Loyola University Chicago

Pre-Health Professions

Career Services

Financial Literacy

Financial Basics

Like most other items, the costs of a medical education are on the rise. The vast majority of medical school students will take out loans. According to the AAMC's "Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card," 81% of the 2015 national medical school graduating class had a mean debt of over $180,000.00. However, the 2014 median starting salary (first-year post-residency) for Internal Medicine was $180,000.00. 

Consider financial aid as an investment. While educational debt is a reality for most new physicians, it can be a wise long-term financial decision. With thoughtful management from a well-informed borrower, medical school debt does not need to have a major impact on lifestyles or career specialty choices. 

Things to keep in mind:

  • Tuition can vary greatly for in-state versus out-of-state applicants. It is important to keep this in mind both while researching schools and applying, as this is a very long-term decision to make. Some schools offer reciprocity for applicants of nearby states where they will consider these applicants as in-state, but it is up to the applicant to find information about this on their own for schools they are interested in.

  • Each medical school typically has a small amount of scholarship money, so a small number of students may be offered a scholarship that will cover part of their expenses, but it is incredibly rare to get a scholarship that covers all medical school tuition and expenses.

  • Applicants should have an understanding of the different types of loans offered to them. The American Dental Education Association provides an overview about these topics including fixed vs variable rates, repayment plans, etc. https://www.adea.org/GoDental/Money_Matters/Loan_Comparison_Chart.aspx

  • Applicants should feel comfortable asking respectful questions of the financial aid offices at the schools where they plan to apply, and if they have an acceptance, it’s okay to schedule a meeting with the financial aid office to ensure they understand the aid letter before they pay the deposit to take that seat. It may seem difficult to compare multilple financial aid letters if they list details in different ways, so be sure to ask questions to understand them fully and have an apples-to-apples comparison.


Loan Forgiveness and Periods of Service 

Instead of repaying financial debt, some graduates will instead commit periods of service to organizations such as the National Health Service Corps, the Indian Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control, or the military.  

The AAMC's Forgiveness, Loan Repayment, and Scholarship Options Through Service and the Military 

The AAMC's Loan Repayment/Forgiveness and Scholarship Programs database 


Helpful links related to financing medical education