How to Earn Medical School Scholarships on 20-Minutes a Day | White Coat Investor (2023)

[Editor's Note: Today's guest post was submitted by Morgan Sweere, an MS2 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences pursuing an MD/MPH degree. ​I get frequent questions about medical school scholarships. Although far more rare than undergraduate scholarships, they are out there and they are a great way to reduce your debt burden as a doc. We have no financial relationship. ]

Starting as a child and even into my teenage years, I grew up watching my parents be very financially responsible and work hard to avoid mistakes. Both of my parents worked several jobs to pay off their house before I went to college. Every Saturday night that I was home, I stayed up with my mom until the end of the Suze Orman show to watch the “Can I Afford It?” section. It became a game with my mom and I to see just how DUMB some of the financial choices the show’s guests were making. They would call with thousands of dollars in debt, asking if they could buy some luxury item of their choosing. It was obvious to me, even as a young child, how this was not a smart way to manage personal finances. This encouraged me to self-educate about finances as well. However, despite this exposure, I still found it difficult at times to avoid spending money frivolously and to not be envious of others.

Fortunately, my parents helped keep me on track. When I was starting to apply for colleges, I had a different approach than a lot of my friends. I distinctly remember my parents stating to me several times “If you want to go to college, get a scholarship.” Loans were simply not an option in our household. I started looking at colleges around the state, studying heavily for my ACT, and applying for private scholarships during my junior and senior year of high school. However, if there was one thing I knew at this point, it was that I WAS NOT EVER going to the university in my hometown because “I had to get away.” This was obviously a clear-minded, logical teenager talking here.

Choosing a Local Full-Ride Undergraduate Scholarship

Although I had several offers for full-ride scholarships to other schools in my state, to please my parents I interviewed for the Honors College at the university in my hometown. To my surprise they had a lot to offer, not to mention a high acceptance rate to professional schools. Not only could I receive a full scholarship, but also an apartment-style “dorm” for the honors kids with my own room, and a textbook stipend.

I changed my mind at the last possible second (literally May of senior year) to attend the local hometown university and I have never looked back. It was probably one of the best decisions of my life as I was able to not only graduate debt-free, but also get heavily involved in leadership opportunities and internships, meet my now husband, and even go home during my lunch break to permanently borrow food from my parents’ pantry.

Our Debt Aversion

Because I was so blessed with undergraduate scholarships, I was quite naïve when it came to apply for medical school loans. I wanted to graduate debt-free, but it was not an option for me due to neither my parents nor me being able to cash flow the significant tuition. I did the thing I dreaded most—took out loans.

My husband and I decided early in our marriage that we didn’t want to pay student loan debt off for the rest of our lives though. We dedicated significant amounts of time in the first semester of medical school learning about budgeting, insurance, retirement, and how to pay off debt. I also got involved in the Honors in Finance track at my school, which involved taking a Business in Medicine course that taught me a lot about the financial struggles specific to physicians, the available financial options and opportunities that exist, and how to begin to navigate our financial path.

Since medical school tuition is so high and funds for a newly married couple are very limited, we couldn’t quite get started on paying down the loans, even though we didn’t have any other debt. My student loan debt was only beginning to accrue, and we knew it would painstakingly continue over the next four years. However, we had to devise a plan because the accumulating debt was already daily haunting us in the back of our minds. First, we wanted to take out as little loan money as possible, so during my first year I took out tuition only (still about $35k a year). We worked hard to return any excess loan money and saved what we could from our income.

Earning Money

Secondly, we earned money wherever we could. Despite being in graduate school, my husband works as a teacher during the week and at the mall every weekend. I make extra money during school working at my hometown hospital almost every weekend as a phlebotomist, dog sitting (pretty easy when you’re home studying all day) and working at other odd end jobs.

Private Medical School Scholarships

My hard work has also had a third focus which is somewhat more obscure for a medical student – scholarships. Although some schools have institutional scholarships, the number of students who receive them are few and far between. I, unfortunately, fell into this group, so I set out to find private scholarships to defer the cost of tuition.

My journey was met with skepticism from my mentors, local physicians, and teachers – “There simply aren’t any. Just be okay with the debt.” Be okay with it?! I wasn’t pleased, and I wasn’t going to stop there. I set out on a search over my fall break trying to scrounge up any scholarships for which I would be eligible.

