The Financial Cost Of Applying To Medical School

If you are currently applying to medical school you are probably encountering a harsh reality: it is not cheap. So what sort of expenses will you be looking at?

In this post I will break down exactly how much I spent during the entire med school application process from the MCAT to deposits holding an acceptance. This will give you an idea of the costs to apply and then plan accordingly. I’ll also toss in where I saved money, some of which I mentioned in this post.

The MCAT

  • MCAT Test Fee: $225
  • MCAT Practice Exams from the AAMC (3 at $35 each): $105
  • Lost wages due to giving up shifts to study: $360

Total MCAT Cost: $690

How I Saved Money

  • I chose to self-study as opposed to taking an expensive review course. $1500-$2000 in savings.
  • I borrowed the Examkrackers MCAT Complete Study Package from a friend. $110 in savings.
  • I used practice tests and material from the local library. $35 per test.

Primary and Secondary Application Fees

  • Applications to 7 MD schools through AMCAS: $346
  • Applications to 8 DO schools through AACOMAS: $390
  • Secondary application fees to 13 different medical schools: $1,110

Total Application Fees: $1,846

How I Saved Money

  • I chose not to complete secondary applications for 2 MD schools. Approx. $200 in savings.

Interview Costs (7 Interviews)

  • New Suit, Shirt and Tie: $220
  • Flights to 4 cites for 5 interviews: $823
  • Hotels (2 nights): $140
  • Rental car for one interview: $100
  • Gas money to the other 2 interviews: $50

Total Interview Costs: $1,333

How I Saved Money

  • One flight was free as I earned a voucher on a previous flight. $300 in savings.
  • At three interviews I stayed with student hosts instead of hotels. $210 in savings.
  • I turned down interviews to 2 DO schools and 1 MD school. Perhaps $1200 in savings.
  • I scheduled back-to-back interviews saving another flight. $400 in savings.

Miscellaneous Costs

  • Nonrefundable deposits to hold acceptance spots at two osteopathic schools: $2,000
  • Deposit to confirm acceptance at Creighton University: $100
  • Thank you notes with gift cards for everyone that wrote me a letter of recommendation: $55

Total Miscellaneous: $2,155

Grand Total: $6,024

Wow, that’s a lot of money. No doubt about it, applying to medical school is expensive. I feel like I did a lot to cut down on costs too. Adding up my potential savings comes to approximately $4,290.

Hopefully you can use this post to gauge how much you will spend to apply to medical school. I recommend planning ahead and saving that money, unless you’re lucky enough to have parental support.

Have I missed any other costs? Does this compare to your experience applying to medical school?

My First Deposit to Medical School

I just put down my first deposit for medical school. $1000 to hold my place at my top choice so far.

One thing I didn’t realize about osteopathic medical schools is that they have early and expensive deposits. They want deposits 2-3 weeks after you are accepted.

This was tough to do, but I didn’t really have a choice. I have three more upcoming interviews but the deposit was due today. If I didn’t pay it I would lose my spot in the class.

It is essentially a $1000 insurance policy in case I do not get in anywhere else (assuming I would want to go to another school). While a grand is tough to swallow if I end up going somewhere else, in the big scheme of things it’s not a huge deal. And if I end up going to the school it goes towards tuition anyway.

Man, this process is long and financially costly. Hopefully I’ll know where I’m going within the next month though. I’m not complaining though, I’m going to be a doctor!

Accepted!… and exhausted

I will be going to medical school.

It feels great to type that. I recently heard back from my first interview and was granted an acceptance. I was also accepted at my second interview.

All the hard work, the long hours studying in undergrad, the revisions of the personal statement, the tedious application process and the nerve wracking interviews, well, it’s all starting to pay off.

Not that the work was not rewarding itself at times, but ultimately the purose was to get into med school. And I have accomplished that goal.

Unfortunately I have had little time to reflect. I’ve had three interviews in as many weeks. Sandwhiched in between has been 12 hour scribe shifts, Christmas parties, family problems and flight delays. Last week I came home from an interview at 11PM Friday night, worked at 6:30AM the next day, then worked a string of 12 hour shifts until Wed when I left for another interview. I finally made it home yesterday.

I’m tired and looking forward to a break.

But I made it into med school. And that is awesome.

How Many Applicants Get Into Medical School? 2009 Data Released

The AAMC recently released applicant and enrollment data for 2009.

What are your chances of getting into medical school just based on the numbers? About 43.5% based on the 2009 data. The ratio was also 43.5% in 2008.

While the number of slots in schools have increased slightly, so have the number have applicants thus the constant ratio.

Click on the link above to read more about the numbers based on gender and ethnicity.

Keep in mind these numbers represent MD schools only, AACOM has not released acceptance numbers as far as I know. Applicant data for DO schools for 2009 is here.

What does this mean for you? We can expect the numbers to be similar for this year, meaning 56.5% of us are going to be very dissapointed. Good luck to all who are applying.

Applications Submitted!

I’ve been working on primary applications so the blog has been a little quiet. But I’m finished!

I submitted both AMCAS and AACOMAS yesterday morning. Both were tedious and took longer than I wanted but I’m just glad it’s over. I applied to seven MD schools and six seven DO schools.

Now I’m awaiting secondaries which my pre med advisor says may start appearing next week.

I’m looking forward to a little break from applications but also anxious to keep going. This is a crazy process.