Financial Planning

Washington University is committed to minimizing financial barriers and student debt at graduation for every individual.

For detailed information, view the brochure Financing Your Medical Education or visit the Office of Student Financial Planning website.

MD student indebtedness at WUSM

MD students at Washington University graduate with indebtedness significantly below national averages:

2015 Medical School Graduates Average Debt Amount
Public medical schools $172,751
Private medical schools $193,483
Washington University $91,713

Types of aid

Types of financial aid include both merit-based scholarships and need-based financial aid packages.

  • Scholarships — need-based and merit-based
  • Loans
    • Washington University
    • Federal
    • Other

Merit-based scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded in various amounts as funds allow. Recipients are selected based on their personal and academic accomplishments and on their perceived potential to lead and contribute to the profession.

  • There are approximately 16 of these awards annually.
  • All accepted students are considered for merit-based scholarships.
  • The Mr. and Mrs. Spencer T. Olin Fellowships for Women provide full-tuition scholarships for graduate and professional school study at Washington University. All women accepted for admission before January 25 will be considered for this award.

Need-based financial aid

Need-based financial aid comprises both scholarships and loans. Need-based financial aid is available for medical students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

  • Need-based financial aid is awarded as 50:50 scholarship:loan up to a current maximal borrowing of $28,000 annually. Thereafter, the remainder of the student’s need is met by scholarship funds.
  • Need-based borrowing currently is capped at $28,000 per year. In 2016-2017, for a first-year student who had no resources to fund the cost of education ($79,642), financial aid would consist of $28,000 in loans plus $51,642 in scholarships.
  • Need-based financial aid scholarships are awarded 50:50 with loans starting with the first dollar of support. Thus, financially needy students begin to receive scholarship support without the need to first borrow large amounts of so-called base loans before scholarship funds kick in.
  • Students who receive merit-based awards may also qualify for need-based financial aid.

Other educational borrowing is available for those who may not qualify for need-based financial aid. Depending on your circumstances, federal loans may be available to cover up to the full cost of your medical education. Examples of these types of loans include Federal Direct Unsubsidized, Perkins, and Federal Direct Grad PLUS. Although private loans may be available, these need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis because the interest rates and terms of the loans tend to be variable.

How is need determined for need-based financial aid?

The approach to financial aid starts with a determination of the amount that the student and his or her family should be able to contribute to the student’s education. This amount is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The approach to calculating the EFC follows Federal Methodology, a standard nationwide approach that evaluates the family’s and student’s resources in light of the family’s size, income and assets. Once this amount is calculated, the financial need is the cost of education minus the EFC. The result is the student’s documented financial need. This is the amount on which need-based financial aid is awarded.

Visit the Office of Student Financial Planning for more information.