# Any ballpark rules for what to expect with financial aid?

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

I may just not be knowing where to look, but I'm trying to get a ballpark idea of what to expect for financial aid packages. Undergraduate was great with estimated cost of attendance calculators, but I've never seen any such thing for med school so I'm assuming it doesn't exist.

Basically, I'm curious if anyone can give some guesses (even if you are making wild assumptions and pulling numbers out of almost nowhere) on what a financial aid package would look like.

E.g. assuming a cost of attendance of around \$80,000 and a parent income of \$50k, \$100k, \$150k, or \$200k, what would be a reasonable amount of need based grants and need based institutional loans be? What is the approximate parent income level where schools stop giving any need based aid? How much of a factor is if the medical school is a huge endowment private school vs. a state school? Assuming the student is a traditional student who hasn't made millions trading bitcoin, is it really just the parent info that determines the award.

The only somewhat example I have seen is from Harvard:
 Tuition and Mandatory Fees \$68,903 Cost of Living and Loan Fees \$26,152 Total Cost of Attendance \$95,055 IM EFC \$35,725 HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship (Tuition and Mandatory Fees - IM EFC) \$33,178 Combined Loans \$26,152 Equals Total Aid \$59,330
(Anyone have any ball park guess on what financial situation the above financial aid package may be grant for?)

Harvard also mentions: "The need analysis formula assesses 25-35% of the total net value of student/spouse assets as part of the calculated student contribution each year."
For students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is between \$100,000 - \$150,000 and whose assets are typical for those income levels, Harvard Medical School reduces the expected parent contribution as noted below.

Total Income Under \$100k: PC waived
Total Income \$100K - \$110K: PC reduced 90%
Total Income \$110K - \$120K: PC reduced 80%
Total Income \$120K - \$130K: PC reduced 55%
Total Income \$130K - \$140K: PC reduced 40%
Total Income \$140K - \$150K: PC reduced 25%"

Is all of that atypical and only because Harvard has an endowment approaching Bloomberg's net worth? That still doesn't say what the Parent Contribution at those income levels is if anyone could guess that would be great.

Any comments, insight, or highly knowledgeable answers would be greatly appreciated! Or just tell me I'm bad at looking and direct me towards where I could find these answers.

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#### Engrailed

##### Are your hands dry as well?
Moderator Emeritus
I may just not be knowing where to look, but I'm trying to get a ballpark idea of what to expect for financial aid packages. Undergraduate was great with estimated cost of attendance calculators, but I've never seen any such thing for med school so I'm assuming it doesn't exist.

Basically, I'm curious if anyone can give some guesses (even if you are making wild assumptions and pulling numbers out of almost nowhere) on what a financial aid package would look like.

E.g. assuming a cost of attendance of around \$80,000 and a parent income of \$50k, \$100k, \$150k, or \$200k, what would be a reasonable amount of need based grants and need based institutional loans be? What is the approximate parent income level where schools stop giving any need based aid? How much of a factor is if the medical school is a huge endowment private school vs. a state school? Assuming the student is a traditional student who hasn't made millions trading bitcoin, is it really just the parent info that determines the award.

The only somewhat example I have seen is from Harvard:
 Tuition and Mandatory Fees \$68,903 Cost of Living and Loan Fees \$26,152 Total Cost of Attendance \$95,055 IM EFC \$35,725 HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship (Tuition and Mandatory Fees - IM EFC) \$33,178 Combined Loans \$26,152 Equals Total Aid \$59,330
(Anyone have any ball park guess on what financial situation the above financial aid package may be grant for?)

Harvard also mentions: "The need analysis formula assesses 25-35% of the total net value of student/spouse assets as part of the calculated student contribution each year."
For students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is between \$100,000 - \$150,000 and whose assets are typical for those income levels, Harvard Medical School reduces the expected parent contribution as noted below.