Internet Search For Scholarships

Morgan Sweere

Searching “medical student scholarships” wasn’t very useful, so I had to get inventive. I searched for general university scholarships, such as those open to all graduate students or any student at a university. I had to dig deep, but I found that the long lists on college scholarship websites were actually very helpful, though somewhat time-consuming on the front end.

Although some scholarships have narrow eligibility criteria, with hard work and persistence I was able to find ones that had very general criteria. I ended up making a list in my Notes app on my computer, and it has grown exponentially over the year such that I am now applying for several scholarships in any given week.

Finding Time to Apply for Scholarships

Medical school curriculum is definitely tough, and it makes it hard to have free time to do things you need to do, much less things you want to do. I look at writing scholarship essays like other people look at going to the gym or spending time with family. It’s important to me, so I make time. I spend twenty minutes a day. That’s right—2-0. I spend twenty minutes per day writing essays, which after almost a year, have compiled into quite a large folder.

Many scholarships have similar essay criteria, so I can utilize previous writings and morph them into a new essay quite easily. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so I feel like I am doing something fun to contribute to our financial success in the future. For my M1 year, I won $2000 in private scholarships, and I have already received over $3000 in scholarships for my M2 year. If twenty minutes a day could save you thousands in medical school debt, why would you not do it?

Helping Other Medical Students

My goal in writing this is to help other medical students recognize that with persistence, time, and effort, they can make a big impact on their future financially. I also want to bring awareness that although there is an unfortunate lack of scholarships available to future physicians, they are available. I will share a list of 25 scholarships students can apply for this semester by taking just twenty minutes out of their day. The scholarships are organized by month, so they can be done chronologically throughout the school year. Each of these scholarships are available to all medical students based on the eligibility criteria. There are many more scholarships out there—students just have to get out there and find them!

There are many things that can make someone successful with money, but after growing up watching my parents, I think the main factor is work ethic. If you want to get rid of your debt, be financially successful, and minimize your future debt burden, then I truly believe you have to hate the debt so much that you’re willing to work to get rid of it. That hard work to reduce and eliminate debt can manifest in a variety of ways, but the reward of financial freedom is worth it.

25 Scholarships Available to Future Physicians






Did you receive a scholarship for Medical School? How have you searched for scholarships? What scholarships would you encourage medical students to apply for? Comment below!


How much is the white coat Investor scholarship awarded for? ›

Each winner takes home $7,841. Yes, we already have verified each winner is a student in good standing at their institution. Before we get to the essays, let's, once again, thank our sponsors for contributing to the scholarship.

How do I pay for medical school white coat investor? ›

If you're trying to figure out how to pay for medical school, consider these options.
  1. Savings. The most obvious, and yet most difficult, way to pay for your education is with savings. ...
  2. Scholarships and Financial Aid. ...
  3. Student Loans. ...
  4. Military Service. ...
  5. MD/PhD Programs. ...
  6. Tuition-Free Medical Schools. ...
  7. Service Programs.
Jul 14, 2022

What does it mean when a medical student gets their white coat? ›

The White Coat Ceremony is a rite of passage for medical students, and was created by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation in 1993. During the ceremony, a white coat is placed on each student's shoulders and often the Hippocratic Oath is recited, signifying their entrance into the medical profession.

What do you say at a white coat ceremony? ›

I want to congratulate each of you on arriving at this milestone in your career. You have no doubt worked hard to achieve your goal of entering medical school. As each of you walks across this stage today to receive your white coat, your journey in medicine will begin.

How much money do you need to endow a scholarship? ›

Bankrate explains, “An endowed scholarship is a donation made to a college that earns interest each year.” Kiplinger shared that if you hope to give away $1,000 every year, you'll need $20-$25,000 to produce the interest necessary to fund the annual scholarship.

Do I report scholarships on taxes? ›

Generally, you report any portion of a scholarship, a fellowship grant, or other grant that you must include in gross income as follows: If filing Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR, include the taxable portion in the total amount reported on Line 1a of your tax return.

What is the best way to fund medical school? ›

Paying for medical school
  1. Start with money you don't have to pay back. Apply to scholarships, grants, fellowships, and assistantship positions for medical school to help supplement any savings you want to use.
  2. Explore federal student aid. ...
  3. Consider a private student loan for medical school.

