I am a prospective student. When do I start the financial aid application process?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available at the beginning of January. You should complete both as soon as possible, using tax information from the previous year's tax returns until the current year's have been completed.
What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?
The deadline for submission of all financial aid information is March 1.
What application material must be filed?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by all students who wish to receive federal loans. Only US citizens and eligible non-residents may receive federal loans.
Do I have to follow the same process every year?
The process for applying for financial aid must be completed each academic year if you wish to receive federal loans.
I have dependents. How do they affect my financial aid package
Cost of attendance includes only those expenses associated with the living expenses of the student. A dependent care allowance, which most often means the cost of day care for dependent children, may be added to the cost of attendance. The amount allowed for day care is based on the ages of the children and on reasonable costs in the area of the medical school. Keep in mind that this results in borrowing more money. Students with these circumstances should discuss them with the Office of Financial Aid early in the admission process.
Other sources of dependent support that should be explored include social services, religious organizations, and financial assistance from parents or other relatives.
Student and spouse should review their lifestyle expectations and be in agreement before making the financial commitment to attend school. Each one needs to be prepared to live like a student, which often means giving up “extras” that were taken for granted before.
How do I appeal the financial aid award decision?
In the event of a substantial change in family circumstances (loss of employment, death, high medical bills), you may notify the Office of Financial Aid and request a re-evaluation of your award.
Your request should be in writing and should describe the changes in detail, specifying dollar amounts and providing documentation to support the appeal. Any award adjustment is contingent upon your eligibility according to program regulations and the availability of funds.
How do I find information about outside scholarships?
Students should visit the AAMC and the AMA for information on potential outside scholarship sources. Students are encouraged to check with their local towns for potential scholarship funding sources as well.
The Office of Financial Aid receives scholarship information from various organizations periodically throughout the academic year. Students are notified about these scholarship opportunities via email.
The following resources are a great start as you search for outside scholarships:
• AAMC FIRST for Medical Education Financial Info and Tools:www.aamc.org/first
• Website searches: www.fastweb.com, www.collegeanswer.com,www.collegeboard.org
• Financial Aid Information Page: www.finaid.org
How do outside scholarships affect my financial aid package?
Receipt of outside scholarships and other resources must be reported to the Office of Financial Aid and will result in a review of your financial aid package. Students should inform the Office of Financial Aid of these resources in writing.
A portion of my financial aid will cover my living expenses. When and how do I receive this money?
Funds are disbursed at the beginning of each semester and dates vary depending on your class. After tuition and other fees have been paid, you will receive a refund of any remaining funds. After receipt of your refund, you should consider the following:
- Track your expenses for one month to establish a baseline of your expenses.
- Divide your disbursement by the number of months you need to cover. Spend only this amount each month and your funds should last until your next disbursement.
- Be creative!
- Deposit your whole disbursement into your savings account and pay yourself monthly.
- Pay all fixed expenses for the semester (rent, insurance, car payments, etc.) as soon as you receive your disbursement.
What should I do if my costs exceed the standard budget?
Students are not allowed to receive loans or scholarships in excess of Cost of Attendance, which is determined based on the anticipated expenses of a single student. COA cannot be increased for consumer debt, car payments or a standard of living beyond that of a typical medical student.
What should I do if I need to apply for additional funding, either because I realize I did not borrow enough to meet the standard budget or because my financial situation has changed?
Financial aid is flexible. If you do not take out the full COA and realize you need more money, you may request up to the full COA at any point during the financial aid year. If you choose to take out the full COA and realize later that you will not need the full amount, you can return funds within 120 days of the disbursement.
What are Federal Service Scholarships?
The Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program allows you to receive funding for medical school for every year of service in a qualifying branch of the military.
An AFHPS can provide tuition assistance for up to 2 years and a monthly stipend paid directly to the student of at least $1,235. Required fees and expenses, books and equipment are paid by the military and the value of the program is estimated to be in excess of $100,000 or more over the course of a two year physician assistant program.
The National Health Corps Service Scholarship pays tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend in exchange for a year for year (2-year minimum) service obligation in a health care shortage area.
Students must commit to family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, or obstetrics/gynecology. Students who participate in this program must be committed to serving in primary health care in communities of greatest need.
How do I qualify for loan forgiveness?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), is available ONLY to borrowers from the Federal Direct Loan Program, which allows forgiveness of the remaining balance of one’s federal student loans after 120 qualifying payments while employed full time by a public service organization.
Qualifying employment requires you to work full-time for 10 years in either a nonprofit organization, governmental organization, military service or public service organization. While working in a qualifying public service position, you must make 120 on time payments.
For more information visit http://www.aamc.org/first/facts/pslf or www.IBRinfo.org.