The Cost of Applying to Medical School: AMCAS

Published on
February 28, 2021

The AMCAS application itself is the second largest individual expense I encountered in the process of applying to medical school. Thankfully, once I found AAMC’s The Cost of Applying to Medical School page, the information was pretty straight forward. But again, none of this information had been explicitly stated by advisors from my program, so it was still a pretty stressful discovery!

What You Need to Know

When you submit your application to AMCAS, the cost directly corresponds with the number of schools you choose to apply to. The breakdown looks something like this:

$170 to process and submit your application to one school

$41 for each additional school

**Take into account that these costs are subject to change! These current amounts are up from $140 and $40 when I applied in the 2020 Cycle.

In my Postbac program, I often heard that applying to 20 schools is about average, but it’s always beneficial to “cast a wide net” in order to see the best results. Here’s what your costs might look like depending on how many schools you decide to apply to.


Cost of AMCAS Table


If you qualify for AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program, you can apply to up to 20 schools for free. After the first 20 schools, you are responsible for paying the additional $40 fee for each school.

My Experience

I stopped working in the second year of my Postbac program so that I could focus on my more difficult courses and clinical experiences. This was pretty routinely recommended by our advisors. I was living in NYC at the time, still paying my share of the rent every month, living off loans. Despite trying to save whenever possible, by the end of the school year, funds were pretty limited.

When it came time to apply to medical school, following my advisor’s advice, I submitted AMCAS to exactly 20 schools, totaling $930. I’d known it was a relatively expensive process, but couldn’t recall seeing the exact cost listed on any of the materials we’d been given. When I finally searched the AAMC website for the price of each application, my jaw hit the floor. It was only a couple months before I was set to apply, there wasn’t enough time to work and save up, and the Postbac program had drained most of my savings.

That was the first of many times that I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford applying to medical school. I had no choice but to put the application cost, in its entirety, on my credit card. This was the first of many medical school expenses that would be charged to that card. I spent the better part of the next year trying to pay it off while still living and working in NYC.

I recognized then, as I do now, what a great privilege it was to have a credit card as an option. I am so grateful for it because I know without a doubt, that I wouldn't be in medical school today without it.