Everyone knows how expensive medical schools are. Now, they cost more than ever before. According to a survey conducted by the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the average cost of medical schools for a single resident was $30,192, and for non-residents, it was $52,893 in 2012-2013. However, today, this average cost for medical schools has gone up to $36,755 and $60,802 for residents and non-residents, respectively.
This shows why medical students in huge numbers graduate with enormous debt. The average debt of medical schools is presently hovering somewhere around $200,000. However, if you select your medical school carefully, then you will definitely save a good amount of money during medical school. Also, you would graduate with scarcer student loans, hopefully.
Part 1: Top 10 Cheapest medical schools
People who are finding a way of saving money on medical schools have come to the right page. Here, we are going to name some of the cheapest medical schools in the United States that you can join now. The list is in accordance with the AAMC data. So, let’s begin our list of the cheapest medical schools.
#1 Cheapest Medical Schools – University of Puerto Rico
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $18,626
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $30,626
#2 Cheapest Medical Schools – Texas Tech University
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $18,808
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $31,908
#3 Cheapest Medical Schools – Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, El Paso
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $18,838
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $31,938
#4 Cheapest Medical Schools – Texas A&M University
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $19,308
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $32,408
#5 Cheapest Medical Schools – University of Austin
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $20,268
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $34,043
6. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $20,802
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $33,902
7. University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $21,125
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $36,2533
8. University of New Mexico
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $21,180
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $50,708
9. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $22,596
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $32,212
10. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $23,538
Fees, tuition, and health insurance: $36,638
Part 2: Why the Cheapest medical schools are in Texas
Have you noticed anything peculiar about the list? Eight of the best cheapest medical schools are located in the Texas state. Not just for the resident tuition, but Texas even offers the most affordable medical schools for non-residents too. After going through this list, you might think that everything is not bigger in Texas, as said. But why Texas resides the cheapest medical schools than other states!
Texas features a shortage of medical professionals. Therefore, it likes to attract and keep them as many as possible. For achieving this task, this state has kept an unchanged law, which caps medical school’s tuition fees. Thus, it becomes very hard for other states to compete with the tuition fees of the medical schools of the most public Texas universities. So, would you be able to move to Texas just for the sake of affordable medical school fees! If yes, then it could definitely save you lots of money by going for the cheapest medical schools in Texas.
Part 3: Cheapest medical schools Outside Texas
Most of the students would not like to move to Texas for certain reasons. If you also have no desire to move to Texas or do not want to live there, you will be glad to know that there are various affordable medical institutions in other states as well.
East Carolina University does not come under the Texas category, which stands on the number one. Its annual cost will be around $25,576 for a resident. If this is not what you want, then go for Marshall University. It comes on the number two and will cost around $27,739 annually for residents.
The University of Central Florida, Florida State University, and Ohio State University come under the top five universities. Each one of them features annual costs under $32,000 that cover fees, tuition, and health insurance.
Part 4: Top Private Medical Institutions
Getting into a public university is generally visiting the cheapest route for a medical school. Simply, private schools do not get a similar amount of state funding as it is difficult for them to compete at the same price. However, if you are curious, here are some of the cheapest medical schools in the United States.
Baylor University is the number one that costs you around $24,566 annually. This university is surprisingly at the list’s top. After this, Ponce Health Services University comes next. The annual cost for this university is around $41, 506. Other universities that have made up to the top five among private medical schools are Mercer University, Howard University, and the University of Miami.
However, even after being at the top, these private schools are not that cheap. For instance, Howard University will cost you around $48,319 annually. This cost is $15,000 extra more than you pay at several cheapest schools as non-residents. If you have not saved lots of funding through grants and scholarships, you will probably like to steer clear of these private medical institutions.
Part 5: Expensive Medical Schools
Now, you would like to know about the complete worst medical schools for your wallet. Whether you believe this fact or not, these schools are not private ones. Instead, the top most expensive medical institutions are public universities. If you are wondering how that is possible, then you should know that several public universities charge shocking tuition fees for a non-resident.
