Medical students face a daunting challenge: not just getting through the rigors of classwork and clinical hours, but getting out in four years without a truckload of debt. Federal scholarships for med students can help to ease this debt burden. In 2016, the average debt of medical students upon graduation was $190,000, according to AAMC figures. That’s not peanuts!
Many med students assume there is no alternative. Perhaps that’s true. You’ll likely have debt that lasts for years. But there are some federal scholarships for med students offered by the government that can make your future much less debt-infused. Here are a few:
This federally-funded medical school resides at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, situated in Bethesda, Maryland. No tuition is charged by the medical school, as all its students are commissioned as officers in the U.S. Public Health Service (Army, Air Force, Navy). In addition, students are paid $60,000-plus each year during med school. After graduation, they must commit to serving at least seven years in the armed services in “active duty.”
The National Health Service Corps scholarships are federal scholarships for med students who have been accepted to a medical school and are committed to practicing in primary care. These scholarships are for a variety of health-related careers and provide recipients with tuition costs, fees and a monthly stipend. In return for this tuition help, medical students agree to practice in underprivileged communities with physician shortages for up to four years (however many years the scholarship is awarded—minimum two years).
Health Professions Scholarship Program
These federal scholarships for med students is linked to the U.S. military, and provides for a full scholarship to medical school in exchange for an agreement that after graduation, the recipient will serve as a military physician. The recipient’s term of service as an “active duty” physician is identical to the number of years the scholarship is awarded, with a minimum of three years’ service. He/she will participate in 45 days of active duty every year, and use the military match program to apply for residencies. If the physician decides to leave the military, he/she will be committed to four years as a reservist.
Apply for the Army here.
Apply for the Navy here.
Apply for the Air force here.
These scholarships are awarded to many students, mostly those underrepresented in the medical community. They are awarded to students at every stage of the medical school process, from first year to residency. The recipients must have a passion to work and serve in underserved areas of the country.
So click away! Each of these federal scholarships for med students will help to ease your debt burden. They are mostly reliant on service of one type or another, but it provides an excellent way for you as a future physician to start giving back to your community the minute you begin your medical studies.