Life After Undergrad: Medical School Edition | 03.16.10

Posted in Graduate Loans By Student Loan Network Staff

Have you ever imagined yourself saving lives for a living? A career in medicine can do that for you. But medical school is not easy. It’s grueling and demanding, and certainly not cheap. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average debt incurred by medical school graduates is $156,456. So how can you get the student loans you need for the white coat and stethoscope – without breaking the bank?

Here’s how:

Federal loans. Many of the same federal loan options available to you as an undergraduate are still an option for attending medical school. Just fill out a new FAFSA application as an independent student to determine your financial aid need.  You can borrow up to $20,500 ($8,500 of which can be subsidized) and the loan carries a 6.8 percent interest rate. You can also file for a Grad PLUS loan, which allows you to borrow up to the cost of education minus any other financial aid. The Grad PLUS loan carries an 8.5% interest rate.

Private Loans

Medical school loan: If federal aid is not enough, you can cover some of the cost with a private medical school loan, which allows you to borrow up to the cost of attendance. The annual maximum is $45,000. Click here to apply.

Medical residency loan: Those pursuing a career in a certain type of residency program might find themselves facing costs not usually covered in financial aid award packages. A medical residency loan will cover expenses related to medical board exam prep, and even relocation. This is a one-time loan in which you can borrow up to $20,000. Click here for more information.

There are also options for earning money while participation in internships or studying for your boards. Click here for a complete overview of your medical school loan options.

As with your undergrad loans, you have the option to consolidate once you graduate, spreading out your loan payments and possibly lowering your interest rate.

We’ll be back next week with information on paying for an MBA. Until then, the doctor is out.

ScholarshipPoints code: MED0310

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14 Responses to “Life After Undergrad: Medical School Edition”

  1. Lisa M. Blacker says on May 4, 2010 at 8:21 pm:

    For those of you considering medical school or already committed to it, please take a look at the blog Medical Student Success Strategies at my website In the April 5 post I discuss financial distractions and how they can affect the emotional and physical health of the student as well as the affect on the student's academics and ultimately (potentially) on society. Your comments are welcome and will be appreciated.

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  2. MariaLorena says on April 14, 2010 at 5:35 am:

    wow..I really wanted to go a medical school after my udergrad.javascript: postComment(1);

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  3. Daniela says on April 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm:

    This is very enlightening, but I think paying back all those loans would be a hassle.

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  4. patricia says on April 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm:

    I'm thinking of going to med school too … but i dont like the whole loan part.

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  5. Nati17 says on April 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm:

    My main worry would be paying back the loan after school, very helpful though!

    Reply To This Comment
  6. jasmine says on April 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm:

    no med school for me

    Reply To This Comment
  7. winnie says on March 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm:

    I always wanted to go to med school. But the whole taking out loans and not being able to pay it back until 10 years later scares me :(

    Reply To This Comment
  8. Vanessa says on March 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm:

    Med school is going to be expensive!

    Reply To This Comment
  9. bschleifer says on March 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm:

    I hope the new health care bill will not put all of the new doctors in the poor house!

    Reply To This Comment
  10. Mariana says on March 18, 2010 at 4:49 am:

    I want to go to medical school but have no money. Thanks for this information its really helpful :D

    Reply To This Comment
  11. Melissa says on March 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm:

    My husband is nearing the end of his first year of med school, and I can confirm that what they say about how much debt you can graduate with is true! He has only taken federal loans so far (no private loans), & we're hoping it stays that way. But since med students are not allowed to work (not that they would have time to work anyway), there's no income subsidizing their living expenses (rent, utilities, gas, food, etc.). One great thing, though, is that there are options for earning money, like the article said. This summer will be his only summer off of school, and he'll be participating in a teaching program for future med students that pays a $1,000/week stipend. And that's just one of many summer opportunities to get some money in their pockets.

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    • Nicole says on March 29, 2010 at 2:23 am:

      Wow. That is amazing. How can a med student provide for themselves without any type of income. Does the medical school offer any types of intership jobs that offer money?

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  12. maira says on March 17, 2010 at 2:06 am:

    I really enjoy helping other's thats why i have decided to go on the medical field with the help of the government and scholarships it will help towards my education

    Reply To This Comment
  13. Jessie says on March 16, 2010 at 8:39 pm:

    I can't wait to begin medical school, but first I have to start my undergraduate schooling. I hope I don't have to borrow too much from federal loans.

    Reply To This Comment

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