By Felisha Eugenio

Applying to medical school can be a great financial burden. The costs of taking the MCAT and of submitting applications hinders us from being able to apply to as wide a scope of schools as we’d hope, but the AAMC Fee Assistance Program can ameliorate some of these expenses.

The AAMC can reduce or even waive these fees if you are eligible under the poverty level guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The eligibility requirements will require you to provide your family’s financial information, and your benefits last until December 31st of the year that you applied. Here’s a breakdown of the FAP:

Eligibility

  • You must be a US citizen, U.S. National, have a green card, or have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.
  • Your family income cannot exceed 300% of the poverty level, as set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to the 2014 guidelines (http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/14poverty.cfm), this means that a family of 4 cannot have made more than $23,850 in 2014. (Note: the poverty guidelines are different in Hawaii and Alaska)
  • Parental information is required, regardless of tax dependency or marital status

Benefits

  • MCAT: The program offers reduced registration fees in testing year 2015, from $300 to $115, for MCAT exams until December 31, 2016. Assistance is also provided for students who need accommodations during the exam, or if a psycho-educational medical evaluation is required
  • Medical School Application: The application fee will be waived for one submission in the calendar year, with up to 15 schools designations. 
All benefits will expire on December 31st of the calendar year in which you applied, regardless of when fee assistance was approved

All benefits will expire on December 31st of the calendar year in which you applied, regardless of when fee assistance was approved.

Documents needed to apply

  • Consent and Certification Form(s)
  • Federal Income Tax Forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, etc.) for the previous calendar year
  • Non-tax filers are required to provide copies of W-2 or 1099 forms for the previous 
calendar year.
  • If you received financial aid or scholarships, you must provide a copy of your Financial 
Aid Award Letter and information regarding cost of attendance
  • Other supporting documents include alimony documentation, child support documents, 
etc. A complete list can be found on the AAMC website.

The AAMC takes up to 15 business days to process the application, so plan accordingly! If for any reason you have to retake the MCAT, or if you have to reapply for medical school, you may be awarded fee assistance up to 5 times in your lifetime. For more information, visit https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/fap/eligibility/

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