Let’s face it. Medicine is not a cheap affair. The equipment that you use, the lectures you go to, the seminars you attend come with a price. This price is shown in the form of your tuition, practicals, and equipment fees. The price varies from institute to institute but is nevertheless quite hefty. Without proper financial backing, it can be a task to complete your education let alone setting up your practice and career!
We know, all this does sound intimidating and might scare one off before he/she begins their journey of becoming a successful medical practitioner. Worry not, for there is good news! Various government and non government organizations, private companies, hospitals, etc offer substantial aid to medical students in the form of scholarships.
What is a Scholarship?
Most of you reading this article are familiar with what a scholarship is but let us take a quick glance before we dive into the details of scholarships. A scholarship is a financial aid provided to students to help them pay for their education. It is vital to remember that each scholarship is unique and has its own terms and conditions. Here are some types of scholarships that are available out there
- Merit-based scholarships: Open for all students that show outstanding performance in their academics
- Means-based scholarships: This type of scholarship is reserved for certain ethnic and religious minorities
- Women scholarships: There are a lot of hurdles that women must overcome in order to pursue careers of their interest. This type of scholarship aims to help them be financially independent
Benefits of a scholarship
Why a scholarship you ask? Well, apart from the obvious financial aid, a scholarship on your resume opens doors to various opportunities. Here are some benefits of getting a scholarship
- Better chances of getting into your dream college: Almost all universities want bright, hardworking students with accomplishments. A mention of a scholarship on your college application will help you stand out from the crowd
- Focus on your education better: Students who come from financially insecure backgrounds usually work part-time. This will help pay your tuition fee but will cost you your time and energy. Getting financial aid from a scholarship will allow you to solely focus on your studies
- Jazz up your resume: Having a scholarship on your resume will give you an edge over your peers. You will be a more sought after candidate when you apply for a job
- Escape the debt: As mentioned earlier, becoming a doctor is a costly affair. Most students take loans to finish their education and spend their initial years as a doctor just to pay off the loan or debt. With a scholarship, a part or all of your tuition fees are taken care of! All you need to do is keep up the hard work and do well in your classes
Hope that the article so far has made a compelling case in favor of applying for scholarships. Let us have a look at some prestigious scholarships that are available for Indian medical students.
Nationwide Education and Scholarship Test (NEST) Senior
The Nationwide education and scholarship test or NEST in short is one of the most popular and well-known scholarships among medical students. NEST offers scholarships for students at various levels of schooling. Depending on the level of education you have completed, NEST offers 3 categories of scholarships.
- NEST Basic: For Secondary school students
- NEST Junior: For Higher secondary school students or Diploma students
- NEST Senior: For Undergraduates or Postgraduate students
Scholarships that are available for medical students fall under the NEST Senior category. This is a merit-based scholarship, meaning you will have to appear for an examination, and depending on the result you will be awarded a NEST scholarship. The NEST Senior category is also divided into 3 groups. Each of these groups has different eligibility criteria, prize money, and exam syllabus. Here is a gist of all the information about the NEST Senior scholarship.
|NEST Senior 1||NEST Senior 2||NEST Senior 3|
|Eligibility||1st and 2nd year MBBS students||3rd and 4th year MBBS students||Students in MD or MS programs|
|Syllabus||A 200 mark paper based on higher secondary schooling syllabus (11th and 12th std)||A 200 mark paper based on your MBBS schooling||A 200 mark paper based on your MBBS and postgraduate schooling|
|Perks||Financial aid of rupees 35,000||Financial aid of rupees 40,000||Financial aid of rupees 50,000|
A great scholarship that will help you pay for your tuition and will look good on your resume for further studies and jobs.
Vahani is a non-profit organization that helps needy children to fulfill their dreams and complete their education without having to worry about any finances. This is a merit cum mean scholarship. It is awarded to a select few students who are financially unstable. Read on to know more about this scholarship!
