woah - medical school APPLICATIONS are expensive!

Question for everyone. How did you guys pay for your medical school applications? I know I don’t qualify for fee assistance but I certainly don’t make enough money to apply to all the schools I want to (i.e. I added two schools and I am up to $190.00 already!).

Did you guys not apply to some schools because of the application fee? Or if you didn’t how did you pay for it? Please don’t say using credit cards.

Well, you do what you have to do (yes, including using credit cards) better get used to it…residency applications are also very expensive.

I own a business and do well enough that I was able to pay when I submitted.

Will be the same for secondaries. If I didn’t have that luxury I would have put it on my credit card or taken a personal loan.

I may have even asked my parents, who are good about loaning me money with no interest. Of course, I’m also good about paying it back.

I also used credit cards (sorry - ). This is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m afraid. Nearly every school charges a fee to submit your secondary (some of them rejecting you before your check even clears!) Secondary fees range from $25 up to over $100.

Knowing that very schools screen applications pre-secondary, you shouldn’t put any schools on your primary application that you aren’t willing to fork out the money to submit the secondary for.

Well, yeah. It’s the price you pay, you know? Secondaries for EACH school you apply to through AMCAS are going to cost you an additional chunk of about $100. Then there will be travel to any school where you’re invited to interview.

By the time you’re done, you’ll be out several thousand dollars. You did know this, right? and are just venting about the dough?


Coming into it, I knew it would be expensive but until now, I didn’t really understand how expensive. Now, I am going to take ‘emergency!’'s advice and re-examine the schools I am going to apply to. Originially, I had two reach schools (I was using the same methodology for when I applied to college) but now maybe I will only apply to one reach school, and a concentrate more on the ‘safe’ schools.

Maybe you are right Mary, I am just venting but honestly, it was kind of like the MCAT. I knew it was coming but didn’t truly appreciate it until I actually saw the numbers on the computer screen.

Obese-hombre-- I FEEL for you. AMCAS is already so high, and then secondaries are an absolute crock-- a perversion of the AMCAS system which was designed to provide a complete view of the applicant for med schools and produce savings and economies of scale for the applicant.

But what can ya do? The ratio of applicants to spots just goes up and up and up. As long as they can pick and choose from among such a vast, qualified, and eager pool, they will make us jump through these hoops, with regards to finance and time commitments.

I’m sorry. Do you want to go to medical school in the United States? Then that ballooning credit card balance is the only way to do it. I paid off the application expenses by just cutting out some extras for a year or so… take heart.

Also, average numbers of places to apply is in the 15-20 range…if your numbers are low (compared to the average for accepted medical students) then you may have to apply to more.

I concur. My GPA is in the acceptable range, but Lord only knows what my MCAT score will be.

So until next Friday at least (when my scores come out), I’ve designated 37 schools (MD + DO) in my primary app.

Yeah - so far I’ve shelled out $2300 and that’s just for MCAT prep (no courses, only books)/MCAT and AMCAS/AACOMAS primaries.


That’s a really good point, Meg. It seems worth it to front-load the expense and effort because you are so right, you ONLY want to do this once. The application cycle is a royal pain in the a$$.


Amen to that! I’m going to pay a boatload but I only want to go thru the app cycle 1 time. 30+…shoot…125 schools will probably get my app…now I just need to get a $25k loan to pay for all that.

I sent primaries to 30 schools (20 osteopathic and 10 allopathic) and ultimately sent secondaries to about 19 of those. I did six interviews, five of which required airfare, hotels, and car rental. I think the whole process set me back about five grand. Was it worth it? Well, it bought me and my wife the luxury of choosing a place that suited us both, more or less. I didn’t get my top choice school and she didn’t get her top choice locale, but we’re basically happy with what we did get.

In my opinion, this process is part of the experience and if you have any interest or ambition of attending a particular school or being in a particular locale, beg/borrow/steal (well OK maybe not steal) the means of applying there, because this is about your career, your future home, and the rest of your life. Later on, you’ll make this investment back both in wealth and personal satisfaction.

Ah yes, I am feeling your pain. This IS my second time to apply. The first time I applied REALLY late in the process and really didn’t know anything about the schools or process. I shelled out about $600 to apply to 9 schools several of which I did not receive secondary applications from based on my lower GPA and average MCAT score. Beware of the schools that send you a secondary and have no intention of looking at your application (some schools ONLY take residents or 95% residents but the WILL take your money! - buy, check out or borrow book about the schools - sooo worth the $$). This time around, I applied to all the Texas schools (~ $200 total for 6 schools including secondaries - not AMCAS) and I am applying to only schools that take 30% or more non-residents thru AMCAS. So far I am looking at around $2000 to apply to about 20-25 schools. I agree with the prior postings. You have to look at this as part of your educational expenses - a great investment! Perhaps one day we can improve the process by sitting on admissions boards, etc. but know that we are understanding your pain and cheering you on!

Could you name some of the schools that take a high percentage of non-residents? I have the medical school profile book from AAMC so I guess I can look through that for the time being.

To some of the earlier posters, I definitely understand about getting it over with but I am 25, single, and I can’t go to family for the money. $2500-5000 is quite a lot to put on credit, especially on top of student loans. I know its a neccasary expense but I am just trying to avoid any unneccasary ones. With all your tips, hopefully I will.

I’m 35, married, and can’t go to the family either. If you’re competitive then it’s not a bad debt to get into. Preferably not credit cards however if you have one with a very low interest rate then that would be a good option.

I’m not really sure what your other options would be if you rule out loans, credit cards, and family. Perhaps a second job? Knocking over a liquor store? Selling a kidney? Personally, I’m keeping my kidneys healthy just in case…

I kid, I kid!

  • megboo Said:
Selling a kidney? Personally, I'm keeping my kidneys healthy just in case.....

Hm... sounds interesting. Got any links?

While I wouldn't recommend anyone schedule around it, or tie their financial plans into one school - there are rumors that the University of Central Florida's med school is pushing for full scholarships for their entire first class. It's currently slated to open in 2009. Food for thought, at least :).

Yeah, but the whole reason behind UCF starting a medical school is to increase the number of doctors in Florida, so unless you are a resident of Florida, I think as an OOS student it’s going to be pretty slim.


Florida and Texas are very non-resident friendly. An out of state applicant stands a better chance getting accepted to Harvard than a Florida school. Uof Miami doesn’t count since it’s private.

That doesn’t make sense. If Florida schools are very out-of-state resident friendly why do you have a better chance to get into Harvard?