One more important program to know about if you are planning on applying to allopathic (MD) programs is the Fee Assistance Program (FAP) offered by the AAMC. The AAMC FAP provides financial support to students who would find it next to impossible to take the MCAT and apply to medical schools by any other means. Unlike it’s DO counterpart (the AACOMAS fee waiver program) which only helps you cut the cost of your DO primary application, the AAMC Fee Assistance Program is a much more generous program which benefits you at multiple phases of the medical school application cycle. The benefits include:
- A reduced MCAT registration fee from $315 to $125
- Free MCAT prep materials (practice exams and question banks) worth $170
- Free access to the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) website, worth $54
- Fee waiver for all AMCAS fees for up to 16 medical schools, worth $755
The AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program is funded by the AAMC itself. That means the AAMC sets it’s eligibility requirements and not the federal government. However, the program poverty guidelines are tied to the US Department of Health and Human Service’s poverty guidelines. Typically, your family’s household income has to be no more than 3x (i.e. 300%) higher than the national poverty line for your family size.
Keep in mind that unlike most federally funded aid programs, for the Fee Assistance Program, your parent’s financial information and supporting tax documentation is ALWAYS required. That means your parents have to be willing to provide documentation for your application WITHOUT EXCEPTION. In other words, even if you are 35 years old, or married or filed as an independent on your taxes, you will have to submit your parent’s financial information to be considered. We mention this as a heads up in case you may meet the financial requirements but are estranged from your parents for some reason – our goal is no blindsides for you!
Learn more about the AAMC fee assistance program here.