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10 Least Expensive Public Medical Schools for In-State Students

Devon Haynie

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.

Although heading off to medical school may lead to a comfortable salary in the future, it's a pricey investment in the short term.

The cost of medical school has increased throughout the last 20 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The average medical school debt for 2012 medical school graduates who borrowed was $154,784, according to data submitted by 111 ranked institutions to U.S. News.

But not all medical schools have the same impact on a student's wallet. Aspiring doctors who qualify for in-state tuition at public schools may find themselves paying less than their out-of-state or private school counterparts.

[Get advice on paying for medical school.]

Incoming students paid an average of $31,291 in in-state tuition and fees at public medical schools in 2013-2014, according to data provided to U.S. News by 66 public medical schools. That's more than $20,000 less than the average out-of-state tuition and fees at those same schools, which was $53,686.

In-state tuition at public schools was also cheaper than tuition and fees at the 47 private schools that submitted the data. Among those schools, the average tuition and fees were $49,369.

Among the 10 medical schools with the lowest in-state tuition and fees, the average cost for students was $19,581 per year.

[Discover how to cut down on medical school application fees.]

Texas made a strong showing on the list, with four of the state's schools offering some of the country's lowest in-state medical school costs. West Virginia had two schools on the list.

The University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill was the highest-ranked school on the list in both of the U.S. News Best Medical Schools categories, placing No. 22 for research and No. 2 for primary care.

Below are the 10 least expensive public medical schools based on tuition and required fees. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

The F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a federal service postgraduate academy that waives tuition and fees in return for military service, was excluded from this list.

Medical school (name) (state) In-state tuition and fees (2013-2014) U.S. News research rank U.S. News primary care rank
University of Texas Health Science Center--Houston $16,300 56 RNP*
Texas A&M Health Science Center $16,404 81 75
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center $17,843 26 22
University of North Texas Health Science Center $19,022 RNP 48
University of New Mexico $19,395 83 40
University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill $19,446 22 2
Marshall University (Edwards) (WV) $20,086 RNP RNP
West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine $21,150 RNP 82
University of Massachusetts--Worcester $22,887 49 5
Oklahoma State University Medical Center $23,276 RNP 78

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of all medical and osteopathic schools. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.

Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News Medical School Compass to find information on tuition, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed 153 medical schools for our 2013 survey of research and primary care programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of th is survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Medical Schools rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News' rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools. The tuition data above are correct as of Aug. 26, 2014.

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