There is no set number which can be listed as the typical medical student debt at graduation because so many factors play a part in overall cost. To attend the actual medical school students as of 2010 may have to pay upwards of $30,000 United States dollars (USD) or more per academic year. The overall cost, though, will be greatly impacted by the colleges attended prior to medical school and any financial aid a student has received during that time.
Before attending medical school, students attend a four-year university to receive a bachelor’s degree. The annual tuition for these schools varies widely based on location, type of school, and the student’s class load. Part-time students pay less per year than full-time students, and private schools are generally more expensive than public schools. A school’s reputation and academic achievements also play a large part of the yearly tuition costs. Some students may also attend a two-year technical or community college for the first two years of general education courses because these schools are generally less expensive than typical universities.
The amount of financial aid received will also impact the medical student debt. There are scholarships offered by both government agencies as well as private scholarships given each year by various organizations and businesses. A scholarship is an amount of money given to a student, usually as a reward for academic excellence or another qualifying factor. This money does not have to be paid back.
Additional financial aid can include government grants and lottery monies provided by certain cities, counties, or states in some areas. This type of aid may be based on financial need, with lower income students receiving more grant money than those who earn more per year. In many cases grants and certain scholarships can be combined in order to save students even more.
Another factor in the amount of medical student debt is the amount of money paid out of pocket by either the student himself or his parents. Those who have college funds may be able to cover part or all of their tuition prior to medical school without the use of student loans. There are various college savings plans available for parents who want to set money aside each month aside for their child’s education.
Finally, the amount of medical student debt at graduation may be impacted by the loan the student has taken out. Loans with higher interest rates and longer payment periods cost more over time than those with low interest rates and loans which are paid off more quickly. Students who take loans from non-government sponsored loan programs may wind up with more interest added more quickly than loan programs mandated by the government.