What is the Average Medical School Debt?

average medical school debt

What is the Average Medical School Debt?

Key takeaways: 

  • The average medical student graduates with $241,600 in total student loan debt.
  • Between 76% and 89% of medical students graduate with debt.
  • Private colleges are generally more expensive than public institutions.

It is no secret that medical school is expensive. Most physicians enter the workforce burdened by hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. 

This number can vary greatly based on a myriad of factors, like school location and scholarships. It is important to have a rough expectation of what your debt will look like following your education, so you can plan and manage your financial future with confidence.

What is the average medical school debt?

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average medical student graduates with $241,600 in total student loan debt.

It is important to note that the average medical school debt varies based on whether one attends an allopathic (MD) or an osteopathic (DO) school. 

In 2021, the average medical school debt for allopathic school graduates was $203,062, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. This represents a 2% decrease since 2020. According to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, osteopathic school graduates accrued an average of $257,335 in educational debt, an increase of 0.3% from the previous year.

How many medical students graduate with debt? 

The Education Data Initiative estimates that between 76% and 89% of medical students graduate with debt. 43% of these graduates also have pre-medical school debt from undergraduate degrees.

Allopathic graduates are at the low end of this range, with 73% graduating with debt. For osteopathic graduates, this number is much higher — 91% of students graduated with debt.

What is the average medical school debt at public institutions? 

According to the AAMC, public allopathic school graduates owed an average of $194,280 in 2021. Osteopathic graduates reported a higher average of $241,588, according to the AACOM.

According to the AAMC, 74% of public medical school graduates completed school with educational debt in 2021. Almost 50% of public medical college graduates incurred over $200,000 in debt (both educational and premedical). 14% had over $300,000 in total debt. 

What is the average medical school debt at private institutions?

Private medical schools are more expensive than public entities. According to the AAMC, private allopathic school graduates saw an average of $218,746 in debt in 2021. Private osteopathic graduates accrued $259,995 in debt on average in the same year. 

According to the AAMC, private medical school students are slightly less likely to graduate with educational debt — 70%, as compared to the aforementioned 74% — but are more likely to finish school with more debt. Just under 60% of private college graduates have over $200,000 in debt, and 27% owe over $300,000.

Know what to expect.

Medical school is difficult even without the burden of significant student loans. Though each case is different, having a general idea of the financial implications of your education can give you better clarity in the long run.

Before you go…

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For more information about current changes in student loans and other relevant topics, check out our Resources page or visit one of our featured articles below.

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