A new major scholarship program was announced in April 2019. The program builds on Washington University’s longstanding commitment to minimizing financial barriers for every individual while attracting highly qualified students from diverse backgrounds. (Learn more of how scholarship opportunities are shaping students’ goals and futures in a 2022 update).

“These scholarships will help us build a class that reflects our school’s values and allows us to educate the very best future physicians. Our goal is to recruit high-caliber students who are passionate about improving health care in the community and across the world.”

Eva Aagaard, MD, senior associate dean for education

An admissions scholarship committee determines the number of scholarships awarded and level of support on an individual basis. Scholarships will be need-based, based on merit, or a through a combination of both. There are full and partial tuition awards available (which may not cover expenses categorized as “fees”).

Who is eligible: Admitted applicants to the Washington University MD program entering 2019 or later

How to apply: All admitted applicants are automatically reviewed by the Scholarship Committee 

Total Educational Debt Comparison

MD students at Washington University graduate with indebtedness significantly below national averages.  (Source: AAMC). National debt numbers for recent MD graduates are released every October.  

Medical School GraduatesMean Educational Debt (of those indebted only)
2022 Public University MD Programs$194,558
2022 Private University MD Programs$222,899
2023 WashU MD Program$106,536
Total educational debt includes pre-medical, medical and other degrees.

Types of aid

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

  • Scholarships — institutional 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 multiple full and partial tuition awards. These awards may not cover expenses that are labeled as “fees”.
  • All accepted applicants, regardless of citizenship or state of residency, are considered for merit-based scholarships without additional applications.

Need-based financial aid

Need-based financial aid comprises both scholarships and loans and is available for qualifying 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 $33,000 annually. Thereafter, the remainder of the student’s need is met by scholarship funds.
  • Need-based borrowing currently is capped at $33,000 per year. In 2020-2021, for a first-year student who had no resources to fund the cost of education ($89,450), financial aid would consist of $33,000 in loans plus $56,450 in scholarships.  All scholarship and institutional loan dollars awarded in the first year are guaranteed at that amount for future medical student years.
  • 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 and Federal Direct Grad PLUS. Although private loans may be available, these need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis due to the varying interest rates, terms of the loans and borrower’s credit.

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 approach that evaluates the resources of both the family and student in light of the family’s size, income and assets by using the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). 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.

More information

Visit the Office of Student Financial Planning for more information.