For instance, if you join the University of Illinois as non-residents, you have to pay about $99,0144 every year. This sounds absolutely insane, right!
Students who opt for the University of South Carolina, which is located in Greenville, South Carolina, have to pay a fee of around $90, 877. On the other hand, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, the University of Nebraska, and Michigan State University charge $90, 541, $83,852, and $88,925, respectively.
These public schools practically beg you to remain away from them. If you do not like to graduate having enormous student loans, then this is what you exactly need to do. It is best to opt for the cheapest medical schools and become a doctor.
Part 6: Ways to Pay Back School Loans
Even if you like to choose one school from our refined list, you are still thinking of paying about $120,000 as a non-resident and $80,000 as residents for medical school education. Undoubtedly, this amount is huge, and you might need to loan some student funds. Otherwise, your dream of studying in a medical school would not come true.
So, what is the best method to pay off these student loans? Absolutely, there is not a perfect answer to this question. The finest strategy for this depends on various factors like the family size, income, and the debt amount you end up with and also, where you actually work. However, there are several options that you need to consider. So, let’s have a look at some incredible ways to pay off your medical student loans.
Students who have federal student loans, they can enroll themselves in IDR (Income-Driven Repayment) plans. Currently, there are four IDR plans that you can apply for, which include:
- PAYE (Pay As You Earn)
- REPAYE (Revised Pay As You Earn)
- IBR (Income-Based Repayment)
- ICR (Income-Contingent Repayment)
When medical students opt for any of these repayment plans, they usually have to pay a 10%-20% of their discretionary income. They will even be entitled to forgiveness on the remaining balance they may have during the repayment period’s end around 20-25 years.
However, students have to bear in mind that they will own income tax amount on the pardoned amount. This term is often called as the tax bomb of the student loan. If a medical student goes with any of these IDR strategies, they will like to save some amount every year so that they are ready to pay the tax amount.
PSLF stands for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Students who have decided to work in hospitals, this PSLF option is viable for them. This is because state and non-profit hospitals are qualified employers for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. These are two categories, where a huge number of hospitals fall under. For qualifying the PSLF, students also require to be on IDR repayment plans.
There are two perks associated with PSLF. Firstly, students will be entitled to forgiveness in 10 years, using 120 succeeding payments. This means that your student loan could be excused quickly with PSLF than the IDR forgiveness plan. Secondly, students do not need to pay the income tax on their forgiven amount.
Using a quicker forgiveness method as well as no tax amount, it is difficult to beat the PSLF plan for students who are eligible employers.
Scholarships and Grants
Now, there are various loan repayment programs, scholarships, and grants available for medical professionals. Most states feature their own programs for attracting top medical talents. Also, there are several programs specially designed for former and current armed forces’ members too.
If you think where you can look for these programs, there’s no need to worry. You will find a lot of information on it on various websites online.
Students who land at a high-paying position right out of their medical school, their debt-to-income ration falls down to 2-to-1. The income-drive repayment plan would not be of any help in that case. Instead, they like to put their heads down and look for an option to pay off their student loans as quickly as possible.
In this situation, students can even consider another option called student loan refinancing. If they own a good credit score and a solid occupation, it could lower their interest rate. For a doctor having private loans, this option could be a very smart move. The federal refinancing loans save you a lot of money as well. However, they tend to lose federal advantages, such as eligibility for income-driven repayment and PSLF. Due to this reason, students who are planning to go for PSLF should not refinance their federal student loans.
So, if you have graduated from your medical school and like to discover some good repayment strategies, it is best to consult some professionals. If you will go for a good plan, then the medical school debt would not have to be overwhelming. So, seek a consultation accordingly.
Now, you know about some of the cheapest medical schools. You will find out that most of these schools are in the Texas state. Also, there are some other cool options available. Here, we have even told you about some expensive medical schools that you should avoid. The cheapest medical schools are not that much cheap as they might sound. Therefore, you have to look for some student loans, grants, or scholarships. In this article, you also read about some repayment plans and their significant features. Now, you are all set to apply for your dream medical school education. It’s time to choose a great school out of the cheapest medical schools!