Medical Schools Cost – Low, Modest, and High-Cost Schools

There are endless lists of medical schools and costs differently. Hence, the six types of medical schools present in this post will do you all the good in the world. Go nowhere!

Medical Schools Cost

While after medical school we have a long list of accommodating opportunities for physicians, I would prefer if students knew what they got into from the beginning.

So, if you have not already joined medical school, multiply by 25 percent the numbers in the tables below to get an idea of how much debt you will have when you graduate.

If you already have medical school debt, see if you agree with the ratings of our medical school by how much your financial future will be harmed.

Medical School Degree

After acquiring an undergraduate education and a bachelor’s degree, a medical school degree typically takes 4 years to complete.

A medical school scholar studies for one of two degrees, either a Medical Doctor (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)

After medical school, a graduate will enter a paid residency duration to obtain their license. Residency typically endures between 3 to 7 years. Take note of the following:

  • The average cost of a medical school degree is $218,792.
  • Every year, the average cost of medical school rises by $915.
  • Subsequently, the cost of the average 4-year degree rises by $3,659.
  • The average cost of a public school education is $207,246.
  • The average cost of private school education is $253,346.
  • On average, an in-state resident pays $204,950 for medical school.
  • On average, an out-of-state resident pays $231,732 for medical school.

Amazing Value: Free Medical Schools

SchoolCost of attendance estimates (4 years)
Cleveland Clinic Lerner COMLiving Costs Only
NYU COMLiving Costs Only

The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University has offered free medical school tuition for about 10 years. The only catch is that they only have about 30 spots per class.

However, when NYU announced the elimination of tuition this summer, “Free Medical School” became a category.

The media became crazy about the exciting announcement from NYU that they would not charge tuition anymore. Other prestigious medical schools with reduced tuition and scholarships appear to be moving in a similar direction.

The biggest drawback of “free tuition medical schools” is that you may still have to borrow to pay for living costs. Many of these well-known medical schools are situated in expensive cities.

Therefore, you may still need a $100,000 to $150,000 student loan plan, even without tuition. After all, it is not cheap to rent in NYC.

Medical Schools Cost

Lowest Cost Med Schools: In-State, Public Colleges of Medicine

For whatever reason, for people in the region, Texas has a lot of low-cost medical schools. There are also competitive in-state tuition rates for obscure states like New Mexico and West Virginia.

Ironically, a scenario where an NYU med student leaves with more student debt can be seen, even with $0 tuition than a Texas Tech student with about $20,000 tuition. The justification for this is the cost of living rates.

Even if you get free or almost free tuition at a prestigious medical school, you’ll still have to borrow to cover living expenses unless you’ve already saved money.

When you pay average rent in a major coastal town of $2,000 a month, fly a little to visit friends and family, go out to eat and drink with friends, and go out on school dates, you’ll probably have to take out $40,000 a year of loans.

Nonetheless, if they work cautiously on a budget, some borrowers might come out with as little as $125,000 to $150,000 in medical school debt.

If you are unable to get a scholarship to a prestigious medical school, the next best thing is to go to a low-cost alternative in the state.

SchoolCost attendance estimate (4 years)
Texas Tech University HSC$150,704
University of New Mexico$158,852
Marshall University (WV)$189,693

Tolerable: In-State, Modest-Cost Medical Schools

You get into the tolerable center when you reach the incredible $15,000 to $30,000 range for ultra-low-cost public medical schools.

Most public medical schools in-state residents will have significantly lower costs. This is largely because they receive funding from their state legislatures from public universities.

While these contributions have fallen as a percentage of college income, they are still substantial.

Because state taxpayers contribute to these incentives, they are limited to school in-state residents. Expect annual tuition up to an average of $35,000 to $45,000 per year in the tolerable middle range.

While this debt would take a while to repay in a lower-earning profession, on a budget in less than 10 years you could definitely achieve debt freedom.

SchoolCost attendance estimate (4 years)
University of Iowa (Carver COM)$237,030
University of Florida$263,704
University of Michigan$251,910

Higher Cost: Out-of-State Public Colleges of Medicine

It will cost you about the same amount of money as a private medical school to go to a public medical school outside the government. Consider paying $100,000 to $150,000 more over four years compared to the in-state rate.

Public universities see students from state graduates as a source of great benefit. Sure, going to a public medical school out of the state is a better choice than attending a medical school for benefit.

If you’re trying to choose between a medical school that’s out of state or the Caribbean for-profit, go out of state choice with the government.

