financing the pre-bac program

Hello everyone,

My name is Ricardo and I’m 31 years old and work in higher education. I have a bachelor’s in finance and I’m completing a master’s in i/o psychology. I’ve decided to pursue med school because it has always been a passion of mine. I’ve researched post-bac programs and I think it’s the best route for me to go. Yet I’m concerned about the cost of the program ($20,000 plus). I have undergrad loans already (receive TA for grad school) and I’m not sure if I can receive financial aid for the post-bac program. Does anyone have any insight regarding subsidizing the cost?

Thank goodness for OPM!


First of all, welcome to OPM, Ricardo! We’re all glad to have you here.

I am currently in my second year of a formal post-bac program in the Chicago area. I did receive some government funding ($12,500 per year), but most of it I had to finance through private loans. Those have a higher interest rate than the gov’t loans, but I feel that it’s worth it, for me. As an FYI, I did have to have a co-signer (for both years), not because I had bad credit, but because the banks are really getting strict about such things. So that’s something to keep in mind as well - you may need to find a co-signer if you go that route.

There are also plenty of people here on OPM who have done informal post-bacs, so if the cost of a formal program doesn’t look feasible to you, you might consider looking at that as an alternative.

Again, welcome!

Thanks for the feedback Terra. I’ve researched post-bacc programs that have linkages, but it seems a bit much because I work full time. I like the idea of completing all of my prerequisites in 1 year though. Having said that, it’s good to know that financing is available. If I did the classes at a CC, then I could afford them out of pocket. Yet I’ve heard mixed opinions regarding science courses at CC (not trying to dive into that discussion).

Thanks again,


Has anyone had much success getting scholarships from the post-bac schools?

I’m currently in a 2nd bachelor’s degree program, but might not finish the degree due to the cost. Wondering if anyone got money from the school in a similar position.

Hi Ricardo. Like so many students I see you have some worries about paying for all of your schooling. I think it is great that you are able to pay for some things with your TA so you don’t leave school with boatloads of debt. I think in your situation you should be able to get some loans.

I totally understand where you’re coming from in terms of trying to decrease those loans! There are plenty of problems for us students who have trouble paying for school but also there is a lot of financial help available from the federal aid and other programs online that are much less expensive. I would check out s/en… for help with financial aid and maybe decrease some of your loans if you haven’t already built them up.

In terms of programs that might not be as expensive, there are plenty of finance or accounting degrees/certificates that you can complete online as well. I would check out http://accountingcertific obviously if Med school is your next option that disregard this but if you’re still contemplating which direction to go and the cheapest, I would take a look at the online programs that are available to you.

best of luck!

Financeguy, I’m not sure it’s appropriate to plug that website here, this is not the place to do that.

sadako, I am currently looking into scholarships and will get back to you if you’d like to know. I can’t promise anything will happen.

Ricardo, welcome! I just want to say that grades are important, so keeping that in mind you don’t want to risk your job affecting your school. Private loans are an option. Never the less, it will pay off in the end. Remember, eye on the prize

  • Ricardo Said:
I like the idea of completing all of my prerequisites in 1 year though.

I often advise nontrad students to be careful of 1 year programs; they seem tempting but have several risks.

1) Workload: If you need all the prereqs that is the equivalent of 4 terms of chem, 4 bio, 2 physics, all with lab, and various other courses. Easy to fall behind, have too much, be overwhelmed, etc and you risk mediocre grades.

2) Timing: programs in a single calendar year usually start you with general chem in the first summer or you windup taking organic the last summer, while prepping an app, and prepping MCAT.

3) Competition: Often these programs attract the really bright non-science major can be gunners.