Applying to medical school is an expensive process, which is why the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers a Fee Assistance Program (FAP) to help cover some of the costs. Learn about the benefits of the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, including how much money you can save if you meet the program requirements. We’ll show you how to apply for AAMC Fee Assistance and what deadlines you should be aware of. If you’re looking for additional financial aid, we’ll also discuss Kaplan’s Fee Assistance Program and how eligible students can get a discount on our MCAT prep courses.
How much does it cost to apply to medical school?
Here’s what you can expect to pay throughout the medical school application process:
- Access to the Medical School Admission Requirements website: $28 for complete access.
- The Official Guide to Medical School Admissions: The 2022 version is free to access.
- MCAT Practice Materials: Price is dependent on where you get the materials. Kaplan has a course fee assistance program that can qualify you for up to 60%* off Kaplan MCAT products.
- MCAT Fee: $335, and you must register at least ten days before the test date. This AAMC fee covers your testing and the distribution of your scores to the medical schools you indicate.
- Primary AAMC Application Fee: $175 for the first school you send your application to and $45 for each additional school.
- Secondary AAMC Application Fee: Varies per school, but plan to spend approximately $100 on each school.
- Medical School Interviews: You’ll need to pay for travel and lodging for each medical school interview you’re invited to. If you apply only to nearby schools, this cost will be low. If you apply to many schools across the United States, the cost will go up. Many schools now offer virtual interviews as well.
[ Keep Reading: What’s the Real Cost of Medical School? ]
What is the AAMC Fee Assistance Program?
The AAMC wants to ensure that cost isn’t a barrier to potential medical school applicants. They’ve created the AAMC Fee Assistance Program to cover some of the basic costs of applying to medical school so that applicants with limited funds aren’t prevented from applying on the basis of money.
What are the benefits of the AAMC Fee Assistance Program?
The following is a list of what the AAMC Fee Assistance Program covers if you meet the eligibility requirements.
- Access to the Medical School Admission Requirements website: Complimentary 2-year subscription to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) online database following account activation ($36 value).
- MCAT Official Prep products: $268 value, which includes all online MCAT Official Prep products.
- Reduced MCAT Fees: MCAT price reduced from $335 to $140. If you need a medical evaluation to qualify for MCAT accommodations, the Fee Assistance Program will cover up to $800 of the cost.
- Waiver of AMCAS application fees: $1,030 value; your application can be sent to up to 20 schools.
- AAMC PREview® benefit: Waiver for AAMC PREview professional readiness exam registration fees ($100 value).
Who is eligible for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program?
The AAMC updated its eligibility requirements for the Fee Assistance Program in 2022. The program is now open to anyone who has a U.S.-based address. Applicants will need to submit proof of a U.S. address, such as a utility bill or student loan statement. See the full list of what you need to apply to the AAMC Fee Assistance Program on their website.
AAMC Fee Assistance Household Income Requirements
You are eligible for AAMC Fee Assistance in 2023 if each household listed on your application has a total family income that is equal to or less than 400% of the 2022 national poverty level for your family’s size. You can refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines to review the current data and see if you are eligible.
When should you apply for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program?
If you are eligible for the AAMC application fee waiver, the AAMC recommends you apply before you register for the MCAT and submit your AMCAS application. AAMC fee assistance will be available to you until December 31st of the calendar year after the year in which you receive approval. For example, if you receive fee assistance starting in July of 2023, you’ll have access to that assistance until December 31, 2024.
How many times can you apply for AAMC Fee Assistance?
You can apply for the AAMC fee assistance program once per calendar year and be awarded up to five times in your life. The fee assistance isn’t retroactive; if you’ve already taken the MCAT or sent in your applications and then realize that you would have qualified for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, you won’t be able to apply and be reimbursed.
How do I apply for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program?
The process for applying to the AAMC Fee Assistance Program is subject to change, so be sure to check the AAMC’s website for the most up-to-date process. In general, the steps for completing your AAMC Fee Assistance Program application are laid out below:
Step 1: Create an AAMC Profile and begin the application.
Ensure the information you provided when first registering for an AAMC account is accurate and complete. This information will auto-populate the first page in the AAMC Fee Assistance application process.
Step 2: Fill out personal information.
This will include contact information and proof of a U.S.-based address.
Step 3: Fill out personal financial information.
You’ll be required to provide the following information:
- Marital status
- Family size
- Taxable income
- Educational financial aid you’ve received
- Housing and food assistance you’ve received
- Income earned while living abroad
- Social Security benefits
- Other federal, state, or county benefits (such as food stamps or housing vouchers)
- Financial gifts
- Alimony/spousal support/child support/other financial support
Step 4: Fill out parental financial information (if applicable)
If you are under the age of 26 at the time of submission, you’ll be required to submit your parents’ financial information, regardless of your tax filing status.
Step 5: Review your application
Read the application summary and double-check that the information you provided is correct. If you see something that needs to be edited, you can make changes by clicking the pencil icon in the header.
Step 6: Accept the terms and submit your application
Read through and accept the Certification Statement terms by selecting “I agree,” and submit your application to the AAMC.
Once you submit your AAMC application, your application status will be “Submitted” and “On Hold.” If you’re deemed eligible, AAMC may ask for supporting documentation such as child support documentation, financial aid award letters and cost of attendance info, Social Security documentation, or W-2s. Once you’ve submitted the requested documentation, your application status will change to “Submitted” and “Pending Verification.” You’ll then be notified of the AAMC’s decision. If you’re approved for the AAMC Fee Assistance Program, congratulations! If you’re denied, you can only appeal if you incorrectly entered information in your application.
How to Prepare for the MCAT on a Budget
Since the cost of applying to medical school (not to mention attending medical school) is so high, it’s natural to want to save money wherever you can. Here are a few ideas for how to prepare for the MCAT on a budget:
- Learn as much as you can about the MCAT. Knowing the structure of the test, the content of the test, and the ins and outs of applying to medical school early on will help you know if you need to budget money for MCAT prep later.
- Register for the MCAT early. If you put off registering until spaces fill up, you’ll have to pay a higher fee than if you register early. If you need to reschedule, be sure to do so early as rescheduling and cancellation fees increase as you get closer to the test date.
- Come up with a study plan. Plan out your study time early. You can adjust as necessary, but setting a strict schedule for yourself before you even start studying will keep you from procrastinating, and make sure the money you do spend on the MCAT doesn’t go to waste.
- Take a free diagnostic test. It’s ideal to take several practice MCATs throughout the course of your studying, but it’s especially important to take one at the beginning to see what areas you need to work on.
- Sign up for a free sample Kaplan MCAT class That will give you an idea of what Kaplan’s approach to MCAT prep is so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase a prep course. Keep in mind that Kaplan has a Fee Assistance Program that can qualify you for discounts on Kaplan MCAT prep products (more below).
- Take advantage of as much free prep material as you can! Whether it’s MCAT pop quizzes or Question of the Day emails, all prep is good prep.
Kaplan’s Fee Assistance Program for MCAT Courses
If you are preparing to take the MCAT and have already been approved for AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program, you may also be eligible for up to 60%* off Kaplan MCAT courses. Kaplan’s Fee Assistance Program is available for students seeking enrollment in an On Demand, Live Online, or In Person MCAT course. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and how to apply for Kaplan’s Fee Assistance Program and receive discounted MCAT test prep.
*When combined with the AAMC Fee Assistance Program.