Camacho Mt. Dew

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Hello all -

I'm currently a pre-med with hopes of matriculating into medical school next fall and was hoping for some advice or possible answers to my concerns. When and if I start school in the fall of 2016 I will be moving with my son and my wife. One of my main concerns is not having enough funds to cover our expenses. Currently I feel that we should be OK, but if I were to need additional assistance I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with cost of attendance adjustments and what that process entails. Ideally I would like for my wife to stay home with our son. Any advice or information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
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Don't scholarships count towards cost of attendance? I.e. that wouldn't increase my budget would it?
 

DocVapor

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Hello all -

I'm currently a pre-med with hopes of matriculating into medical school next fall and was hoping for some advice or possible answers to my concerns. When and if I start school in the fall of 2016 I will be moving with my son and my wife. One of my main concerns is not having enough funds to cover our expenses. Currently I feel that we should be OK, but if I were to need additional assistance I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with cost of attendance adjustments and what that process entails. Ideally I would like for my wife to stay home with our son. Any advice or information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
My school will give cost of attendance adjustments for people with kids. I haven't gone through the process, but it's probably different at each school anyway.

I know the plan is for your wife to stay home, but a dollar saved now turns into many dollars saved later. Look into the cost of daycares in the area and see if her staying home is doable (not just financially too).
 

sazerac

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You should try the Non-Trad forum, under Pre-Med. This topic gets covered a lot.

If your wife wants to be around your son, and you need extra income, consider running a daycare / babysitting service.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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Hello all -

I'm currently a pre-med with hopes of matriculating into medical school next fall and was hoping for some advice or possible answers to my concerns. When and if I start school in the fall of 2016 I will be moving with my son and my wife. One of my main concerns is not having enough funds to cover our expenses. Currently I feel that we should be OK, but if I were to need additional assistance I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with cost of attendance adjustments and what that process entails. Ideally I would like for my wife to stay home with our son. Any advice or information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Schools do not really adjust for families, they give their COAs for single students, so you need money saved up before you come to school. I have known students with families that have went to public assistance in order to survive, its not a good situation.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
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Schools do not really adjust for families, they give their COAs for single students, so you need money saved up before you come to school. I have known students with families that have went to public assistance in order to survive, its not a good situation.
Well I believe I read that COA can be increased for child care, which is what I was interested in and how that process works. I know things will be tight, but we also don't plan on going out every weekend.
 

Spindrift11B4

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I have 3 kids and my wife stays at home. However, she also does some work from home so that helps a bit. My school does not adjust for families but we still have plenty. I do agree that medicaid and food stamps are unfortunately a necessity for now, I don't know of any student families at my school that differ in that regard.

In short, loan money + medicaid + food stamps reaches a lot farther than you might think. It sucks that you have to borrow the full amount for sure, in my case it has helped that my wife can do some work at home and we haven't had any financial issues.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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I have 3 kids and my wife stays at home. However, she also does some work from home so that helps a bit. My school does not adjust for families but we still have plenty. I do agree that medicaid and food stamps are unfortunately a necessity for now, I don't know of any student families at my school that differ in that regard.

In short, loan money + medicaid + food stamps reaches a lot farther than you might think. It sucks that you have to borrow the full amount for sure, in my case it has helped that my wife can do some work at home and we haven't had any financial issues.
How difficult is it start on those programs (food stamps, medicaid)? Is it something that we would have within a month of moving? We both plan on working and saving as much as possible before school would start as well.
 

JustPlainBill

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I had young kids while going through medical school -- my wife and kids lived in another city near both sets of grandparents and I had a bachelor's pad near the school; We owned our home so I had both a mortgage payment and an apartment payment along with everything that comes with that -- we had some help from family on occasion with electric/water and the kids health insurance; my wife worked part time but wasn't rolling in the dough -- she basically worked to keep her skills up and make her car payment -- the rest was on me; it would have actually been easier for all of us to move to the city the school was in and then she could have stayed home with the kiddos but the schools were questionable and we had been in that city for going on 15 years; I took out max loans each time, took out loans from the state medical association a few times; we didn't live high on the hog, my kids wore hand-me-downs, I drove a beater that was given to me but had a good engine and was reliable -- although when the A/C broke in the middle of summer I suffered; we looked for "kids eat free" nights so we could enjoy going out every now and then, split fajitas quite a bit, my wife and I went without Christmas gifts for each other but the kids were well taken care of -- we, as parents, wanted to be sure there was very little impact on their lives -- my wife is a very strong, beautiful woman who stood by me and made it work --- it sucked being away from them and missing the growing up part but we made our time count --- I'd whole lot rather have the homemade Chipotle nights or homemade pizza nights and watch a good Disney movie like National Treasure with my kids than spend $300 on a steak dinner and then head to a theater -- but that's me; I can tell you my children are teenagers now and speak fondly when we remember homemade nights -- still do it on occasion;

You can do this, just budget well and be creative.
 
