Applying to Medical School

Best Scholarships and Financial Resources for Underrepresented Pre-Med Students

Obtaining financial support as an underrepresented in medical (URM) student is hard. These scholarships can make it easier for pre-meds. Here are 6 of the best scholarships and financial resources that can help you on your journey to become a physician.

If you are looking at scholarships and resources to give you a competitive edge in the application process or are concerned about funding medical school, the following list provides you with some of the best scholarships and financial resources to help.

  1. Free Tuition at New York University, Washington University, and Kaiser Medical School

It’s a widely accepted fact that most medical school students graduate with a massive amount of debt. According to the most recent data from the Association of American Colleges, the average medical school debt is $201,490. However, a few medical schools are becoming tuition-free.

In 2018, New York University Grossman School of Medicine announced that all current and future matriculating medical students will receive a “full-tuition scholarship” as long as they meet satisfactory academic progress. That means every medical student will currently save $57,476 ever year.

Shortly after, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri announced that they would follow suit, providing full or partial merit-based and needs-based tuition scholarships to about half of the matriculating medical students each year. This could provide an annual savings of up to $68,480.

Recently, Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine announced that, until the entering class of 2024, all matriculating medical school students will have their tuition waived, a cost-savings of $54,719.

While there are other medical schools that are implementing measures to reduce tuition, these three provide the most support. Obviously, these medical schools offer a huge savings and significantly reduces the barriers of entry for URMs, which is why it deserves the top spot.

An important caveat to remember is that, all medical students matriculating into these schools are still responsible for certain costs, including living expenses, materials, university fees, and health insurance. Plus, with financial benefits like these, the number of students applying to these can expect increased competition.

  1. Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS)

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established in 1999 and provides an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential. Each year, the program selects 1,000 students from historically underrepresented groups, including people from African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American backgrounds.

Scholars can use their award to fund their undergraduate degree in any discipline. Moreover, it is renewable every year and scholars can even request funding for specific graduate programs, including public health. The average annual award has been $12,785.

  1. MedSchoolCoach Tutoring & Advising Scholarship

Arguably, one of the hardest parts of the journey to becoming a physician is the medical school application process.

Over the course of a year (and sometimes longer!), medical school hopefuls take the MCAT at least once, write personal statements, gather letters of recommendation, submit primary applications, complete secondary applications for numerous schools, and attend interviews at medical schools across the country. Not only is it hard to manage the process, it is also easy to falter due to the extreme competition, making it hard to obtain a coveted medical school acceptance.

Luckily, MedSchoolCoach offers packages that provide personalized assistance every step of the way. Not only that, but 98% of MedSchoolCoach students who use them for admissions packages receive an interview, and 94% receive at least once acceptance to medical school!

Recently, they have offered an annual scholarship. The MedSchoolCoach #PreMed Scholarship selects four bright and deserving undergraduate students or recent graduates to receive awards that include high quality mentorship and exam preparation.

One person will receive the Gold Award, which includes a Gold MCAT Tutoring Package, and MCAT Prep by MedSchoolCoach Premium Subscription, and a Gold Advising Package, a $13,000 value. Three people will receive the Silver Award, which includes a Silver Advising Package, a $9,000 value. URMs are highly encouraged to apply.

  1. Indian Health Service Scholarship

Since 1978, the Indian Health Service Scholarship Program (IHS) enables qualified American Indian and Alaska Native candidates the funding needed to pursue careers in many health professions.

The IHS provides financial support in exchange for a service commitment at Indian health facilities. The program provides three scholarships to assist with every step of your medical education, offers an extern program, and will also help you with job placement.

Many award recipients go on to serve in communities across the country, including their Tribal communities. All funds are subject to federal, state, and local taxes and an extension needs to be filed every year in order to continue receiving funding.

  1. Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

If you are Hawaiian (and can prove your ancestry) and want to serve the needs of underserved populations in Hawaii, then the Health Resources and Service Administration’s (HRSA) Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program (NHHSP) will provide you with the financial support needed to achieve your medical school dreams.

The NHHSP will pay your tuition, provide a monthly stipend for living expenses, and will cover other related school costs. As a condition, every recipient must perform a year’s service or employment in a medically underserved area within the state of Hawaii immediately after graduation or licensure for every year of funding they receive. Any money received from the program is subject to federal taxes.

The application process is competitive but prioritizes funding for applicants who will continue to serve underserved areas in Hawaii after their commitment is complete.

  1. AAMC Fee Assistance Program and guidance and AACOMAS Application Fee Waiver

Both the AAMC and AACOM provide funding for various fees involved in the medical school application process for students who demonstrate extreme financial need.

The AAMC Fee Assistance Program gives funds to approved applicants for AMCAS application fees (up to a $990 value), a reduction in the MCAT registration fee, and a subscription to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) online database. Awardees also receive MCAT Official Prep products.

The AACOMAS Fee Waiver Program will provide funds to cover the initial application fee of $196. Recipients also receive access to AACOM’s BigInterview Platform, which assists with interview prep. Both programs will provide assistance until available funds are depleted for the year.


Do you need more personalized admissions advising help? MedSchoolCoach has experts specialized in helping premed students getting into medical school. See if any of their Medical School Application Support packages are right for you!

Jennifer Wyatt-Speegle

Jennifer is a Writing Advisor for MedSchoolCoach who has taught undergraduate reading and writing courses at UC San Diego, counseled students on SAT/ACT test prep and writing personal statements, and is currently developing ELA curriculum for school districts nationwide.

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