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Information for Prospective MD Students

Applying for Financial Aid

Merit-Based Scholarships

A separate application for merit scholarships is not required, and MD Admissions will consider all admitted applicants for merit scholarships. If awarded a merit scholarship, you will receive the same amount for each of four years of study toward the MD degree at Vanderbilt. International students are considered for merit-based awards.

Need-Based Scholarships

Students that are not awarded merit-based scholarships are encouraged to apply for a need-based institutional scholarship. To be considered for a need-based institutional scholarship you must complete the CSS Profile (code 0670) and include parental financial data. Parental information will be used to determine eligibility, regardless of age or change in marital status. This policy ensures that funds are distributed in the most equitable manner to those students with the greatest real need. International students can complete the CSS Profile and be considered for need-based scholarships. The CSS Profile is completed only once.

Federal Student Loans

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program which offers low-fixed rate loans. To qualify, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Vanderbilt’s school code is 003535. Provide student (and spouse’s, if applicable) information; you do not have to include parental data on the FAFSA. Students should sign the FAFSA using an FSA ID. You can obtain an FSA ID prior to completing the FAFSA.

After you have submitted the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR); please keep this information for your records. You must meet the following general eligibility requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Not be in default on any Federal educational loan
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress

The FAFSA must be completed each year you wish to receive student loans.

Private Loans

Examine all other options, including the federal student loans, before pursuing private loan options, as these loans may be more expensive than other options. The AAMC offers unbiased guidance on Federal vs. Private Loans to help you make an informed decision. Vanderbilt University provides a historical list of previous private lenders, FASTChoice, which is a tool for comparing private loan lenders through which our students have borrowed during the past three award years. The lenders are listed in random order, and the information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Before viewing the private lender list, you will be prompted to complete the Borrowing Essentials section, an interactive overview of basic borrowing information. If you return to the private lender list at a later time, you can choose to opt out of viewing the Borrowing Essentials section again. You may use the advanced filters (Borrower Type, Interest Rate Type, Enrollment, Resident Type, Non-Degree Seeking, Past Due Balances, Not Meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress) within FASTChoice to assist your search.

You may choose to borrow through any lender, including lenders not on this list. If you choose to borrow through a lender that is not on this list, we will process your application and certify your eligibility with that lender. If you are an international student, please review the list; some lenders allow international students to borrow with a U.S. co-signer. Some lenders allow international students to apply for a loan without a co-signer during their four years of medical school.

The maximum amount a student may borrow is the cost of attendance less any other financial aid.

Federal regulations require the completion of a Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form for all private education loans. Most lenders will prompt you to complete this form as part of your online application process. The private loan application and disbursement process cannot be completed until the signed Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form has been received by the lender. If your lender does not provide the form then you may obtain the Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form from the Loan Area of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships. We will assist you in completing the required form.

Comprehensive Awards

Financial Aid comprehensive awards, which include all possible types of aid, will be provided in the Admission portal. If you want to decrease the amount of loans offered to you, please reach out to the Office of Student Financial Aid for assistance.