Each year, thousands of new students enroll in medical schools to pursue their dreams of becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, medical school is expensive, and costs only increase each year. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average cost of medical school including tuition, fees, and health insurance for first-year students attending in-state public schools in 2022-2023 was $39,905, a 32% increase from the cost in 2012-13 ($30,192). For in-state private schools, the average cost jumped from $48,292 in 2012-13 to $62,570 in 2022-2023, a 29% increase.
Most students rely on loans to support their education. Taking out loans can be a hassle, and with high interest rates, can drive the overall cost of school to seemingly insurmountable levels.
In addition to financial aid, students are also eligible for a range of medical school scholarships. Applying for scholarships can reduce the number of loans you may potentially have to take out, or in some cases pay off your college tuition entirely. We’ve gathered 10 free medical school scholarships medical students can apply for in 2023.
1. BoardVitals Medical School Scholarship
Deadline: June 30th, 2023
Now in its 4th year, the BoardVitals Medical School Scholarship awards three lucky medical school students who have shown strong academic standing. One first-place winner will receive $2,000, one second-place winner will receive $1,000, and one third-place winner will receive $500. All prizes are awarded in the form of a VISA Prepaid Card.
To apply, you must be a resident of the United States who is currently enrolled as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th-year medical student in an accredited MD/DO school located in the United States. Participants must apply online and submit a 500-word essay on this year’s question, “What is one challenge you foresee in the future of healthcare and how do you hope to use your role as a future doctor to address it?”
2. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship an annual award given to students pursuing careers in healthcare. Each year, they offer ten $10,000 scholarships and twenty-five $5,000 awarded each year.
As of today, (March 9th), details and rules for the Tylenol scholarship have not been announced for 2023. Check back on the Tylenol Future Care website for updates.
3. James “Rhio” O’Connor Mesothelioma Scholarship Fund
Each months, the James “Rhio” O’Connor Mesothelioma Scholarship awards a $1,000 scholarship to medical students. To enter, students must submit a 700-1,500 word essay that answers pertinent questions related to cancer. These prompts can be found on the official scholarship website.
4. White Coat Investor Scholarship
The White Coat Investor Scholarship provides funding for medical students in order to “help those who wear the white coat a fair shake.” Every year, the scholarship gives out multiple awards, equivalent to 1% of the White Coat Investor’s total profit and additional contributions from corporate sponsors and readers. The total cash given out has increased every year, with more than $70,000 in prizes given in 2021.
To apply, you must simply submit a document that details basic information such as your name and anticipated degree and date of graduation. In addition, you must submit an 800-1,200 word essay that can be about any topic that you would like to write about. Winners will be selected after a thorough judging process that consists of three rounds.
This scholarship is open to full-time professional students who are in good academic standing. Eligible students must be studying:
- Physician Assistant
- Nurse Practitioner
- Veterinary Medicine
Note: In certain cases, aspiring physical therapists and occupational therapists will also be considered.
5. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards
The Physicians of Tomorrow Awards are some of the more substantial scholarships medical students can earn to help support their education. There are 10 different Physician of Tomorrow Awards available, each worth $10,000, available for third-year medical students.
Each award has its own specific requirements; there are commonalities amongst the different awards. To apply to these awards, you must be nominated by your school dean and then submit an application that includes a letter of recommendation, a personal statement, school transcripts, and proof of your financial status.
6. Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship
Deadline: April 7th, 2023
Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships offers five $5,000 scholarships to students entering their third year of medical school. To be considered, students must have shown “leadership in efforts to eliminate inequities in medical education and health care and have demonstrated leadership efforts in addressing educational, societal, and health care needs of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States”.
Applicants must submit several nomination and recommendation letters to qualify.
Recipients are required to accept the award at Learn Serve Lead 2023: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, with travel and registration costs covered by the AAMC.
7. Women in Medicine LGBTQ+ Scholarship
Due: March 15th, 2023
This year, Women in Medicine (WIM) is offering two $5,000 LGBTQ Leadership Scholarships for female medical students enrolled in in their first, second or third year of allopathic, osteopathic, or naturopathic medical schools in the United States or Canada. Applicants should be in good academic standing and have actively contributed to and demonstrated leadership for the LGBTQ community.
The scholarships will be presented at the WIM annual meeting, which will be held August 23-26, 2023. Winners are expected to attend the conference, its sessions, and be present to receive their awards.
8. USA Medical and Surgical Scholarship Program
The USA Medical and Surgical Scholarship Program offers a bi-annual scholarship award of $1,000 for college and university students. To be eligible you must be studying:
- Emergency Medical Services
- Laboratory Science
- Medical Technology
- Health Care
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Social Sciences
Applicants must write a 1,200-word essay on how medical supplies or medical equipment has the biggest impact on healing, improving, or extending human lives. Essays will be judged based on human impact, originality, relevance, and writing quality.
9. National Medical Fellowships’ Scholarships
The National Medical Fellowships’ (NMF) scholarships and awards aim to provide financial support to underrepresented minority medical students including: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian-Americans (Vietnamese and Cambodian only), and Pacific Islanders. Scholarships range in value from $5,000 to $7,000.
Each of the NMF awards has specific requirements, but there are commonalities amongst them all. Each award will be given out based on academic merit, demonstrated leadership ability, and a commitment to serving medically underserved communities.
10. Merit-Based School Scholarships
In addition to essay-based contests, medical students can also be eligible for merit-based school scholarships. Many universities and colleges will offer merit-based scholarships to outstanding students. Merit-based scholarships often are awarded based on academic factors such as GPA and MCAT test scores.
Most universities and colleges base scholarships on financial need but some of the top schools that offer merit-based medical school scholarships are:
- Emory (Woodruff Scholars)
- University of Pennsylvania (21st Century Scholars)
- University of Chicago
- Washington University
- University of Michigan
- Ohio State
These medical school scholarships are some of the best options for students looking to reduce the financial burden of their education. There are many other scholarships and awards available for students to apply to. Be sure to check out these options and other alternatives for paying for medical school to support your education. If you’re already well into your career and still tackling student debt, check out more tips to pay it down quickly.