05 February, 2024
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Embarking on the journey towards medical school can be very daunting. Not only do you have to study for the GAMSAT whilst juggling all your other commitments, but you also have to save up money for the exam, application process and medical school itself. Here we’ll run through the financial aspects of applying for medical school in Australia and what to expect as you progress through the application cycle.
First let’s start with the GAMSAT® exam. In 2024, the fee to sit the GAMSAT® in March is $549 (including GST) in Australia. For those who miss the registration period, there is a grace period in which late registrations are accepted for an additional fee of $110 (including GST). Payments must be submitted online by credit card (Visa or MasterCard).
For more information about GAMSAT® price, visit our comprehensive GAMSAT 2024 guide.
Once you’ve completed the GAMSAT® exam and are ready to apply to medical school, there are more expenses associated with the application process. Most medical schools participate in the GEMSAS scheme, in which one large application is sent to multiple medical schools. In 2024, the GEMSAS application fee was AUD$250. Keep in mind that you may encounter additional costs when obtaining required documentation such as official transcripts and GPA calculations.
Several Australian medical schools require separate applications sent directly to their faculty. These include the University of Sydney, Flinders University and Monash University. The University of Sydney application does not require payment. However, they do require an official GPA to be calculated by the Universities Admissions Centre, which costs $150 in 2024. The application processing fee at Flinders University is $153 (including GST), with an additional non-refundable fee of $60 required for those accepting an interview invitation. Monash University offers graduate entry medicine to those who completed eligible Monash university degrees and select international degrees. Applications are free for domestic students, but international applicants will be required to pay a $100 fee. It may also be useful to note that Monash does not require a GAMSAT score for application.
As with the GAMSAT® exam, it is important to consider travel and/or accommodation costs associated with interview offers. Some universities are still offering interviews online; however, several universities will require you to travel to their campus to attend an interview in person. If this is the case, you must also consider time off study/work that may need to be organised prior to attending the interview. We have an article about Working While Studying Medicine that you might fine helpful. Working while studying medicine might seem impossible, but many have done it and successfully become a doctor afterwards.
Before you apply, it may be a good idea to learn more about the cost of medical school itself. The cost of medical school will differ from school to school and will depend on a few factors.
There are 3 different fee types available in Australia:
CSP places are subsidised by the Government and students are required to pay a portion of this as contribution each year. If you are enrolled in a CSP, you are also eligible to defer your student contributions through a HECS-HELP loan. You will then be required to repay this loan through the Australian tax system once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold, which currently sits at $51,550 for the 2023-2024 financial year. Whilst exact costs vary across the country, most student contribution fees for CSP lie around $12,000-$13,000 per year.
The BMP provides students with a CSP in a medical course at an Australian university in exchange for a return of service obligation. This requires participants to work in an eligible regional, rural and remote area for 3 years after they graduate. BMP participants will also be subject to CSP student contributions and are also eligible for the HECS-HELP loan.
As the name suggests, a full fee-paying place requires students to pay all medical school costs themselves. This is generally most relevant to international students; however, several universities will also offer full fee-paying places to domestic students. It is also important to note that some universities only offer full fee-paying places, irrespective of whether they are domestic or international students. Students offered a full fee-paying place will not be eligible for a HECS-HELP loan. Full fees vary between institutions. For instance, a domestic student will pay $85,088 for their first year at the University of Melbourne if they accept a full fee-paying MD place. Meanwhile, a first year student at Bond University will pay $94,110 per annum, as Bond is a private university which only offers full fee paying places.
When selecting which medical school to apply to, it is crucial that you have a good grasp on the fee types offered at each school and whether they would be feasible for you. This consideration must also include the location of the school, relocation and living costs, and travel requirements throughout the course. You can find more detailed information about each medical school in our Australian Medical Schools: General Overview guide.
It is important to familiarise yourself with the costs associated with GAMSAT®, applications and medical school before beginning the application cycle. Knowing these will help guide your study and work schedule to ensure that you are prepared for the fees coming your way. As GAMSAT® and medical schools continue to change their exam and multiple mini interview requirements, it is also important to be ready for unexpected travel and accommodation costs.
Overall, the medical school journey certainly isn’t the cheapest one, but if studying and ultimately practicing medicine is your dream, then it will be worth it despite the price.
I hope that this has given you a better idea of what to expect in the coming months and all the best for the application cycle! Check out our comprehensive guide on Australian medical school admission requirements next to help guide your applications.