Total Income Under \$100k: PC waived
Total Income \$100K - \$110K: PC reduced 90%
Total Income \$110K - \$120K: PC reduced 80%
Total Income \$120K - \$130K: PC reduced 55%
Total Income \$130K - \$140K: PC reduced 40%
Total Income \$140K - \$150K: PC reduced 25%"

Is all of that atypical and only because Harvard has an endowment approaching Bloomberg's net worth? That still doesn't say what the Parent Contribution at those income levels is if anyone could guess that would be great.

Any comments, insight, or highly knowledgeable answers would be greatly appreciated! Or just tell me I'm bad at looking and direct me towards where I could find these answers.

what is PC

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#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

what is PC
Parent Contribution... I think

Edit: Alternate theory is that all rules of Political Correctness at Harvard are waived if your parents make less thank \$100k. But I find this theory less likely.

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#### Engrailed

##### Are your hands dry as well?
Moderator Emeritus
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#### Med Ed

5+ Year Member
Ballpark rule for what to expect with financial aid: nothing.

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#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

Ballpark rule for what to expect with financial aid: nothing.
Yikes. I was afraid this may be the answer.

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#### ciestar

##### All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Yikes. I was afraid this may be the answer.
It is.

Also, no “need-based” grants exist for grad school. Pell was super nice in undergrad. My EFC was 0 and i didn’t get anything but federal loans which everyone gets.

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#### 82Scout

There are always other financial aid opportunities. Opinions on the programs vary from person to person, but its always good to know your options.

You can always look into grants or scholarships that have specific commitments. Some schools offer generous amounts of financial aid for students willing to commit to a certain specialty (like primary care), certain areas (usually underserved), military (HPSP), and other organizations like the VA or public service all have some type of scholarship that can pay upwards of half or full COA. The ones that do full COA usually have commitments ranging from 4-8 years.

as most stated, you can expect to qualify for loans and thats about it. Most schools care about average graduating debt though and do everything they can to lower it. You can always look at this number by school.

D

#### deleted1011020

It is.

Also, no “need-based” grants exist for grad school. Pell was super nice in undergrad. My EFC was 0 and i didn’t get anything but federal loans which everyone gets.
Did you pull plus loans? Could I PM you if you used your own credit info vs parents if you did?

I've been trying to talk to people about potentially getting the loans without parental information/credit and instead my own but I haven't been able to find anyone thats done that.

#### 82Scout

Did you pull plus loans? Could I PM you if you used your own credit info vs parents if you did?

I've been trying to talk to people about potentially getting the loans without parental information/credit and instead my own but I haven't been able to find anyone thats done that.
You don't have to report parental information to qualify for grad loans, you are automatically considered an independent for FAFSA. If you want to qualify for need based aid and a school requires parental information then there is no real way to skirt around that. So just to be clear, its a school requirement for parental info not a fafsa requirement.

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#### deleted1011020

You don't have to report parental information to qualify for grad loans, you are automatically considered an independent for FAFSA. If you want to qualify for need based aid and a school requires parental information then there is no real way to skirt around that. So just to be clear, its a school requirement for parental info not a fafsa requirement.
I already have my parental information reported. I just wanted to grab the gradPLUS rather than the parentPLUS loans. I wanted to see if anything varied between the two avenues (good credit medium length history vs amazing credit with decades of history) or if it was just the case that one had to clear a certain level of credit worthiness to qualify for a standard amount and rate.

D

#### deleted1005514

I already have my parental information reported. I just wanted to grab the gradPLUS rather than the parentPLUS loans. I wanted to see if anything varied between the two avenues (good credit medium length history vs amazing credit with decades of history) or if it was just the case that one had to clear a certain level of credit worthiness to qualify for a standard amount and rate.

GradPlus is easy to get with no derogatory credit history. You don't need amazing credit for that.

