hree annual reports—the 2013-14 Osteopathic Medical College Federally-Funded Financial Aid with a Service Commitment, Loans, and Scholarships reports—include the latest research conducted by AACOM, providing information about osteopathic medical education (OME) financial assistance obtained by students for academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15.  

The research is organized based on the type of financial assistance—loans, scholarships, and federally-funded financial aid—and by source—funding from the federal, state, and school levels—for the U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs). The data for these three annual reports was obtained through AACOM’s Annual Osteopathic Medical School Questionnaire for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. 

Aid with a Service Commitment 

Latest Federal Assistance Data

AACOM's 2013-14 Federally-Funded Financial Aid with a Service Commitment report includes figures for financial assistance awarded to osteopathic medical students through the Armed Forces Health Professions (AFHP), AmeriCorps, Indian Health Service (IHS), National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and all federally-funded programs.  

Through financial aid and student loan repayment programs with a service commitment, students earn financial assistance in exchange for their commitment to provide health care in medically underserved areas and high-need urban, rural, or frontier communities across the nation upon graduation and completion of residency training. 

The data in this year’s report displays an increasing trend among the various federally-funded programs. Compared to 2012-13 data, despite the increase in enrollment—while the number of federally-funded awards and the total number of students with awards remained relatively unchanged, the amount of funding dollars increased across the board. Consistent with this upsurge, the HIS almost doubled its amount of osteopathic student funding for the 2013-14 academic year.  

NHSC Now Accepting Applications for Student to Service Repayment Program

The NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S LRP) application cycle is now open and accepting submissions for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The purpose of the S2S LRP is to provide loan repayment assistance to medical students in their last year of school, in exchange for a commitment to provide culturally competent primary health care services in eligible health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) of greatest need.  

The application deadline is October 22 at 7:30 PM ET. 

Loans and Scholarships 

Slight Uptick in Both Student Loans and Scholarship Funds Awarded

AACOM's 2013-14 Osteopathic Medical College Loans report includes data about the financial loans obtained by students for the academic years 2013-14 and 2014-15, including repeaters. Research is reported for the total COMS for individual schools, including statistics for the various types and sources of loans, percentage of students with loans, and the number and amount of loans. While the number of loans and percentage of students receiving them has decreased some, the total loan amount has increased by about $100,000,000 from 2012-13 figures.  

Similar to this year’s report on osteopathic student loans, the 2013-14 Osteopathic Medical College Scholarships report includes detailed information about the scholarships DO students were awarded at the COMs for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years. The report indicates an increase in scholarship amount from $100,079,958 in 2012-13 to $106,999,083 in 2013-14, while maintaining about the same percentage of students with scholarships between 2012-13 at 31.1 percent and 2013-14 at 29.5 percent.

OME Enrollment Impacts Student Funding and Debt

The federally-funded financial assistance, loan, and scholarship programs available to medical students are important for making OME accessible. As osteopathic student enrollment climbs, there has been a corresponding boost in the amount of funding being allocated. While awards, loans, and scholarships lessen the immediate financial burden medical students experience, they also extend the national burden and student debt in the United States.  

Financial Aid and Debt Management Resource for DO Students

To that end, AACOM and its Council of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CSFAA) released series of educational financial aid debt management modules designed to help osteopathic medical school students and soon-to-be medical residents. The module series is designed to assist financial aid professionals at osteopathic medical schools around the country to both support and enhance the educational debt management programs at their schools. The modules were created to not only help osteopathic medical students borrow responsibly, but also to help ensure they are prepared to responsibly repay their loans when they graduate and begin residency. 

To view the full reports, visit AACOM Reports.