Over $5,000 Later…

Applying to medical school is challenging, exciting, nerve-wracking, and… expensive!

Before applying, I hadn’t given a second thought to how much it would cost. But after spending hundreds of dollars, I realized I was in for much more than I expected.

To help you out, I’ve tracked all my expenses related to the medical school application process. The only thing not included is the food I ate while interviewing (thanks, mom and dad!!).

Below is every expense organized by the time of year it was spent to give you an idea of how much you will need to save by then. Hopefully, you’ll go into the application cycle more prepared than I was!

Summer 2018MCAT Books$150
Fall 2018MCAT Exam$315
Winter 2019MCAT Exam (Re-take)$315
Summer 2019AAMC Application submission (x8)$450
AACOMAS Application submission (x14)$780
Secondary submission (x22)$1,620
Flights (x3)$750
Hotels (x4)$357
Rental Cars (x2)$237
Gas (x6)$270
Winter 2019School Deposit
Top school deposit$400
Total $5,644

Now, I don’t want the sticker shock make you second guess applying. Here are some ways that you can save during the process:

  • Ask around for MCAT books instead of buying new ones. After talking with people about the MCAT, I ended up being given six sets of new and used MCAT books. Since I already bought my own set, I gave all of them away to friends for free! That’s $150 saved right there.
  • Obviously try to take the MCAT once, but if you end up taking it again like me, it’s no big deal.
  • I wish I had been a bit more selective in choosing which schools I applied to, especially after seeing how much money I spent. Typically schools charged $100-$200 to apply and $75-$200 to submit the secondary. By applying to only schools you’re truly interested in, you’ll cut down your costs for sure.
  • The expenses that come along with interviews are harder to avoid. If I could drive to an interview rather than fly, I always chose to do that. Gas is much cheaper than a flight.
  • Along with that, if I was driving, I usually brought all my meals with me to limit my spending on food. When flying, I’d try to bring as much with me on the plane as allowed.
  • Schools often shared a list of hotels that you could get discounts to stay at that were close to campus. I tried looking at other options in the area using HotelsTonight, Airbnb, and a couple of other sites, but usually, the prices from the suggested hotels were about the same.
  • I really liked having a rental car in the places I flew to. While it was a bit more expensive, it gave me the freedom and peace of mind to go where I needed to when I wanted. I did learn that rental car places will try to upcharge you for EVERYTHING. So make sure you pay attention to what they’re charging you for and ask them to take off extra options that you don’t need (like a toll credit for $30 when you aren’t going to go through any tolls. Learned that the hard way).

In the end, you’re probably still going to spend a couple thousand dollars, but, hopefully, it’ll all be worth it once you get an acceptance at the end!

If you still have any questions relating to the cost of applying to medical school or anything else, send me a message!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *