If you are like most students, the thought of paying for medical school is overwhelming. Early preparation and research are key to receiving help with your tuition. Becoming a great doctor like Rachel Tobin Yale is possible if you know where to look for financial help.
Stick to Your Budget
Everyone should have a budget. As a student, this is even more important, as money is probably tight for you. If you do not already have a budget, it is easy to make one. Make a list of essential expenses like housing, transportation and food and compare them to your income. Determine what non-essential expenses you can cut. You can use a spreadsheet to do this, but it may be easier to use an online program or app like Mint, which can be synced with your bank accounts and credit cards.
Work With the Financial Aid Office at Your School
Your school’s financial aid department exists to help you find the money you need to get through school. The best time to get in contact with them is while you are still in your undergraduate program learning about chemistry, physics, evolutionary biology and other vital subjects. Financial aid professionals can help you identify what loans and scholarships you should look into. Most schools have their own scholarship programs available.
Educate Yourself on Loan Programs
The financial aid office will tell you what kinds of loans may be available to you, but you will need to research them further to determine what loans are right for you. In general, there are two types of student loans: federal and private. You should apply for federal loans first. One advantage of taking out federal loans is that you may qualify for lower payments based on your income if you cannot afford the entire monthly payment amount.
If you do not have enough money to pay your tuition after scholarships and federal loans, you may need to apply for private loans. These will usually have higher interest rates than federal loans. Most private loans do not offer income-based repayment programs or deferments if you cannot afford the payments.
There are many ways that you may be able to get all or part of your loans forgiven. If you are in the United States and serve in the military, the military may pay for your loans. Students willing to relocate to underprivileged areas can work with several loan forgiveness programs, such as Indian Health Services or the National Health Service Corps.