Will The Military Pay For Medical School?

Updated: November 9, 2022

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    Qualified service members who choose a career in military medicine may be eligible for up to 100% medical school tuition coverage.

    Additionally, military medical practitioners don’t have to purchase malpractice insurance.

    These perks can make military medicine an attractive option for students considering medical school. If that’s you, here’s what you need to know.

    Paying for Medical School in the U.S. Military

    Military medical education assistance varies for active-duty, National Guard and reserve service members.

    Different military service branches may also offer different programs. For example, the Army offers enlisted soldiers the opportunity to cross-train into a nursing career through the Army Health Care Enlisted Commissioning Program.

    If you’re considering working in the military to pay for medical school or training, remember that your branch of service will require a time commitment from you in exchange for paying for your training.

    For most of the military tuition assistance programs below, the length of your military service commitment determines how much assistance you can receive.

    Talk to your recruiter to learn about medical school programs and how service obligations work with residency requirements.

    Military financial aid options for medical school include:

    • Financial assistance options for undergraduate pre-med students. .
    • Financial assistance for students in medical school programs.
    • Compensation or loan repayment for military medical professionals who have already earned their medical degree
    • Scholarships and financial assistance for current military members who want to begin a medical career.

    Research Getting the Military to Pay for Medical School

    Reach out to a recruiter to discuss your options as soon as you have been accepted into a medical or pre-med program. If you haven’t yet applied to a medical school, shop around for a program that meets the military’s accreditation requirements.

    Look for schools that have a medical program acceptable to your chosen branch of military service.

    Also, see if the school has an ROTC program or another way for you to fulfill your service obligations.

    Do You Have a Medical Degree Already?

    Some medical officer accession incentives only apply to students who are beginning medical school, while others apply to new officers who have already completed their medical degrees. Options and outcomes will vary depending on your status, legislation and other variables.

    Military Medicine Programs You Should Know About

    Here are some programs the United States military service branches offer to recruits who are considering a career in medicine.

    Program terms, conditions, service obligations and repayment issues may change at any time due to legislation, mission requirements and other variables. Additionally, no offers are set in stone until you have signed a legally binding agreement.

    Army Medical School Financial Aid Programs

    The F. Edward Hébert Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship offers a full tuition scholarship for medical school (graduate-level health care degrees, plus a $20,000 signing bonus

    This scholarship covers these programs in the United States or Puerto Rico:

    • Accredited medical or dental program
    • Any accredited veterinary program
    • Accredited psychology programs
    • Accredited optometry programs

    Ask your recruiter about the current status of this program and the bonus.

    The Army Medical And Dental School Stipend Program also pays students who are already in a medical program a monthly stipend of at least $2,000, according to the Army’s medical officer recruiting web page.

    Air Force Medical School Programs

    The Air Force offers the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)–similar to a Navy program with the same name–to health care professionals. HPSP offers a two-year scholarship for “Allied Health specialties,” including pharmacists, optometrists, clinical psychologists and public health officers.

    There are longer options, including two- and three-year scholarships, for “nurse corps” specialties and three-and four-year options for airmen in medical and dental programs.

    To qualify for one of these scholarships, you must commit to serve one year in the active-duty Air Force for each year of scholarship benefits you receive.

    Air Force Financial Assistance Program

    Air Force FAP can help medical graduates, including HPSP participants, who are fulfilling their residency requirements. The program offers $45,000 per year, plus an additional $2,000 per month for living expenses.

    Once you complete residency, you must serve one year for every year you received financial assistance, plus one extra year.

    Navy and Marine Corps Medical School Programs

    While the Marine Corps does not offer a medical school program, the Navy offers two options for medical school financial assistance.

    Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)

    Navy HPSP includes the following financial assistance:

    • 100% tuition coverage during medical school for qualified applicants
    • Monthly stipends for living expenses (for 48 months)
    • Signing bonus
    • Reimbursement for books, supplies, insurance and more.

    Navy Financial Assistance Program

    Navy FAP can help medical graduates, including HPSP participants, who are fulfilling their residency requirements. The program offers $45,000 per year, plus an additional $2,000 per month for living expenses.

    Once you complete your residency, you must serve one year for every year you received financial assistance, plus one extra year.

    Navy Health Services Collegiate Program

    Navy HSC includes the following financial assistance:

    • Up to roughly $250,000 for qualifying applicants that includes:
    • Monthly military pay
    • Housing allowance
    • Health care benefits package

    Navy Health Care Professionals Loan Repayment Program (HCPLRP)

    The Navy’s Health Care Professionals Loan Repayment Program (HCPLRP) provides up to $40,000 per year in student loan repayment (minus federal taxes) to active-duty medical personnel who are not HPSP or FAP participants.

    Guard and Reserve Programs

    Health professionals who commit to a seven year Army National Guard contract can also participate in the Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program, according to the Army National Guard’s medical officer recruiting web page.

    Officers who commit to work in the medical and dental corps – including clinical psychologists – may receive up to $250,000 in student loan repayments.

    The National Guard can provide repayment assistance up to $40,000 per year for six years, and $10,000 the seventh year.

    National Guard medical professionals participating in the loan repayment program may also qualify for the specialized training assistance program (STRAP).

    STRAP provides a monthly stipend of at least $2,000, as long as you commit to serve one year for every six months of STRAP benefits you receive.

    Medical professionals in the Army and Air National Guard may also earn continuing medical education credit for military medical training courses.


    About The AuthorJoe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News


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