BIMS (Bioprist Institute of Medical Sciences)

Finance Options for Medical Students in The Caribbean

Medicine is a challenging field. It is a dream chased by millions. And every year, thousands of students attempt to get admission in good medical schools, with hopes of fulfilling this dream. However, securing a seat in a good school isn’t enough.

Most medical schools tend to be heavy on the pocket, with stiff fees and a substantial cost of living. While the cost of education may overwhelm aspiring students, financial aid can make tuition affordable. Various colleges, banks and other institutions offer finance for medical students to help them complete their education.

Different ways to finance your education

Financial aid can help you cover your expenses which can include tuition, books, stay and transport. There are several options you can choose from depending on your requirement and availability of resources.


One of the most convenient ways to finance your education, scholarships may be available in a wide range depending on the medical school you choose. You may be able to choose from options such as merit-based scholarships, targeted scholarships, sports scholarships or independent organisation scholarships.

Merit-based scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of criteria such as talents, academics, achievements or affiliations. Targeted scholarships, or specific scholarships, may be given to students with certain backgrounds, and in some cases, health conditions. Another type of financial aid, known as grants, or need-based scholarships, are the type of aid that do not need to be repaid. Grants are usually need-based as compared to scholarships that are merit-based. Medical schools in the Caribbean usually offer merit-based scholarships, received by eligible applicants during enrolment.

Student Loans:

Student loans are the financial aid you receive from banks or other financial institutions. These loans have to be paid back within a fixed period of time after you graduate. You can apply for a student loan from a government or private bank, with loans from the government being a better option due to lower or flat interest rates. It is prudent for you to thoroughly research your options before you choose a student loan. Repayment of these loans typically starts six months after completion of your education.

Personal Savings:

If you intend to use your personal savings to finance your education, planning ahead is a good idea. You can either consider employment and work part-time to supplement your savings, or ask your family for help to finance your education.

Line of Credit:

A student line of credit is a loan that you can receive from a financial institution to fund your education. Compared to a student loan, where financial need is the decisive factor, parent or guardian income determines the loan amount in a line of credit. While in school, you will be responsible for making interest-only payments and the line of credit will be paid back with interest after you graduate. This form of financing is more flexible and you can borrow the amount you need.

Institutional Loan:

An institutional loan can be defined as the loan offered by a college directly to students, with different colleges offering education finance as per their terms. These loan programs are generally designed to help qualified students with the cost of education and may be awarded as part of the financial aid award process. Loan programs may differ in amount, eligibility and rates of interest. Additionally, institutional loans may or may not come with the type of benefits you may receive from a government loan. If you are offered an institutional loan, you can always check for details such as repayment flexibility, schedule, and income-based repayment.


Medical education may be an expensive affair, but based on careful consideration of your requirements, you can choose a scholarship, student loan, line of credit or even your personal savings. And with the right kind of funding, you can realize your dream of becoming a doctor.

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