5 Scholarships for Medical School Worth Thousands of Dollars

 March 22, 2021
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Medical school scholarships

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The cost of medical school is so high that you might need medical attention after seeing all the dollar signs. However, medical school scholarships can help shrink these costs — and lessen your reliance on federal or private student loans.

Here are five great scholarships for medical school that could help you put a dent in your tuition bill:

1. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards
2. Diverse Medical Scholars Program
3. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
4. Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships
5. National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
● Plus: More medical school scholarships

1. Physicians of Tomorrow Awards

Amount: $10,000

Sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, the Physicians of Tomorrow Awards program gives $10,000 scholarships for medical school students in their final year of schooling.

But you can’t apply on your own: Your school dean must nominate you for one of these awards. If you’re interested in being nominated, take it up with your school’s financial aid office.

Once you’re nominated, you’ll need to submit an application, a personal statement, a financial statement, your transcripts and one letter of recommendation each from your dean’s office and a faculty member.

Each award has its own eligibility requirements: For example, you must have a proven interest in women’s or children’s health to be eligible for the AMA Alliance Grassroots Physicians of Tomorrow Scholarship. There also are awards dedicated to underrepresented students, as well as for students attending schools in specific states.

2. Diverse Medical Scholars Program

Amount: $7,000

The United Health Foundation and the nonprofit National Medical Fellowships have partnered to award a $7,000 scholarship to 38 medical school students each year.

Unlike many medical school scholarship programs, the awards offered by the Diverse Medical Scholars Program are renewable, so you could receive funds for multiple years. In exchange, you’re expected to complete 200 hours of volunteering in an underserved community. You also have to create a presentation detailing your experience.

The materials you need to provide in your application include a short biography, resume and two letters of recommendation.

As the program’s name implies, you must identify as one of the following groups to be eligible:

  • African American
  • Latino or Latina
  • Native American
  • Asian American (Vietnamese and Cambodian only)

If you don’t make it to the final round of this program, consider these minority student scholarships that aren’t specific to medical school.

3. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Amount: $5,000 to $10,000

For the 2020-21 year, the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship program — an annual scholarship contest funded by the drugmaker — awarded $10,000 to 10 students and $5,000 to 25 students.

To be eligible for this program, you must be seeking a career in patient care. Medical school students are welcome to compete for the awards, as are college seniors with aspirations of attending a medical, nursing or pharmacy graduate program.

In your application, you have to include an essay, your college GPA, graduate academic records and a description of your community involvement. An independent selection committee evaluates the applications.

Also check out: Worthwhile Scholarships for Students Who Volunteer in Their Communities

4. Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships

Amount: $5,000

Every spring, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) awards Herbert W. Nickens Medical Student Scholarships worth $5,000 to five third-year medical school students.

But these aren’t ordinary students — the AAMC targets future doctors who have worked to make medical education more accessible for members of underrepresented racial and ethnic communities, while also serving those communities’ health care needs.

This scholarship for medical school is named for the late Dr. Herbert W. Nickens, the first vice president and director of the AAMC’s Division of Community and Minority Programs. Nickens sought to increase the number of students from those communities that attend and teach at medical schools.

To apply for the award, you must be nominated by your medical school and complete an application. A faculty letter of recommendation, personal statement, resume and other materials will be required.

5. National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

If you’re willing to trade two or more years of work in an underserved area for two or more years of medical school tuition and fees coverage, consider the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship Program — it’ll also provide a living stipend while you’re in school.

What’s more, some of the scholarship for medical school could be tax-free. According to the NHSC application guide: “The tuition, eligible fees and other reasonable costs portions of the scholarship award are not subject to federal taxes.”

However, the stipend payment portion of NHSC scholarship awards is subject to federal income tax and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax: “Applicants chosen for an award must submit an IRS Form W-4.”

The program is open to aspiring health care professionals, including:

  • Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Certified nurse midwives
  • Physician assistants

You’d begin your service after concluding your residency. The number of years you serve corresponds to the number of years you received financial aid, between two and four.

Applications are judged on a variety of criteria, including your academic merit, financial need and your demonstrated commitment to a career in providing primary care for underserved communities.

This video can give you an idea of how the NHSC awards are determined.

Apply for more medical school scholarships

While the five medical school scholarships listed above are prestigious, they also are competitive. Make sure you consider other ways to pay for medical school, including lesser-known scholarship programs.

Start your search at your school’s financial aid office. It may offer scholarships for medical school based on need and merit, or it can point you to external scholarships.

Your school could also direct you toward additional sources of aid, including:

And if you haven’t settled on a school yet, consider applying to and attending a tuition-free medical school.

By applying for a wide variety of medical school scholarships, you’ll increase your chances of winning some money. Whether it’s a national award totaling five figures or a local organization’s scholarship, it all goes toward shrinking your medical school costs. Every dollar you earn is one less dollar you’d have to borrow via student loans.

Michael Kitchen contributed to this report.

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