Financing Health Professional School

Cost of Applying to Health Professional School

The number of schools a student applies to determines the overall cost of applying. There is a great deal of variation, but, in short, applying to health professional school is costly. Typically, applicants must pay for test preparation (courses or reference materials), registration fees for admission tests application fees for primary and secondary applications, travel to interviews, interview suit, etc.

Tuition Costs

Tuition varies enormously. Some state schools are very affordable, and most are considerably less expensive than a majority of private schools. Most private schools cost upwards of $30,000 a year. Students must also consider the special fees and living costs particular to each school, and whether or not they will need a car. Schools will provide applicants with a comprehensive overview of their costs.

Financial Assistance for Application Expenses

Some test prep courses discount their fees for students who demonstrate financial need. Application services also offer fee waivers for those students who demonstrate need. If the application service waives the initial application fee, many schools will waive the secondary application fee. Columbia students who receive financial aid should talk with the financial aid office about seeking additional loans to cover the costs of applying to professional school.

Financial Aid

Although financial aid may be offered at health professional school, students do not receive nearly as much aid as during the undergraduate years. Health professional schools expect students to assume a very substantial loan burden before they even begin to consider them for grants. Students should expect to emerge from professional school with considerable debt. However, students should also expect to earn enough as a health professional to pay it off. Nonetheless, it is important for students to review their financial concerns with the financial aid offices of the schools to which they have been accepted before making a final choice. The Office of Financial Aid and Educational Financing web site is a good financial aid resource.

Required Financial Information

Students must submit their financial histories and income tax returns. Applicants and their parents must file their taxes on time during the application year, as a late tax return may significantly delay a student's financial aid package and make it difficult for students to decide on a medical school.

Financial Planning

The Association of American Medical Schools provides some excellent advice about managing your finances both while in college and then transitioning on to medical school. Much of this information can also be applied to students applying to other health professions.

Financial Literacy 101

The AAMC's FIRST for Medical Education program announces the launch of Financial Literacy 101.  This online resource, comprised of seven self-paced modules, is designed for the busy schedules of medical students and applicants.  With an average duration of four minutes, the modules cover the following topics: Understanding Identity Theft, Banking and Managing Accounts, Budgeting for Medical Students, Debit versus Credit Cards, Credit Reports and Credit Scores, Students and Credit Cards, and Dealing with Credit Card Debt. 

Preprofessional Advising

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