The Average Cost of Attending a US Medical School
It’s no secret that medical school in the U.S. can be expensive. For the 2022–2023 school year, the average cost of medical school is $57,574 per year. Unfortunately, prices are only going up; Between 2013 and 2023, rates have increased by an average of 2.6% per year for privately-owned medical schools and 2.3% per year for public medical schools. To help prepare prospective students for the significant potential financial of pursuing this type of education, MoneyGeek utilized statistics from the American Association of Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) most recent report to explore the cost of attending medical school.
- The average cost of medical school is $57,574 per year, resulting in $230,296 over four years. This figure is based on the average rates reported by the AAMC and the combined averages for public and private schools and resident and nonresident students for the 2022–2023 school year.
- The average above considers the cost of tuition, health insurance and other school-related fees. It doesn’t include the standard registration fee of $330 for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
- Medical school costs will vary depending on several factors, such as whether the school is publicly or privately owned and if a student is a state resident.
- For privately-owned medical schools, an in-state student (resident) can expect to pay $62,570 per year, while out-of-state students paid an average of $64,103 per year during the 2022–2023 academic year.
- For publicly-owned medical schools, the average 2022–2023 costs are $39,905 per year for in-state students and $63,718 per year for out-of-state students.
- On average, nonresident students pay approximately 65% more per year to attend a public medical school.
- The average cost to attend a privately-owned medical school increased by around 2.6% annually between 2013 and 2023.
- The average cost to attend a publicly-owned medical school increased by around 2.3% per year between 2013 and 2023.
- There are other expenses aspiring medical students need to consider. The AAMC requires all medical students to have an active health insurance policy, so aspiring medical students must factor in this cost. As of the 2022-2023 school year, health insurance fees for privately owned-medical schools (for both residents and nonresidents) averaged 5.9% of the total cost of attendance, while health insurance fees for publicly-owned medical schools (for both residents and nonresidents) averaged 6.2%.
- The cost to attend medical school can be as low as $0 if a student’s education is funded through scholarships and grants. The highest recorded cost was $99,622 for out-of-state students attending a publicly-owned institution in the 2019–2020 school year, according to responses to the AAMC Tuition and Student Fees Questionnaire sent out to participating medical schools in the U.S.
Average Cost of Medical School
Pursuing a medical profession, whether as a physician, surgeon or any other type of practitioner, can be costly. Before enrolling, it’s important that you understand the various expenses involved.
The cost of medical school may vary widely depending on certain factors, including the type of school and the student’s resident status. Private medical schools tend to charge more than public medical schools. Additionally, students who are state residents can expect lower costs than out-of-state students.
Average Cost of Private Medical School
According to the AAMC, the average annual cost of medical school for an in-state student enrolled in a private school in the 2022–2023 academic year is $62,570. Meanwhile, out-of-state students pay an average of $64,103 per year.
The cost of a medical degree in private schools has been rising throughout the decade, with the exception of the 2020–2021 average for out-of-state students, which showed a slight decrease from the prior school year. Over time, the average cost has shown a 2.6% increase per year since 2013.
The 2022–2023 school year recorded the highest average costs for both resident and nonresident students at $62,570 and $64,103 per year, respectively. In comparison, in-state students tend to pay $1,533 less than out-of-state students.
The maximum reported cost of medical school is $76,609 for both resident and nonresident private school students for the 2022–2023 school year.
Average Cost of Public Medical School
Generally, attending a public medical school is cheaper than attending a privately-owned institution. In-state students also tend to pay less than out-of-state students. For the 2022–2023 school year, the average annual cost of medical school is $39,905 per year for residents and $63,718 per year for nonresidents.
Average costs for both in-state and out-of-state students in public medical schools have been on the rise since 2013, with the exception of the 2020–2021 school year, when the average for out-of-state students dropped slightly. Between 2013 and 2023, the average cost increased by 2.3% per year.
Current average rates for residents and nonresidents are the highest they’ve been in the past 10 academic years. On average, out-of-state students pay $63,718 per year — that’s 59.7% more than the average of $39,905 per year for in-state students.
It’s important to keep in mind that the actual of attending a public medical school will vary depending on your chosen institution. The maximum annual cost recorded for the 2022–2023 school year is $61,054 for residents and $94,364 for nonresidents.
The Change in Cost of Attendance Over Time
The average cost of medical school has increased every school year since 2013, with the exception of the 2020–2021 school year; that year, costs decreased by 2.5% for public universities. Between 2013 and 2023, the average cost of medical school increased by 2.6% per year for privately-owned institutions and 2.3% per year for public schools.
Medical School Tuition Costs
Similar to getting a college education, there are various fees involved in medical school. But the highest expense for a medical student is tuition, which is the amount schools charge for classes. Tuition varies from college to college. Whether you attend a public or private school and whether you’re a resident or nonresident can dramatically impact your tuition costs.
Average Tuition for Private Medical School
The average tuition for private medical schools for 2022–2023 is $56,680 per year for in-state students and $58,166 per year for out-of-state students. That means nonresidents pay an average of $1,486 more per year.
The average annual cost of tuition for private medical school students in the 2022–2023 school year is $56,680 for residents and $58,166 for nonresidents. These are the highest average rates for each type of student over the past 10 years. Since the school year 2013–2014, tuition in private institutions has been rising.
The minimum cost of tuition is $0, which is usually the case for students with scholarships and grants. Meanwhile, the maximum cost for the school year 2022–2023 is $69,160 per year for in-state and out-of-state students.
Average Tuition for Public Medical School
Resident students in public medical school are projected to pay an average of $23,268 less in tuition than nonresidents during the 2022–2023 school year. The average tuition in public medical schools is $34,297 if you’re an in-state student and $57,565 if you’re an out-of-state student.
