Sources of Financial Aid

Helping Make Medical Education Affordable

There are many sources of financial assistance available to help students finance their medical education. These include three basic types of aid: grants, scholarships, and loans.


Grants are outright monetary gifts that do not have to be repaid. While most grants are need-based (awarded to economically disadvantaged students), some may be provided for another specific purpose with need not as the primary consideration.


Scholarships are aid sources that also do not require repayment. They are often referred to as merit scholarships when they are awarded on the basis of academic excellence, research ability, enriching qualities, or some other special eligibility criteria.

Financial need also may be a criterion used in the selection process for some scholarships, particularly those awarded with institutional funds. When financial need is considered, scholarships are often referred to as need-based scholarships.


Loans must be repaid, usually with interest, and over a specified period of time (10-30 years) after graduation. Most loans for medical school are from federal sources, although collegiate and/or private loans also are available to help.

PDF iconFederal Loans vs. Private Loans.pdf