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#### 82Scout

I already have my parental information reported. I just wanted to grab the gradPLUS rather than the parentPLUS loans. I wanted to see if anything varied between the two avenues (good credit medium length history vs amazing credit with decades of history) or if it was just the case that one had to clear a certain level of credit worthiness to qualify for a standard amount and rate.
I'm not to familiar with parentPLUS loans, but if you submitted FAFSA for yourself for a graduate education program then it would be gradPLUS loans you are qualifying for regardless if you included parental information. The ParentPlus loan from what I understand is something your parents would of had to apply for through FAFSA on your behalf I believe.

#### ciestar

##### All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Did you pull plus loans? Could I PM you if you used your own credit info vs parents if you did?

I've been trying to talk to people about potentially getting the loans without parental information/credit and instead my own but I haven't been able to find anyone thats done that.
Feel free to PM me.

I used both, but i only used GradPlus, not parent. (My parents’ credit is awful, so i wouldnt have qualified for that anyway)

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

It is.

Also, no “need-based” grants exist for grad school. Pell was super nice in undergrad. My EFC was 0 and i didn’t get anything but federal loans which everyone gets.

How are you defining '"need -based" grants'? In the Harvard example above the \$33,178 of "HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship" is what I would define as "need-based" grants. Which seems to exist in the hypothetical world Harvard is living in. And I thought it was not entirely uncommon for schools to give out both institutional need based loans and grants to students.

Could anyone clear up my confusion?

#### 82Scout

How are you defining '"need -based" grants'? In the Harvard example above the \$33,178 of "HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship" is what I would define as "need-based" grants. Which seems to exist in the hypothetical world Harvard is living in. And I thought it was not entirely uncommon for schools to give out both institutional need based loans and grants to students.

Could anyone clear up my confusion?
I believe they are talking about federal need based grants. All the scholorships/grants in med school are privately funded or funded through the school, which is why it is decided by the schools and not FAFSA.

#### AW0320

How are you defining '"need -based" grants'? In the Harvard example above the \$33,178 of "HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship" is what I would define as "need-based" grants. Which seems to exist in the hypothetical world Harvard is living in. And I thought it was not entirely uncommon for schools to give out both institutional need based loans and grants to students.

Could anyone clear up my confusion?
Any need-based money that you receive will come from the school directly; there aren't any federal need-based grants (like pell grants in undergrad). And each school considers need-based aid differently... how much they award, whether they require parental information, etc.

#### ciestar

##### All grown up!
7+ Year Member
How are you defining '"need -based" grants'? In the Harvard example above the \$33,178 of "HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship" is what I would define as "need-based" grants. Which seems to exist in the hypothetical world Harvard is living in. And I thought it was not entirely uncommon for schools to give out both institutional need based loans and grants to students.

Could anyone clear up my confusion?
I believe they are talking about federal need based grants. All the scholorships/grants in med school are privately funded or funded through the school, which is why it is decided by the schools and not FAFSA.
Any need-based money that you receive will come from the school directly; there aren't any federal need-based grants (like pell grants in undergrad). And each school considers need-based aid differently... how much they award, whether they require parental information, etc.
Yes, federal. I referenced Pell (i also got a PA state grant in undergrad)

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

Any need-based money that you receive will come from the school directly; there aren't any federal need-based grants (like pell grants in undergrad). And each school considers need-based aid differently... how much they award, whether they require parental information, etc.

Thank you for clearing that up. That is what I thought. Only federal loans, but schools can give need based grants.

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

So to clarify my original question, I am asking about institutional aid coming directly from the school. While I am sure that every school has their own specific policies, I would assume there is at least some similarity. At least maybe among tiers of school. E.g. if Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford are going to compete for students and give out need-based aid, I can't imagine that the same person would get \$0 in grants from one school, \$30,000 in grants from another, and \$85,000 in grants from another. Or can anyone speak to experience of having received multiple acceptances and being offered wildly different amounts of grants for different schools?

