Since I started this site, many have shared with me ways that they have paid for their med school. I’ve asked a few people to write their success stories as guest posts, hopefully they will get on it and send their articles here soon!

Here I will provide a brief overview of what some people did…

  1. Parents/family paid for it (very few people had this, I didn’t): but if you are ever in this situation, take this free ride seriously and you are in a position to graduate from medical school with a FAT retirement fund already.
  2. Federal government paid a portion via work study award. Please do your FAFSA and request workstudy. You’d be amazed at how much you can while studying at the library. And if you only got 4k for work study, try to finish working these hours ASAP so that you can request to be put on a waitlist for more work study allowance. There are many other awesome work study opportunities, I and many of my friends were able to to create our own job title/description with the support of faculty staff. IE. you can do the research or leadership you are passionate about and will do for free anyways, while getting work study compensation to help with your tuition.
  3. Federal government welfare office helped with some living expenses and food etc. This mostly applies to the medical students who have kids and are making very little income (understandably so) during medical school. Government will provide various forms of help, from food stamps, childcare subsidy, cash aid, to helping with some qualified educational expenses. If you used to be the breadwinner of your household and are now supporting the whole family on medical student loan, you just might qualify. It never hurts to ask.
  4. Jobs at Universities may qualify you for Tuition reduction. For instance, a dermatology resident I know was an University of Arizona employee while in medical school. Not only did she qualify for tuition reduction and paid next to nothing for medical school, but also she made money from the job to offset living expenses. She only has 25k of student loan right now and 12% of equity of her 220k condo!
  5. For those who may not have matched into their top choice residency but just finished internship. Despair not! A friend of mine made 200k as a locum for one year and got into his 2nd choice residency afterwards. He paid his student loans down by 70k!
  6. Scholarships! Interest free student loans! It is very worth while to spend 5-10 hours on writing a scholarship essay and make 5k from it. Although there is no need-based grants and free money in medical school, there is still plentiful scholarship opportunities. Start with your medical school financial aid office.
  7. Again, make your money turn in circles… Use credit cards responsibility and resourcefully, make a couple k per year from cash back, a couple k per year from interest savings (from delaying student loan origination and minimizing student loan balance.) I just did a tally after paying of my student loans. My maximum total student loan principle in medical school was $73,641.95. The total interest I paid over the last 4 years and 9 months was $2,391.16. If I were to take out 18.4k each year of medical school @ the beginning of each school year, i’d have a much higher amount of interest accrued.
  8. Some people tutored. I tutored USMLE and MCAT, which not only helps me financially but also allows me to review important concepts/analytic processes from the (immediate) past.

This table shows the power of interest. Assuming I take out student loan as most people do, at the beginning of each school year. Assume the interest rate was 6.8%.  For the same amount of money I borrow ($73,641.95 or, 1.8k each year for 4 years), I’d have accrued $19,317 dollars in INTEREST alone by the end of my intern year.

So by delaying taking out medical school loan (till I run out of interest free credit card offers), i was able save nearly 17k in interest. 

1st day of MS 1 1st day of MS 2 1st day of MS 3 1st day of MS 4 1st day of PGY 1 last day of PGY 1
18.4k loan originated @ beginning of each academic year
principle + interest
18410 19662 20999 22427 23952 25581
18410 19662 20999 22427 23952
18410 19662 20999 22427
18410 19662 20999
grand total of total student debt 92958

 

  • How did you fund your medical education?
  • How did you minimize interest?
  • How did you make your “limited” dollars stretch?

Please share your successes, big or small, and failures. So we can help each other and those coming after us! Thank you. If you have lots to say and would like to submit a guest post on this site, please let me know!!!!

Awesome ways people have paid for their education
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