If you have decided to devote your life to medical sciences, as you feel the greatest passion towards it — greetings, you have chosen one of the most appreciated and well-payed fields of the modern world. However, even though you will have a lot after leaving it (in the sense of knowledge, skills, financial and social benefits), you do have to invest in it first. And, to be honest, you have to invest a lot, as not only it is one of the most progressive specialties, it is also one of the most expensive ones. But do not hurry to give up — learn about financial opportunities you can use in order to make the financial side of the issue easier for you.
First of all, make sure to have good academic background. Try hard to achieve the highest grades at school and when taking the admission tests — they influence your chances to be admitted even in general. Also, your admission essay is one of the key steps of the whole process of applying to college, and paying enough time and attention to create a good one mostly guarantees your success. If you are not sure about your writing skills, you can always turn to a paper writing service online in order to either have your college essay written for you by professional authors or receive a high quality reference you can use to compose one on your own.
Even though there are multiple ways to pay for your college education, the majority of medical students have to deal with college debt. You have to develop your financial and budgeting skills, as well as educating yourself about refund options, in order to simplify the monetary aspect of medical school education.
GET ACQUAINTED WITH FIRST
If you have made the decision to apply to a medical school and have some of your loans covered, the first step you have to make is visiting FIRST website. According to their information, the majority of medical students can not pay the whole education fee themselves, and tens to ask for help. They usually want some part of their whole loan covered, and FIRST has a proposal that may help students achieve their goal.
Basically, what they offer is having medical students to provide service to some companies, firms and organizations, which, in their turn, will be willing to thank them by covering some part of the student loan. Even if you aren’t familiar with some of these volunteering obligations, they can drastically reduce the expense of medical school. In fact, a lot of students appear to be happy with such an opportunity and do agree to participate in one of the programs offered by FIRST.
SERVICES YOU CAN GET AT FIRST
As you may have already assumed, FIRST website is more than just a service, that only focuses on selling their own products. It is only about helping students with the things they may be struggling with financially. Moreover, it provides them with a whole strategy of managing and dealing with their student loan. It makes young people more aware of their expenses and makes them think and analyze what they are spending money on and how can it be spent instead. By helping them adjust to healthy financial habits and educating them on the subject, the FIRST workers turn students to wiser consumers, which, in the future, helps them not only in educational fee issues, but also in daily expenses in general.
In addition to that, a new tool has been created by FIRST, which is basically the loan calculator. It helps students keep the information about their loans clear and well-organized, and, most importantly, is a customized service for medical students only.
Your financial aid administration will work closely with you once you have been accepted to a med college in order to explain your financial aid choices and the costs of tuition as well. Moreover, a wide range of scholarships is always an option, and medical schools are not an exception. They do vary in the requirements needed to get them. For example, some of the main criteria may be academic performance, any type of privilege, or even a country the student comes from. In case of FIRST programs, they have a number of opportunities, from ones that rely on social aspects to the ones that only consider the grades.
1. Military Scholarship
One of the options students have is performing military service in exchange for having their student loans covered. You can attend any medical school of your choice, and many of these programs give financial assistance each month while you’re in school. By the end of your education, though, you will have to have your training and to work in a military medical institution (meaning that your clients will be only military members and their relatives) for four years minimum. Make sure to contact the person, responsible for that in your college, in order to receive more detail on the topic.
2. National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
As a federally supported scholarship program, the NHSC Scholarship provides financial assistance for health care professional students who are devoted to providing primary care in marginalized regions. It covers student fees, living expenses, and other academic expenditures. So, a two-year scholarship entails a two-year commitment, whereas a four-year scholarship entails a four-year commitment. Not only it provides significant financial help, it also provides a student with a wide range of potential fields to work in, like pediatrics, internal and family medicine, obstetrician-gynecology and even psychiatry. A residency in one of these NHSC’s five authorized primary care specializations is all that’s required. Child and adolescent psychiatry, for example, is approved at the NHSC’s discretion.
After NHSC service you can basically find work anywhere, both in rural and urban area, even though a lot of students, who plan on working in the city, are concerned at this point for some reason. In order to fulfill the service requirement, you must complete it promptly after completing your residency. Subspecializing after the service requirement is allowed, but it contradicts the goal of the NHSC.
3. Federal Loan Repayment Options
As an alternative, the NHSC offers Loan Repayment Programs, which are offered to physicians who have completed a “residency” program in primary care fields. The student must serve at an NHSC Loan Repayment Site for each year of loan repayment assistance. There is a two-year service requirement. Settlements with the community facilities will be negotiated.
4. State Programs
It has become quite a common experience in many states that doctors, who practice in rural or remote areas for a set period of time, usually at least two years, can get some or all of their student loans paid off. State and federal specific programs and information on them can be found in the AAMC database.
5. Public Service
Federal student loans can be forgiven after 10 years if you work for the government or a charitable organization, according to a program from the U.S. Department of Education. Doctors who complete a fellowship at a volunteer or public hospital qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Public Service Loan Forgiveness is tax-free.
It takes 120 months or 10 years to complete three areas of qualification at the same time. These 120 months of payments and labor don’t have to be sequential throughout the course of 10 years. Eligibility criteria include qualified loan repayments as well as job that qualifies.
Doctors who work in the public sector or operate in remote areas for a particular period of time may be eligible for loan forgiveness, which is, in its turn, a fantastic way to pay off medical school debt if your professional aspirations align with those standards. In the public or military service sector, you’ll find that the rewards are not just emotional, but they may also be financial.