I may just be venting frustration at a system that seemingly has no transparency. But I imagine someone somewhere knows some rules of thumbs like "If you're parents have an annual income over \$5,000,000, you won't receive any need-based grants" or "If you're parents have have an annual income below \$24,250, you can reasonably expect that some schools may give you at least \$3 and 25 cents in need-based grants."

Is it really just a total crap shoot?

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

There are always other financial aid opportunities. Opinions on the programs vary from person to person, but its always good to know your options.

You can always look into grants or scholarships that have specific commitments. Some schools offer generous amounts of financial aid for students willing to commit to a certain specialty (like primary care), certain areas (usually underserved), military (HPSP), and other organizations like the VA or public service all have some type of scholarship that can pay upwards of half or full COA. The ones that do full COA usually have commitments ranging from 4-8 years.

as most stated, you can expect to qualify for loans and thats about it. Most schools care about average graduating debt though and do everything they can to lower it. You can always look at this number by school.

Can you elaborate more on what you mean by "do everything they can to lower it"?

#### 82Scout

Can you elaborate more on what you mean by "do everything they can to lower it"?
as in most schools try to actively lower the average graduating debt from their schools as this is a factor in some things. Meaning in some way shape or form, they actively provide funding to lower your COA per year. Some schools reduce tuition costs, some give everyone a piece of a large endowment, some supplement supplies/resources, some schools don't even require you fill out anything other than a FAFSA and they automatically consider everyone for XYZ school based scholarship. It's really hard to generalize these questions across the board since financial aid is handled at the school level and can vary greatly between institutions.

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

as in most schools try to actively lower the average graduating debt from their schools as this is a factor in some things. Meaning in some way shape or form, they actively provide funding to lower your COA per year. Some schools reduce tuition costs, some give everyone a piece of a large endowment, some supplement supplies/resources, some schools don't even require you fill out anything other than a FAFSA and they automatically consider everyone for XYZ school based scholarship. It's really hard to generalize these questions across the board since financial aid is handled at the school level and can vary greatly between institutions.

Thank you very much for taking time to reply! I really appreciate it. I definitely understand that it is hard to generalize. Especially, because people don't seem super open about finances in general. It's hard enough to data mine and have an interview invite tracker, but I am somewhat surprised something similar seeming doesn't exist for financial aid. Yes there are a lot of schools and a lot of variables. But the engineer in me really wants some generalization and rules of thumb.

#### ofmiceandwomen

2+ Year Member
So to clarify my original question, I am asking about institutional aid coming directly from the school. While I am sure that every school has their own specific policies, I would assume there is at least some similarity. At least maybe among tiers of school. E.g. if Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford are going to compete for students and give out need-based aid, I can't imagine that the same person would get \$0 in grants from one school, \$30,000 in grants from another, and \$85,000 in grants from another. Or can anyone speak to experience of having received multiple acceptances and being offered wildly different amounts of grants for different schools?

I may just be venting frustration at a system that seemingly has no transparency. But I imagine someone somewhere knows some rules of thumbs like "If you're parents have an annual income over \$5,000,000, you won't receive any need-based grants" or "If you're parents have have an annual income below \$24,250, you can reasonably expect that some schools may give you at least \$3 and 25 cents in need-based grants."

Is it really just a total crap shoot?

I understand what you mean. I'm in my gap year and not currently applying, but I received substantial institutional aid for college, and COA calculators were a great tool back then. It's frustrating that med schools don't have similar transparency, but I think that's due to the fact that by and large, most medical schools do not offer need-based institutional aid (not loans).

A good rule of thumb is that only the top ~15 medical schools offer any kind of need-based aid that are not loans. So you should only be thinking about need-based (not loans) financial aid if you're T15 caliber, *and* you come from a low-income family.

I'm assuming that for these med schools, financial aid policies are somewhat similar to fin aid policies for top undergrads. If your family (yours + parents) income are below a certain threshold, you only have to pay a certain portion of COA (which is known as EFC, expected family contribution), and everything else is covered by institutional grants that are NOT loans. You may take out loans to pay your EFC if necessary.

