The range of cost incurred by the application process itself can vary considerably, depending on the programs you apply to, how many you target, whether travel for interviews is involved, and a range of other factors.
Are you pre-med? Then read the UM Career Center’s discussion of the cost of applying to medical school.
Determine if you qualify for a Fee Assistance Program (FAP)
Many application services have a FAP that reduces the amount of the application and testing fee.
Qualification is limited to US citizens, nationals, or permanent residents and is keyed to the U.S. government’s poverty guidelines. (See the AMCAS FAP for an example.)
Choose a reasonable list of target schools.
If you apply to too many schools, you might run out of the time and money needed to follow up.
Your list of schools should include only those you have actually researched and found good reasons for you to apply.
Don’t waste application money by applying too late in the cycle; rolling admissions mean earlier is better.
If you have been admitted to a program, make sure you understand who you can consult regarding your financial aid questions. As long as you are polite and bring them reasonable requests, financial aid officials at these schools are typically very happy to help.
Provide the information needed to make a good decision about your financial aid package, including completing the FAFSA early. (Some grants and loan opportunities may get depleted before you have a chance at them if you wait too long.)
Look for outside, “third party” sources of funding:
Check out the Scholarships and Fellowships Database made available through the U-M Library Mirlyn system.
For those committed to working in medically underserved areas, some health professions students are eligible for scholarships or loan forgiveness through the National Health Service Corps.
Other federally funded health professions scholarships are available through the U.S. Armed Forces.