A Guide to Discovering Post-Bacc Scholarships

Published on: May 31, 2024
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Lucas Moddrell

Dr. Baran Erdik


Dr. Baran Erdik

It isn't uncommon for medical students to improve their healthcare applications in between schooling. Many future medical professionals will take a gap year in their standard education to pursue a postbaccalaureate premedical program.

Post bacc programs can offer several benefits, with the primary upside being a more competitive shot at getting into medical school. However, the cost is an important factor, so this article will highlight the significance of post-bacc scholarships for aspiring students who need financial assistance.

Understanding Post-Bacc Programs

Post-bacc programs were created to offer professional support in schools to improve students' competitiveness. They have a range of key focus areas, some of which include MCAT exam prep, career change support, academic record enhancement, and more. 

With post-bacc programs, future medical professionals can work on improving the efficacy of medical school applications. Post-bacc programs are also an excellent option for individuals who didn’t perform the best in their pre-med classwork. 

The Importance of Financial Aid for Post-Bacc Students

Like most forms of education, post-bacc programs come with tuition requirements, which some people may not be able to meet. The cost of post-bacc programs can range from $20,000 to $40,000.1

Financial aid isn’t a foreign term to modern higher education, but navigating this can be tricky for some individuals. Loans may tack onto the educational debt, but this may be a necessary cost for many who want to become doctors one day.

Exploring financing solutions should come with the following surface-level considerations:

  • One-on-one discussion with a financial aid officer

  • Review the potential downsides of loan borrowing

  • Repayment terms and specifications

  • How interest accrues over time

Loans can be a ticket to the education you need, but the implications of not paying that loan back can be detrimental. Federal student aid is only available for some post-bacc programs.

Choosing between post-bacc programs can be overwhelming. Speaking with admissions offices or academic advisors can be very helpful for the most support regarding professional advice and resources.

The following steps act as a good starting point for discovering post-bacc programs.

  1. Use the AAMC postbaccalaureate database to find various programs

  2. Review financial aid and scholarship options for your preferred schools

  3. Take stock of the admission requirements for your preferred programs

  4. Make sure the program curriculum covers topics related to your career-specific endeavors

Other suggestions include finding contact information for financial assistance offices or exploring some of the most generous financial aid services, like what Purdue University is known for. Purdue is great regarding financial assistance as it offers multiple solutions for students to take advantage of. Grants, scholarships, and loans are just a few solutions Purdue offers to its students.3 Purdue offers seven different categories of financial assistance that help to support many unique monetary circumstances for students.

Another important consideration is focusing on scholarships that assist individuals in pursuing postbaccalaureate programs. The list below highlights some of the most common scholarships you should look into for financial assistance with postbaccalaureate tuition.

1. AHIMA Foundation Scholarship

Individuals pursuing a postbaccalaureate certificate accredited by CAHIIM in HIM or HI are eligible for this scholarship. It offers $5,000 and is part of AHIMA's Merit scholarship. 

Some eligibility requirements include being a current American Health Information Management Association member and currently enrolled in a health information program accredited by CAHIIM. The scholarship award date is August 15th, 2024, and students can easily apply for the scholarship on the AHIMA Foundation website.4

2. PostbacCAS Scholarship

Offering two scholarships worth $5,000 each, the PostbacCAS scholarship goes to two students who are focused on specific goals. One scholarship will go to a student working toward a career change program, and the other will go to a student heading into a record enhancement program.5

It’s important to note that candidates must attend a PostbacCAS-participating program to use their scholarship. The application and surrounding criteria for the PostbacCAS scholarship will be available for review in early October.

3. Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award

What's great about this graduate school scholarship is that it's structured to support postbaccalaureate students at accredited universities worldwide, making it accessible to a wide range of aspiring graduate students.

Other details of this scholarship include:

  • Awards eligible candidates $10,000

  • It can be applied to any area of graduate study

  • Primary focus on continuing education

  • Applicants must submit the following

    • Personal statement

    • Letter of recommendation

    • Resume and CV

    • Current academic transcript

You can learn more about this scholarship on the official website, and applicants are encouraged to email the program director for any questions or concerns.6

4. James L. Sweatt Scholarship

The James L. Sweatt Scholarship, created to support first-generation college graduates or those who hail from inner-city or rural areas, aims to help a niche group. The scholarship is specific to the Washington University Postbaccalaureate Premedical program and offers $5,000 for eligible candidates.

