Top 7 FREE medical schools in the US – Everything You Need To Know About Getting In

free medical schools in the US
free medical schools in the US
free medical schools in the US
free medical schools in the US

Paying huge university tuition fees can be a major issue for countless prospective students across the world. Especially for students who wish to study complex subjects like Medicine. Medicine is also among the few subjects in the world that result in the accumulation of student loans and debt, which is a serious global issue.

However, numerous countries and their respective universities around the world are leaning towards offering tuition-free education. This is especially true for countries such as Germany and certain Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden, where the majority of universities operate on a tuition and a cost-free basis.

In this article, we are going to introduce you to 7 free medical schools in the US, that you can apply to so that you can save yourself from a lifetime of student loans and debt.

Top 10 Free Medical Schools in The US

1. New York University School of Medicine

Studying medicine at New York University has always been expensive, with every student expected to pay up to $250,000 in total. However, in August 2018, the university publicized that it would start offering tuition-free education to all would-be doctors, thereby becoming the first nationally-ranked program to waive tuition and fees for all students, irrespective of their academic record or financial situation.

It is reported that it took the university about 11 years to turn this idea into a reality and has since raised $450 million. The university hopes to raise another $600 million in grants to support the idea.

While there are no requirements for free tuition at NYU’s school of medicine, there is a catch: The funds, made possible by donation, won’t cover a student’s average living and administrative expenses, upward of $31,000.

Still, the program’s early returns are encouraging. NYU reported a significant uptick not only in applications but applications from populations that are usually underrepresented in medicine

As an applicant to the New York University School of Medicine, you can expect a highly competitive admission process.

2. Cornell’s Medical School

Another free medical school is the medical school at Cornell University. Following statistics on the number of loans students amass while taking medicine courses, more universities are coming up with new ways to resolve the issue.

Cornell’s Medical School is different from NYU’s in that it only offers loan-free studies to those students who actually need financial aid. Starting in 2019 (the class of 2023), scholarships will replace student loans throughout their education period.

Students who qualify will start receiving scholarships as early as their first year. Also, students pursuing dual M.D. and PhD degrees could receive full tuition waivers as well as living expenses stipends from the school and the National Institutes of Health.

Students who don’t qualify could still decrease their cost of attendance through school-offered extracurriculars, such as community service.

The program is also expected to aid students after school as they advance in their careers. Cornell’s Medical School still requires about $50 million to keep the program running in the future.

3. Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine – Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University is another free medical school in the US. Every single student that attends this medical school from now on will qualify for a full-tuition scholarship.

There are about 30 spots and thousands of students compete for this small number of spots, so you have to be one of the best and top applicants in order to be admitted.

Cleveland Clinic’s medical school tuition is waived for each of its 30 enrollees each year. The university has waived tuition fees since 2008, predating its competitors.

The tuition-free award is earned in this case: Students are expected to spend the fifth year in the program conducting research.

4. Washington University School of Medicine

The Washington University school of medicine announced that it would provide free tuition fee scholarships in April 2019. The school promises to reduce tuition to zero for as much as half of its student body. Before that, just 1 out of 6 students in the program received a full ride to medical school.

This medical school is well recognized for its superiority in research and education. The U.S. News ranked the Washington University Medical School to be 6th for research, which is really good considering there are hundreds of medical schools in the US.

Washington university weighs both financial needs and academic merit when making decisions regarding scholarships. So, best keep your grades up.

Unfortunately, the school’s program stops short of covering awarded students’ secondary costs, but on the plus side, it does grant partial-tuition scholarships for not-so-needy students.

5. Columbia University

Students at Columbia medical school were the first to receive a completely free education when the Vagelos Scholarship program was unveiled in 2017. The scholarship program promises to meet 100% of the financial need for lower-income students — that includes tuition, study materials, and room and board fees.

To be eligible, your family must earn a household income of less than $125,000, at least as of the 2019-2020 school year.

While the Vagelos scholarship program provides truly free education for some students — 20%, according to the school’s newspaper, of other students was paying $62,980 in 2020, not including other expenses.


Roughly 1 out of 4 students attending UCLA medical school won’t need to worry about tuition or any other cost included in the program’s cost of attendance.  It’s all free.

Qualified students aren’t essentially the neediest, but they are admitted based on merit.

To maintain this Scholarship assistance, they need to remain in good standing during their four years on campus. Awarded students won’t pay the UCLA tuition charge, and they will receive a monthly stipend of $2,792 to cover essentials like transportation and rent, not to mention books and supplies.

Luckily, you can still qualify for the university’s partial scholarship opportunities, which are a mix of merit- and need-based, if you don’t receive the financial aid award.

7. Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine

Another free medical school is Kaiser’s free medical school. The Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine announced in February 2019 that it would cover tuition and fees only for its first five classes of students, from 2020 to 2024. Which is really awesome.

Unfortunately, even those students that are admitted annually will still have to finance an estimated amount of $34,500 in living expenses for the Pasadena, California campus.

But on the plus side, studying at Kaiser Permanente could give you access to practical learning at the health care company’s array of hospitals and clinics.

How do I get scholarships for medical school in the US?

Prospective medical students can and should apply for scholarship options as much as they can. Unlike loans, financial aids typically don’t need to be repaid. And given how challenging it can be paying for medical school, scholarships and grants can go a long way.

Your school wouldn’t be the only source of such support. You can also find medical school scholarships and grants from:

·         Local government

·         Nonprofit foundations

·         Private companies: Don’t forget about medical-related companies like Johnson & Johnson, which bestows $10,000 awards as part of its Tylenol Future Care Scholarship program.

·         Professional associations

As for how to win grants, from full scholarships to partial aid, try to focus on your grades and do well in MCAT exams, have great letters of recommendation and, try and gain experience as much as possible. It’s easier to get a scholarship if you have outstanding grades and a profile.

How long is a medical school in the US?

In the United States, medical school lasts four years and is followed by a residency and sometimes a fellowship. For those interested in becoming doctors, this might mean a cumulative medical education of ten years or more.

What are medical schools looking for?

Medical schools are interested in students with excellent academic abilities, strong integrity, and interpersonal skills, which is often demonstrated in volunteer, leadership, and employment situations,  clear drive for medicine, which is shown by significant involvement in medical settings, and concern and compassion and concern for others.

How is my GPA calculated for Medical schools?

AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) takes all the grades you have ever earned from any university and calculates one GPA for all courses taken, and another for all biology, physics, chemistry, and math courses that are taken.

Are Shadow Grades Calculated?

The medical college application service only works from your official transcripts, which doesn’t include your shadow grades.  Thus, grades for fall semester of your first year, spring semester 2020, and any courses in which you opted for CR/NC and didn’t uncover your grades will not be calculated into your GPA by medical schools.

When should I submit my application?

APPLY EARLY! Most schools evaluate applicants on a rolling basis, so, it is best to have your application complete when there are many seats to fill. Also, it will be emotionally easier to be one of the first to be interviewed and accepted, rather than one of the last.

What are AMCAS and AACOMAS?

AMCAS is a centralized application service that you must use to apply to nearly all U.S. allopathic (M.D.) medical schools. Texas state schools have their own application process; TMDSAS is the service for Texas public allopathic and osteopathic schools. AACOMAS is a similar centralized service that is used for all but one of the osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools

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