Eligibility criteria: Students of class 12 who wish to pursue their undergraduate studies in any field of their choice. The student must have secured a minimum of 85% in their 10th and 11th standard exams. Annual family income must be less than 1.5 lakhs per annum.
Perks of this scholarship:
- Fully paid tuition fee for any undergraduate course
- Accommodation facilities
- A stipend for a laptop and your study materials
Apart from this, the scholarship also offers you a mentorship program in which you will have:
- Pre-university counseling sessions which will help you with your college applications and work on your overall development
- During your university years and even after that the scholarship will provide you with opportunities for various internships, workshops, and exchange programs
Vahini scholarship grants you the opportunity to fund yourself and do better for your career.
Dr. Abdul Kalam Scholarship for Medical Aspirants
The Dr. Abdul Kalam Scholarship for medical students is an initiative taken by a non-profit organization to fund and help economically weak students to complete their education. It is a merit cum mean type of scholarship, meaning the most brilliant students will be awarded this scholarship. The criteria for awarding this scholarship is the percentage of marks obtained in the 12th Standard board examinations. Here’s some information about who all can apply:
- Students appearing for state or national level medical entrance exams
- The candidate must have scored a minimum of 55% marks in his or her 12th standard board exams
- Family income must be less than 3 lakhs per annum
If you are awarded this scholarship you will be rewarded with funding of rupees 20,000. A great opportunity and scholarship for medical students in India!
Tata Scholarship for Medical students in India
The Tata Trusts group offers financial aid and education grants to outstanding students in the field of medicine and healthcare. It is a merit-based scholarship and is awarded based on grades you secured in the first year of your degree. Here’s some information about the eligibility criteria.
- Students must have an overall percentage of 70% or higher in their first year of MBBS
- Students who are already receiving aid from other institutes/universities are not eligible for this scholarship
Perks of this scholarship: Partially covers tuition fee and other academic expenses.
Government Scholarships for Medical Students
Various government agencies provide outstanding students with financial aid and support for their further studies. Here are two popular scholarships among med students
- All India Pre-Medical Scholarship Test (AIPMST):
As the name implies this is a merit-based scholarship to identify academically brilliant students and set them on the track for success!
- Eligibility Criteria: The candidate must have passed their 12th std exams with 50% or more in each of their subjects.
- Perks: This scholarship covers your tuition fee for 4 years of med school and each selected candidate will be given a laptop for his/her use
- Merit cum means scholarship scheme
This is an initiative taken by the ministry of minority affairs to help in-need students.
- Eligibility Criteria: Students who have secured more than 50% marks in their previous Final Year Examinations. Family-Annual income does not exceed 2.5 lakhs
- Perks: Financial aid of Rs 20,000 to cover your tuition fees and a monthly maintenance allowance of Rs 1,000
If you dig deeper you will find that the government, private organizations, hospitals, and educational institutes offer many more schemes and scholarships for medical students. Availing such scholarships will not only help you fund your own education but will also give you a sense of pride and satisfaction. We hope that you found the information in this article useful and wish you luck with your future scholarship tests!
- Nationwide Education and Scholarship Test (NEST). Available from: https://www.nest.net.in/about_latest.htm Accessed on 21st February 2022.
- Vahani Scholarship. Available from: https://vahanischolarship.in/scholarship-program Accessed on 22nd February 2022.
- Dr. Abdul Kalam Scholarship for Medical/Engineering Aspirants. Available from: https://www.buddy4study.com/page/dr-abdul-kalam-scholarship-for-medical-engineering-aspirants Accessed on 22nd February 2022.
- Tata Scholarship Document. Available from: https://www.tatatrusts.org/Upload/Content_Files/scholarship-document-2021-2022-general-guidelines.pdf Accessed on 24th February 2022.
- Merit cum means scholarship scheme. Available from: https://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/SCHEMES/PERFORMANCE/Scholarship-Schemes/merit-cum-means-scholarship-scheme Accessed on 24th February 2022.
- All India Pre-Medical Scholarship Test. Available from: https://www.aipmstsecondary.co.in/who-can-apply Accessed on 24th February 2022.