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AAMC Expands Fee Assistance Eligibility for Medical School Applicants with DACA Status

Washington, D.C., September 25, 2014—Today the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) announced that students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status will be eligible to receive financial assistance through the AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) during the medical school application process. The changes will take effect in January 2015.

“Students with DACA status represent a small but growing community of aspiring physicians, and the number of medical school applicants with this status has continued to increase,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. “The AAMC is pleased to offer financial assistance for all eligible students in order to ensure greater access to medical school programs. The cost of applying to medical school should not be a barrier to individuals who want to pursue a career in medicine.”

Many students who have been raised and educated in the United States and have aspirations of becoming physicians have experienced barriers related to their undocumented status. A recent article published in Academic Medicine suggests that improving access to medical education among these students can impact the nationwide physician shortage, particularly in underserved areas.

In 2014, the AAMC has committed an estimated $5.2 million in fee assistance for approximately 15,000 eligible applicants. Eligibility for the AAMC FAP is tied directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ poverty level guidelines; applicants whose total family income is 300 percent or less of the current poverty level for their family size will be approved for fee assistance. Until now, financial support through FAP only has been available for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, or those who have been granted refugee/asylum status by the U.S. government. Students with DACA status previously were ineligible to receive fee assistance.


The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at

Brooke Bergen