You’ll need to budget for some admissions-related expenses before you can be admitted to medical schools. Some of these expenses include the AMCAS® application service and the MCAT® test.
Medical school is an investment in yourself — an expensive investment. According to educationdata.org, the average amount of medical school debt for graduates in 2020 was $215,900, and that figure excludes any debt from prior education.
The average physician in the United States makes $237,000 in primary care and $341,000 in specialized care, which together allows them to pay off their student loans and maintain a reasonable standard of living.
Let’s take a look at how much it will cost you to apply for medical school.
- 1 Medical School Application Fees
- 2 MCAT Exam Fees: $325
- 3 MCAT Preparation: $0-$6,999
- 4 Primary AMCAS Application: $170+
- 5 TMDSAS: $185
- 6 AACOMAS: $196+
- 7 Secondary AMCAS Applications: $30-$125
- 8 CASPer: $24+
- 9 Medical Assistance Program
- 10 Watch Video: MCAT Cost 2022
- 11 Other Expenses
Medical School Application Fees
Your biggest outlay will probably be the application-related fees for medical school. These fees typically fall into one of the following three groups:
- Primary application fee– The American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) of the AAMC processes applications for the majority of medical schools. You can submit a single set of application documents and have them forwarded to the schools you designate using this service. For the first school, the application price in 2023 is $170, and for each additional school, it is $43. Remember that not all institutions use AMCAS, so be careful to inquire about the admissions requirements at the specific medical schools you’re interested in applying to.
- Secondary application fee– A supplemental application is required by the majority of medical schools. The price of the fees varies. Some medical schools will cover the cost of the secondary application if applicants are eligible for the AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program. For information on the school’s policy, inquire there.
- College service fees– The college registrar typically charges a nominal cost for sending your transcript, and occasionally there is a fee for sending your recommendation letters. To find out if there are any costs involved with these requests, check with the registrar at your institution.
MCAT Exam Fees: $325
The MCAT exam’s initial registration price of $325 includes both the cost of the test as well as the release of your scores. The MCAT website contains information on costs.
Read the free MCAT Essentials on the MCAT website for information on exam topics, the enrollment process, test-day procedures, score release method, and more.
The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), which is a standardized test as is used to gauge your proficiency in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, and critical analysis and reasoning. This test is a requirement for enrollment in a U.S. medical school.
Over the course of the year, the MCAT is offered at numerous test locations across the nation. It’s best to sign up in advance because available places sometimes fill up rapidly. There is also the additional cost of travel expenses, which may include hotel stays if spots fill up and you are unable to wait until a later time. You don’t want to raise your expenses, especially given how pricey the exam is on its own.
MCAT Preparation: $0-$6,999
Although formal preparation for the MCAT is not necessary, 66% of test takers in 2016 used study materials from a for-profit organization. College-level coursework in the disciplines included in the exam is also beneficial but not strictly necessary. If you decide to take an MCAT prep course, the two most well-known and expensive options are Kaplan and Princeton Review.
Kaplan offers a few choices. The most expensive is a thorough five-week Bootcamp for $6,999, while the least expensive is $199 for 3 months of access to their Q-bank, which comprises approximately 3,000 practice questions.
Princeton Review gives just as many alternatives as Kaplan does. Depending on how extensive a course of study you want to take, there are courses ranging from $2,799 to $6,999.
Primary AMCAS Application: $170+
Around May 1st, the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) opens. General biographical details, your academic history, concise summaries of your experiences, in-depth accounts of your most significant experiences, a personal statement, recommendation letters, and a list of the schools you plan to apply to make up the application. Although you are not needed to do so in order to submit the AMCAS, you can also include your MCAT scores on it. Consider the AMCAS as the medical counterpart of the Common Application for college applicants since it is accepted by the majority of medical schools.
The Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) is used for most Texas medical schools, including:
- Long School of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio
- McGovern Medical School
- Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Texas A&M University College of Medicine
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso
- Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine at Lubbock
- University of Houston College of Medicine
- University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
- The University of Texas at Austin Dell School of Medicine
- The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
- The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
- The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
A TMDSAS application must be submitted for a fixed charge of $185. These applications also contain a biography, academic history, work history, MCAT results, letters of recommendation, and a list of the universities you intend to apply to.
The application service utilized by osteopathic medical schools is called the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS). It shares several similarities with TMDSAS and AMCAS in terms of content. For the first school, you apply to through AACOMAS, the fee is $196, and an extra $46 is charged for each subsequent application.
Secondary AMCAS Applications: $30-$125
You can receive an invitation to submit a secondary application from an AMCAS institution if they appreciate your first application. Questions on this application will be relevant to that particular school. Different schools approach secondary applications in different ways. Secondaries may be distributed to all applicants, just to those who meet specific MCAT and/or GPA cutoffs, or according to other criteria.
A standardized situational judgment test called CASPer is available for use on any computer. “Computer-based evaluation for personal traits” is what it stands for. It requires no preparation and evaluates your behaviour in fictitious situations while testing your proclivities in areas like teamwork, empathy, ethics, and communication. Humans are responsible for scoring the exams, which are a great indicator of performance in medical school.
Medical Assistance Program
AAMC: Applicants who have household incomes below 400% of the poverty level are eligible for support from AAMC. For instance, a four-person household earning less than $104,800 annually on the U.S. mainland (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) would be eligible for aid.
This help includes a wide range of topics. Notably, the registration fee for the MCAT is decreased from $320 to $130. Additionally, you’ll get free access to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) website and MCAT study materials. For up to 20 institutions, the AMCAS application cost will also be waived.
The AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program helps MCAT® test takers and AMCAS® candidates who, in the absence of financial aid, would not be able to take the MCAT exam or submit an AMCAS application to medical schools.
The standards for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty-level requirements and other conditions are directly related to eligibility for the Fee Assistance Program. Visit the Fee Assistance Program for a full list of benefits and eligibility requirements.
In all, the aid program from AAMC can help you save $1,139 on MCAT and initial application expenses. If you participate in the AAMC financial aid program, the majority of medical schools will also waive secondary application fees, further increasing your savings.
TMDSAS: TMDSAS no longer offers a fee waiver program.
AACOMAS: For applicants whose household income is less than 200% of the federal poverty level, AACOMAS provides assistance. For instance, a four-person household earning less than $52,400 annually on the U.S. mainland (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) would be eligible for aid. The initial $196 application fee is waived thanks to AACOMAS’s financial relief program.
However, if you want to apply to any further institutions, you must pay the $46 fee. Keep in mind that these waivers are first-come, first-served, so submit an application as soon as you can.
Watch Video: MCAT Cost 2022
Remember that there can be additional fees related to the application process. Some of such costs are as follows:
- Getting there, staying the night, and dressing appropriately for medical school interviews
- the acquisition of resources and manuals for medical school applications, such as The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions and a subscription to Medical School Admission Requirements
- cost of preparing for the MCAT (MCAT Exam practice materials)
It is critical that you maintain strong credit as you begin the medical school application process. In extreme cases, a medical school may actually defer your admittance until you resolve any issues with your credit history.
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