How fast to pay off med school debt? ›

The average medical school debt is over $200,000, a hefty amount of debt to carry at the start of your career. The expected payoff schedule is over 20 years, and during that time, you'll be paying the equivalent of an extra mortgage payment to make progress on the loan.

What state is the cheapest for medical school? ›

Texas has long been known as the cheapest state in which to attend medical school, and 11 of the 18 schools on this list are located in the Lone Star State. Non-residents can attend Texas schools, but they'll end up paying more.

What length of white coat do medical students wear? ›

Rethinking the medical training hierarchy. For first-year residents, white coats are short, typically hip length. Once they've completed that first year, they wear a longer coat, reaching toward their knees.

At what point in med school do you get your white coat? ›

Often seen as a symbol of authority and professionalism, the white coat frequently is conferred on new students during a ceremony held at the very beginning of medical school.

Are you a doctor after white coat ceremony? ›

What is a white coat ceremony for pharmacy? Pharmacy students also have a white coat ceremony. In fact, they're technically doctors themselves, as they receive a Doctorate of Pharmacy (abbreviated as PharmD) upon graduating from pharmacy school.

Do people bring gifts to the white coat ceremony? ›

Even if you just attended your loved one's graduation from a bachelor's or master's program, you definitely want to make time for the white coat ceremony. Also, a gift is a good idea. If you're not sure what to get, check out our white coat ceremony gift guide below, which has been updated for 2023!

Is white coat a big deal? ›

Receiving your coveted white coat is a symbol of the beginning of this new and exciting journey. A cap and gown is synonymous with graduating; finally finishing something. A briefcase may be the symbol of beginning a fancy new job.

What not to wear to white coat ceremony? ›

What is the recommended attire? Business casual dress is required. Please advise your guests against wearing jeans, tennis shoes, or other casual attire.

What is the difference between a scholarship and an endowed scholarship? ›

Regular scholarships are often a one-time donation for a single award. Endowments can fund scholarships for years and benefit multiple students, as the principal amount isn't used by the college for the scholarship; the interest earned through your principal donation is used as the award money.

How rare is it to get a full scholarship? ›

Unfortunately, the reality is that many students who more than meet all of the requirements for a full scholarship will not get it. In fact, only 0.1% of students get a full-ride per year.

Can you get more scholarship money than you need? ›

What happens to leftover scholarship money. If you earned scholarships and grants that add up to more than your total cost of attendance, your school may send you a refund of the leftover scholarship money.

How can I avoid paying tax on scholarships? ›

What are qualified educational expenses? To avoid a scholarship being subject to taxation, you'll need to spend the funds on qualified educational expenses. Generally, this means tuition and fees required to enroll or attend the eligible educational institution.

Is scholarship income considered earned income? ›

However, if a scholarship is used for purposes other than for qualified expenses, the amount is generally considered to be unearned income. This may occur, for example, if your child is awarded a scholarship for room and board. Don't forget to factor this into your tax calculations for the year.

Is scholarship money unearned income? ›

Unearned income includes taxable scholarships and grants, as well as the earnings portion of a non-qualified distribution from a 529 plan.

How do I ask for more scholarship money for medical school? ›

How to Apply for and Negotiate Medical School Financial Aid
  1. Know when to ask for financial aid.
  2. Investigate merit scholarships.
  3. Consider average debt at graduation.
  4. Exercise caution with negotiating.
  5. Maintain your professionalism.
Dec 31, 2019

What is the average debt of a medical student? ›

Between medical school and undergraduate study, physicians must pay for 8 years of postsecondary education before they can work as doctors. Medical school graduates owe a median average of $200,000 to $215,000 in total educational debt, premedical debt included.

Do hospitals pay off student loans doctors? ›

The Health Resources and Services Administration offers a student loan repayment program (among other assistance programs) to eligible health care professionals. To qualify for forgiveness, you'll need to be licensed and work in an eligible discipline. Eligible workers include: Physicians (DO/MD).

What is the maximum federal student loan for medical school? ›

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

The aggregate borrowing limit is $224,000 and the fixed interest rate for the 2022 - 2023 academic year (for loans first disbursed between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023) is 6.54%.

