The Cost of Applying to Medical School
Before you're even accepted to medical school, you'll have some admissions-related costs to cover, the most significant of which involve the AMCAS® application service and the MCAT® exam.
Fees related to your medical school application itself are likely to comprise your largest expense. Usually, these costs will fall into the following three categories:
- Primary application fee. Most medical schools use the AAMC's American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) to process applications. Through this service, you are able to submit a single set of application materials and have them sent to the schools you specify. For the 2014 entering class, the fee is $160 for the first school and $35 for each additional school. (Please be aware that not all schools use AMCAS, and that you may incur a different fee in those instances.)
- Secondary application fee. The majority of medical schools require a secondary application. Those fees typically range from $25 to $100.
- College service fees. There is usually a small fee for transmittal of your transcript from your college registrar, and occasionally a fee for transmittal of letters of recommendation.
The Cost of the MCAT Exam
The registration fee for the MCAT exam is $275, which covers the cost of the exam, as well as distribution of your scores. Beyond that, you will incur additional fees for late registration, changes to your registration, and testing at international test sites. Information regarding these fees is available on the MCAT Web site.
In addition, keep in mind other costs associated with the application process. These include expenses related to purchase of medical school guidebooks such as Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR®), travel and overnight accommodations for medical school interviews, and costs related to MCAT preparation, such as AAMC preparation products.
The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program
The AAMC's Fee Assistance Program (FAP) assists MCAT® examinees and AMCAS® applicants who, without financial assistance, would be unable to take the MCAT exam or apply to medical schools that use the AMCAS application.
Go to www.aamc.org/fap for current benefit information and to learn more about the program.
FAP eligibility decisions are tied directly to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' poverty-level guidelines. For the 2014 calendar year, applicants whose 2013 total family income is 300 percent or less of the poverty level for their family size are eligible for fee assistance.
The Importance of Good Credit
It is critical that you maintain strong credit as you begin the medical school application process. In extreme cases, a medical school may actually defer your admittance until you resolve any issues with your credit history. Read Borrowing 101 and Your Credit Score for more information on the importance of good credit.
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