-place candidates will receive a $2,000 cash award. The other five first-place candidates will split the remaining cash evenly.
Typically, the prize pool can be closer to $100,000, meaning the first-place winners can walk away with a sizeable sum to put towards their medical school tuition.
To apply, candidates must submit an application with their biographical information. They must also submit an essay on any topic, ranging from 800 to 1200 words.
This scholarship is only open to US medical school students with a valid social security number. It does not apply to those with an online school background.
Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fund
The Dolorez Zohrab Liebmann Fund is another example of all-inclusive scholarships for medical school. It is a competitive program, with JP Morgan Chase serving as the trustee.
This scholarship covers the entirety of the successful candidate's medical school tuition. It also provides an $18,000 stipend to cover living expenses.
This award is only open to US citizens who attend specific institutions. Applicants must show financial need to be considered.
To apply, applicants must request an application through the financial aid office of their academic institution. They then submit their application through the dean of their school to be considered.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship aims to help those who may be struggling to afford medical school due to family circumstances. This scholarship provides a great opportunity for first-generation students to qualify for special med school scholarships.
This award is one of the more generous medical school scholarships for new Americans. It provides a $90,000 tuition scholarship over two years.
Candidates for this scholarship must be under 30 years old at the deadline. They must fit one of the two following situations:
- Born in the United States to parents who were born outside the country as non-citizens
- Born outside of the United States and were naturalized, adopted, or granted a green card/refugee status
Interested applicants must apply online, and submit two essays of 1,000 words each.
Other Places to Seek Scholarships for Medical School
There are further places to seek med school scholarships based on individual circumstances. Look for scholarships local to your state, city, and community.
There may even be scholarships for medical school if you are a member of a certain organization. These may be churches, hospitals, businesses, clubs, and nonprofit organizations.
These awards will likely be smaller than some of their national counterparts. In turn, you may have a better chance of being awarded the scholarship with less competition.
It's also important to look for school-specific awards. Call the financial aid office at your academic institution and see if they have any awards available.
More Information on Med School Scholarships
It's critical to keep a good student profile to be more attractive to potential providers of med school scholarships. Getting involved within your institution is a great way to not only improve your resume but to become a more well-rounded student.
Medical school honor society programs are one easy way to gain access to a variety of resources. With the right qualifications, you can reap the benefits of the honor society for medical school that go far beyond monetary awards.
For more information on getting involved in honor society programs, contact an advisor today!