Costs and Financial Aid

Medical school is a major investment, and we understand that you may have questions and concerns about financing it. We’re here to help you explore your options for financial aid and connect you with the resources to help with the cost of attendance.

Medical Student Cost of Attendance (COA) 2021-2022

How is Cost of Attendance determined?

Cost of Attendance is the total amount of aid, including scholarships, grants and loans, that you are eligible to receive for the entire year. The Cost of Attendance is derived based on living expenses in the Winston-Salem area and information from student surveys. The amount provided each year allows a Wake Forest School of Medicine student to live comfortably alone, not luxuriously. Cutting costs in any way, including getting a roommate, budgeting money for food and other expenses, and living as frugally as possible are recommended.

It is not required that you accept the full Cost of Attendance each year. The amount you accept is flexible. You are allowed to return funds if you accept too much or request more if you run short as long as you stay within the Cost of Attendance.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

We understand that medical school can be expensive and we are proud to offer a variety of MD Program specific scholarships and traditional financial aid to make your experience affordable and enjoyable. Additionally, students are encouraged to apply for forgivable service loans.

Wake Forest School of Medicine Dean's Medical Excellence Scholarship

The Wake Forest School of Medicine Dean’s Medical Excellence Scholarship recognizes the academic achievement and potential of students who, through sharing their varied cultural perspectives, will enhance the education of all WFSM students and the excellence of the School of Medicine. If you are awarded a Dean’s Medical Excellence scholarship, it is renewable each year; contingent on meeting satisfactory academic progress (SAP) and satisfactory professional conduct. All accepted students are considered for the Dean’s Medical Excellence Scholarship with the submission of their secondary application. There are no separate application requirements.

The School of Medicine awards approximately 250 scholarships from our endowed resources each year. A listing of our endowed scholarships can be found on page 24 in the  Financial Aid Handbook(PDF). The majority of these scholarships are based on demonstrated financial need and require annual reapplication.

The deadline for Need-Based Scholarships is March 15th of each year.

Students (incoming and current) are encouraged to apply for need-based scholarships each year while in medical school. Information needed includes the current year's FAFSA (please use the IRS data retrieval tool to link applicant and parental tax information) and the CSS Profile. Copies of applicant and parental income tax returns may be requested. 

Need-Based Scholarship Application Process

Deadline: March 15—regardless of acceptance status or class year.

Application Submission  
FAFSA Available October 1  
CSS Profile Available  October 1  
Financial Aid Need-Based Application Deadline March 15  
Award Notification  
Financial aid Award Letters Emailed Between April 10-25  

Disbursement Dates

Federal Loan Disbursement Dates
(Refunds to students are direct deposited within 14 days of disbursement date)
Date student receives refund
MS1 - Fall 2021 July 6, 2021 July 9, 2021
MS2 - Fall 2021 July 12, 2021 July 16, 2021
MS3 -Fall 2021 May 24, 2021

May 28, 2021

MS4 - Fall 2021 May 17, 2021 May 21, 2021
MS1 - Spring 2022 December 6, 2021 December 10, 2021
MS2 - Spring 2022 February 28, 2022 March 4, 2022
MS3 - Spring 2022 November 15, 2021 November 19, 2021
MS4 - Spring 2022 November 1, 2021 November 5, 2021
120 Day Federal Loan Excess Fund Return  
MS1 - Fall 2021 October 25, 2021  
MS2 - Fall 2021 November 1, 2021  
MS3 - Fall 2021 September 13, 2021  
MS4 - Fall 2021 September 6, 2021  
MS1 - Spring 2022 March 28, 2022  
MS2 - Spring 2022 May 6, 2022  
MS3 - Spring 2022 March 7, 2022   
MS4 - Spring 2022 February 21, 2022  


How do I manage this money?

The Office of Financial Aid is available to meet with you one-on-one to talk about managing these disbursements. Due to the strict amount allowed for each year, it is important that you have a spending plan. There are many creative ways to manage these funds. For example, you might pay rent for the entire semester when you receive your first disbursement and again in January. Another way to make your money last is to deposit your disbursement into a savings account and "pay" yourself monthly or bi-monthly.