Aug 11, 2012
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My wife and I have 1.8 kids and I'm in my third year of school and we've been able to survive with loan money + "public assistance". Its embarrassing to talk about, and I still even go through the self check out at the grocery store. But think about it, you are going to be working so hard in medical school, its hard enough not starving to death. And besides that, once you are out making real money you'll be paying a ton of taxes anyway. Just make sure you have enough money saved up to move, then apply before you get your loan dispersement. And besides, where do you think your student loan money is coming from? The government, same thing as food stamps.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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My wife and I have 1.8 kids and I'm in my third year of school and we've been able to survive with loan money + "public assistance". Its embarrassing to talk about, and I still even go through the self check out at the grocery store. But think about it, you are going to be working so hard in medical school, its hard enough not starving to death. And besides that, once you are out making real money you'll be paying a ton of taxes anyway. Just make sure you have enough money saved up to move, then apply before you get your loan dispersement. And besides, where do you think your student loan money is coming from? The government, same thing as food stamps.
When you say public assistance do they also have resources for renting, utilities, etc.? I don't mind living somewhere with not the best school districts as my boy won't start school until I'm done lol, but I would still like to live in a "safe" location.


And thanks everyone fot the advice! You are all very encouraging!
 
Oct 27, 2013
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Well I believe I read that COA can be increased for child care, which is what I was interested in and how that process works. I know things will be tight, but we also don't plan on going out every weekend.
I hope you pick a school in a low cost of living region of the country, that could help you out a lot, going to a school in California or New York would be very tough with a family.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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I hope you pick a school in a low cost of living region of the country, that could help you out a lot, going to a school in California or New York would be very tough with a family.
Definitely. I didn't apply anywhere in California, New York, or other costly locations specifically for that reason. Luckily the interviews I have are for schools with pretty decent cost of living that I believe I could afford.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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Just wanted to give an update for those in a similar position as mine. I did end up calling the school's I had interviews with and will have interviews and spoke with their financial aid offices regarding cost of attendance. All of them had the same response: an increase in cost of attendance for child care, which only one school had a limit as to how much they would increase. I think at this time we may plan on enrolling him into a daycare if needed and have her just work a few hours a week, which may help with extra costs. I guess I'm just really nervous about leaving my boy with people I won't really know. But on the plus side you can choose whichever daycare, including private ones.
 

BorntobeDO?

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Just wanted to give an update for those in a similar position as mine. I did end up calling the school's I had interviews with and will have interviews and spoke with their financial aid offices regarding cost of attendance. All of them had the same response: an increase in cost of attendance for child care, which only one school had a limit as to how much they would increase. I think at this time we may plan on enrolling him into a daycare if needed and have her just work a few hours a week, which may help with extra costs. I guess I'm just really nervous about leaving my boy with people I won't really know. But on the plus side you can choose whichever daycare, including private ones.
Make sure where your going even has daycare options that can work. I thought it was great that there was a daycare by my house, but then I got here and it is only open 8-3 M-F. Well that might as well not even be there. Those hours are not compatible with any job my wife could get. Not that anyone can get a job in Harrogate anyhow outside of the school...
 
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sazerac

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Make sure where your going even has daycare options that can work. I thought it was great that there was a daycare by my house, but then I got here and it is only open 8-3 M-F. Well that might as well not even be there. Those hours are not compatible with any job my wife could get. Not that anyone can get a job in Harrogate anyhow outside of the school...
Clearly a business opportunity to open a daycare and watch your kids for free and other kids for profit.
 

Spindrift11B4

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How difficult is it start on those programs (food stamps, medicaid)? Is it something that we would have within a month of moving? We both plan on working and saving as much as possible before school would start as well.
Getting started on those programs can be quite the pain in the rear, but it does vary by state, some aren't so bad from what I understand. You can save a lot of time and pain by researching the process and doing as much as you can online or via phone. My wife was able to get that process done in one morning over the phone (plus a lot of online work) instead of spread out over 3 days like some of her friends who didn't have things put together and had made the mistake of going into the unbelievably inefficient state offices that process these things. There are definitely a lot of documents and proofs that you need to have ready but each state is different, most require some form of proof of residence in the state so you can't really get the process started until you have a rental/utility bill or whatever.

My advice is to start figuring out the requirements and process when you know where you will be attending school. As soon as you have proof of a physical address in the state, get started on the application process and you will be good to go for the next full month after you move. The month you actually apply, you likely won't be able to receive assistance because of the way they process things. But again, it varies by state.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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Thanks again folks for the advice! So far the day cares I've contacted have availability from 8-5, some 8-6. I actually have made arrangements in the areas I will be interviewing at in the future, so that I can meet with them and get on waitlists.

We won't have really any bills, so at most she would not even need many hours, which I would imagine $400 monthly income would not disqualify her for assistance (at least I would hope not). We will have some savings luckily, so going a month or so without assistance should not be an issue.
 

WusUpDoc

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Student Loans do not usually count as income for assistance. PM me if you have questions, my wife deals with all this for us and would be happy to answer any questions.
 
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Henry101

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Jul 15, 2014
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I'm just a poor, single 20 year old, so I can't comment too much on the financial advice here.
But, I remember watching this video by StudentDoctorThomspon a while ago and thought it might be helpful to you too in this situation


Praying for you and your family!
 

abolt18

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Medical school with a family is very doable. Medicaid + foodstamps + living on a tight budget is the way to do it. Research and plan for potential expenses when you plan your budget (like board exams costing $600 each during 2nd year or moving at the end of 2nd year is your school does that like mine). You can do it!
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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Thanks again guys for the info and advice! I appreciate it! I've been searching living expenses and housing around the schools I've interviewed at and am trying my best to stay on top of everything so I'm not frantically searching at the last minute. I really appreciate all the help!
 

W19

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You will be matriculating next fall so you got plenty of time to figure things out... It's good that you are staying on top of things... FWIW, my school gives an extra 8k-10k/year to students who have a family. It will be hard if you are attending school in the west coast or the north east... You should be fine however in the south or the midwest. 25k+/year + $300-500/month in food stamps and medicaid should do it.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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You will be matriculating next fall so you got plenty of time to figure things out... It's good that you are staying on top of things... FWIW, my school gives an extra 8k-10k/year to students who have a family. It will be hard if you are attending school in the west coast or the north east... You should be fine however in the south or the midwest. 25k+/year + $300-500/month in food stamps and medicaid should do it.
Do you mind sharing your school, so I could inquire more if it's on my interview list? So far I've only been offered an increase for child care at the other schools. Thank you!
 

Captain DO

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It may be hard financially while in school, but you can do it!! Goodluck my friend. Be sure to take time to enjoy your family as you go forward. :)

I definitely support DO's reproducing.
I would encourage every DO, DO in training, and future DO to get busy and create an army of greatness.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

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May 29, 2015
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Just a follow up question regarding my above post. How are years 3 and 4 in school with a family? What should I expect and how can I prepare for those years with traveling? What kind of costs should I anticipate if I wanted to keep my family in one location for the whole 4 years and just have myself travel? From my research it seems the lower cost of living is mostly associated with school's that have clinicals where you travel vs places that are a little more expensive where I may be able to stay in one location (or at least a close distance).

Thanks again guys!
 

andrek82

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I'm from an MD school, so I know that my point of view is a little different, but 3rd and 4th years can be a bit difficult (I have 2 and 5 year olds). I was in a grogram that involved rural rotations, but I was able to arrange it so my sites for the last 9 months are close enough for a reasonable commute (<1 hour except during the winter). There is a cost to all this in time and in money, and I would certainly take that all into consideration. My wife stayed home and does some work from home, but as others have pointed out above, the money is never enough, and public assistance remains a necessity. We use Medicaid and SNAP. Overall, though, I would say that the issues with 3rd and 4th years versus 1st and 2nd are different, not worse. I was home more in the preclinical years, but I also studied more. The nice thing about rotations (and from what I know this holds true for allo and osteo) is that they are short in duration. Most are 4, 5, or 6 weeks, and the longer rotations are still split between clinic and inpatient. This means that the harder ones with longer hours don't last forever, and you can point the family toward the golden weekend between rotations when you get to do all of the fun things you were too busy for before. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it till you get here. Once you've made your call on what school you are attending based on costs and distance to rotations, that is really all there is to do - use your time on the classes you are in so that you put your best foot forward and still can hang with the family a little.
 
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Goro

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Pool resources with other med students who also have families.


Hello all -

I'm currently a pre-med with hopes of matriculating into medical school next fall and was hoping for some advice or possible answers to my concerns. When and if I start school in the fall of 2016 I will be moving with my son and my wife. One of my main concerns is not having enough funds to cover our expenses. Currently I feel that we should be OK, but if I were to need additional assistance I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with cost of attendance adjustments and what that process entails. Ideally I would like for my wife to stay home with our son. Any advice or information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 
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WusUpDoc

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Sep 13, 2011
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For us, 3rd and 4th year have been way better than 1st and 2nd. BUT, 3rd year I was lucky and got year a long rotation that allowed me to stay where we were and I chose not to do audition rotations during 4th year, so I haven't really been away. It just depends on what your school offers and your preferences. With all the uncertainties that lay ahead it's almost impossible to plan things like this out in advance. Basically, you commit and work it out as you go.
 
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Astharia

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This is why my husband went to school first and I waited. We had to use assistance while he was in school, it made a huge difference. Our state also has child care assistance programs through DHS that you could look into that pay for childcare. We didn't have to use it but I know a lot of people from high school that had to while they were working on their degrees as a single parent.