Questions about scholarships
By - franksblond
Pretty rarely. Some schools have merit based aid, some have need based aid (though it’s based on parents income which is a pretty useless metric since most of us are independent adults by the time we apply). Merit aid goes to the top tier applicants at schools, and need based goes to people who’s parents make less money, basically.
Average debt for someone receiving an MD is over $200k, so that shows you that aid isn’t exactly readily available for most people.
But if the average tuition is like 60k nowadays, and probably another 20k for cost of living, then I think some people definitely get aid.
Top tier applicants get merit scholarships (which tend to be quite rare and reserved for extremely strong applicants).
Applicants whose parents have very low AGI (annual gross income) get need based scholarships or grants. They don't consider your individual income or tax returns for med school. Not sure why but if I had to guess it's because if they did, all med students would be getting these scholarships. They probably just want to support people who have essentially no safety net from family.
Most places you'll automatically be considered for scholarships once you submit FAFSA or a school specific financial aid form.
Some schools have scholarship programs to attract students interested in a certain specialty (mostly primary care - i.e. Abigail Geisinger Scholars program). They are pretty competitive and disadvantage you off the bat by restricting your specialties.
The military branches offer a complicated HPSP scholarship program. The VA also offers a similar scholarship program now (although I've heard this is actually better than HPSP in terms of flexibility). There might be some other government scholarship programs as well. The only issue with these are they bind you to service and can inadvertently restrict your specialty choice.
Finally, MD/PhDs are usually fully funded programs but have a really long training/research period. The years you spend in your PhD are years you miss out on being an attending and can pay back your loans. The major disadvantages are competitiveness and the added training.
**TLDR; Most people either have wealthy parents or self-fund their degree through a mix of personal assets and loans.**
Edit: You could also move to Texas, gain residency, and go to med school there. One of the only states where you'll pay <100k for all four years of school.
Depends on the school....here're some things that I remember from my previous cycle (pls still do your research tho; don't quote me on specific school names)
There are a couple schools out there that ONLY give need-based aid (based on parents' income) and won't give ANY merit aid (Cornell, Columbia)
Then there're a couple of schools out there that have merit aid and very generous need based aid (WashU)
Then there's NYU and Kaiser who give free tuition to all who matriculate
Most schools, however, expect you to take out loans or fund yourself somehow. Some will consider you for scholarships based on your application. Others want you to write additional essays after you get accepted (UToledo). I have noticed that most schools that are generous with need and merit based scholarships are top-tier, private schools
Thanks everyone who replied!