Medical School and PA school applications are expensive!
You will spend a few thousand dollars just to APPLY, let alone, ATTEND medical and PA schools.
Once you factor in all the costs of applying to medical school and PA school you might start to feel a bit queasy. That is one strong motivation for taking a gap year and making some income in the form of a paid clinical position. 49% of students surveyed after taking the MCAT during a gap year said they were spending their time working to improve finances (2022 Post-MCAT Questionnaire). You should aim to save between $2000-$5000 to be ready to apply to school or read below to learn about the various fee assistant programs.
Some of the costs include the following:
- Test taking and prep
- MCAT: $330 for registration; prep can be between $300- $3000, depending on the materials you use. 65% of students who take the MCAT use a book published by a commercial company and 38% of students take the MCAT twice, thereby doubling their costs.
- GRE: $220 and an additional $30 for each score delivery
- PA-CAT: $228
- Primary application fees
- AMCAS: $175 for the first school, $45 for each additional school (average applicant applies to 18 schools)
- AACOMAS: $198 for the first school, $55 for each additional school (average applicant applies to 9 schools)
- TMDSAS: $215 for all schools
- CASPA: $184 for the first school, $61 for each additional program (average applicant applies to 8 schools)
- Interfolio for letter collection and delivery: $59.99
- Secondary/supplemental application costs: $0-$125/school
- Situational judgement tests
- Interview costs. Interviews are mostly virtual for now. However, they have been shifting back to in person and sometimes include in person second look days that require travel and business tattire. There will be the cost of having and borrowing a functioning laptop with up to date software and video camera for virtual interviews.
- School deposits. It is not unusual to be required to give a deposit to hold on to an admissions acceptance. Some are refundable, others are not and can range from $250 – $5000. Read the fine print. It is not unusual to hold multiple acceptances until the end of a cycle to give you a chance to make decisions.
How can you save on costs? If you qualify – apply for the Fee assistance programs.
Program Eligibility: You need a US based home address (you do not need proof of US citizenship). You will need parental information and supporting tax documentation if you are under the age of 26. In 2023 you must have a household income that is 400% or less than the 2022 US Department of Health and Human Services poverty level guidelines for a family income for a family your size (currently $92,120 for a family of three).
What will it cover? The potential savings is over $2000. It reduces your MCAT registration fee from $330 to $135, will give you the MCAT Official Prep Online Only Bundle ($268.90), a 2 year subscription to the MSAR ($36), the cost of the AMCAS application including 20 medical schools ($987), and an AAMC PREview fee waiver ($100). If you need to update your evaluation for MCAT accommodations it may cover a stipend toward that. Keep in mind that once you qualify for the AAMC Fee Waiver you may be eligible on a school dependent basis for waiving of secondary fees, and it may get you scholarship benefits through private companies such as advising and MCAT prep.
How to apply: It opens in January and closes in December. The benefits begin on the date of approval and expire the next calendar year on December 31st. Benefits are not retroactive so make sure to apply before you register for your MCAT. AAMC will grant a final decision within 5 days of review. You can apply a maximum of 5 times, but only once during a calendar year.
What will you need: A copy of federal income tax forms, W2 or 1099, social security documentation, welfare documentation, alimony/child support, Financial award letters.
AACOMAS Application Fee Waiver : The AACOMAS is not as generous but can waive your application fee of $198. There are only a limited number available on first come first serve basis. Keep in mind they are only valid for 14 days from the time you are approved so you need to be ready to submit your application. It may take up to 7 days to be approved. Eligibility is based on 200% of the US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. If you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax returns you need to submit their information.
CASPA Fee Assistance Program: A limited number of fee waivers are available on a first come first serve basis and cover the cost of the first two programs for a total of $245. You can call customer service at 617-612-2080 to see if there are still available waivers. Keep in mind you need two programs on your applications when you submit all or you will forfeit part of the balance. You must use the fee waiver within 14 days of approval. You must fall below the low-income level based on 200% of the US Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. You apply once you have registered for a CASPA account and select the Fee Assistance Program (before you submit). You will need Federal Income Tax Return Form 1040 and your parent’s Tax Return if you are claimed as a dependent. It may take up to ten business days for approval.
4. TMDSAS does not have any application fee waivers, however, as a member of the JAMP program you will be eligible for fee reductions.
5. CASPer will honor a fee waiver if you qualify for any of the above programs and will waive the test and all program distribution fees.