Attending Medical School

6 Ways You Can Finance Your Medical Studies

Finally, free and finally independent! For many people, studying is the beginning of a new phase in their lives. School is over and suddenly you have to show discipline and take responsibility. Having your first home also requires a sensible financial plan. But how much does studying medicine and life as a student actually cost and how are you supposed to finance it? In the following article we have put together six options for financing your studies that will help you study worry-free.

1. How much does studying medicine cost?

Before you think about how you will finance your medical studies, you need to know what costs you will incur. Many prospective students don’t know exactly how many expenses they have per month/year and then miscalculate. Basically, you can say that your monthly/annual expenses as a student are divided into two areas: living costs and tuition fees/semester contributions.

Cost of living

Living expenses are all expenses that are regular and every day for you. These include costs that arise in the following areas:

  • Rent
  • Additional costs for accommodation (electricity, water, etc.)
  • Catering (food and drinks)
  • Mobility/transport (Car, Train, etc.)
  • Clothing
  • Leisure activities/hobbies
  • Animals
  • Education (education centers, adult education centers, music schools)
  • Travel

When it comes to the question of how expensive life is as a student in the USA, unfortunately, there is no concrete answer. There are many factors that determine what your living costs will be. Your accommodation, for example, plays a big role. Depending on how and where you live, you can save a few hundred dollars per month. The way you spend your free time also influences your cost of living. For example, if you go to parties a lot or have an expensive hobby, you’ll need to budget a little more money each month.

Read Also: Becoming a Doctor of Anesthesia: What Course is Required to Become an Anesthesiologist?

Even though we cannot say across the board how much money you need per month as a student in the USA, there is an interesting observation that can be made. The cost of living in southern federal states such as Wyoming, Delaware and Georgia is significantly higher than in northern American. In addition, the metropolitan regions around California, Washington and Texas, which are popular with students, are very expensive. Life is most cost-effective for students in eastern America.

Tuition fees/semester contributions

Depending on whether you decide to study at a private or a state university, you will have to pay monthly/annual tuition fees or semester contributions to the universities. In the USA, it is common practice that students at a state university do not have to pay tuition fees. However, the so-called semester fee was introduced for this purpose. This varies from university to university. With the money collected through semester fees, the university covers administrative costs and guarantees the financing of, for example, canteens, sports facilities or dormitories. Many students also receive a semester ticket directly with their student ID. This allows you to use public transport in the respective city/state free of charge.

Anyone who studies at one of the six private universities that offer medical studies in the USA must expect high tuition fees. Since private universities promise their students many advantages over state education, they also demand a lot in return. Here you can find the private universities including tuition fees.

2. Scholarship for studying medicine

There are many options to finance yourself completely or partially during your studies. One of the best options is a scholarship. The big advantage is that the money you receive does not have to be paid back. Unfortunately, the chance of getting a scholarship is relatively low.

“If you want to receive a scholarship, you have to have above-average grades!”

That’s no longer true today! There are often scholarships in different categories. This means that not only high-performing applicants have a chance when it comes to awarding scholarships. For example, there is a scholarship especially for medical students from non-academic families, or for students with small children, to help you with financing.

Due to the high dropout rate after the fourth semester, most scholarships for medical students are aimed at physics graduates. In addition, there are also scholarships for those medical students who have already decided on a particular specialty. Future child or adolescent psychiatrists or e.g. Neurologists then have the chance of financial support. If the student’s opinion changes and he/she changes the field of work, the scholarship money must be paid back.

Read Also: Challenges to Face in Medical Coding Jobs

The monthly funding can vary greatly. A medical student can receive between 100 and 1000 dollars per month with a scholarship. There are also often book grants or learning material grants amounting to around $300. The funding period also depends very much on the type of scholarship. In most cases, a student will not receive funding for the entire period of their medical studies. The scholarship therefore represents more of an additional financing option.

