Scholarships for Medical School

By Jason Marshall , last updated January 9, 2012

With the exception of law school, there may be no other education more expensive than medical school. Scholarships, then, are incredibly important for most students to get through the financially, academically, and emotionally grueling years of medical school. Few, however, decide to go to medical school on a whim. Chances are you have been planning to go for years and maintained a rigorous academic work schedule, keeping your grades as high as possible. High grades are important for getting into a good medical school, but they are even more important for getting medical school scholarships, which are some of the most competitive out there.

Where to Find Medical School Scholarships

Medical school is expensive and financial aid institutions know this. That is why they have made a lot of money available for medical students. But while there are a lot of scholarships, many of them are so specific as to exclude the vast majority of students. To find the scholarships that are right for you, be sure to exhaust online resources. has a long list of scholarships for medical students. Most of them will not fit your needs, but you are sure to find some for you. Once you have exhausted online resources, you can contact the financial aid department of your school. They will help you find aid opportunities that match your needs.

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)

One way to pay for your medical education is through the HPSP, which is a military program that pays for your education. You can attend the school of your choice and they will foot the bill. In return you must commit to serve one year in the branch you choose for every year they pay. They must also serve 45 days of active duty per year of their studies. Students must be accepted to a school before they can apply for the HPSP so this is a great way to get your tuition and fees paid if all other funding falls through. It is also a good option for those interested in a military career. Students will complete their residency in a military hospital and become officers.

American Medical Association Scholarships

Practicing doctors understand the crushing burden of medical school costs, so it makes sense for them to institute scholarships for the next generation of medical professionals. The AMA awards several scholarships each year, including some for minority students. To apply, students must get the requisite forms from the financial aid office at their school.

How to Stand Out

Since there are so many applicants for each award it is crucial that you stand out. You can’t just tell the committee that you are committed to medicine and have the chops to make it through medical school. You have to show them that their investment in you will pay off. This is where all those extracurricular activities everyone told you were so important come into play, especially if they have something to do with medicine. Volunteering in clinics or hospitals will show the award committee that you have a deep passion for medicine. It will also show them that you are already familiar with many of the professions realities and can handle them.

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