There’s no doubting that a career path in the medical field is bound to be fruitful. But while the demand for skilled doctors, therapists and practitioners isn’t likely to fade anytime soon, the state of tuition fees, loans and lack of scholarship opportunities is in a state of transition. And it’s drawn quite a bit of attention to the consideration of how to pay for medical school.
According to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges, while the median tuition for medical school students ranged from $28,685 at public institutions to $46,899 at private schools, those figures don’t begin to cover extraneous costs like lab fees, books and housing.
And what’s even more jarring, the average medical school student is graduating with an eye-watering financial burden of $150,000 to $180,000 in student loan debt, with nearly a quarter exceeding $200,000.
While careers in the medical field are likely to boast bigger paychecks than most BA, BS or MA degrees, there’s still chance for a discrepancy between pay and payment. And that discrepancy has the potential to wreak havoc on the wallets of future medical professionals substantially.
Ultimately, what the medical school financial crisis boils down to is creativity. Although the rising tuition costs and bloated debt loads show no signs of ceasing, there are more than a few proactive methods for how to pay for medical school that can save you years of monetary trouble.
4 Tips for How to Pay for Medical School
1. Start thinking proactively
Although med school students could rely on a sizable paycheck to pay their way through impending student loans post-schooling, future doctors will have to be a bit more proactive if they want to escape medical school without a pair of debt shackles weighing them down.
Start thinking about scholarships early on when considering how to pay for medical school. Although the kinds of scholarships offered to medical school students encompass a wide range of strengths and characteristics, applicants might want to consider the potential of enlisting in the army. Both the air force and navy offer substantial financial aid for applicants willing to serve some time.
Although the army tends to have a few of the more popular kinds of scholarships, there are plenty of opportunities available. Consider browsing our page for medical school scholarships for women, for the navy, and for the air force for more financial aid ideas.
2. Know what you’re getting yourself into
Organize a list of the schools you intend to apply to and their tuition costs and the kinds of loans you’ll likely have to take out. After you’ve done that, project what your yearly salary might be in your specific career field, and how long it would take you to pay off your student loans with that salary. If those two contrasting figures are already causing you to cringe, now might be a good time to reevaluate you school list or career choice, or find other means of how to pay for medical school.
3. Get Loan-Savvy
Not all loans are equal when concerning how to pay for medical school. Although you might be initially attracted to a plan with a low monthly payment, you could potentially be paying thousands more in the long haul. Be sure to research your options carefully and find a steady but manageable plan to follow.
4. Are you ready?
Although it’s common for the majority of premed and science undergrad students to “jump the gun” and head straight to medical school after college, it’s not always the most lucrative path.
Consider taking a year or two off before you decide to commit to a college. Best case scenario, you’ll have more time to reevaluate both your future profession and current financial situation. Not to mention, it will carve out a larger window for you to figure out how to pay for medical school all together.