A scholarship is very attractive for medical students, and not just because of the financing. Students often also receive many other types of funding. There will be e.g. internal further training, talent development programs and the opportunity to take part in internships are offered. These opportunities not only support your personal development, but also look good on your CV.

3. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Many students receive financial support during their studies through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Here, too, you have to consider many requirements and conditions:

  • The student may not exceed the age limit of 30 when applying
  • The income of the student’s parents determines whether he/she is entitled to FAFSA
  • In exceptional cases, FAFSA can be paid regardless of parents
  • The course must be completed within the standard period of study, otherwise the student will lose the right to FAFSA.
  • A maximum of $650 is paid out monthly
  • The student may earn a maximum of $450, otherwise the funding amount will decrease
  • The funding amount consists of two parts
    • Part I must be repaid as an interest-free loan
    • The student may keep Part II
  • the loan must not be larger than $10,000.

4. Part-time job while studying medicine

During your studies you have the opportunity to earn a little money on the side. If you want to work in a profession related to your course of study, you can work as a nursing assistant at a university hospital. To do this, however, you should have already completed the nursing internship.

With this part-time job you not only get a little money, but you also gain a lot of practical experience: you get to know everyday hospital life and practice dealing with patients. At some university hospitals, the job of the nursing assistant not only includes temporary help on the ward, but also the so-called seat guard. Seat guard is a very popular job among students. Ideally, you will have to take care of a calm patient who sometimes needs help going to the toilet or eating. In the remaining time you can relax and prepare for the exam.

Many universities/colleges also offer you a job as a tutor as a student. You help other students learn a subject in which you have a particularly high level of knowledge. The good thing about this job is that you work at your own university/college, so combining work and studies is relatively easy. In addition, not only the actual working time but also the preparation time is paid.

Other ways to earn money alongside your studies are, of course, classic student part-time jobs such as waitress, promoter, office help, tutor and much more. The earning potential of these jobs varies greatly. In addition to the classic part-time jobs, there are also very modern, attractive student jobs such as Blogger. You can tell your community about your everyday life as a medical student or your experiences in the hospital.

Read Also: Becoming a Doctor of Anesthesia: What Course is Required to Become an Anesthesiologist?

5. Student loan

If your family can hardly support you in financing your studies and you feel too distracted from your studies by a part-time job, then you can apply for a student loan. You should note the following:

  • In contrast to BaföG, the student loan must be repaid to the lender in full, including interest
  • the maximum monthly payout rate is $650
  • the maximum monthly payment period is 14 semesters (seven years)
  • Student loans can also be applied for a second degree course
  • Additional income possible (no maximum upper limit)
  • Student loans and FAFSA can be received at the same time
  • The student must not begin repaying the loan until two years after completing their studies
  • The loan must be repaid no later than 25 years after completing your studies

6. The reverse generational contract

The reverse generation contract enables you to independently finance your medical studies abroad in the USA. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) covers the entire fees for your studies. Only when you have completed your degree and have reached the minimum net income limit of €21,000 do you have to start repaying the fees to FAFSA. How much you have to repay depends on your income. To ensure that working people with very high incomes do not have to make extreme repayments, there is also an upper limit on repayments.

Also Read: Can I Study Dentistry without Physics as Compulsory? Is Studying Dentistry Hard?

Since the repayments will be used to finance further study places abroad, by taking advantage of the reverse generation contract you are committing yourself to financing further study places after your studies.

7. Study medicine in the US Army

Studying medicine in the US Armed Forces is still an attractive offer for applicants. This option is particularly interesting for prospective medical students whose Abitur average is not sufficient for direct admission to a university/college or the university selection process. The US Army also supports you in financing your studies.

But be careful: studying medicine in the US Army comes with more obligations than you think. Anyone who wants to study medicine in the US Army must simultaneously begin an officer’s career and then commit to the US Army for 17 years. In addition, as a student in the US Army, you are not always allowed to decide in which city and at which university you want to study. You also have to complete some courses during the semester break. You also have to finish your studies within the standard period of study.