How much does it cost for a pre-med student to complete the application process?
If you take a review course and apply to several schools, plus travel to a couple of schools for interviews, it could cost from $3,500 to $5,500 to complete the entire application process.
This includes the MCAT fee ($210), then the fee paid to AMCAS for the first school ($160) and fees tacked on for every additional school you apply to. Secondary applications cost around $100 per school. Add $2,000 or more in costs for the typical MCAT prep class. Additional study materials could bump that number up higher. (I’d recommend looking at the Pre-Med Ask It! list of MCAT prep materials from the range of publishers to supplement your studies, whether you’re in a prep class or not.)
Then don’t forget travel expenses for travel to and from schools who invite you for an interview.
MIT’s Career Office estimates (conservatively) the cost of applying to 15 medical schools to be between $3,414 and $4,290, not including MCAT prep materials. So a total figure of $5,000 or more is not unreasonable.
I’ll add here that there is a Fee Assistance Program through AMCAS for qualifying students, but it only applies to the MCAT fee and AMCAS application fees, some of the smaller ticket items.
So all in all, just getting to square one in medical school is an expensive proposition, and one you should be preparing for now!
How much per application?
Most medical schools use the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) application service, as a clearinghouse to disseminate your applications to your selected schools. In 2011 the fee was $160 for the first school, and $33 for each additional school. For schools that request a secondary application, you can expect to pay an additional fee of $25 to $100 per secondary application.
Help for those with financial need
AAMC offers a special Fee Assistance Program for pre-med applicants with special financial needs, which also applies to MCAT testing fees.
If you are interested in requesting help through AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program (FAP), you can review the eligibility requirements at AAMC.org/students/applying/fap/, where you can also complete an online FAP application.