Paying your way through medical school

Hollywood would have you believe that in order to pay your way through medical school, then you either turn to working as traffic wardens, or in the adult entertainment industry. While both of these are options, we’re not judging, there are slightly easier methods.

Medical school isn’t exactly cheap, and the more you look at it the more the costs seem to mount up. Individual costs always look bad, but when you consider that you may be eligible for loans and grants, things suddenly don’t seem so costly.

That said, you would normally have two things to pay for as a medical student.

●      Tuition fees

●      Living expenses

In England and Wales the tuition fees for the majority of universities are £9,000 per year while universities in Northern Ireland still charge  up to £3,085. If you are Scottish and plan on studying in Scotland there are no tuition fees at all.  

Student loans & grants

There are several government funded loans and grants, that are available to students throughout the United Kingdom, and they are administered by the Student Loans Company. These loans are there to help with the costs of tuition fees and living costs (for example rent, food and bills).

The tuition fee loan

●      This is a loan to meet the cost of, unsurprisingly, tuition fees. The maximum amount that is available is flexible to meet specific requirements -  this is because each institution charge different amounts, and the maximum loan amount always meet it.

Maintenance loans

●      Maintenance loans are the main student loan, which is meant for living costs for full-time undergraduate students. It is made up of two portions.

○      A non ‘financially assessed’ portion, available to all eligible students.

○      A second, ‘financially assessed’, portion of the loan exists which depends on a student’s household income. Maximum entitlement is determined by location, year of course and entitlement to any other financial support

Maintenance grants

●      First time, full-time students coming from low income households will be entitled to an income-assessed maintenance grant for general living associated costs while they are studying.

Remember, these are loans not cash gifts, and when you have finished your course you are going to be required to pay back all loans as soon as your annual income rises above £21,000.

Repayments are collected, for the most part, automatically via the tax system.

The maintenance grant is a little different, however, and you do not have to that particular loan - sigh of relief there, then.

Paid work experience

As an alternative, or to ‘top up’ your loans, you could indeed take on paid work and what better way than to work in a healthcare environment of some sort?

This will also give you a better idea of what it is like to work around the sick, infirm and wounded - giving you valuable hands on experience which can even help you with your studies.

Of course, if you want to work as a traffic warden, or anything else, then you could always do that instead.