While the cost of higher education has gone up drastically in recent decades, there are affordable medical schools to be found if you know where to look (or live in the right state).
When I started medical school at the University of Minnesota in the late 1990s, tuition for 1st and 2nd year students was under $10,000 a year for in-state students.
It’s tough to beat that, but there are a few places that offer even lower tuition for their in-state students over 20 years later. My alma mater is no longer on the list, but a bunch of schools in Texas and a few in Florida made the list; those happen to be in 0-state-income-tax states, as well.
This guest post counting down the 26 most financially reasonable options for med school was submitted by Arush Chandna with Inspira Advantage.
Attending medical school for four years can sound like an expensive undertaking, but many schools in the United States offer quality medical training for a more affordable price. Although pursuing a medical degree is quite a commitment, graduates can enjoy benefits like job security, high salaries, and the skills and knowledge to save lives, positively impacting their communities.
This comprehensive guide will explore the cost difference in public versus private medical schools, along with our list of the 25 most affordable medical schools in the United States. Read on to learn more about these schools, including overviews, costs, and scholarship information.
The Cost: Public Vs. Private Medical Schools
Although tuition can widely vary between medical schools, regardless of whether they are public or private institutions, public schools will generally cost less. Recent data shows that the median cost of a medical degree at a public institution was approximately $250,000, while a private college costs roughly $330,000.
This data suggests that you can generally expect more affordable tuition rates at public institutions, although there are some exceptions.
The 25 Most Affordable Medical Schools in the United States
Uniformed Services University
The F. Edward Herbert Medical School of Medicine at Uniformed Services University offers tuition-free education. Civilians and military personnel can be accepted and will commit to active duty service after graduation in the place of tuition: seven years for the Army, Navy, and Air Force, or ten years for the Public Health Service.
In-state cost: $0 (service commitment)
Out-of-state cost: $0 (service commitment)
Scholarship/Grant Info: Tuition at this institution is free.
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
The Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine teaching method follows a “care-based spiral progression” so students can revisit key ideas they learn throughout the curriculum in increasing complexity. This medical school focuses on biomedical, clinical, and health systems sciences.
In-state cost: $0
Out-of-state cost: $0
Scholarship/Grant Info: The school has waived all tuition and class fees for classes entering from 2020 through 2024. Students demonstrating financial need may be eligible for a grant to offset living expenses.
NYU Grossman School of Medicine
The NYU Grossman School of Medicine is ranked as the second-best research medical school in the country by U.S. News, with 220 laboratories devoted to biomedical research. The school is dedicated to solving healthcare’s biggest questions, and providing quality physician training at every career stage.
In-state cost: $0
Out-of-state cost: $0
Scholarship/Grant Info: The school has waived tuition fees for the 2021/2022 school year. When you enroll in a program, the you will receive a credit for the full tuition amount.
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has seven health professional colleges that serve more than 4,000 students per year in over 70 degree programs. This school prides itself in offering comprehensive medical education to strengthen the state’s healthcare force across all children’s, women’s, and adult specialties.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Although institutional scholarship funds are limited, the University of Oklahoma offers numerous scholarships and tuition waivers. This includes the Oklahoma Rural Medical Scholarship program, which incentivizes students to enhance medical care in rural areas.
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
UTMB Health has been training physicians in Texas for 130 years and is home to the Galveston National Laboratory, a top federal biocontainment research facility. Students will learn through clinical experience and problem/team-based learning.
Scholarship/Grant Info: UTMB Health offers three different merit-based scholarships to those in various stages of their medical school careers.
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
The University of New Mexico School of Medicine is ranked in the top 20 family medicine programs in the United States and “leads the nation in family medicine and rural health training.” Graduates of this program account for nearly 40% of physicians practicing in New Mexico.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Scholarships offered are merit-based and competitive, and over 71 million scholarships were awarded to students at the University of New Mexico in the 2020-2021 school year.
Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine
The Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine has been operational for over 40 years and aims to treat those with “the greatest need, and in areas often forgotten by others.” The College of Medicine prides itself in its excellence in rural and population health, military medicine, and innovation.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Texas A&M University offers scholarships, grants, and loans to its students. The Aggie Assurance scholarship is available for students whose family income is $60,000 or less to help pay for tuition costs.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers instruction in health professions, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy. The TTUHSC is also a research facility dedicated to driving innovative health discoveries.
Out-of state: $29,820
Scholarship/Grant Info: The TTUHSC offers scholarships for students enrolled in the Schools of Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. An “Employee’s Dependent Scholarship” is also available for dependents of TTUHSC staff or faculty.
University of Texas Health Science Center — San Antonio
The University of Texas Health Science Center — San Antonio School of Medicine is dedicated to educating future physicians with world-class research and patient care centers focused on cancer, diabetes, substance abuse, and more.
Scholarship/Grant Info: UT Health San Antonio awards scholarships for entering medical students and competitive scholarships for current students. Out-of-state students are also eligible for competitive scholarships.
- University of Texas Health Science Center–Houston (McGovern)
The McGovern Medical School is the eighth-largest medical school in the United States and is considered one of the most diverse medical schools in the country. The school is affiliated with inpatient and outpatient hospitals, allowing students to gain the knowledge needed to serve the population ethically and with care.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The University of Texas offers a webpage dedicated to scholarship search engines and individual outside scholarships that students may be eligible to offset tuition costs.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine (UTRGV) is located at the United States and Mexico border, offering students the opportunity to learn about border medicine and the “interplay between the cross-cultural, socio-economic and environmental determinants of health.”
Students at UTRGV will have early clinical exposure and the opportunity to work in underserved communities.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The UTRGV offers many scholarships and states that most students receive some sort of financial aid to offset tuition costs. The Women in STEM scholarship, for example, has minimal eligibility requirements and is available to offset the shortage of women in STEM programs.
Baylor College of Medicine
Scholarship/Grant Info: BCM awards scholarships to students based on need or those from disadvantaged backgrounds that students may apply for annually.
East Carolina Brody School of Medicine
The Brody School of Medicine has operated for 40 years and prides itself on strong primary care. Brody ranks in the top 10% of U.S. medical schools that have graduating students practice primary care in underserved areas in the state.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Students may apply for scholarships through the ECU portal to be automatically considered for some merit-based scholarships. Students can check if they meet eligibility requirements in a list of scholarships.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center integrates biomedical research with excellent clinical care and education. The school is dedicated to advancing the field of medicine to benefit and improve the health of Texans.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The Southwestern Medical Center may offer scholarships to students at the time of admission or later, and students are welcome to apply to their own foundations for scholarships, including places of worship.
University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
Dell Medical School approaches medicine and health improvement, emphasizing community, dedicated acting as a model for the rest of the country. Dell Medical School aims to revolutionize the academic health environment as a top research university.
Scholarships/Grant Info: Students can apply for scholarships through the school’s portal, but students may be eligible for a need-based scholarship for Texas residents if their gross family income falls below $125,000.
Florida State University Medical School
Florida State University Medical School is interested in the future of educating physicians who are caring practitioners in “the art and science of medicine.” The school desires to produce physicians responsive to the community’s needs through service to rural areas, elderly patients, minorities, and underserved populations.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The College of Medicine offers scholarships based on need, regional campus scholarships, military scholarships, and more.
Marshall University Edwards School of Medicine
The Edwards School of Medicine is a state-supported, community-based medical school offering research opportunities to drive innovation and life-changing discoveries. Marshall Health provides care to the citizens of Huntington, West Virginia, and surrounding areas.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The Edwards School of Medicine offers numerous sources of financial aid for students, including the MUSOM Scholarship Program. This program is available annually to students in good academic standing.
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
The UCF College of Medicine was founded in 2006 and values innovation and high-tech learning tools to prepare physicians for the medical landscape of the 21st century. All students are involved in research at the school in some capacity.
