Aid Package

The financial aid package is based on the expected family contribution, which includes both parents and student resources. This amount is determined by a financial needs assessment, which looks at assets, income, family size and number in college.

The student's financial need is the difference between the cost of education minus the expected family contribution. The student's financial need is met with Duke grant funds and Federal Stafford Loans. The financial aid package could change as available resources change.

Financial Aid Awards
Duke University School of Medicine is committed to meeting the demonstrated financial need of applicants based upon federal and institutional policies and procedures. In a recent academic year, approximately 82% of the total student enrollment received financial assistance from sources other than parents. Grants, scholarships and loans from all sources to medical students totaled over $21.9 million. Over $11.9 million of these funds were from Duke University School of Medicine sources of which over $10.5 million were in scholarships/grants.

Medical Student Sources of Aid

Scholarships : 
Duke Merit$ 2,797,401
Grants : 
Duke Need-Based$ 7,718,982
MSTP$ 1,188,702
Other$ 1,080,785
Outside Scholarships$    402,010
Federal Stafford$ 7,514,089
Federal PLUS$    815,373
Other:$    342,370
Total :


Types of Financial Assistance
By combining scholarships, grants and loans, students are generally able to finance their medical education. Listed below are the types of aid awarded to meet these costs. Please note that a separate application for Duke scholarships or grants is not necessary.

These awards are generally given based on specific academic or extracurricular merit. While some of our scholarships are based on merit alone, many of our endowed scholarships are based on specific criteria that has been established by the donor to assist in meeting the financial need of the student's cost of education.

We are fortunate to have a number of endowed scholarships such as the Medical School Faculty Wives Scholarship, the Busse Scholarship and the Queen Effat Scholarship. Each of these has a significant purpose and we are grateful to the donors. Any student selected for a named scholarship will be asked to write a letter of appreciation to the donor. Failure to do so may result in loss of the scholarship. For a complete list of our scholarships, click here.

Grants are sources of funds that require no repayment. These funds are available to students based solely on their financial need. The Duke University School of Medicine awards them to the most needy students based on our packaging policies. Again, need is determined by using the parent and student information provided on the Need Access.

Federal Loans
The Federal Stafford Loan Program is awarded based on financial need. Students who wish to be considered for this loan may supply the information requested as an independent student. Unsubsidized Federal Stafford loans require payment of interest or you can elect to have the interest accrue while you are in school. These loans are available from the Department of Education, Title IV funding programs. Duke University will participate in the Federal Direct Student Program beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year. We also have funding from the Department of Health and Human Services, Title VII, for specific loans related to students wishing to select Primary Care specialty as a career. Primary Care Loans (PCLs) are generally awarded to third and fourth year students. More information is available from the Office of Financial Aid.

Current Packaging Policies

  • Parental and student data will be used in determining eligibility for Duke need-based grant.
  • 100% of demonstrated financial need will be met.
  • For need-based medical students, the aid package is determined by Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Need. Need will be met with approximately the first 50% in Duke grant/scholarship, the remainder in federal Stafford and Grad PLUS loan. (EFC is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Need Access.
  • Institutional Methodology
  • Duke will adjust the parent contribution for a student's sibling enrolled in their first undergraduate baccalaureate program (not including service academies and community colleges). The sibling must be enrolled full-time. A sibling verification form will be sent to the family. In the instance that a sibling is found not to be enrolled, an adjustment will be made to the aid package that will affect both grant and loan.
  • No student can receive financial aid funds in excess of the University approved cost of education. While we will use outside scholarship to replace "packaged need-based loan" in the aid award first, sometimes it is necessary to reduce grant funds as well.
  • Only family members listed as dependents on the parent's most recent tax return will be included in the number in household.
  • Only catastrophic, non-elective events can be considered as basis for an appeal. These would include death of an immediate family member, unemployment of parent, natural disaster causing extensive physical and financial distress, or emergency medical/dental expenses not covered by insurance. To be considered for an appeal the student must write a statement detailing the event and include any financial documentation. This correspondence can be sent via email or other delivery methods. Students will be informed of a decision in a timely manner.


Merit Awards

The School Of Medicine offers scholarships from the following funds based on the recipient's academic excellence.

