USC Keck School of Medicine 2022 Updates: is Tuition Worth it?

– USC Keck School of Medicine –

USC Keck School of Medicine: Getting accepted at USC Keck is a lifelong dream of many med school applicants worldwide. If you are a USC Keck hopeful below are few things you should know about their tuition fee and processes. 

USC Keck School of Medicine 2021 Updates: is Tuition Worth it?

If you have debt from keck school of medicine tuition, the average stats probably do not tell the full story. Our projected cost for a student entering the fall of 2020 predicts she would leave with almost $500,000 in student loans.

The average debt reported by USC to US News for its class of 2015 was only $216,134.

Keck med school’s financial aid site predicts a total cost of attendance of around $400,000. The confusion that exists in what you’ll actually owe is why physicians turn to us for student loan advice after getting their MD.


The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California teaches and trains physicians, biomedical scientists, and other healthcare professionals to conduct medical research and treats patients. Founded in 1885, it is the second oldest medical school in California after the UCSF School of Medicine.

It is located on the university’s Health Sciences campus in northeastern Los Angeles which is next to the Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights neighborhoods.

Referring to the USC financial aid site above, they cite $62,964 as the tuition for the 2018-2019 cycle. The school lists this tuition for years 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Of course, anyone who’s gone to med school knows that the tuition does not stay the same. The school simply doesn’t know how much they’re going to raise it, so it lists the same number for each year.

What is the Total Cost of Attendance at USC Keck?

It’s common practice at many med schools to list the budget for living expenses based on the curriculum length for the year instead of 12 months.

In USC Keck’s situation, they have a 10.5-month first year, 12-month second and third year, and a 10-month fourth year.
Hence, the school prorates living expenses accordingly. Room and board cost $23,736 in years 2 and 3, but only $20,769 in year 1 and $19,780 in year 4.

To USC’s credit, they do a decent job of highlighting the loan origination fees. Not every med school does that. At least there is some attempt at transparency in that regard.

USC Keck
Med School
Estimated Cost
Year 1 $97,518
Year 2 $101,000
Year 3 $101,412
Year 4 $93,767

Extra Costs of Keck School of Medicine Tuition

USC Keck is not committing some unusual misrepresentation. Most med schools do not list the true cost of attendance if you’re financing your education. Of course, some med schools provide scholarships that don’t show up as well.

Since you cannot borrow for all four years at the same cost, assume that USC Keck raises tuition at 3% per year. Also assume that room, board, and other expenses increase at this same rate.

Pretend you borrow at 7% interest. As I write this, the Stafford loan rate is 6.6% and the Grad PLUS rate is 7.6%, so this estimate is reasonable.

Tuition inflation simply means that in your fourth year of med school, tuition will run $70,866 instead of $62,964. Hence, you would have to borrow an additional $7,903 to cover this difference that USC Keck doesn’t show.

Cost of living inflation means a similar thing.

Accrued interest is the cost of borrowing that accumulates while you’re in med school. While the interest does not compound, each year you’re charged with the interest on the current year’s debt and the debt from the years before. That’s why you’ll have almost $30,000 of interest charges in year 4.

Keck Extra
Cost of Living
Year 1 $1,889 $1,037 $7,031
Year 2 $3,835 $2,316 $15,001
Year 3 $5,838 $3,565 $23,271
Year 4 $7,903 $3,866 $29,550

Real Projected Cost of Becoming a Keck Trained Physician

Once you add all these extra costs up, here’s the new cost that we calculate you’d experience at USC Keck if you finance your whole education.

USC Keck
Med School
Estimated Cost
Year 1 $107,475
Year 2 $122,152
Year 3 $134,087
Year 4 $135,086
Total $498,799

I didn’t include the 12-month version of living expenses in years 1 and 4. I also used a tuition inflation rate that’s lower than the historical norms for med schools.

Hence, a rising first-year med student at USC Keck in fall 2019 could easily incur over $500,000 of medical school debt by graduation.

By the end of the residency, that figure could be over $600,000. However, even our more accurate data is out of date. We routinely run into physicians with $ 400,000-sized debts who trained in Southern California.


Why Does USC Keck Have a Huge Gap in Reported Debt Versus Your Projections?

Probably, the statistics presented to major media outlets have some biases present in them. These include but aren’t limited to students receiving:

  • Scholarships
  • Parental or partner support
  • Self-support, such as savings or investments

If you do not have wealthy parents, a high-income partner/spouse, or huge savings, then the average reported debt figure could be totally inaccurate for you if you do not get any scholarships.


USC Keck School of Medicine 2020 Is it worth it?

For example, you could pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness over 10 years, IDR loan forgiveness over 20-25 years, or enter a high-paying specialty and refinance.

Either one of those paths could leave you better off than earning a low wage as a corporate desk-bound employee. You just need to have the right student loan plan to ensure you don’t waste a year or two of earnings on the wrong approach.

FAQs About USC Keck School of Medicine

While Considering the tuition and fees, here is a list of questions frequently asked about the application processes.

Can I have my application re-reviewed once my new MCAT scores arrive?

No. Once an application status is complete and under review, any newly released, valid MCAT score will be made available to us by AMCAS, and may be taken into consideration, as long as an admission decision has not been made. The admissions committee will review your application once only.

How will the admissions committee interpret and correlate previous and current versions of the MCAT?

All valid MCAT scores are considered. In comparing the “old” MCAT to the “new” version, percentages will be used as an estimate.

How does the admissions committee view multiple MCAT scores?

Although a single strong MCAT score is always the best strategy, we consider all MCAT scores in making decisions regarding candidacy. A sequence of scores tells us about timing and judgment as well as mastery of the material. Scores are not the sole determinants of an applicant’s acceptability. They are considered in relation to all of the other components of an application.

Are campus tours available to prospective applicants?

Tour are provided only to those applicants whom have been invited to interview for admission.

Are there pre-requisite science courses needed for applicants to be eligible to apply the MD program?

No. The path to becoming a physician is as variable and unique as the applicants themselves. Successful applicants have distinguished themselves in their chosen field of study and show evidence of competency in the physical, biological and social sciences.

We require that applicants take the MCAT and that they obtain a baccalaureate degree by the time they intend to matriculate into the program.


Even if you owe a huge sum of money from USC Keck School of Medicine tuition in 2020:, you can still make financial decisions today to ensure financial security.

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