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Financial aid and scholarships in top medical schools

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doctorrr-t

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I'm quite new to learning about medical schools and the application process, so I wanted to learn a bit more about the financial aid and scholarships offered for medical students. In top schools, do they treat and award medical school students similar to undergrad students based on financial need? Or is it more based on merit? If based on need, are some schools able to meet 100% of students' needs? I'm just asking because I currently attend a school that meets 100% of students' needs, and it has worked out well thus far; I'm just wondering if top medical schools might be similar or if they reward merit over need, etc.
 

Black Suede

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This isn't standardized and differs between schools. Some schools may prioritize need over merit, vice versa, or offer a combination of both depending on your stats. In my experience, merit aid is also more nuanced than it is in undergrad. For example, a school might have a minimal qualifying MCAT score for merit aid, but you still may not receive it if there are a number of other students who's scores are higher than yours due to a finite amount of merit aid funds being allocated for each class.
 

chaim123

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I'm quite new to learning about medical schools and the application process, so I wanted to learn a bit more about the financial aid and scholarships offered for medical students. In top schools, do they treat and award medical school students similar to undergrad students based on financial need? Or is it more based on merit? If based on need, are some schools able to meet 100% of students' needs? I'm just asking because I currently attend a school that meets 100% of students' needs, and it has worked out well thus far; I'm just wondering if top medical schools might be similar or if they reward merit over need, etc.

This will be very school specific. Most school will require loans of some sort. Others (very few) may not. Many schools have no need based aid.

Meeting 100% of student needs is different in graduate school. You can take out federal loans up to the cost of attendance. So all your needs will be met. However, what the breakdown is of scholarship vs loans will vary by school
 

doctorrr-t

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This will be very school specific. Most school will require loans of some sort. Others (very few) may not. Many schools have no need based aid.

Meeting 100% of student needs is different in graduate school. You can take out federal loans up to the cost of attendance. So all your needs will be met. However, what the breakdown is of scholarship vs loans will vary by school

understood; do you know if each school website will outline the details what they require to give out merit based scholarships (e.g certain gpa, etc)? I'm just wondering if there may be something I could work on throughout the years to increase my chances of a merit based scholarship.
 

chaim123

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understood; do you know if each school website will outline the details what they require to give out merit based scholarships (e.g certain gpa, etc)? I'm just wondering if there may be something I could work on throughout the years to increase my chances of a merit based scholarship.

Merit based aid is generally dolled out by the admissions committee using a variety of factors. You won't see anything online about it, but you'll need to be the cream of the crop to be awarded it. Of course this is also school dependent, and how you stack up against other students accepted to that school. Merit aid is something you can hope for, but its not something to bank on for do anything in particular for. The way to get merit aid is the same way you get into med school - high GPA/MCAT, good ECs, powerful story etc.
 

marcosma

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Some general things about top schools that I know of when it comes to aid packaging:

Duke - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid after seeing other offers (for the rest, "after seeing other offers" implied)
WashU - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Penn - (fantastic) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Harvard - need-based aid ONLY, will look at other need-based offers but nothing merit related
Yale - need-based aid ONLY
UChicago - (good) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Vanderbilt - merit aid (which disqualifies you from need-based aid...) and need-based aid, NOT open to increasing aid (at least this last cycle)
Northwestern - merit aid and need-based aid, seem open to increasing aid
UCLA - David Geffen Scholarship (full COA) and some small merit aid, (generally bad) need-based aid, did not seem open to increasing aid
Mayo Clinic - combined merit and need-based aid package, seem open to increasing aid

If someone wants to edit and add, feel free! Also, could be wrong about any of these ~ just speaking from my own experience/what I've heard
 
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doctorrr-t

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Some general things about top schools that I know of when it comes to aid packaging:

Duke - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid after seeing other offers (for the rest, "after seeing other offers" implied)
WashU - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Penn - (fantastic) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Harvard - need-based aid ONLY, will look at other need-based offers but nothing merit related
Yale - need-based aid ONLY
UChicago - (good) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Vanderbilt - merit aid (which disqualifies you from need-based aid...) and need-based aid, NOT open to increasing aid (at least this last cycle)
Northwestern - merit aid and need-based aid, seem open to increasing aid
UCLA - David Geffen Scholarship (full COA) and some small merit aid, (generally bad) need-based aid, did not seem open to increasing aid
Mayo Clinic - combined merit and need-based aid package, seem open to increasing aid

If someone wants to edit and add, feel free! Also, could be wrong about any of these ~ just speaking from my own experience/what I've heard

Thanks so much for this! Could you elaborate a bit on "open to increasing aid..." ; what does this usually depend on?
 

gonnif

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Merit based aid is generally dolled out by the admissions committee using a variety of factors. You won't see anything online about it, but you'll need to be the cream of the crop to be awarded it. Of course this is also school dependent, and how you stack up against other students accepted to that school. Merit aid is something you can hope for, but its not something to bank on for do anything in particular for. The way to get merit aid is the same way you get into med school - high GPA/MCAT, good ECs, powerful story etc.

Just to clarify, the admissions committee does not hand out financial aid. In order to comply with LCME "fire wall" between admissions and the ability to pay for school, most schools have a separate financial aid and/or scholarship committee. And as I always advise applicants, especially acceptees, there is no requirement that a school give you any financial aid or scholarship information prior to acceptance deadlines. You may have to make a final decision on a school without any financial aid info
 

chaim123

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Thanks so much for this! Could you elaborate a bit on "open to increasing aid..." ; what does this usually depend on?

What this generally means if that if you have another acceptance with better aid, but want to go to this school, you can reach out and let them know and they may be willing to work with you to increase your aid to a comparable amount.
 
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KnightDoc

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Thanks so much for this! Could you elaborate a bit on "open to increasing aid..." ; what does this usually depend on?
This refers to asking a school to increase an offer of aid based on what another school granted you, based on either need or merit. Some schools are open to it; others don't care what other schools think your need (or merit) is.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Some general things about top schools that I know of when it comes to aid packaging:

Duke - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid after seeing other offers (for the rest, "after seeing other offers" implied)
WashU - merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Penn - (fantastic) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Harvard - need-based aid ONLY, will look at other need-based offers but nothing merit related
Yale - need-based aid ONLY
UChicago - (good) merit aid and need-based aid, open to increasing aid
Vanderbilt - merit aid (which disqualifies you from need-based aid...) and need-based aid, NOT open to increasing aid (at least this last cycle)
Northwestern - merit aid and need-based aid, seem open to increasing aid
UCLA - David Geffen Scholarship (full COA) and some small merit aid, (generally bad) need-based aid, did not seem open to increasing aid
Mayo Clinic - combined merit and need-based aid package, seem open to increasing aid
Kaiser - free tuition
If someone wants to edit and add, feel free! Also, could be wrong about any of these ~ just speaking from my own experience/what I've heard
 
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