Applicant FAQ

I am a prospective student. When do I start the financial aid application process?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Need Access forms are available January 1, 2014. You should complete both as soon as possible, using tax information from 2012 tax returns until 2013 have been completed.

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid? 

The deadline for submission of all financial aid information is March 15, 2014. Consideration for institutional scholarships and loans will only be given to those students who complete all three steps (see Application Procedures above) by March 15th. 

When should I start the financial aid process if I have applied to WFSM, but have not yet been accepted?

The March 15th deadline is strict regardless of your acceptance status—if you are accepted after the 15th and your file is not complete, you will NOT be considered for institutional aid. DO NOT WAIT for acceptance to apply! If a deadline extension is needed, please contact our office at finaid@wakehealth.edu. Students who want consideration for Federal Student Loans only, need only complete FAFSA.

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. The FAFSA, parental and personal tax returns and the Need Access must be submitted for those who wish to be considered for Wake Forest School of Medicine need-based scholarships.

Why am I sometimes required to submit additional information even after I have completed the published financial aid application requirements? 

Some applicants may have special circumstances that could affect financial aid. Letters explaining any special circumstances, unusual expenses or other details which will present a clearer picture of a family’s financial situation may be e-mailed as a PDF to finaid@wakehealth.edu.

What is the expected processing time from the date my application is complete?

Review of aid applications begins immediately following the application deadline. You should expect to be notified by email within two to three weeks of the application deadline.

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 or aid from WSFM.

How does WFSM make financial aid decisions?

Demonstrated need is calculated using federal and institutional methodologies widely accepted among private institutions. Parental income, assets, size of family, number of family members in college, and other individual circumstances are among the factors considered in determining need and eligibility for WFSM funds.

The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for financial aid under Federal regulations. (Parental information is not required on the FAFSA). The Need Access is used to determine eligibility for WFSM funds, including scholarships and loans.

I’m financially independent from my parents. Do I need to submit parent information?

Financial assistance from the school is limited and these funds (loans and scholarships) are to be regarded as supplemental to other resources such as the student’s resources, parental contributions, federal, state, and other scholarships and loans, etc. WFSM, along with most medical schools, requires parental information from ALL students applying for school funds.

The parental contribution is not considered in calculating the student’s eligibility for the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan program or Graduate PLUS loan. School funds are limited and must be distributed in the most equitable manner possible. A determination is made of the ability of the family to contribute to the student’s educational expenses and not their willingness to do so.

What if I have no contact with my non-custodial parent?

Please contact the Office of Student Financial Planning at 336.716.2889.

Why do married students have to submit financial information from both their parents and spouse?

WFSM considers all available family resources when determining a student's financial need for institutional funds. This policy ensures that the criteria in the awarding of need-based institutional funds are the same for all students.

When considering a spousal financial contribution in this determination, WFSM recognizes that some finances must be protected to cover the spouse's own living expenses. The spouse's presence in the calculation does not necessarily result in an increased expected contribution.

My parents are not going to contribute to my medical education. How do I cover the expected parent contribution?

Students may borrow unsubsidized Stafford loans and Graduate PLUS loans to cover their expected parent contribution.

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 Student Financial Planning 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 Student Financial Planning 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 Student Financial Planning 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

Additionally, our office is happy to help you find outside resources using information that applies to your unique circumstances. If you would like to make an appointment, please contact April Moore at 336.716.2889 or apmoore@wakehealth.edu.

How do outside scholarships affect my financial aid package?

Receipt of outside scholarships and other resources must be reported to the Office of Student Financial Planning and will result in a review of your financial aid package. Students should inform the Office of Student Financial Planning 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 is the average graduating debt of a WFSM student? How does this compare with other schools?

The average debt for the 2013 Class was $153,734. Average debt information for public and private schools can be obtained from the AAMC First site:  https://www.aamc.org/download/152968/data/debtfactcard.pdf

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 4 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 $200,000 or more over the course of a four year medical school program.

The National Health Corps Service Scholarshippays 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

Where can I find more information about WFSM financial aid?

Please visit our website at http://www.wakehealth.edu/School/Financial-Aid/MD-Program.htm. You may also contact us by phone at 336.716.2889 or email finaid@wakehealth.edu.

Quick Reference

Phone 336-716-2889
Fax 336-716-9593

Email
finaid@wakehealth.edu

Hours
M- F; 7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Location: 3rd Floor Watlington Hall, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd., Winston Salem, NC 27157-1090
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Last Updated: 03-14-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.