However, the way that schools calculate EFC varies from school to school, and I guess that's where the lack of transparency is. The only way that I've been able to find any kind of info is to specifically ask current students at various T15 med schools what financial aid they get. Of course, NYU and Cornell have made more apparent policies.

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#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

I understand what you mean. I'm in my gap year and not currently applying, but I received substantial institutional aid for college, and COA calculators were a great tool back then. It's frustrating that med schools don't have similar transparency, but I think that's due to the fact that by and large, most medical schools do not offer need-based institutional aid (not loans).

A good rule of thumb is that only the top ~15 medical schools offer any kind of need-based aid that are not loans. So you should only be thinking about need-based (not loans) financial aid if you're T15 caliber, *and* you come from a low-income family.

I'm assuming that for these med schools, financial aid policies are somewhat similar to fin aid policies for top undergrads. If your family (yours + parents) income are below a certain threshold, you only have to pay a certain portion of COA (which is known as EFC, expected family contribution), and everything else is covered by institutional grants that are NOT loans. You may take out loans to pay your EFC if necessary.

However, the way that schools calculate EFC varies from school to school, and I guess that's where the lack of transparency is. The only way that I've been able to find any kind of info is to specifically ask current students at various T15 med schools what financial aid they get. Of course, NYU and Cornell have made more apparent policies.

That is an awesome rule of thumb about only the top ~15 schools giving aid that is not loans. I had no idea that this was the case. Thank you!

#### AW0320

That is an awesome rule of thumb about only the top ~15 schools giving aid that is not loans. I had no idea that this was the case. Thank you!
Not sure that's true. There are definitely many schools that don't offer need-based aid, but some of the school I've been accepted to do. All of those are outside T15. I have no clue what that need-based aid looks like... could be 5k or 50k, who knows? But there's something available.

#### Med Ed

5+ Year Member
A good rule of thumb is that only the top ~15 medical schools offer any kind of need-based aid that are not loans.

This is patently untrue, and therefore a terrible rule of thumb.

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#### gonnif

##### Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Is it really just a total crap shoot?

Almost is.
Every financial aid/scholarship committee is different
A desire for a specific candidate at any particular school is different
The belief that schools will go particularly far out of their way to compete except for all but the outstanding superstars is mostly myth
Many schools financial aid offers may be supplemented with school specific scholarships that may not be assigned or awarded until CTE

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#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

This is patently untrue, and therefore a terrible rule of thumb.
Thanks for your insight! Could you say anymore about that. Like is it actually common for most schools to give some level of need-based grants?

#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

Almost is.
Every financial aid/scholarship committee is different
A desire for a specific candidate at any particular school is different
The belief that schools will go particularly far out of their way to compete except for all but the outstanding superstars is mostly myth
Many schools financial aid offers may be supplemented with school specific scholarships that may not be assigned or awarded until CTE
Thanks for taking the time to reply! Could you clarify your third line? Are you saying that it is a myth that schools compete for only outstanding superstars? i.e. schools give need-based aid to compete for students who are not outstanding superstars

I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with what CTE means.

#### jessicajonesharvard

I think generally top schools have much more money. I go to UCSF and came from a low income family (under 50k income). I received need-based full tuition scholarship plus significant amount of stipend. UCSD and LA offered me full tuition. Usnews Top 30-50 private schools offered me ~70% tuition.

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#### hopefulFutureDoctor2020

I think generally top schools have much more money. I go to UCSF and came from a low income family (under 50k income). I received need-based full tuition scholarship plus significant amount of stipend. UCSD and LA offered me full tuition. Usnews Top 30-50 private schools offered me ~70% tuition.

Thank you so much for being willing to share. That is incredibly helpful information. Congrats on your success by the way!!!

