SOM Home > Education > Financial Aid > Philosophy


It is the philosophy of the University of Virginia School of Medicine that a lack of money should not prevent a worthy student from pursuing a medical education.  Admissions and financial aid processes are conducted independently of one another: the fact that you may need financial assistance with your education has no bearing on your admission decision, and an offer of admission does not imply a guarantee of financial assistance.  In order to receive financial aid, you must apply separately and meet standard financial aid criteria to qualify.


There are a variety of ways to finance a medical education.  Because the School of Medicine is unable to fully support all students with scholarship aid, we use federal need analysis methodology to award our funds based on objective family financial data.  It is the philosophy of most medical schools across the country that the cost of a medical education should be shared by the student, spouse, and family to the extent of their capability.  Even for medical students, most need-based aid is intended to supplement – not replace – a family contribution.


Medical school is expensive, and nearly all students seeking financial aid will find that they need to take out some amount of student loans.  Educational debt is an investment in your future, and we want to help you minimize future financial stress by becoming an informed and careful borrower.  The average debt of graduates from the University of Virginia School of Medicine is well below the national average, due to a variety of factors.  Our targeted need-based aid helps reduce the debt of those students whose families are unable to contribute any significant financial support.  We work closely with our enrolled students to identify outside scholarship opportunities.  We work one-on-one and hold periodic seminars to help our students with budgeting, credit concerns, and other financial topics.  And we offer comprehensive counseling in debt management and loan repayment – before matriculation, while enrolled, and after graduation.


Our goal is to guide you through the financial aid application process, construct a financial aid package appropriate to your circumstances, and assist you with any financial concerns you may have.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your counselor.