A good reason for choosing an out-of-state public school over a private school is the possibility of getting in-state residency after a couple years and getting the in-state tuition rate.

Medical Schools Cost
SchoolOut of state costs (4 years)
University of Kansas$367,564
University of Utah$378,304
The Ohio State University$357,596

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How Can Private medical schools Charge this Tuition?

The only reason private medical schools don’t get ranked as the very worst in terms of cost is that they often have large endowments they use to discount the price of attendance.

For example, the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University lists a total cost of attendance of $358,407 for all four years, according to their website.

However, they list the average med school debt for their Class of 2017 at $181,463. This figure is almost half of the current listed price.

However, if you attend a private school like this, expect shenanigans with accounting that obscure what you’ll really obtain in debt if you don’t receive a grant or scholarship.

For example, look at how Northwestern lists the budget you should plan for.

The budget does not include a single four-year 12-month cycle. Med school calendars run over 10 or 11-month periods, but the last 12 months have been human beings and rental contracts.

Therefore, if you believe their reported attendance price, you will immediately add a low five-figure amount to cover the rent, transportation, and living costs during the months that they did not cover in their budget.

All the high-cost private medical schools that reported attendance costs are closed.


For example, you have to pay thousands in loan origination fees every year of medical school. Among their tuition charges, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University does not mention this.

Here is a list of some private medical schools with high costs. In reality, if you go to one of those big names, high-cost schools will expect to have more than $400,000 in debt at graduation without any of the generous grants they sometimes provide.

Hold these estimates in mind that they do not reflect changes in tuition or accrued interest that you will build up over four years.

SchoolCosts of attendance estimates
(4 years)
Colombia University$382,747
Keck School of Medicine (USC)$393,697
Feinberg School (Northwestern)$358,407
University of New England (osteopathic)$344,140

For-Profit Medical Schools: A Growing Trend

For decades, medical school accreditation bodies have prohibited medical schools for profit. That’s why for-profit colleges like Ross University and St. George’s University are based outside U.S. jurisdiction in the Caribbean.

The American Bar Association, however, lost an anti-trust lawsuit targeting law schools for benefit in the 1990s.

In fact, the court found that the ABA was not entitled to withhold accreditation solely because of the existence of a law school for profit.

The tradition has changed the rules of medical school governing bodies. In the mid-2000s, the liberalization of student loan lending eventually comforted investors enough to move in to open new medical schools for profit.

Most of these new schools, for whatever cause, are osteopathic rather than allopathic. A large number of primary care physicians graduate with DO degrees from osteopathic colleges rather than MD degrees.

Many of these organizations seek to fill their populations with a particular need, such as providing more primary care practitioners in rural areas (such as the new school in Idaho).

Ironically, many of these medical schools have projected tuition costs that are smaller than the highest non-profit medical school rates. Reasons to underestimate this lower sticker price:


  • A for-profit medical school is more likely to drastically increase tuition
  • For-profit medical schools are less trusted because their incentive structure is organized around rewarding investors
  • You will likely have a harder time getting top residency slots coming from a for-profit medical school
  • Four-year completion rates will be lower at a for-profit medical school than at a more prestigious counterpart
  • You are much less likely to get a major scholarship or grant at a for-profit medical school (after all, it’s for-profit)
Medical Schools Cost

Your expected debt-to-income ratio is one of the most important factors in choosing the right student loan plan for a new doctor.

If you go to Columbia University, you may have a medical school debt of $400,000, but you have a better chance to match up to a residency for orthopedic surgery.

If you’re going to Rocky Vista College, you’re much more likely to have a specialty in primary care.

When you make $400,000 as an orthopedic surgeon, it’s much easier to pay $400,000 in medical school debt than if you were a family medicine doctor making $180,000 a year.

The University of Ross and the University of St. George are also options for competitive medical schools. They are located in the Caribbean, although right now after the hurricane they experienced, Ross is going through some relocation movements.

If you have a lot of debt from medical school but no degree, it’s a big waste of time and money.

Therefore, even if you end up with more debt, there is little question that at an expensive private medical school, not for profit, you’re better off than a medical school for profit.

SchoolCosts of attendance estimates
(4 years)
Rocky Vista University$371,875
California Northstate University$368,659
Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine$320,660
Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine$302,600

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Are you still wondering how to reduce debt from medical school? No matter what you owe, the good news is that you can manage your money wisely, afford retirement, own a home, take a nice vacation, etc.

The direction is narrower than the larger amount of debt you have, but it is possible.

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