So would you say broadly speaking that the financial aid you received was pretty consistent, with the caveat that top schools with lots of money were more generous? Were there any schools that offered significantly different aid? e.g. some school that gave no aid? Or was it pretty consistent exactly as you said: top 10 schools gave full tuition+ and top 30-50 schools gave 70%?

Just an observation, but that consistency seems to me like it should be able to lead to some sort of rules of thumbs.

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#### jessicajonesharvard

Very consistent in my case.

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#### deleted972488

Several schools where I interviewed said “talk to us if our financial aid package is significantly worse than other schools” during the financial aid presentations, so keep that in mind.

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#### Dbric36

Any idea how much parental income would be to high for aid?

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#### Med Ed

5+ Year Member
Thanks for your insight! Could you say anymore about that. Like is it actually common for most schools to give some level of need-based grants?

Every medical school has pools of money for scholarships (they are not called grants, although functionally they are very similar). Some are used for recruitment of high value applicants, typically near the time of acceptance. Some are given based on merit, others based on estimated need. The sources of this money vary, sometimes it's a portion of tuition revenue, sometimes it's philanthropy, sometimes it's from an endowment or alumni contributions. Sometimes philanthropic scholarships have stipulations. Oftentimes donors will give money some years but not others.

Historically there has been little impetus to give a lot of scholarship awards to medical students. It didn't seem necessary in a profession where high paying jobs are the norm. Lately that has changed, but it doesn't mean that only highly ranked schools have stockpiled scholarship funds. Some brand new schools like Hofstra, for instance, offered significant scholarship support to their first several classes.

One could also make a counterargument that highly ranked medical schools are the last ones that need to dole out scholarship money. Would you pay sticker price to attend Harvard Med? I would. What good is being a top school if you have to pay students to attend?

Put all of this together and we have the situation as it stands. Only about 80,000 students are enrolled in MD schools, a tiny fraction of the overall higher education picture. The availability of scholarship money varies widely from one institution to the next, and can fluctuate significantly in the same institution from year to year. Schools also have very different priorities in terms of the people they are trying to attract, and add the capricious nature of scholarship award committees. There is no transparency because there is nothing recognizable to be seen.

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#### deleted972488

What if a low income 35 yo (with wealthy parents) has filed taxes independently? Will their parental income really still be considered for need-based? Couldn’t that student just withhold the parental information from the school?
It depends on the school, but most schools will require parental information regardless of circumstance.

I know, for instance, that WashU, Stanford, and Northwestern have policies that consider people in these types of situations financially independent and will offer aid accordingly.

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#### KnightDoc

What if a low income 35 yo (with wealthy parents) has filed taxes independently? Will their parental income really still be considered for need-based? Couldn’t that student just withhold the parental information from the school?
Yes, you could always withhold information. If they require it and you don't (or can't) provide it, you won't be considered. You have no obligation to provide anything, and neither do the schools.

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#### hellanutella

##### Only 100 cal/tbsp!
7+ Year Member
So to clarify my original question, I am asking about institutional aid coming directly from the school. While I am sure that every school has their own specific policies, I would assume there is at least some similarity. At least maybe among tiers of school. E.g. if Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford are going to compete for students and give out need-based aid, I can't imagine that the same person would get \$0 in grants from one school, \$30,000 in grants from another, and \$85,000 in grants from another. Or can anyone speak to experience of having received multiple acceptances and being offered wildly different amounts of grants for different schools?

I may just be venting frustration at a system that seemingly has no transparency. But I imagine someone somewhere knows some rules of thumbs like "If you're parents have an annual income over \$5,000,000, you won't receive any need-based grants" or "If you're parents have have an annual income below \$24,250, you can reasonably expect that some schools may give you at least \$3 and 25 cents in need-based grants."

Is it really just a total crap shoot?

As stated before in this thread, every school has its own calculations, aid policies, and pools it can draw funds from. Back in ye olde 2015, I was very surprised by the whole process and I think it runs similarly to this day.

