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Medical College Grants

| February 5, 2010 | 4 Comments

What are They, and How Do I Get One? With the state of our struggling economy, a career in medicine has never looked so good—rock solid job security, a great salary, and health benefits to boot.

          However, many prospective medical students tend to downplay the massive debt load accrued throughout their four years in medical school. With their grueling schedules, finding a part-time job is nearly impossible, leaving them with no way to pay even the interest on their rapidly surmounting debt. Most graduates now leave their respective institutions with well over 100,000 dollars in student loans—a heavy burden to carry over the next 30 or so years.

          Fortunately, there are grants in existence that are geared solely towards helping students afford their medical school education. These grants have a distinct advantage over taking out Stafford loans in that they do not require any sort of repayment. Finding one might require a little initiative, but some searching on the internet should turn up several valuable sites. The American Medical Association’s website is a good starting point for students interested in learning a bit more about the application process for grants, and the requirements that go along with them. Your school’s counseling office may also be able to assist you in your search for financial aid. Different types of grants cater to different students. If you have a strong interest in research, whether it be academic or clinical, grants are sponsored through the National Institutes of Health and many other organizations. These grants cover the cost of your project, and will often also give medical students a stipend for living expenses.

          Similar grants can be found for minority students or women through public or privately funded organizations. Be prepared to state your case—these grants are in high demand, and the organizations or institutions disbursing them will often require essays and letters of recommendation to select the best candidate. Students coming from a lower socioeconomic background may be eligible for certain grants intended to help low-income families get their children through medical school. These grants will generally require a student to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at the minimum, and will often request supporting documentation in the form of parents’ tax returns.

          For those who are comfortable with giving several years of service, the armed forces supply generous medical school grants in all branches. These grants expect that you will complete their basic training, and then repay them with a set number of years of service. You may or may not be expected to complete your residency in a military hospital, if you choose to go this route. If you are lucky enough to obtain a grant, make sure you read the fine print carefully!

          Many grants have certain standards for grades or status (ie, must remain a full-time student), so make sure you’re up to date with their requirements. Should the grant have been funded through a private donor, make sure to stay in touch with this individual, as they will likely want to hear all about your progress through medical school. Additionally, this is a good way to show your thanks for their generosity.

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Category: Medical College Grants, Medical Grants

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