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Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by hbfreak, Apr 5, 2004.
I am just curious if any of you guys are filling out financial aid stuff. Thanks!
Something to consider:
You will almost all be eligible for $8,500 of zero interest loans each year. If you invest it VERY CONSERVATIVELY, over the ~8 years of the MSTP you'll make some coin and still be able to pay it back (think "free money"). Not that this is what the money is intended for, but still a possibility under the current rules.
BEWARE, however. If you spend the money, then you will have to pay it back with interest that starts accruing 6 months after you graduate. If you invest in risky stocks, you could loose it and still have to pay it back.
I know people who have done it all 3 ways (no loan, loan and invest, loan and spend).
Think long and hard before going into debt. Residency pays terribly.
This stuff is fuzzy to me so I apologize in advance if my question is stupid:
How does the finaid process work? Fill out FAFSA, turn it in, wait for the institution of your choice to send you a sheet with your options, then choose to take the "loan" option?
Since the MSTP is a tuition waiver with stipend, then how can you qualify for "aid"? What is that aid for?
forgive me for being skeptical, but is it really possible for mstp students to take out this $8500 stafford loan? if so, must there be some special documented need? i thought that the $8500 can't be used for expenses beyond tuition and room&board, which the stipend should cover.
"Institutions may only apply Title IV funds to tuition and fees, and contracted room and board. With
authorization from the student, funds may be applied to other institutional charges the student incurs at
his/her discretion, except, institutions may not apply Title IV funds to charges assessed in a prior award
year or period of enrollment."
Hmmm, I've been taking out Stafford loans believing that you could defer through residency. Is this not true?
BTW, at some MSTPs they won't let you take the Stafford loans. At Penn last year they told me sometime in the future they won't be allowing us to get these loans anymore. For now though, I'll take as much as I can get interest-free
You can defer through residency for I think two years. Go to your lender's website and download a deferment form...it specifies exactly what circumstances are necessary to defer repayment. I had to fill out one for each of the last two years while working for NIH, and both times I saw the option for medical residents.
In theory, you're right. The reality is, financial aid officers at medical schools (and undergraduate schools for that matter) are not a stringent about the rules as the government would like them to be. Lot's of students do this, (even fully funded MSTP students) because even the stipend is not always sufficient to cover all of your expenses. And let's face it--you're PI will probably not be happy if you're trying to divide your time between the lab and a part-time job at McDonald's!
My admittedly limited understanding is that one cannot defer loans under a hardship until you have kinda alot of 'em (I recall an $80k mark, but am not sure). That'd be tough to do as an MSTP (not to mention of questionable judgement - see earlier post).
Careful - residency STILL pays terribly.
There are several different types of deferment. There is the hardship deferment, which pretty much requires that you be jobless, but in the process of applying for a job. There is a deferment for post-graduate residency or internship (two year max). There are also the "in-school status" deferments. I think there are one or two more.