The track to and through medical school is an expensive one.
Today, the average annual cost of medical school is almost $55,000, while some of the nation’s most elite institutions charge closer to $75,000 per year (and that’s not including expenses in addition to tuition!).
While the cost to become a doctor is steep, there are many scholarships available for high school seniors and undergraduates who are determined to attend medical school.
It is even possible to attend medical school for free!
We have gathered a list of some of the best pre-med scholarships available in the United States.
Some are reserved for students who have an interest in pursuing a general career in healthcare services, while others are for undergraduate students who have recently been accepted into an accredited medical school.
The scholarships featured are not affiliated with any particular school; rather, we have focused on larger organizations who are (mostly) dedicated specifically to future doctors and (all) inspired to give to high-achieving students with big dreams, plenty of talent, or a demonstrated financial need.
The Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program
The trucks from Fontana Transport Inc. have hauled valuable materials to and from Apple, the Center for Disease Control, and even President Obama’s Inauguration!
They’re equally committed to distributing need-based financial assistance to promising, underrepresented students.
The winner of the $5,000 scholarship will ideally be a first-generation college student. To apply, candidates should be well on track to graduate from high school and pursue an undergraduate degree at a four-year accredited institution as a full-time student.
There are several tracks they can enroll in, with premed being near the top of the list.
Competitive applicants will maintain a 3.5 or higher weighted GPA. Letters of recommendation are optional, but it is highly suggested that candidates submit a letter from a faculty member who can attest to their abilities, aptitudes, and disposition.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund was first established in 1975; since then, they have awarded over $675 million in scholarship funds to outstanding Hispanic students.
Award recipients are welcomed into a network of supportive alumni, who serve as mentors and resources.
Approximately 10,000 Hispanic students will receive financial awards each year from a vast pool of exceptional applicants. This year, scholars will receive merit-based or need-based awards from $500 to $5,000.
To apply, candidates must be of Hispanic descent and be a United States citizen, permanent resident, or DACA.
High school students should demonstrate a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale while undergraduate and graduate college students must maintain a 2.5 or higher GPA.
One major asset of the HSF is that award winners can also access career services, leadership workshops, and wellness training sessions.
With the help of the HSF support services, winners can identify internships and attend conferences.
This makes the Hispanic Scholarship Fund one of the more holistic scholarships on our list, as they aim to support students beyond financial means.
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)
The Army, Navy, and Air Force branches of the United States military offer some of the best value scholarships for students desiring to enter a medical profession.
Winners receive full tuition and fee coverage, a health insurance reimbursement, a $2,000 per month living stipend, and other related school-based expenses!
Once they graduate from school, the physicians or doctors commit to working for one year in the branch of service where they were accepted, and for each year they received a scholarship.
For example, if a student was accepted by the Navy and received full scholarship funds for four years, they would serve four years in the Navy after college.
The requirements are similar among the three branches. Applicants must be able to prove U.S. citizenship and active duty status in their military branch.
Finally, they must show qualification as a commissioned officer and be accepted to or enrolled in an accredited graduate, doctoral, or medical school program in the United States or Puerto Rico.
The James M. & Erma T. Freemont Scholarship Program
Dr. James McKinley Freemont, Sr. was an OBGYN, acupuncturist, and hospital administrator who was highly dedicated to service and family.
His legacy lives on through the James M. and Erma T. Fremont Foundation, a nonprofit organization that awards scholarships to students attending postsecondary institutions.
The Foundation has named 38 Freemont Scholars thus far, and the most recent winners are studying pre-pharmacy at Howard University, public health at Yale University, and medicine at the University of California at Davis. The Foundation typically grants awards of $2,500.
Applicants must be high school seniors on track to graduate and who plan on enrolling at an HBCU (historically black college or university).
Graduate students embarking on a program of study in public health or medicine are also able to apply.
The MSHQ Premed Scholarship Essay Contest
The Medical School Headquarters holds a twice-annual essay contest open to U.S. undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students applying to or enrolled in medical school.
