An increase in the cost of education has caused many students to give up their studies. Not only are private schools expensive, but today, public schools too have become unaffordable for some students. Students do not only have to worry about tuition, but there are many other needs associated with education. For example, a student has to pay for books, housing, clothes and many other everyday expenses. It costs a fortune to obtain an advanced level of education. An average American college student finds it to be an insurmountable task to face these financial challenges. In such a scenario, scholarships have come as a respite for students aiming to pursue a college degree.

Today, there are many organizations and groups including the Federal Government, which are sponsoring students. Each year they donate a certain amount of money to assist students to pay off their dues. However, it can be quite a daunting task to find scholarships that match your requirements. As the cost of education keeps rising, there are many deserving students out there applying for scholarships. It requires resourcefulness and perseverance to qualify for one.

Similar to any other graduate school, each medical school has its own rules. In general, the medical school you are applying for will provide you information regarding scholarship criteria or guide you to respective websites. Many medical schools offer scholarships on the basis of merit i.e. your GPA in undergraduate studies, a high score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) or both. One trick to increase your chances for qualifying for a scholarship is not to restrict yourself. Applying at several medical schools can increase your chances. Two medical schools most famous for their scholarship programs are Mayo Medical School in Minnesota and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Mayo Medical School gives three types of performance-based scholarships. The scholarships offered are, Merit Scholarships, Dean Awards and Outstanding Achievement Scholarships. Through the Merit Scholarship, medical students receive fifty percent of their tuition. Students who show the greatest potential in medicine are awarded with Dean Awards. Students coming from diverse backgrounds or those who fall within non-traditional roles are offered Outstanding Achievement Scholarships. All these scholarships are renewable based on the academic performance of the student.

On the other hand, each year, scholarships worth several million dollars are awarded by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Any student is eligible is for the scholarship however, those having high GPAs and/or high MCAT scores are given more preference.

Other than medical schools, scholarships are also offered by medical associations. One such association is American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation which issues several scholarships in a year. You can visit the Dean's office or Financial Aid office and obtain an application form for nomination. The American Medical Association awards two types of scholarships; Minority Scholars Award and Physicians of Tomorrow. $10,000 are awarded through both the scholarships, however, the criteria varies.

There are some service-oriented scholarship programs available as well. The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) bears all the expenses incurred in medical school and also pays a monthly living expense for the medical student who gains admission on the basis of merit. NHSC requires medical students who received the scholarship to serve for four years in an underprivileged area after they complete the residency.

So don't lose hope. There are a lot of opportunities available for you; you just need to learn how to maximize them. The scholarships are competitive, therefore, make sure you study well and keep your scores high.