Scholarship/Grant Info: UCF offers countless private and public scholarships to its students based on academic achievement, need, community and campus involvement, and leadership. Scholarships are also offered by department and specific specialization.
Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
The FAU College of Medicine is one of the most recent LCME accredited schools in the United States. The school’s mission is to “advance the health and well-being of our community by training future generations of humanistic clinicians and scientists and translating discovery to patient-centered care.”
Scholarship/Grant Info: The FAU College of Medicine awards numerous scholarships to assist students. Prospective students will be sent a link to scholarships during the admissions process, and current students are sent a link annually.
Augusta University Medical College of Georgia
The Medical College of Georgia is the state’s only public medical school and was founded nearly 200 years ago. The school offers large class sizes, and its researchers and clinicians maintain a focus on the health of Georgian adults and children.
Scholarship/Loan Info: Eligible Students can apply for various scholarships, including National Medical Fellowships, Augusta University AcademicWorks, Ty Cobb Foundation, and more.
University Of Nevada Reno School of Medicine
The Reno School of Medicine has trained physicians for over 50 years and is committed to improving the health of all Nevadans. The M.D. program boasts small class sizes to engage and support students in their journey to clinical excellence.
Scholarship/Grant Info: The Reno School of Medicine provides many scholarship opportunities to students through financial aids such as the National Women’s Fund, Phil and Jennifer Satre Medical Education Scholarship, The Doyle Foundation, and more.
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center–Shreveport Medical School
The School of Medicine at LSU Shreveport is the only medical school in north Louisiana and has been operating for over 50 years. Students interact with patients in their first semester, allowing them to develop the hands-on skills they will need to make care-centered physicians.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Students may be eligible for scholarships and fee waivers based on academic excellence, financial need, or special talent. Two grants are available based on a student’s financial need, including the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
Ohio State University College of Medicine
The Ohio State University College of Medicine is a world-renowned institution dedicated to medical excellence and innovative research. The school is ranked as the #33 best medical school and #7 as the most diverse by U.S. News.
Scholarship/Grant Info: Students may apply for medical student research scholarships, as well as intramural and extramural scholarships if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine is regarded as one of the “nation’s pioneers of community-based medical education.” The school is affiliated with local hospitals and physicians to educate students on providing excellent primary and specialty care.
Scholarship/Loan Info: The College of Human Medicine awards several scholarships to incoming and current students, although many award small amounts of money. Scholarship information is sent to admitted students in the Spring and are awarded based on eligibility requirements.
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine was established in 1819 and has offered quality medical training to students since. The curriculum balances subject-specific education with clinical experiences to train the next generation of passionate, care-centered physicians.
Scholarship/Loan Info: The Cincinnati College of Medicine currently awards scholarships to 16% of all students. These scholarships are funded through the IvaDean Medical Student Scholarship Fund, African American Medical Student Scholarship Endowment Fund, and the Dean’s Named Scholarship.
University of Mississippi School of Medicine
The central goal of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine is to train physicians to provide equitable health care to the residents of Mississippi, the region, and the country. The school teaches students through blended learning of research and clinical practice.
Scholarship/Loan Info: Students may be eligible for scholarships, including through the Dean’s Scholarship Fund, the John Houston Ware Scholarship Fund awarded for academic excellence, and more. Students may also be eligible for grants to offset the cost of tuition if they maintain good academic standing.
If you’re concerned about the cost of medical school, rest assured that you can obtain a quality education for a lesser price, thanks to these more affordable institutions. If you want to apply to a medical school in your home state, you can enjoy lower tuition costs and the potential for more scholarship opportunities.
Scholarship and grant opportunities can help offset the cost of tuition, so you can pursue medical training without breaking the bank.
This compiled list will help you understand the mission of each institution and the costs associated with the nation’s 25 most affordable medical schools and ultimately help you decide where you want to attend.
Did your medical school make the list? What is your advice for someone applying to medical school and concerned about tuition?