Medical students are always looking for ways to fund their studies. Whether you’re just starting out or have over a decade of studies under your belt, there’s no doubt that tuition can be expensive.
Medical school tuition can be astronomical, so it’s important that you plan ahead and start saving as early as possible. Here are six easy ways to help you get your foot in the door without breaking your bank account.
1. Apply for scholarships and grants:
Scholarships and grants are two types of financial aid that don’t need to be paid back. They’re often awarded based on merits, such as academic performance or community service.
Generally speaking, the more high-profile the scholarship is, the harder it will be for you to be accepted!
For example, there’s a general rule in place at most medical schools that only one student from each school can receive an A+ Scholarship, so students apply against their peers across Canada and worldwide.
Often, family members who have already graduated from your program may also qualify for scholarships through associations like The Association of Faculties of Medicine (AFMC).
These association awards range between $500 and $2000 and usually require specific applications.
There are also thousands of scholarships available to students through third-party organizations, so it’s worth doing some research on the many options you have at your disposal.
For example, The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) provides scholarships for women studying medicine in North America and beyond!
2- Work a part-time job to save up money
There’s no doubt that medical students are busy. You’re taking classes, studying for exams, and rotating through hospitals, which means time is at a premium!
That said, it might be worth considering working part-time to help you save up money for your studies.
The good news is that most programs won’t consider the extra hours you work as volunteering because they know how important it can be to pay down your tuition debt.
The downside? Well, you could end up burning out if you don’t set boundaries between study/work life—so make sure it doesn’t become an unhealthy habit.
It takes practice but learning to manage stress will go a long way in making this idea successful (and keep you on track to graduate).
3- Get a loan from the bank to pay for tuition and living expenses
One of the best ways to finance your medical studies is through a student line of credit, which allows you to borrow money interest-free while in school.
Not only can this help keep costs at bay, but it could also give you some breathing room if
your parents aren’t able to contribute towards tuition or living expenses during med school.
Unlike most other lines of credit available where students are required to have monthly payments—student loans don’t require any repayment until six months after graduation.
That said, make sure that when signing up for one, the bank will allow borrowers who intend to pursue postgraduate education (like residency) and not just undergraduate programs like medicine.
Otherwise, you might end up struggling with high fees and unexpected interest charges.
4- Sell some of your belongings online, such as books, clothes, and electronics
If you need some extra cash, consider selling your used textbooks and used clothing online—you’ll be surprised by the number of people who are willing to pay for them!
Electronics like laptops or cell phones can also fetch a pretty penny on sites such as Kijiji.
For example, let’s say that you purchase $500 worth of books throughout medical school but only end up using half (for instance).
If they sell for around 20% less than retail value, that will net you an additional hundred dollars per year if it’s sold at its lowest point.
Not bad, right? So even though this option comes with more work involved, it could help give you another source to draw from when paying down tuition.
5- Make small investments before you graduate
Investing is a great way to save for your future—especially if you’re already used to making small purchases daily. For example, consider stock picks in companies that have products or services related to medicine.
This could include anything from fast-food chains (like McDonald’s) that sell pre-made items at a relatively low mark up but high demand to healthcare insurance providers like Blue Cross and John Hancock.
This will diversify your portfolio by adding more options. It’ll also give you more control over the types of investment opportunities available and help offset living costs during medical school.
Plus, there are several benefits of investing early on because time is money!
6- Start working on research projects that will pay you at least $10 per hour
For most medical students, research is a big part of what you do in school. And while some schools provide funding for their student’s others don’t have the same capacity to help out financially with stipends or honorariums.
So, if your program doesn’t offer this type of assistance—don’t worry! You can still find ways to make money off of it.
Just consider applying as a volunteer at local hospitals and universities looking for people interested in helping its scientists conduct clinical trials on new drugs, etc.
If selected, those who participate will receive an hourly rate that should net them around $50 per hour, depending on how much time they’re willing to put into it.
Not too shabby, considering the standard rate for this type of work is around $50 per hour, plus you’ll get to keep your schedule flexible, making it easier to study during medical school.
For most students, the idea of making money during medical school seems like an impossible task. But with a little bit of creativity and resourcefulness—it doesn’t have to be that way!
If you’re able to find ways to cut costs while balancing your studies at the same time, it’ll not only help reduce stress but also give you more options when deciding how you want to finance your education in the long run.
So before taking out another student loan or asking for financial assistance from family, consider these alternative methods first!