So if you’ve been reading my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been fortunate enough to get into medical school and I’ll be starting in September. Huzzah!
I’ve pretty much been walking around with the biggest grin on my face since I got my acceptance. Wondering when the feelings of elation would subside. Be careful what you wish for because subside they did. And were replaced with the not unfamiliar feelings of dread and annoyance. Yes, you’ve guessed it. It’s time to apply for student finance again.
Oh Student Finance England. Our relationship has always been turbulent at the best of times. Naturally I wasn’t looking forward to rekindling the romance between Student Finance England and myself. Especially as they’re notorious for messing up the applications for those, like myself, applying for graduate-entry medicine. But! Somehow this time around they actually did their job! I applied, sent in all the evidence they asked for and 6 weeks later, presto! My application has been approved.
For those that don’t know, in the UK there are two main pathways to medicine: Graduate-entry medicine (4 years) and Undergraduate-entry medicine (5-6 years). The names are pretty self-explanatory but I’ll go ahead and explain them anyway. Graduate-entry medicine is available only for those who have previously attended a university and have a degree. Undergraduate-entry medicine is for 18 year-olds, fresh from completing their A-levels at a college or sixth form. However, graduates can apply to undergraduate-entry also and it’s far less competitive than graduate-entry medicine.
However, If you’ve already applied for student finance whilst completing your first degree, they won’t give you support if you choose to pursue another degree. Therefore, graduates that apply for the undergraduate-entry medicine degree have to pay for each year’s tuition (£9000 per year) and maintenance out of pocket, bar the final year which the NHS will pay for.
I’m 23. I’ve already applied for student finance whilst obtaining my bachelor’s degree. My master’s degree that I’m currently studying cost £9000 out of pocket as I wasn’t eligible for any help. So paying £9000 per year for a 5-6 year medical degree didn’t sound too great to me.
Fortunately, if you’re a graduate and apply for the graduate-entry medicine degree, for your first year, you only have to pay the first ~£3500 and student finance will pay the remaining balance to bring it up to £9000. Years 2-4 tuition will be covered by a balance of the NHS and Student Finance England and I’m eligible for a maintenance loan for all years so that’s nice. So all in all, I’ll have a nice huge mountain of debt when I graduate 🙂
Wow. That was a mouthful.
I realise that’s probably all very confusing so here are a few good links that explain the finance better than I can 😉