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 2023-2024 was $40,493, a 34% 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 $64,729 in 2023-2024, a 34% 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 2024.
1. BoardVitals Medical School Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st, 2024
Now in its 5th 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 OR who is currently participating in a medical residency program.
Participants must apply online and submit a 500-word essay on one of this year’s questions:
- Share a specific patient care experience that presented unexpected challenges. How did you approach and overcome these challenges, and what did you learn from the situation?
- Reflect on your personal connection to a specific medical specialty. What experiences or encounters led you to choose this specialty, and how do you envision contributing to its advancement in the future?
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, (February 1st,), details and rules for the Tylenol scholarship have not been announced for 2024. Check back on the Tylenol Future Care website for updates.
3. James “Rhio” O’Connor Mesothelioma Scholarship Fund
Each month, 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 $59,000 in prizes given in 2023.
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 students entering their final year of medical school. 12 categories are available.
6. Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarship
Deadline: April 5th, 2024
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”.
Recipients are required to accept the award at Learn Serve Lead 2024: The AAMC Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, with travel and registration costs covered by the AAMC.
7. 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.
8. Scholarships360 “No Essay” Scholarship
Deadline: June 30th, 2024
Essay writing not your thing? The Scholarships360 “No Essay” Scholarship might be for you. This scholarship is open to all students, with no GPA requirement. Finalists will be required to complete an interview about how they are funding their education.
9. Dr. Francis Anthony Beneventi Medical Scholarship
The Daughters of the American Revolution is presenting a $5,000 scholarship to a student either attending or planning to attend an approved, accredited medical school, college, or university. The applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.25.
The DAR also offers several nursing scholarships.
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.