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Do schools do Financial Aid Bait-and-Switches

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Anonyme27516

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Hello everyone,

I am currently deciding between two medical schools, and it has come down to financials for me. Currently I am looking at two schools (A = Private school, B = State School). School A, he more expensive private school awarded me a $40,000 need-based grant for 1st year, and School B, the cheaper state school offered me a $10,000 / year scholarship guaranteed all 4 years. For the 1st year, the private school is cheaper for me, however I am afraid for years 2,3, and 4, my aid will be bait-and-switched, being much lower than the current $40,000 because they'll have me hooked. Also that need based aid was based on my brother still being in college, and he is graduating next year which might make it appear I need less aid.

Does anyone know if need based grants is typically constant all four years of medical school, or is there a chance my $40,000 grant could drop drastically and drive up how many loans I need to take out?
 
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FlavivirusProtease

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That isn't a bait and switch if they said they'd only give it to you on year 1. You need to get more information. Call the school's financial aid office and ask them.

1. Whether you're eligible for more than one year of the grant.
2. Whether you would need to reapply to be considered for the grant a second time.
3. What percentage of students receive the grant for second year and so on.

If they're sketchy about giving you all that information, I think its safe to assume they are only going to provide it on year one.
 
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Welshman

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Something I've heard of happening at law schools is giving scholarships out contingent on maintaining above a certain GPA and then grading the whole class on a curve thus ensuring only a certain percent of the class keeps it. Watch out for that too
 

wormboge

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Yes, I know for a fact that there is at least one private university in Boston that has a reputation for providing a great financial aid package to freshman (possibly to attract new students), and a terrible financial aid package in later years. This university's tuition was a little higher than Harvard's when I learned about this and saw all the relevant paperwork and the student was told that if they wanted to stay, they would have to take out private student loans, such as Sallie Mae Signature Loans through the financial aid department. Unlike federal student loans, private student loans, either sometimes or always, have limited forbearance and deferment time so that once it runs out, you cannot have any more forbearances or deferments unless you refinance, which requires a certain credit score. So if you have extended unemployment (due to disability* or due to anything else), your payments might not be postponed indefinitely. Many, if not most or all, private student loans also have no income based repayment plan, so unlike federal student loans, you cannot have a monthly payment of zero, if your income is zero. Both of these problems can run former students into a lot of trouble such as defaulted student loans and possibly wage garnishment upon returning to work. *If you are totally and permanently disabled, you can apply for a disability discharge, but based on my observation of other's circumstances, that is likely to take a little more than 3 years to complete due to a monitoring period. I believe that there is also a possibility of discharging both federal and private student loans in a bankruptcy, but you will probably need a bankruptcy attorney who is experienced in that, and you may need to pass the Brunner Test, suffer an adversarial proceeding, and then have a bankruptcy on your record which may adversely effect graduate school funding, employment opportunities, etc.

So going back to the original question, my advice is to check with juniors and seniors who have been on financial aid and ask them if they received less aid in later years or less desirable aid such as private loans instead of grants and need-based scholarships.
 

ciestar

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Taking away a need based anything when there is no longer need isn’t a bait and switch. Just treat that as a year by year thing while making your decision.
 

Anonyme27516

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Taking away a need based anything when there is no longer need isn’t a bait and switch. Just treat that as a year by year thing while making your decision.

I would say fake need: They judge "need" based on Parent's income/tax returns assuming that parents help. Even though I've filed my taxes the past 3 years as an independent, and even though I've made it clear my parents pay $0.00 towards my education and I payed for all my undergraduate expenses on my own, they still consider I have a high "expected family contribution" based on my parent's 6-figure salary which I will see none of. So despite my brother being in university or not, I personally will still have all expenses on my shoulders. My parents could get a 50% raise next year and still I, individually, would be in the same financial situation.
 
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