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.
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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.
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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
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) consistently ranks as a top choice for affordable medical schools, with a vision dedicated to “improving health through science, scholarship and innovation.”
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?
36 thoughts on “The 26 Most Affordable Medical Schools in the United States”
Not sure your numbers are correct. Curious to your source. I attended OU in 2007-2011, and in state tuition back then was around 21k/year. According to their website it’s now around 31k/year for in state. https://financialservices.ouhsc.edu/Portals/1354/assets/student%20financial%20aid/AY22/after/2021-2022%20MED_OKC_after%20increase.pdf?ver=2021-08-03-101324-973
How did UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine not make the list? It is listed in the top 10 medical schools in the US for training primary care physicians.
I know the tuition is much lower than some of the schools that did make your list.
One goal at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine is to ensure that financial constraints do not preclude appropriate candidates from following their dream of becoming physician investigators.
Thus, all CCLCM students receive a full scholarship that covers tuition and fees. In the research thesis year, a continuation fee equal to 5 percent of tuition is required; this cost also is covered by the full tuition scholarship.
Good article. I like the rankings and the comments. Retired now, looking at the higher education tuition my grand kids face seems daunting when mine was so relatively small. The high debt on graduation will force decisions about either areas of specialization that pay well or to seek a secure group. I remember being frustrated in solo practice by insurance company reimbursement policies, patients bringing their diagnosis with them to be seen, over abusing medicaid patients, etc. But now I watch my IT children who have to deal with 1000 emails/day, unable to take a vacation or time away from the internet and I think I really had a good career. I think that is still possible in medicine but will require practical decisions.
I agree with the earlier comment about University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, formerly Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. I graduated in 1994 and borrowed everything for medical school, owing 87,000 and some change. Paid it off in 7 years. I have friends my age (54) that are just recently getting their loans off them. Thats absurd. The gentleman above that discussed widgets and friends making more after being declined for medical school is correct. Just found out my financial advisor bought a home in Park City. I am busting my tail hourly still in the ER with no autonomy and kissing ass for a Press Ganey that means nothing. Miss the days when my mentors could point at the door and tell patients to get out of the ER. Moral injury is rampant.
But to the point of the article, DO schools are a very wise choice and you don’t want to over borrow for medical school. You can make some money no matter from what school you graduate. But the old adage of not going to an Ivy League to do social work concept, unfortunately, now also applies to medical schools and your choice of career in the health professions.
This list is NOT comprehensive, as pointed out regarding DO schools. Also, the 3 MD schools in Puerto Rico, which are AMERICAN Medical Schools in every way (except that lectures are in Spanish), all of the textbooks are English language, standard textbooks the same as in every Medical School in the 50 states. And they are as affordable as any on this list, except the $0 cost schools.
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Glad to see my Medical School on the list. Went to Medical College of Georgia (now MCG at Augusta University) and graduated in 1985. Had a GREAT education and have had a very good career since. Being a relatively “economically disadvantaged” kid from Georgia, it was the only school I was able to afford (with loans), even though I was accepted into several others (Emory, Georgetown, George Washington, Wake Forest, Etc.).
Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (I went to OU both undergrad and for medical school) also should be in your top 20 list. It is around $20,000 in state and $27,000 out of state for 2020-2021. When I graduated 25 years ago it was half that!!
NYU certainly wasn’t affordable when I went there. I spent 3 years on Rikers Island to work off a service obligation to Uncle Sam.
(National Health Service Corp)
List is biased. Only include allopathic schools…junk reading and horrible for doximity including it as legit reading material.
UAMS in Arkansas is less than 17K and is an excellent school. They, too, have scholarships available, as I’m sure most med schools do.
excellent topic. would like to add St. Matthews university in the Caribbean where class size does not exceed 50 students. approved for clinicals in florida and new york. fully accredited school and eligible for US loans just like any united states medical school which is uniques. you do two years on island and last two years in US. especially for people that dont want a DO degree, its a great alternative
UNC CH in North Carolina should be the late 20s, at approx $26,000 for in state.
44 years out of medical school, would not do it now. Big investment to become an employee (widget) in some bloated health care conglomerate that will strip you of respect and autonomy, but leave you with the liability. They will make you sign a restrictive covenant before they hire you and when they dump you, you will have to uproot your family for your new job. Bad investment unless you are using it as a steppingstone to industry or government. I am a dinosaur in my 35th year of private practice. My friends earning the big bucks in non-clinician healthcare jobs all say the best thing that ever happened to them was being rejected by med school. If you get in to the military med school, stay in the military for 30 years and retire young.
I am 43 years out of medical school. Academia for 10 years then self employed private practice for 23 wonderful years until choked by managed care/insurance industry/government intervention…. Had to choose between becoming a 9-5 employee or close down. Sold out and retired. Practice self employed was an addictive hobby, very enjoyable and mission oriented. As an employee it is a pedestrian job. Poor choice today.
You forgot to mention that students at the number one school on the list, Uniformed Services University, also are commissioned officers who receive around $50,000 in pay and benefits per year while in school. You easily graduate from there debt free and likely with some savings built up.
While I’m quite happy with the medical education I received at USUHS, I’m certainly not debt-free. I’m student loan-free, but paying off my debt to the military with years of my life. 7 years which you don’t start paying back until training (internship and residency) are complete.
Better than owing the rest of your life to a bank.
With an Army, Navy or Air Force Health Profession Scholarship (HPSP), ANY medical school in the U.S. is free with an service commitment which is less than the Uniformed Services University (USUHS)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention, you’re right and we can add this to the list!
Definitely an outlier to DO schools, but like most Texas schools, a real bargain!
Did you not include DO schools? TCOM should be #4 on your list at a total cost of $13,365 for in-state.
DO schools were not included in this list, but this is a great point!
Spouse of a BCM alum here… I worked full time during her schooling. I remember it was still painful to write those tuition checks, but we are grateful now for how affordable it was.
Thank you for sharing that anecdote, happy it worked out for both of you!
Perhaps its worth separating in-state and out of state. The low in state rates are only useful if you’re in that state. ECU looks interesting since the in and out of state tuition are both in the low 20s.
This is a great point, this article is organized by in-state tuition, but some of these schools do offer out-of-state tuition that is affordable too!
I am surprised to see that NYU did not make the list, despite being the second ranked medical school in the country and free for all students.
Thank you for bringing this up, you’re right and we can add this to the list!
Second ranked for what?
It’s #3 on the list isn’t it?
It is in the list.
NYU is on the list.