Getting Aid for Medical School

Financial aid is any source of funds available to assist students in paying for the costs of a college education. If you think you will need assistance beyond your own financial resources, you are encouraged to apply for financial aid. Whatever your family situation, you can be sure that you will be treated fairly and equitably with respect to students in similar financial circumstances as your own.

Most financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need and requires the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal and state grants, loans, and work-study are all need-based programs.

Scholarships are based on academic merit. Most of the General University Scholarships award students regardless of major. College, departmental, Foundation, and Alumni offer scholarships for specific majors, special talents, leadership, or other criteria specified by a donor. You do not have to show financial need to receive money through merit-based programs. The application process is different from the processes for applying for need-based aid.

Aid is termed to be gift aid or self help. Gift aid includes grants, scholarships, tuition assistance, and other aid, sometimes called "free money". Self-help aid includes work-study and loans that require the student to work or borrow. For specific information relating to medical students please refer to UNSOM's financial planning site.

Who is eligible for aid?

In order to be eligible to receive financial aid, you must:

  1. Demonstrate financial “need” (except for some loan programs).
  2. Be accepted to the University as a degree or certificate student in an eligible program. You may apply for aid before you are accepted; however, aid will not be offered until you have been admitted to the University.
  3. Have a high school diploma.
  4. Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (International Students).
  5. Have a valid Social Security Number.
  6. Be registered with Selective Service, if required.
  7. Be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
  8. Use student aid only for educational purposes.
  9. Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on any federal educational loan.


Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for maximum consideration. If you apply after that date, you will be considered for any remaining funds as of the date we receive your application. Need-based gift aid is awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible students.

Include our federal school code 002568; University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV

  • If you apply online, you can sign the FAFSA electronically with a Personal Identification Number (PIN). One parent can also have his/her own PIN to sign your FAFSA if you are a dependent student. Request your PIN online.
  • After submitting your FAFSA, the federal processor processes the information and sends an electronic file to our office.
  • Our office downloads FAFSA data approximately every 2 weeks.
  • The federal processor will also notify you regarding your Student Aid Report (SAR) which allows you to review your application and make corrections, if needed.
  • If your FAFSA is “rejected” by the federal processor, it is not considered “processed”. Our office cannot offer aid when a FAFSA is rejected. The most common reason for a rejected FAFSA is missing a required signature(s).
  • The paper version of the FAFSA is available upon request from your high school, our office or by going to the FAFSA website or by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).
  • REAPPLY each year using the Renewal FAFSA early in the year.

A helpful tool to guide you throughout the financial aid process

The university aims to make getting financial aid a straightforward process. Here are the general steps:

  1. Get officially admitted to University of Nevada, Reno, and Medical School. To get things started, you need to make sure you have been officially admitted to the university. Learn more about the admissions process >>
  2. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  3. Search private sources for scholarships
    • Check with your school and local libraries, businesses, and your employer(s).
    • Additional supplemental and private scholarship applications can be found online at FinAid.
    • Take advantage of free search engines such as FastWeb or FinAid
  4. Submit any requested Missing Documents
    • View your Missing Documents Letter at MyNEVADA and submit any requested documents by June 15th (after that date submit documents within 3 weeks of the date they were requested).
    • For explanation of what is being requested and to download forms view the online Missing Documents Page.
    • Monitor the forms you’ve submitted on the Financial Aid Requirements page in MyNEVADA.
    • Keep copies of all documents in your records for future reference.
    • Missing Documents are usually created by FAFSA process and Admissions. Documents are normally requested under the "to do" list on MyNEVADA.
  5. Review Financial Aid Offer Letter on MyNEVADA.
    • Notify the financial aid office of any outside or private scholarship, grant, or other types of student aid you have received or expect to receive by completing a Reporting Changes form online.
  6. Read “The Guide: You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers”
  7. Complete Stafford Loan Process:
    • Go to MyNEVADA and accept your loans, except for Perkins.
    • Complete the William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
    • For all new borrowers at Nevada - Complete Entrance Counseling Exam at Direct Student Loans.
  8. Make arrangements to meet any unmet need for your educational expenses (i.e. tuition, fees, books, housing, etc.).
    • Ways to meet unmet need:
    • Bills for tuition and fees are sent out the first week of August for Fall semester and the
      first week of January for Spring semester.
    • Fees are due the Friday before classes begin every semester.
  9. Check MyNEVADA starting 10 days before the semester begins to see if your financial aid and scholarships are disbursing.
    • Residual checks will be mailed out to the address in MyNEVADA so make sure it is correct.
    • Students can also set up direct deposit in MyNEVADA with the Cashiers office.
  10. Reporting Changes: If you are receiving any additional outside scholarships please report on the Reporting Changes.