How To Save Money During The Medical School Application Process

moneyApplying to medical school is expensive. We pre meds are already staring at astronomical debt when graduating from med school. What follows is an article outlining ideas to save money while applying to med school. The post is divided into how to save money during applications and how to save money during the interview process.

Applications

Cut Schools Out. Wherever you are at in the process you can decide to cut schools out. Do more research on the schools and you may find one you absolutely cannot see yourself at. Cut it from your list and save money on more application fees and potentially the costs of an interview (flight, hotel, food etc).

Fee Assistant and Waiver Programs. Have your application fees reduced or waived by seeing if you qualify for the Fee Assistance Program for AMCAS (MD) or the Fee Waiver Program for AACOMAS (DO).

Interviews

Combine Nearby Interviews. If you have been invited to nearby schools for an interview try hard to make it all one trip. Schools understand you are on a budget. If you explain your situation you may be able to move your interview day. Back to back interview days can be tiring, but considering the time and money involved in a separate trip it is well worth it. I did this combining interviews for Creighton University and Des Moines University into one trip.

Ask For A Student Host. Many schools have programs where current students will host interviewees. You save the money of a hotel and gain an up-close perspective of student life at the school. Be nice and bring your host a gift for their hospitality (I brought coffee and it was a hit).

Save On The Suit. Male or female, you may be tempted to buy expensive interview attire. Why bother? Application committees are unlikely to be impressed (if they can even tell the difference). Find something you’re comfortable in or use something you already have. I bought an awesome suit from Burlington Coat Factory for $160 and I’m looking forward to wearing it for a long time.

Avoid Renting A Car. I spent a few minutes researching a bus route to a hotel near a school. Hotels will often arrange airport pickup as well as a ride to the school. Ask your hotel.

Flexible Travel Dates. I earned two free flight vouchers by giving up seats on overbooked flights. One I used for another interview and the other I will use to fly home to visit the fam during the school year. They are basically as good as cash to me.

Hope these tips are helpful. Do any of you have some money saving tips for the application process?

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Applying To Medical School This Summer? Check Out This Checklist

If you are applying to medical school for the 2011 cycle, hopefully you have started working on your primary application. If not, it’s ok, you still have some time. Click for AMCAS (MD applications) or AACOMAS (DO applications) to get get going!

Here is a checklist of things you need to keep track of for your application.

    Transcripts. You must send your transcripts from every college you attended (even if you only took a class) to AMCAS or AACOMAS.
    Letters of Reccomendation. If you have not asked for letters of reccomendation yet, today is the day. If you’re applying to DO schools, do they need a letter from an osteopathic physician?
    Personal Statement. This is your time to shine. Do you have a good working 1st draft? Have you asked for feedback from multiple sources who know you well? Make sure you edit carefully! Check out this post from a med student on how to ace the personal statement. Hat tip: Pre Med Hell
    MCAT. If you’ve taken it already, great. If not, do you have a study plan? Have you thought about what you will do if your score is not as high as you would like?
    AMCAS or AACOMAS (or both). Even if you have your personal statement done and all your activities listed, this can be a huge time sink. The most time consuming part? Probably entering in every grade from every class you have taken. It’s maddening.
    Money. Applying to medical school is expensive. Do you have enough money saved up? Think around $500 for the primary application, and then about $100 per secondary application. Then flying for interviews. It all adds up very quickly.

The application is long, but do not be discouraged. In the big scheme of actually getting into medical school, you are towards the end of the road. Finish strong.

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