What is the maximum federal loan for medical school? ›

Health Professions Stafford Loan Limits Are Higher

For students in medical, dental school, and other health professions, the borrowing limit for Stafford loans is higher. For example, for medical and dental school, the per year maximum for Stafford loans is $40,500 and the aggregate max is $224,000.

What is the least competitive medical school? ›

Easiest Medical Schools to Get into in the United States:
SchoolAcceptance rate
University of Mississippi School of Medicine, MS37%
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, MS7.2%
University of Nebraska School of Medicine, NE7%
University of New Mexico School of Medicine, NM5.83%
11 more rows
3 days ago

Which US state has the most medical schools? ›

New York

Which state has least medical college? ›

Nagaland, Ladakh and Lakshdeep do not have any medical college.

What is a doctor's white coat called? ›

A white coat, also known as a laboratory coat or lab coat, is a knee-length overcoat or smock worn by professionals in the medical field or by those involved in laboratory work.

Why do most doctors not wear white coats? ›

Well, it turns out that white coats are rarely washed, and could spread disease from patient-to-patient in the hospital setting!

Why do all doctors wear white coats? ›

White coats are worn chiefly for easy recognition by colleagues and patients, to put items in the pockets and to keep clothes clean. Psychiatrists and paediatricians try to maximize rapport with patients by deliberately not wearing white coats.

Why do med students get short white coats? ›

The white coat symbolizes “professionalism, caring and trust, which they must earn from patients” (AMA Journal of Ethics). The students receive their short white coats during their first year of medical school and their long white coat after graduation.

What year do med students get their white coat? ›

However, in many medical schools around the world students begin wearing their white coats during first-year anatomy class, so there is no official white coat ceremony. In the nineteenth century respect for the certainty of science was in stark contrast to the quackery and mysticism of nineteenth-century medicine.

How many doctors wear white coats? ›

It starts almost immediately after a student graduates from medical and receives their degree, as approximately 97% of medical schools have a “white coat ceremony,” a rite of passage and transition from being a student to becoming a physician.

Do you get a stethoscope at white coat ceremony? ›

Once coated, each student receives a Cardiology grade stethoscope from LSU Health Foundation leadership and White Coat Ceremony Presenting Sponsors, generously donated by alumni, parents, family, and friends.

Do patients prefer doctors to wear white coats? ›

There was some variation across medical specialties. For example, patients prefer a surgeon wearing scrubs plus a white coat, but they think family physicians and dermatologists wearing business attire plus a white coat look more professional and experienced than when they wear other outfits.

What happens after white coat ceremony? ›

The ceremony concluded with a recitation of a modern Hippocratic Oath. It's a tradition at CMSRU for students to find hand-written notes in the pockets of their white coats from mentors, family, and fellow students congratulating them on their achievements and encouraging them on the journey ahead.

What do parents wear to a white coat ceremony? ›

The white coat itself is straight cut, so anything extra-voluminous will either get squashed or add unfavorable bulges to the bottom of the coat. Our top 3 picks are sheath dresses, wrap dresses or fit and flare dresses, as these will give a flattering silhouette under the coat.

What should family wear to a white coat ceremony? ›

When attending a white coat ceremony, remember that you should dress in a professional manner. The most common form of dress for men is a shirt and tie. Typically, a suit or sports coat is not necessary. Women wear dresses, suits, or a blouse with a skirt or slacks.

Do people give flowers at white coat ceremonies? ›

Although not specifically catered to a white coat ceremony, flowers are always a great go-to gift for nearly any occasion!

What do you say to someone at a white coat ceremony? ›

I am so proud of you for pursuing your dreams and reaching the stage where you will make a career of caring for them. Congratulations on earning your White coat.

What is a decent price for a coat? ›

Many of them said they spend between $100 and $300, which happens to be the average price of winter coats at places like Columbia, Uniqlo, L.L. Bean, Dick's Sporting Goods and REI. Prices differ between men and women, but for the stores I looked at, coats for men seem to be more expensive on average.

What pants to wear with white coat? ›

For an easy go-to outfit, go for some black slacks and a patterned blouse! Cigarette-style pants are a nice way to tie in a current trend while still being formal enough to wear at work. One of the important parts of having your clothing look formal is material. So make sure your pants are appropriate!

