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Many forms of financial aid are available to osteopathic medical students, including scholarships and loans. Some financial aid is available directly from the colleges, and many state, local, and national osteopathic organizations offer scholarships or loans to students. Osteopathic medical students also are eligible for a number of federal loan programs. Financial aid officers at colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) will have more information.

Federal Programs

Many private scholarships have a “financial need” requirement. In most instances, students will need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the government so that their need can be determined. 

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is part of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Health Professions. Students interested in pursuing careers in primary care and in underserved areas may find the NHSC Scholarship Program and Loan Repayment Program to meet their financial needs for medical school. Learn more about NHSC.

Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) and Financial Assistance Programs (FAP) are offered through the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). They provide funding for a wide range of medical educational expenses in exchange for an active duty military service commitment. The FAP offers financial benefits to health care professionals in postgraduate specialty training in exchange for an active duty service commitment. Applications are handled by local area military recruiters. Prospective applicants should meet with a health professions recruiter for more information. They may also want to speak with current military physicians who can provide a fuller perspective on the practice of military medicine.

AACOM Scholarships

AACOM offers scholarships for underrepresented minority students each year. The Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarships are awarded to both new and continuing minority students of osteopathic medicine. The amount of the scholarship varies.

Get more information and application materials.

AACOMAS Fee Waivers

AACOM encourages financially disadvantaged applicants to become DOs. Fee waiver requests must be received and processed prior to submitting an AACOMAS application. It may take up to 10 business days from the date the fee waiver request is submitted for the request to be processed by AACOMAS. Once a fee waiver request is approved, applicants must submit the primary AACOMAS application within 14 days (including weekends and holidays). Applicants should take this into consideration when planning submission of their primary application.

To process your application for an AACOMAS fee waiver, you must begin your primary application before submitting your request for a fee waiver. Do not pay and submit your primary application until you have heard from AACOMAS regarding whether your fee waiver has been approved. Your fee waiver will be applied to your application electronically.

As a rough guide, you may qualify for a fee waiver if your annual income level is within the U.S. Bureau of Census’ low-income threshold for your family’s size. The number of fee waivers is limited, however, and financial need does not guarantee a fee waiver. Equally, not everyone who submits a fee waiver application will qualify financially for one.

If you receive a fee waiver, it will cover the initial AACOMAS fee for one school designation. If you wish to apply to more than one college, beginning with the second designation, you must pay the additional application fee.

The AACOMAS fee waiver is for the AACOMAS fee only. If you receive an AACOMAS fee waiver—or if you qualify financially, but apply after all fee waivers have been awarded— your name will be forwarded to the osteopathic medical colleges you designate. The osteopathic medical colleges may also grant a waiver of their supplemental application fee. Meeting AACOMAS’ eligibility criteria for a fee waiver, however, does not guarantee that a waiver will be granted for the supplemental fee. 

To be considered for an AACOMAS fee waiver, you must include a copy of your most recent FEDERAL tax return AND the FEDERAL tax returns of anyone who can claim you as a dependent. All pages of each document submitted must be signed and dated by the applicant. No other documents, including W-2s, will be accepted. 

Learn more about the AACOMAS fee waiver.