Medical Schools With Free Tuition: Your Guide

April 25, 2024


Reviewed by:

Luke Hartstein

Former Admissions Committee Member, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Reviewed: 4/25/24

With student debt causing stress for millions, having medical schools with free tuition is an amazing prospect. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about medical schools with free tuition in the US and how to increase your chances of acceptance.

In recent years, there has been a growing call for lowering student debt, and post-secondary schools have heard the call. 

To help combat student debt, some schools have been giving more money in scholarships, including medical schools with free tuition. Medical school can be a very expensive undertaking which has caused a lot of inequity in the profession. 

For students from lower-income families, going to medical school might be out of the picture, no matter how smart and talented they are. This article will guide you through the options for medical schools with free tuition so that you know where to apply. 

By the end of this article, you will know which medical schools have free tuition in the US and how to increase your likelihood of being accepted.

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List of Medical Schools With Free Tuition

Before we dive into the medical schools with free tuition, let's talk a bit about how expensive medical school can be. 

According to the Education Date Initiative, the average cost for four years of medical school in 2023 was $159,620 for public institutions and $256,412 for private colleges. Graduates of medical school had an average debt load of $202,453, meaning that many students end up owing their entire tuition costs by the time they graduate. 

This is a huge burden; even with the average doctor making more than most, they will still have to live with this debt for years. These numbers are why some medical schools have decided to pay part or fully for their students to attend their schools.

Below we will go through a list of free medical schools, as well as a few that only require partial tuition payment. Each school sets up their scholarships a bit differently, so pay attention to what is covered and who qualifies for funding.

Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

F. Edward Herbert School of Medicine (military medical school)

  • This medical school is for people in service who commit at least seven years of active duty after residency
  • The students get free tuition and get paid for their service

 Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

  • Offered in conjunction with CASE Western Reserve University
  • All students receive a scholarship that covers both tuition and school fees
  • Only 32 students get accepted each year; 2,000 students apply each year

Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

  • Columbia University is the first medical school with free tuition
  • If you meet the financial need requirements, Columbia will pay 100% of your tuition and fees
  • Students are also able to qualify for a partial scholarship depending on how much financial help they need

New York University School Of Medicine

  • NYU will cover tuition only for all students accepted
  • Students still pay other fees, which are around $30,000 per year

Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis

  • Will give half the students a full scholarship, while the other half get a partial scholarship
  • Scholarships are based on financial need

Cornell University Medical School in New York City

  • Scholarships are given to students who have demonstrated financial need
  • Scholarships cover tuition, study materials, food, and lodging.


  • 25% of students get the David Geffen Medical Scholarship.
  • The scholarship is based solely on academic merit, but all applicants are automatically considered
  • Pays for tuition, accommodation, books, study materials, medical insurance, and transportation

Based on what we see with this list, it can be difficult to get into a medical school with free tuition. Even if you are lucky enough to get in, most schools either require you to pay for all other expenses or will only reward certain students. 

The following section will discuss how you can increase your chances of getting into one of these exclusive medical schools with free tuition.

Tips to Get Into A Tuition-Free Medical School

Getting into a medical school is difficult enough, but when you are talking about medical schools with free tuition in the US, the competition gets even harder. The following tips will help you get into a free medical school:

Apply Early 

Paying attention to when schools start receiving applications is crucial, especially if you want to get into medical schools with free tuition. Spaces are limited, and if you wait too long to apply, you might lose out to someone who got their application in earlier than you.

Tailor Your Application

Make sure you have done a bit of research on the schools you are applying to. By looking at the mission statement and incorporating their values into your application essay, you have a higher likelihood of gaining acceptance into a medical school with free tuition.

Emphasize Your Extracurriculars 

If you have done work in a clinic or shadowed a doctor, make sure that this experience comes up in your application. These are valuable experiences to show your dedication to the profession.

By using these tips, you will have a high-caliber application that is more likely to make an impact on the very competitive medical schools with free tuition.

FAQs: Medical Schools With Free Tuition

The following are some of the most common questions about medical schools with free tuition in the US.

1. Is NYU Medical School Really Free?

New York University medical school only pays tuition for their students. This means that you will still need money for things like books, school supplies, and accommodation.

2. Can I Study Medicine In The US For Free?

Though not easy, you can study medicine in the US for free. Even if you do not attend one of the medical schools with free tuition, there are a number of scholarships available to apply for which can cover your tuition and other school fees.

3. Is UCLA Medical School Free?

UCLA grants the David Geffen Medical Scholarship to 25% of their accepted students. Students who apply for the school are automatically considered for the scholarship, and they base their awards on those who show outstanding academic merit.

4. Is Columbia Medical School Free?

For students who show financial need, Colombia will pay for 100% of their tuition and fees.

Final Thoughts

Medical school is a very expensive proposition, with tuition fees for one year being the equivalent of a down payment on a house (a large one). Most students end up having large debts by the end of their training, which can take many years to pay off. 

With the introduction of free medical schools, there has been less of a burden on new doctors, which can make the process less daunting. These types of medical school scholarships also allow people with financial needs to consider a career in medicine, which they may not have been able to do previously. 

To bring more diversity and inclusion into the healthcare system, we should strive for more medical schools with free tuition.

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