The search for financial aid for medical school is best begun in the financial aid office of a medical school near you. Tell the office staff that you are a prospective student, and that you are looking into financial aid options early.
Bring a pen and paper when you meet with financial aid office staff, and carefully write down every resource they tell you about. Ask for application forms if they have them, and note what’s the earliest you are allowed to submit any applications.
In addition to following up on resources provided by your local medical school’s financial aid office, be sure to look into these resources as well:
Visit the largest public library you can get to, and head directly for the Sociology section. Ask a reference librarian there to help you locate the books (usually updated yearly) that contain sources of medical school grants, fellowships, and scholarships. Read carefully what the qualifications are for each scholarship, and apply to any that seem to apply to you.
Think about clubs, organizations, or corporations that you or your family members are involved in, and write polite letters to those organizations asking whether they ever grant scholarships to medical school students. Contact corporations, clubs, fraternal organizations, and religious organizations alike. One of my clients even contacted the pharmaceutical company that makes the medication that treats his chronic disease. They replied that they usually only award scholarships to undergraduate students, but he applied anyway. His result? He was awarded a handsome scholarship that helped a great deal with his first year medical school tuition.
Use the internet to search for scholarship opportunities. One of the best online resources for this is www.fastweb.com. “Fastweb” is an online repository for almost every grant, fellowship, and scholarship in existence. The site will, first, allow you to complete a profile about yourself. (They will ask you questions such as: “Are you applying to law school, medical school, or nursing school?” “What is the ethnicity of your grandparents?” “What sports did you play in high school or college?” plus a zillion other questions.) After the site captures this important information about you, it will set up a private mailbox for you with a password. You go offline, and the site does an internet search for you…looking for all the grants, scholarships, and fellowships you may be eligible for. A day or a week later you may check your “fastweb” mailbox and see what resources have been found for you. One of my clients was able to apply for 18 different scholarships right on line using this service! And for any that asked for essays, she simply used the flawlessly well-reasoned personal statement that the two of us had put together. Applying for financial aid was not really any extra work for her. If you find that you need help with scholarship essay writing, click on GET HELP NOW.
If you try “fastweb” and you feel that the searches aren’t finding enough for you, reevaluate and change your profile slightly. The search conducted using another version of your profile may be more successful.
Note: Because application advisors cannot control your grades, your MCAT scores, your amount and quality of volunteer experience, or how thoroughly you follow the advice offered on these pages, please understand that we cannot guarantee any individual’s acceptance to medical school.