Criteria considered for the scholarship include the following:

  • Must be admitted into the postbaccalaureate premedical program

  • Earned a 3.4 cumulative undergraduate GPA

  • Provide two letters of recommendation

  • Submit an essay on why diversity in the healthcare workforce matters

  • Undergo an interview with the College of Arts and Sciences staff

  • Complete the Sweatt Scholarship application online

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate a commitment to serving underprivileged populations and bringing diverse people together. High academic achievement also matters, but this scholarship is catered toward a specific demographic of aspiring medical professionals.7

5. AMWA Premedical Education Scholarship

Another niche undergraduate scholarship that stands out is from the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). It offers two $250 scholarships to women currently enrolled in post-bacc or undergraduate coursework.

Candidates seeking health professions are selected based on how they embody the AMWA’s goals, alongside consideration for their current financial needs. Applicants must also provide a letter of recommendation for their application to be valid.8

Applying for Scholarships: Best Practices

Even though it’s common for scholarship applications to be handled through a simple online portal, there’s a lot of detail to consider. Candidates want to make their application count, so it’s advisable to take your time and ensure all of the necessary information is included.

A strong, effective scholarship application includes the following points:

  • Detailed understanding of scholarship eligibility requirements

  • Craft essays that help you stand out

  • Providing satisfactory academic progress reports

  • Applying far ahead of the final due date

If even a single question crosses your mind when reviewing scholarship details, don't hesitate to reach out and request assistance. You want to ensure you get all the essential details; additional information can offer the guidance you need to make the right decision.

Financial Aid Beyond Scholarships

Different loan types are guaranteed to have their own requirements, but they can offer a quick solution to an immediate need. Private loans and federal direct loans have varying pros and cons, and it's important to understand that this may not be a viable option for everyone.

Federal Pell Grants are a common option for undergraduate students seeking support. However, they aren’t available to those who have earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.

No matter your path, you must fill out application forms, meet with student financial services, and understand the academic year's timeline.

Additional Resources for Post-Bacc Students

Hunting down the right type of financial aid can feel like an endless rabbit hole of information. To help simplify your search, consider exploring the following resources to find financial aid for your post-bacc journey.

  1. SallieMae.com

  2. CollegeScholarships.org

  3. Fastweb.com

  4. InternationalScholarships.com

  5. DSAZ.org (Scholarships for Disabilities)

  6. FAFSA (Federal Aid)

These links provide a good starting point for searching for national to international student scholarships, some catering to specific demographics and financial needs.9 Another way to get closer to the resources and financial aid you need is to engage with active community forums and online social groups.

Final thoughts

Pursuing postbaccalaureate studies is commendable, but finances can hinder many looking to enhance their medical education. It's crucial to be proactive when it comes to scholarship applications, as missing a deadline can be a make-or-break moment for the year ahead.

Although it can be stressful at times, the reward of investing in one's education is a definitive stepping stone to landing an advanced degree in medicine, medical science, and many other fields. Even with some trial and error, taking advantage of as many scholarship opportunities as possible is highly advantageous.


  1. https://www.kaptest.com/study/mcat/what-is-a-post-baccalaureate/

  2. https://students-residents.aamc.org/medical-student-well-being/considering-postbaccalaureate-premedical-program

  3. https://www.purdue.edu/dfa/aid/

  4. https://ahimafoundation.org/programs-partnerships/education/scholarships/

  5. https://postbaccas.liaisoncas.org/scholarships/

  6. https://www.careeronestop.org/toolkit/training/find-scholarships-detail.aspx?keyword=post-bacc&lang=en&pagesize=500&curPage=1&scholarshipId=9996183

  7. https://postbaccpremed.wustl.edu/james-l-sweatt-scholarship

  8. https://www.amwa-doc.org/pre-medical-students/scholarships/

  9. https://www.goucher.edu/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/outside-scholarships

Written by:

Lucas Moddrell

With over seven years of experience in writing technical content across numerous industries, Lucas has a knack for detailed information and storytelling. This is seen through his work as a medical writer. Between his experience in writing and history with research and development, Lucas is able to convey complex medical topics into reader-friendly content.

This technical approach stems from his time working in laboratory environments. Stemming from his education at CSAS and UCO, Lucas has always been interested in furthering his topical knowledge. Through his writing and genuine interest in research, he's able to deliver a consistent voice across many technical topics so that they're easier for the reader to digest.

Lucas Moddrell

Contributing Writer

Reviewed by:

Dr. Baran Erdik, MD, MHPA

Dr. Baran Erdik is an M.D. with specialized training in Internal Medicine/Cardiology. Dr. Erdik traveled the world, working as a physician in New Zealand, Germany and Washington State. Dr. Erdik completed a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Policy from Washington State University, graduating summa cum laude and now consults with healthcare facilities. In his "spare time", Dr. Erdik is a professor at the American Vision University in California.

Dr. Baran Erdik

Dr. Baran Erdik, MD, MHPA

Internist and Cardiologist

Education: Doctor of Medicine (MD) - Yeditepe University

Knowledge: Internal medicine, cardiology, healthcare policy