For Entering Students


The Dean's Merit Scholarship:  Approximately seven Dean's Merit Scholarships in the amount of current tuition are awarded to academically excellent incoming medical students.  Selection is made by the Vice Dean of Education based on recommendations from the Medical School Admissions Committee.  Annual renewal is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.

The Dean's Tuition Scholarship:
Seven Dean's Tuition Scholarships in the amount of current tuition are awarded to academically excellent incoming medical students whose life experiences and background will meaningfully contribute to the diversity of the class. Factors considered may include personal attributes, experiential factors, demographics or other considerations. Selection is made by the Vice Dean of Education based on recommendations from the Medical School Admissions Committee. Annual renewal is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress.

Fullerton Medical Scholarships:
Duke University School of Medicine is one of six medical schools in North Carolina and South Carolina that participates in the Fullerton Foundation's Medical Scholarship program, established in 1985. The Program's objective is to "identify and reward the student who demonstrates and projects the potential for development into a highly capable professional who is concerned with the total welfare of the society of which he/she is an active participant, as well as being a competent physician. The nominee must have potential for service in the health care field, which can be demonstrated by, but not limited to, leadership in high school, undergraduate school and the community, knowledge of society and the problems and opportunities of the world today, and the individual's awareness of his/her own capabilities and limitations." Each year the schools nominate an incoming student for one of the two $20,000 annual awards. The nominee or family of the nominee must be a resident of North Carolina or South Carolina for the past five years. Final selection is made by the Foundation. The award continues for the remaining three years of medical school based on the student maintaining satisfactory progress. On behalf of the four finalists, the Foundation awards a $1,000 honorary stipend.

Medical Scientist Training Program:
The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) awards were made to 12 entering students for the 2010-2011 academic year with a total of 65 students in the program. The MSTP award pays full tuition, fees and stipend for six years of M.D.-Ph.D. enrollment.

For Senior Students

Senior Scholarships were first offered in 1993-94 to third year students for use during their fourth year of study. Selection by the Senior Scholarships Committee is based on outstanding academic achievement during the first two years of medical school and extracurricular activities during those first two years. The scholarships, to be paid toward tuition only, are in the range of $10,000 each for approximately fifteen awards and may not be used in addition to any other tuition award.

Scholarships supporting this program:

William G. Anlyan, M.D. Scholarship, established 1988 by gifts from faculty, staff and friends.

Barham Endowed Merit Fund, established November, 1984, by gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barham, Oak Ridge, Louisiana.

Family Dollar Scholarship, established November, 1984, by gift from Mr. Leon Levine, Chairman of the Board

Family Dollar Stores, Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina; for minority students.

Dr. William Redin Kirk Memorial Trust for North Carolinians, established March, 1984, by bequest of Mr. Frederick H. Pierce, Owensboro, Kentucky.

Mary W. and Foster G. McGaw Scholarship, established February, 1986 by bequest from Foster G. McGaw.

Need-based Awards

Endowed Need-based Financial Aid

  • Summary of Student Eligibility Requirements to receive Title IV and/or Title VII financial assistance: Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible program
  • A U. S. citizen or national, or eligible non-citizen
  • Making satisfactory academic progress
  • Registered with Selective Service (if required). May be asked to supply documentation
  • Not in default in a Title IV loan (certification required)
  • Not owing a repayment on a Title IV grant
  • Sign Statement of Educational Purpose agreeing to use funds only for expenses related to study at the institution
  • Not have borrowed in excess of annual or aggregate loan limits on a Title IV loan
  • Not have had federal benefits suspended or terminated as a result of a drug conviction
  • Meets financial need, as applicable, and other program-specific eligibility requirements


Non-Duke Grants and Scholarships
Financially needy students who receive a grant or scholarship from an external source may substitute that award for an equal amount of the need-based loan component of the financial aid package. When these resources are based only on the school's nomination, the grant or scholarship is used as part of the grant component of the need-based financial aid package. This policy helps students reduce the amount of debt to be repaid after graduation.

