Office of Student Affairs
Our office coordinates services to ensure medical students are able to successfully navigate the medical curriculum while maintaining balance in their personal and professional lives.
We provide students with guidance regarding the following services available at VCU:
The program for the M.D. degree is divided into four phases.
M1, The Scientific Foundations of Medicine, occupies the first year of Medical School from August until May. This emphasizes foundational knowledge required to be able to understand the structure, function and pathophysiology of the different organ systems. In the second semester, students will study Hematology Oncology, the Musculoskeletal Systems,Gastrointestinal System and Metabolism, Endocrine and Reproduction Systems.
The second phase, M2, occupies the second and third semesters of medical school and is called the Applied Medical Sciences. This is a multidisciplinary integrated curriculum in which students will learn the normal structure and function of each organ system integrated with the pathophysiology of disease and treatment strategies. Following a summer break, students return for the M2 phase which includes the Cardiovascular, Pulmonary and Renal Systems and Mind, Brain and Behavior (Behavioral Science and Neuroscience). The next phase is the Core Clinical Concentrations in which students will rotate through the various clerkships of Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery. This phase will run from April until the following May. The final phase lasting from May until graduation is the Advanced Clinical Concentrations which includes Acting Internships, an Urgent Care elective, a teaching requirement and an integrated Clinical Care experience. The remainder is open for electives at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and its affiliated sites and at approved medical schools elsewhere in the USA and abroad.
The curriculum is viewed as a dynamic and evolving entity, and course titles, content or duration of emphasis may be subject to modification for the sake of improving the learning experience.
Each course in M1 and M2 is designed and implemented by a faculty committee, and each phase of the curriculum is supervised by a faculty coordinator.
Financial Aid for MD Program
In order to serve its student body efficiently, VCU SOM maintains its own office of financial aid.
In order to serve its student body efficiently, the SOM maintains its own office of financial aid. The SOM Scholarship Committee, composed of administrators, faculty and appointed physicians from various specialties of medicine, makes policies for the awarding of institutional financial aid. Applicants seeking consideration for institutional scholarships must file the PROFILE application by CollegeBoard (https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile) as well as the FAFSA 2018-2019 (https://fafsa.ed.gov) In addition, applicants may be asked to provide copies of their and/or their parents' Federal Income Tax Returns. Students seeking only loan assistance are not required to fill out PROFILE application. They must complete FAFSA for every academic year they are seeking federal student loan assistance.
Applicants who anticipate borrowing student loans as a means of financing medical education are advised to ensure that their personal credit record has no adverse credit history. The establishment of good credit is not a requirement for obtaining the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan but the Federal Direct Graduate Plus Loan and Private Student Loans take credit history into account.
Financial need is not a factor in decisions regarding admission. Financial Aid information is made available to all students who are invited to the SOM for admissions interview.
The SOM Financial Aid Office is the primary point of contact for all financial aid questions. It is located on the fourth floor of McGlothlin Medical Education Center, Room 4-306. You are welcome to visit, call (804-828-4006) or e-mail any staff member.
International students who are coming to VCU School of Medicine to obtain an M.D. degree must certify via I-20 that they have sufficient financial means to attend school before they enter the country on an F-1 visa. There are no sources of funding available to international students from federal or institutional aid. For more information regarding international admissions requirements and F-1 Student visas, please contact the VCU Global Education Office.
Read more about F-1 Student Visas
Prospective Students: Class of 2026
Students who are interested in applying for federal student loans and who would like to be considered for institutional Scholarships should fill out FAFSA 2022-2023 and Profile 2022-2023 by January 1, 2022. This is a priority deadline and students can still fill out the FAFSA and Profile applications after this deadline but the initial Scholarship consideration will be given to those students who have met the priority filing deadline. FAFSA 2022-2023 and Profile 2022-2023 should be available on October 1, 2021.
Institutional Scholarships: Students who would like to be considered for SOM Scholarships must fill out the PROFILE application by CollegeBoard in addition to the FAFSA 2021-2022. The SOM Scholarship Committee will award institutional scholarships based on need and/or merit. There is no other Scholarship application for institutional scholarships. Students who are currently enrolled for the 2021-2022 academic year should fill out FAFSA 2021-2022 (for student loans) and Profile 2021-2022 (for Scholarship consideration).
National Health Service Corps Scholarship: This program requires a supplemental application, which is available after January 1. You can request one to be mailed to you by calling 800-221-9393 (outside Virginia) or 703-734-6855 (within Virginia). The National Health Service Corps will provide for up to four years of paid tuition and fees, books and supplies and approximately $800 per month stipend in exchange for service as a physician after graduation for students who are interested in pursuing primary care specialties. Normally the recipient serves one year in a federally-designated underserved area for each year of scholarship. The required service commitment is minimum two years and maximum four years.
Learn more about the NHSC Scholarship
United States Armed Forces Scholarship
The Army, Navy, Air Force and Army National Guard provide for up to four years of paid tuition and fees, books and supplies allowance and approximately $1,907 per month stipend in exchange for military service after graduation. Normally, the recipient serves one year on active duty for each year of scholarship, with a minimum of three years. Please contact the Recruiter for the program you are interested in for Scholarship application.
