Today, the field of healthcare education offers a wide variety of medical school scholarships. These healthcare scholarships help students fund their education so they can one day become competent healthcare professionals. In general, med school scholarships are highly competitive, as receiving a medical degree is one of the most expensive forms of higher education. With that said, a variety of organizations still offer healthcare scholarships because they want to make sure highly qualified individuals are able to attend medical school.
Competition for Healthcare Scholarships
To get a healthcare scholarship, you must first have a very high Grade Point Average (GPA) in both high school and in college. Organizations distributing the scholarships want to make sure they are spending their money wisely, so healthcare scholarships will generally only be awarded to students exhibiting competitive traits. Scholarships are generally awarded to students who have a realistic chance of finishing medical school and leading successful healthcare careers.
Medical School Scholarship Requirements
Students applying for medical school scholarships must very carefully read the necessary requirements for each scholarship. They must fulfill the criteria and be suitable for the scholarship. Private companies looking to promote new talent in the medical industry will sometimes offer scholarships. Some medical school scholarships are available on a conditional basis. For example, some healthcare scholarships are offered to students interested in practicing medicine in economically disadvantaged areas for a certain amount of time after completing medical school.
Types of Medical School Scholarships
Merit medical school scholarships are among the most popular scholarship awarded to medical students. Typically provided by medical academic institutions, a high GPA and competitive score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) are the minimum requirements to qualify for these types of scholarships. Students should also provide proof that they are financially unable to finance their medical education. All medical schools have their own rules and regulations regarding the allocation of scholarship funds, but financial need and academic excellence are two of the common criteria used in selecting applicants.
Medical Association Scholarships Many different medical associations around the U.S. offer scholarships to future healthcare professionals, including the American Medical Association. Several other associations also offer programs, so students must conduct research and inquire about the requirements needed to qualify.
Armed Forces Medical School Scholarships The Armed Forces has a long history of supporting medical education through its Health Professional Scholarship Program. Qualified medical students receive free tuition and book stipends after committing to complete one year of active military duty for every academic year the scholarship was awarded.
Applying for Medical School Scholarships
A variety of other options are available for students willing to take the time to pursue them. Some sponsors offer scholarships for specific specialties, such as research, primary care and surgery. Also, working students should ask their employer if any medical school scholarship programs are available via their company. Many will be surprised at how many companies offer scholarships for employees wanting to pursue higher education. Many medical school scholarships are available from professional organizations, private groups, educational foundations, and state health programs.
For those wanting to win a healthcare scholarship, the best advice is to apply early and often. Scholarship applications fill up fast and students must have their name in the pool early to be considered for medical school scholarships. Students should conduct research to find out what other types of medical school scholarship programs are available and take note of the requirements and deadlines. Students should also consider researching scholarships for graduate students, as many of these may be open to medical students, too.