Financial Aid Policies 

We want to emphasize again that Duke University School of Medicine is committed to providing its students not only with the highest quality education, but also with a variety of financial programs to assist in the realization of our student's academic goals. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the Office of Financial Aid apprised of all changes that affect the processing of funds. Information such as changes of name, address, course-load, etc. affect the delivery of financial aid. While students are eligible for four years of aid, it is also the responsibility of the student to keep their application status current by re-applying annually. The following are specific policies and procedures that are worth paying attention to:

Eligibility for Duke Grants

When being considered for a Duke grant, it is the responsibility of the student to provide all parental information to the Financial Aid Office. This information is in the form of parents' tax returns from the most recent tax year and the Need Access, which the student fills out and submits either on-line or through the mail. It is important that the student submit their financial aid application as soon possible in order to receive a financial aid notification prior to May 15th. It is Duke's policy to calculate and assess each family a parental contribution each year. By accepting the award, you understand that this assessment will take place each year of your medical education. Situations may change for you during medical school: marriage, births of children etc., but we will still require that parental information be submitted for students to be considered for Duke grants.

Withdrawal Policy

If a student withdraws from school within the first week of school, no tuition will be assessed. However, if withdrawal occurs past this date, full tuition will be assessed and will be used at the time the student returns to school. The School of Medicine will, of course, follow any federally mandated regulations in regard to Federal Stafford Loans. Students who have received refunds from their student account are liable to repay that amount upon withdrawal. Please refer to the University Withdrawal Policy.

Title IV Refund

When students are unable to complete the semester, and therefore must withdraw in the middle of a term, financial aid administrators are required to calculate the amount of aid for which a student qualifies.  The financial aid funds are handled differently depending on whether they are federal (Title IV) funds or institutional (Duke) funds.  In general, the Registrar's Office will notify the Financial Aid Office that a student has withdrawn or is taking a leave of absence.  If the student is receiving financial aid, the following steps are taken:

If the student withdraws after classes have begun, the administrator will determine how much of the semester has been completed.  This will be used to figure the amount of aid the student has earned, and therefore how much aid may be kept.  For institutional aid, the amount of aid earned is bases on the week in which the student withdraws as follows:

Before classes 0%

1st-2nd week 20%

3rd-5th week 40%

6th week 80%

After 6th week 100%

A Title IV refund calculation using the federally defined formula will also be completed for any federal funds received.

Sibling Policy

Duke will adjust the parent contribution for a student's sibling enrolled in their first undergraduate baccalaureate program (not including service academies and community colleges). The sibling must be enrolled full-time. A sibling verification form will be sent to the family. In the instance that a sibling is found not to be enrolled, an adjustment will be made to the aid package that will affect both grant and loan.

Federal Verification

If a student is selected for Federal Verification, they must submit all necessary documentation. If, in fact, there is a resultant recalculation, it will affect both the Federal financial aid as well as the institutional financial aid.  Students that are selected for verification will be notified by the Financial Aid Office with required documentation needed.

Outside Scholarship Policy

It is our policy to use outside scholarships to replace the packaged or "need based" portion of a student's loan. It cannot be used to replace student or parent contributions. At the point that the packaged loan is replaced, Duke grant funds will be reduced or replaced as necessary. At no time may a student's total financial aid package exceed the established cost of education

The one exception to this policy is for students who, by nomination from the school, have received an outside scholarship. For instance, students receiving a Dean's Tuition Scholarship, Senior Scholarship, North Carolina Board of Governors Scholarship, Fullerton Scholarship or similar scholarship, will have a different aid adjustment. It is the responsibility of financial aid recipients to keep the Office of Financial Aid informed of any outside financial assistance that may be received. It must be understood that the school reserves the right to reconsider its offer of financial assistance in the event of a major outside award to a recipient.

Dual Program Policy           

Rather than being charged a full two years of tuition, Fuqua charges one and a half years of tuition to Duke students that are completing a dual MD/MBA degree.  These students are required to take 65 credits rather than the 79 normal credits.  The first year, students take classes at Fuqua and Fuqua handles the financial aid for that year.  The second year, the student takes classes at both Medicine and Fuqua.  Students are charged full tuition and the half tuition for Fuqua during the second year.  The School of Medicine financial aid office handles the financial aid for that year.


Financial Aid for Other Educational Programs in the School of Medicine

Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Clinical Leadership, Pathologist Assistant, and Ophthalmic Technician
Each of these programs are funded through Federal Stafford loans, Federal Grad PLUS loans, alternative private loans, and on occasion Federal Perkins loan (depending on the availability allocated by the University). It is highly recommended that you use every avenue to find scholarships or grants.

Your aid is calculated using the FAFSA computations and the cost of education. Additional information will be given to you during the interview process.