Federal Student Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan: The Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan is no longer available for Graduate and Professional students.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan: The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to medical students regardless of need or ability to contribute. Maximum annual loan limit is $42,722 (for M-1 and M-4 students) and $47,167 (for M-2 and M-3 students). A one-time promissory note needs to be signed for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. An origination fee of 1.057 percent is charged up front for loans disbursed after October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022. The Stafford Loan aggregate limit is $224,000. The interest rate on the loan is at a fixed 5.28 % for loans disbursed after July 1st, 2021. Interest begins to accrue on these loans at the time of disbursement. Repayment begins six months after termination of enrollment or graduation. There is no deferment during internship and residency, but forbearance and various alternate payment plans are available.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is a credit based loan that allows graduate and professional students to borrow up to the standard cost of attendance minus any other aid. An origination fee of 4.236 percent is charged up front for loans disbursed after October 1, 2019 and before October 1, 2020 and before October 1, 2022. The interest rate on the loan is at a fixed 6.28 % for loans disbursed after July 1st, 2021. Repayment begins immediately with provisions for deferment while in school more than half time. Graduate Plus Loan application is available online. Students must sign a separate master promissory note (MPN) for these loans.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Application
Private/Alternative Student Loans
These are unsecured bank loans. These credit-based loans are offered at variable interest rates and are based on either prime or LIBOR, which fluctuates quarterly. . Interest begins to accrue immediately but students are able to defer both interest and principle repayment while they remain enrolled. Most lenders will also allow deferment during all or part of your residency. Various lenders offer different benefits, terms and conditions so be sure to read carefully before you agree to apply or consult with the SOM Financial Aid Office.
The VCU Office of Financial Aid recommends that students explore all federal student aid options prior to applying for private loans. Applications for alternative loans are submitted electronically through the lender’s website. ELMSelect provides students and families with information on frequently used private loan lenders.
Other Federal Loan Programs
The Federal Primary Health Care Loan (PCL): The Federal Primary Health Care Loan is a campus-based program awarded by the Financial Aid Office to medical students who have chosen to work in primary care fields. Funds are very limited. Eligibility is determined from information submitted on PROFILE (https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile) application. Students must furnish copies of parental information to the financial aid office to be considered for this loan regardless of dependency status. The loan has a 12-month grace period after graduation with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent. Payment of the loan may be deferred during periods of internship and residency. The student is not responsible for interest until repayment begins. In general, regular loans can be converted at graduation to Super PCL loans once it is clear that the student will be matched in a primary care residency. The availability of PCL depends on the availability of funds each academic year. SOM Financial Aid Office awards the PCL to 4th year medical students after the match.
Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS): This is a campus-based program awarded by the School of Medicine Financial Aid Office to medical students who are determined to be financially needy and/or from disadvantaged backgrounds. There are very limited funds available for this loan. The loan has a 12-month grace period after graduation with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent and may be deferred during periods of internship and residency. The student is not responsible for interest until repayment begins. The availability of LDS depends on the availability of funds each academic year.
Two steps are required each spring to apply for aid for the subsequent academic year:
1. Fill out FAFSA 2020-2021. Our federal code# is 003735. This is adequate if applying only for federal student loans.
2. Fill out PROFILE application for 2021-2022. Necessary for any grant/scholarship and/or United States Department of Health and Human Services funds. You must provide parental information to be considered for this aid regardless of age or marital status. If your application is selected for verification, you will be asked to submit tax returns.
Once your file is complete you will be notified of your financial aid eligibility. You may borrow more later (up to the cost of attendance figure minus all other aid) if you incur unexpected expenses.
AAMC -Pay for Medical School Through Service:
Student may consider the following options either to borrow lesser amount of student loans or pay their education debt through service.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
National Health Service Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs: Military Scholarships or Loan Repayment programs
For more information, please go to https://students-residents.aamc.org/applying-medical-school/pay-medical-school-through-service
VCU's Financial Aid Forms:
Financial Aid Rights and Responsibilities:
VCU School of Medicine - Medical Degree Program Financial Aid Checklist:
Financial Aid Summer Workshop for Incoming M1 Students: The SOM Financial Aid Office holds a voluntary financial aid summer workshop during the month of June for incoming M1 students. The financial aid process, types of aid and other services and resources are discussed during this workshop to help prepare the students for their first year. This workshop is communicated to the incoming students by the Admissions Department. The main emphasis is on the financial aid process.
Loan Counseling and Debt Management during medical education: The SOM Financial Aid Office provides Loan Counseling and Debt Management presentations for M.D. students during Orientation and throughout their medical education. The SOM Financial Aid Office observes an open door policy. Students are welcome to stop by or make an appointment for Debt Management Counseling at any point during their education. Students who have borrowed student loans are given a detailed Exit Counseling presentation and one-on-one counseling at the end of M4 year.
For Free Credit Report:
For a free credit report, visit: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action
- Experian: http://www.experian.com
- Equifax: http://www.equifax.com
- TransUnion: http://transunion.com
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa
PROFILE (for Scholarship application/renewal): https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS): The NSLDS allows the students to view federal student loan history. https://studentaid.gov
AAMC FIRST: Financial Information, Resources, Services and Tools: https://www.aamc.org/services/first
Medloans Organizer and Calculator (MLOC): The MLOC provides a secure location to organize and track your loans and then calculate custom repayment plans using your own loan information to help you make smart choices about repayment: https://www.aamc.org/services/first/medloans
For questions or comments, contact the VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Office
Office of Student Affairs
VCU School of Medicine
Physical Address: McGlothlin Medical Education Center (MMEC), 1201 E Marshall St., 4th Floor
Mailing Address: Box 980565
Richmond, VA 23298