Public medical schools typically charge less than private schools. On average, in-state students at public medical schools pay $34,297 per year for the school year 2022–2023, and out-of-state students pay an average of $57,565. AAMC data shows that the average rate for in-state students has been consistently growing each year, with the 2022–2023 school year’s rates being the highest yet. The same can be said for out-of-state students, with the exception of the 2020–2021 school year.
Based on the latest report, the maximum cost of tuition for resident students at public universities is $57,936 per year. Out-of-state students can expect to pay up to $92,928 per year for tuition in a public medical school.
Medical Student Fees
Aside from tuition, medical students also need to pay a broad range of other school-related expenses and fees. Depending on the school, student fees may vary. Some of the most common fees include:
- Orientation fees
- Student union fees
- Student council fees
- Library fees
- Parking facility fees
- Recreational facility fees
- Administrative fees
- Laboratory fees
- Health and wellness fees
When choosing a school, it’s also important to make sure you’re aware of their unique fees and how much those could contribute to your overall medical school costs.
Average Student Fees for Private Medical Schools
Based on student fees for the 2022–2023 school year, resident students pay about $2,209 per year on student fees. Meanwhile, nonresidents pay an average of $2,241 per year. That’s a difference of $32. Year-over-year, rates have increased by 10.6% for students attending in-state schools and 10.7% for those at out-of-state schools.
Both in-state and out-of-state students in private medical schools can expect student fees as low as $0 and as high as $10,863.
Average Student Fees for Public Medical Schools
Over the last decade, students in public institutions tended to be charged more student fees than those enrolled in private medical schools. For the 2022–2023 academic year, medical students in public schools pay an average of $2,783 per year in an in-state school and $3,262 per year in an out-of-state school.
However, students attending in-state public medical schools tend to pay less than those enrolled in out-of-state schools. For the school year 2022–2023, the average cost of student fees for resident students is $389 cheaper than the average for nonresidents.
Rates vary per year. In comparison, the latest average cost of student fees for in-state students is 0.6% more expensive than the prior school year. On the other hand, the current average for out-of-state students is 7.9% cheaper than the previous academic year.
Depending on the chosen school, public school medical students can expect student fees ranging from $0 to $27,276 per year for residents and $0 to $31,064 for nonresidents.
Medical School Health Insurance Costs
Another medical school expense to take note of is health insurance. The AAMC requires medical students to have an active health insurance policy. Specifically, a medical student must have coverage for the whole year.
Most medical schools, especially state schools, offer policies to their students. Per the AAMC, these school-sponsored health insurance policies are required to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, offer prescription drug coverage and include lifetime coverage limits based on the cost of a major or catastrophic disease. They should also allow students to purchase additional coverage for their dependents, spouses and domestic partners at a market-value cost.
Additionally, the AAMC also requires medical schools to offer sufficient liability and disability insurance coverage.
The average health insurance cost for the 2022–2023 school year in public medical schools is $3,060. The average cost in private schools is $3,750. That’s a difference of $690 per year.
Students attending in-state public schools pay an average of $3,017, 5.6% higher than the prior school year. Those in out-of-state public schools pay $3,102 on average, a 7.4% increase from the previous academic year.
Meanwhile, health insurance in private schools costs an average of $3,741 per year for residents and $3,758 per year for nonresidents. These costs are 1.5% (residents) and 1.4% (nonresidents) higher than the average for the 2021–2022 school year.
Since the school year 2013-2014, the cost of health insurance has been increasing for both public and private schools.
Medical students can expect to pay as high as $6,966 per year in public schools and $7,138 per year in private schools for health insurance.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) Costs
In addition to fees associated with attending medical school, there are also costs associated with applying to medical school: perhaps the most expensive being taking the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Below, MoneyGeek outlines the fees associated with taking this key exam.
Fee and Description
Standard MCAT Registration
$330: This is the initial fee for the MCAT. It covers the exam and the distribution of the applicant’s scores to medical schools.
Fee Assistance Program MCAT Registration
$135: The Fee Assistance Program provides financial assistance to aspiring medical students who can’t afford to take the MCAT at its standard price.
International Student MCAT Application
$120: Individuals outside of the U.S., Canada and other U.S. territories need to pay an additional $120 for the MCAT. This cost is charged in addition to the initial registration fee.
Average Cost of Medical School FAQ
The cost of medical school can be high, but knowing what to expect can help you compare your options and prepare for possible expenses. MoneyGeek listed the most commonly asked questions to help you better understand medical school costs.
There are various factors you need to consider if you plan on pursuing a medical profession. Finding helpful resources can help you with your financial decisions.
- Medical School Financial Aid: Financial aid can help you address the cost of medical school. Learn the different options you can choose from.
- Federal Student Loans Guide: To help students fund their education, the federal government offers loans with lower interest rates and more flexible payment terms. Use this guide to learn more about federal student loans, including the different types available and their eligibility requirements.
- Low-Income Student Resources: For students struggling with basic needs insecurity, finding the right support is vital. This guide provides insights into different resources and programs available to students based on their needs.
- Best Medical School Loans: Many students use student loans to pay for the cost of medical school. MoneyGeek compares and ranks the best medical school loans to help you get started with your search.
- Student Loan Forgiveness: Find out the differences between student loan forgiveness, cancellation, discharge and repayment plans. Learn the right steps to take for each option.
About Nathan Paulus
- Association of American Medical Colleges. "MCAT Scheduling Fees." Accessed February 27, 2023.
- Association of American Medical Colleges. "Tuition and Student Fees Reports." Accessed February 24, 2023.
- Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Student Affairs. "Recommendations for Healthcare and Insurance." Accessed February 27, 2023.