Essays are evaluated by a panel of judges who will select three winners for a 3rd place prize of $500, a 2nd place prize of $1,500, and a 1st place prize of $4,000.
In one of the most recent scholarship rounds, the essay topic prompted applicants to discuss (in 5,000 or fewer characters) a time when they had to work in close proximity with someone who has a personality very different from their own.
They were asked to describe the challenges they navigated, as well as any lessons they learned.
The College JumpStart Scholarship
Did you know that some students graduate with nearly $30,000 in student loan debt?
The College JumpStart Scholarship was established as one means of mitigating this challenge and rewarding students for a proven enthusiasm for learning.
Open to 10th through 12th graders, college students, and non-traditional students, the College JumpStart Scholarship grants merit-based scholarships to students pursuing higher education.
The grand prize is a $1,000 scholarship to be used at any United States college or university.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are currently attending or planning to enroll in an accredited 2- or 4-year college, university, community college, vocational school, or trade school.
Scholarship winners will commit to using their education to improve their lives, family circumstances, or communities. Applicants should expect a lengthy review process, as it takes about eight to ten weeks for the judges to read all of the essays.
The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
The Tylenol Future Care Scholarship has been granting scholarships to students pursuing healthcare careers for the past three decades. Once all applications are received, the review committee evaluates all of the materials.
The committee judges applications based on GPA, academic records, community service, and essay responses.
The committee will vote to award 35 (non-renewable) scholarships each year! This includes ten $10,000 scholarships and 25 $5,000 scholarships, which are applied to items like tuition, fees, books, and other school supplies or equipment.
All U.S. residents enrolled as college seniors or graduate students of accredited colleges or universities are eligible to apply. Candidates must be seeking a degree that will enable them to actively treat patients in a medical setting.
American Medical Technologists (AMT) Scholarships
The AMT offers a variety of scholarship packages to students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.
The AMT Institute of Excellence offers scholarships for students who desire to become medical technologists, medical assistants, dental assistants, lab technicians, or phlebotomy technicians.
Typically, the committee grants five $500 scholarships each year.
Candidates must be enrolled in an accredited college or university and provide two letters of recommendation, as well as a 500-word (minimum) essay explaining the rationale behind their indicated career path.
Most recently, the AMT approved the David A. McCullough Scholarship, which stipulates that applicants be a senior or recent graduate of an accredited high school and a certified AMT member in good standing.
The S. Evelyn Lewis Memorial Medical Health Science Scholarship
The namesake of this scholarship – Dr. Sarah Evelyn Lewis – was an African-American doctor who graduated from Howard University Medical School. She was also president of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority and later a well-respected and treasured member of the Washington, D.C. community.
The S. Evelyn Lewis Memorial Medical Health Science Scholarship is available to female undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a health sciences or medical program of study. The financial award will be paid directly to the winner’s college or university of attendance, pending proof of enrollment.
Candidates should submit three letters of recommendation – one from a high school teacher or college professor, one from a minister or community leader, and one from another contact who can speak to the applicant’s passion and abilities.
Along with official transcripts from all schools attended, applicants will also share a personal essay (minimum of 150 words).
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
While not reserved exclusively for students pursuing a premedical track at the collegiate level, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarships are often bestowed to students from that group.
The need-based scholarships have been distributed to almost 3,000 students since the inception of the foundation.
The Cooke College Scholarship Program, one of their flagship scholarships, is awarded to ambitious high school seniors who demonstrate a financial need and desire to attend an elite four-year college or university in the United States.
The program awards up to $55,000 each year to scholarship winners! This price covers expenses such as tuition, books, and other school-related supplies, and the evaluation process is naturally competitive.
Winners will also receive dedicated pre-college advising services that focus on making a smooth transition from high school.
Those interested in applying must be on track to graduate from high school in the spring and enroll as a full-time student at a four-year institution in the fall.
Competitive applicants will provide proof of a minimum GPA of 3.5 and demonstrate financial need.
What is considered financial need? For the Cooke College Scholarship Program, families with an income of up to $95,000 may apply.
It may be helpful to know that last year’s scholarship recipients had a median family income of $35,000.