In my experience, I reicieved need based aid ranging from full-tuition (50K/yr in grants) to 80K/yr in str8 up loans. Even between my state schools, UCSF gave me about 35k/yr in need-based scholarship whilst UCSD gave 15k. My personal and family contributions also differed wildly between program, so I was glad I held on to some of my acceptances in order to compare packages.

Unique situation, however, as I made a comfortable salary in my gap year job and had put away all of that money. Some schools expected me to put forward anywhere between 2-10k of my savings as an MS1 contribution whilst others asked for the entirety of my savings to be allocated during MS1. My family was hit hard by the recession and had no savings, but started making middle/upper middle class income near the end of college, so their EFC ranged between \$200 to ~10k. There's so many factors at play – siblings in college, net assets, net savings, healthcare costs, other dependents, etc. Aid policies even differ year by year, so I'd say the only rule of thumb is that... there is no rule.

I also talked with the aid offices when I went to second looks in order to get a forecast on how my package would change over MS1-4, which was very helpful (and would recommend if your school is receptive).

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#### gonnif

##### Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
To add just a little to @Med Ed great comments on scholarships,
What if a low income 35 yo (with wealthy parents) has filed taxes independently? Will their parental income really still be considered for need-based? Couldn’t that student just withhold the parental information from the school?
and the school will then not consider your for institutional need-based money.

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#### StarSpangled

2+ Year Member
Can anyone comment on how spousal income and having children impacts expected aid? I’m not expecting any scholarships but am concerned my spouse will be expected to cover my tuition/ our whole cost of living vs. my qualifying for loans.

#### ciestar

##### All grown up!
7+ Year Member
Can anyone comment on how spousal income and having children impacts expected aid? I’m not expecting any scholarships but am concerned my spouse will be expected to cover my tuition/ our whole cost of living vs. my qualifying for loans.
You’ll qualify for loans, every last penny of COA.
My husband’s income effected my EFC.

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##### Membership Revoked
Removed
5+ Year Member
To add just a little to @Med Ed great comments on scholarships,

and the school will then not consider your for institutional need-based money.

is this a hard and fast rule? or rule or thumb? assuming they don't ask for it i guess..

#### ciestar

##### All grown up!
7+ Year Member
is this a hard and fast rule? or rule or thumb? assuming they don't ask for it i guess..
For a lot it is a hard and fast rule.

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#### deleted972488

is this a hard and fast rule? or rule or thumb? assuming they don't ask for it i guess..
Almost all schools will require parental information from all applicants requesting need-based aid, but not all. See the examples I gave above. For example, if you are over 30 you do not need to provide parental information to Stanford and you will still be considered for need-based aid. But this is one exception; most schools require this information. I suggest you look into each individual school’s policy.

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#### KnightDoc

is this a hard and fast rule? or rule or thumb? assuming they don't ask for it i guess..
Bottom line -- it totally sucks to have been out on your own for a number of years and now find yourself in this position, but consider the equities. Why should a 35 year old not be expected to look to parents, but a 29 year old is? Or a 25 year old? Or a 22 year old? As has been said before, a few schools have set an arbitrary cut-off, typically 30 years old, but most have not.

At the end of the day, medical school is very expensive training, with a relatively high expected income on the other side, so it's not crazy to ask people like you (which, at the end of the day, turns out to be most of us) to borrow the COA. It would be great if all schools adopted the NYU model, and maybe someday they will, but we are not there yet.

The reason you find yourself in this position is because of the dilemma the schools would face in asking someone else's wealthy parents to make contributions to subsidize your education, because your wealthy parents don't want to (or you don't want to ask them to). It is a far easier sell for schools to ask donors to subsidize those who do not have wealthy parents. To the extent schools want to give students like you a subsidy, there is another pot of money -- it's called merit scholarships, and lots of schools use them to varying degrees.

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