When you find yourself interested in medical school, and as such, the MCAT exam, but also find yourself a little lacking in the funds necessary to get you there, then the AAMC offers you a way to get what you want without the hefty price tag attached: The Fee Assistance Program or FAP.
Below, you'll find out the basics about the Fee Assistance Program, the benefits of the program and the ways to obtain assistance if you qualify. Read on for the details before you register!
Fee Assistance Basics
The AAMC started the Fee Assistance Program to help those students who wanted to apply to medical school with the American Medical School Application Service (AMCAS) or take the MCAT, but couldn't do so because the cost of both was too prohibitive.
Medical schools that accept the AMCAS, also decided to help those applicants out, too. Students who have received aid from the AAMC through the Fee Assistance Program, often get their application fees waived, too. Bonus!
So, what exactly is offered with the Fee Assistance Program? Starting on January 2, 2014, recipients of the FAP will get the following:
- A reduction in the MCAT registration fee
- A reduction in the MCAT rescheduling fee if it is required
- A free copy of the MCAT prep book, The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam (worth about $30)
- A free authorization code to The Official MCAT Self-Assessment package (worth about $104).
- Free admission to MSAR (Medical School Admission Requirements), a suite of guides to help students prepare for medical school and the application process (worth about $22)
- A waiver for all AMCAS fees for up to 15 medical schools (worth about $650)
Please keep in mind that these benefits are not retroactive. For example, if you've taken the MCAT and wish to apply to medical schools and have your fees waived, even if you are accepted into the FAP, your MCAT registration fees will not be refunded. They do, however, last five years. So, if you're thinking of taking the MCAT, but you're unsure about when you'd like to apply to medical school, go ahead and apply for FAP if you think you'll qualify because you have time to make your decision before your benefits run out.
With benefits as fantastic as those, obviously, everyone cannot qualify. So, what are the qualifications for the program?
The AAMC considers the Department of Health and Human Services poverty level guidelines when making their fee assistance decisions. If your family's income is 300% or less of the poverty level for the previous year for your family size, then you will be automatically approved for fee assistance.
You must also be a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States ("Green Card" holder), or have been granted refugee/asylum status by the U.S. government.
If you believe you're eligible for assistance, then you'll need to fill out an FAP application, providing the following information:
- Personal information: Your financial information (adjusted gross income and non-taxable income). You'll include your spouse's financial information if applicable, as well.
- Parental information: Your parents' financial information (adjusted gross income and non-taxable income) regardless of whether you're dependent or not and regardless of your age. The only time you will not provide this information is if your parents are deceased.
- Supporting documentation: Tax filers must provide a copy of their Federal Income Tax Forms (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, etc.) for the previous calendar year. Non-tax filers are required to provide copies of W-2 forms for the previous calendar year. Students whose primary source of support was educational aid/scholarships must provide a copy of their Financial Aid Award Letter.
- Cover letter: You and your parents must print and sign the FAP Supporting Documentation Cover Letter.
The AAMC requests that you allow approximately 15 days for final FAP decisions.
Submitting Your Application
Ready to apply? Complete your FAP application here!