What should I carry in my white coat? ›

The Essential White Coat Items for Clinical Rotations
  • Hand sanitizer and hand lotion/cream. ...
  • An extra fine tip 4 color pen. ...
  • Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! ...
  • A mini water bottle. ...
  • Your smartphone.
Aug 20, 2020

Is it OK to wear a white coat to a wedding? ›

"White is still reserved for the bride(s) or groom(s) only. Of course, there's almost always an exception to the rule, and in this case I find only one: It is okay to wear white if, and only if, the couple has specifically requested that attire be worn," Megan Seaton, wedding planner at Molly Mae Events, says.

How much is the top achiever scholarship worth? ›

Value. One year of catered accommodation in a University of Auckland Waipapa Taumata Rau Hall of Residence plus $4,000 paid in two lump sums in Semester One and Two.

How much money do scholarship athletes receive? ›

48% of students receive federal scholarships. Only 1.3% of athletes receive a full or partial athletic scholarship. An average scholarship for athletes is around $5,000. College baseball players receive around 5,400 scholarships.

How much money does the American Indian college Fund give? ›

Students attending a state or private community college or university can get up to $20,000 per year. Enrolled members of California tribes which receive little or no gaming or agricultural revenue from the state are eligible.

How much money is the Shawn Carter scholarship? ›


Each student who qualifies can receive a maximum of $15,000 from admission to graduation to help cover expenses during their course of study.

What is the hardest scholarship to get? ›

Top 10 Hardest Scholarships to Get
  • Rhodes Scholarship.
  • Fullbright Scholarship.
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Princeton Scholarship.
  • Mitchell Scholarship.
  • Churchill Scholarship.
  • Marshall Scholarship.
  • Jardine Scholarship.
Sep 23, 2020

What is the most prestigious scholarship in the world? ›

Most Prestigious Scholarships

What defines a prestigious scholarship may vary but a few are generally recognized as being quite prestigious, they include the Rhodes Scholarship, the Fullbright Scholarship, the Marshall Scholarship, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and the Truman Scholarship.

What is the 5 strong scholarship? ›

The mission of the 5 Strong Scholarship Foundation is to increase the retention and graduation rates at partnering Historically Black Colleges and Universities by assisting in the enrollment and success of academically promising student leaders until graduation.

What is the minimum GPA for a Division 1 scholarship? ›

To study and compete at a Division I school, you must earn 16 NCAA-approved core-course credits, earn a minimum 2.3 core-course GPA and submit your final transcript with proof of graduation to the Eligibility Center.

Can a college coach take away a scholarship? ›

Coaches can pull a scholarship mid-year for 3 reasons: 1) you are ineligible, 2) misrepresent information in a university document or 3) withdrawal from the team. The interpretation of these rules falls to the university and the coach.

How much does the average student get in scholarships? ›

The average institutional scholarship award is $6,335.

What is the highest paid scholarship in USA? ›

The Fulbright scholarship is one of the most rated scholarship in the Unites States of America. The scholarship provides full funding for masters and PhD degree programmes in universities in USA.

Which US college has the most Indians? ›

1. New York University
QS World University Rankings 2023#39
% of international students22.2%
Number of Indian Students2,031
Countries Represented138+
Student-Faculty Ratio9:1
3 more rows

Who is eligible for American Indian College Fund? ›

To be eligible, students must be an enrolled member (or a descendant of one) of a federally or state-recognized tribe while demonstrating a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 and maintaining full-time enrollment.

What is the Michael Jackson scholarship? ›

The Michael Jackson Scholarship was created to support undergraduate and graduate students attending UNCF member schools. The scholarship is open to all college students in the U.S pursuing a degree in performing arts and communication.

How rare is a full scholarship? ›

Full-ride scholarships are awarded to only about 0.1% of students (Wignall, 2021). Nearly just as rare are full-tuition scholarships, which are awarded to only 1.5% of students (ThinkImpact, 2021). A regular high school student may have the qualifications for as many as 50 to 100 scholarships (Dickler, 2021).

What is the Buffett scholarship? ›

Buffett Scholarship is named for Susan Thompson Buffett (the late wife of Warren Buffett), who started the scholarship over 50 years ago to provide opportunities for students to pursue higher education regardless of their economic circumstances.


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