How to Pay for Medical School

Medicine is one of the most important professions in the world today and it should not come as a surprise to anyone since we all rely on them for treatment and general health consultations. Being so important in the society, it is no wonder that these highly trained professionals are among the highest-paid in the workforce.

In the U.S., the lowest earning health worker makes an annual income of around $185,800 which is quite high compared to what low earning workers in other sectors make. The highest-paid medical practitioners are usually Neurosurgeons and Plastic surgeons, and they can make up to $616,000 annually! Click here to learn more about the highest-paid health workers.

The above-average earning coupled with job stability and the sense of fulfillment that comes from helping to save lives are some of the reasons a lot of people yearn to be a part of this industry. However, students have to go through a lot before becoming licensed practitioners and more often than not, the biggest problem they face is the expensive fees they have to settle going through medical school.

All over the world, medical students pay heavily to acquire this life-saving skill and knowledge. This is because a lot goes into learning how the human body works. Medical equipment used in training these students is expensive and some costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire. As a result, many students drop out when meeting payment deadlines becomes overwhelming and difficult.

That said, some have been able to scale through despite not being wealthy or financially stable. In this article, we will look at how to fund your medical education without worrying about the possibility of dropping out.

How Much Does Medical School Cost?

Before we dive into how to pay for medical school, if you’re looking to become a practitioner, you should know what you’ll be getting into financially. As mentioned earlier, medicine is one of the most expensive disciplines in school and students really do pay to acquire the skill.

In the United States and Canada, the cost of going through medical school has been rising steadily for years. The total cost of four years in medical school in the U.S. including tuition, housing, food, transportation, utilities, and other fees is estimated to be around $407,000. In Canada, students pay around CAD$229,000 for four years, which is about half what is paid in the U.S.

A survey from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reveals that 73% of medical school students graduate having student debt loans. In the U.S., the average graduating debt is around $200,000 while in Canada, it is about CAD$100,000. For people who are still considering getting into this elite group of professionals, these figures can be quite intimidating and discouraging. However, there is really no cause for panic as anyone would be able to navigate the complexities of financing medical education with the right information, guidance, and appropriate planning.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are non-repayable funding that is available to students in general, not just medical students. They are granted to students based on several factors like previous academic excellence, cultural backgrounds (underrepresented cultures), and strong research interests. Know more scholarships versus grants here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/loans/student-loans/grants-for-college.

Various types of scholarships and grants exist that aim to meet the needs of different types of students, and they are of two types- full and partial scholarships. Full scholarships cover a student’s complete tuition for the duration of the scholarship. Some even include benefits like housing and feeding allowances; however, these types of scholarships are highly competitive and are usually given to students with an outstanding academic record.

Partial scholarships cover a certain percentage of a student’s tuition. This could be 25%, 35%, 50%, or 70%, as stipulated by the awarding body. Although many students do not appreciate partial scholarships, they can go a long way in saving you from some extra student loan debt.


Another way one can pay for medical school is with personal savings and support from family. There are several programs that help students and parents save up for college that can be taken advantage of. Because payment is usually challenging for a lot of people, it is advised that they begin saving up early enough; immediately they are certain that medicine is the career path they want to walk.