Fin aid at your schoool

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by femdoc, Oct 19, 2002.

  1. femdoc

    femdoc Senior Member

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    To all of you med students--

    Just how healthy (or skimpy) are your financial aid packages? How much do you have for living expenses, and if it's not enough, how do you get by?
     
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  3. femdoc

    femdoc Senior Member

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    ok, so it sounds like you are basically able to just afford your rent, car, and food! Anyone else care to share? Would $10K/year seem about right?
     
  4. mws99

    mws99 Senior Member

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    I've been wondering a lot about this too, I hope many more people post. I have been thinking about what I would do if my choices end up being a much cheaper state school vs a much more expensive and higher ranked private school.
     
  5. ckent

    ckent Banned
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    I think that most schools provide more then enough financial aid to cover all of the essentials if you max out on the amount that they will let you borrow. The real issue is just figuring out exactly how much you need to spend within a year and borrowing just that amount. I could have borrowed ~10,000 more dollars in stafford loans, but I thought that I could make do with less so I borrowed less, but now I am running short on cash too.
     
  6. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    I really wouldn't worry about financial aid. As CKent has said, most schools really do offer enough financial aid to get you through the school year. I go to my state school and they offered me the max in Stafford loans even though my Expected Family Contribution was higher than my state school's tuition (and no, I am not rich).

    The real problem lies in how much of it should you take out. I took out the whole thing, and I really didn't want to, but I was afraid not to, especially considering this was my first year. Next year, I am definitely going to try to take less out since I want to be under 100,000 in loans when I get out. Ouch, this reminds me that I am going to have to pay back all of this money :eek: :( :eek: .
     
  7. paean

    paean Senior Member

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    You will have enough to live modestly at most schools if you don't have kids, and are either single with roommates(s) or have a partner with an income of some sort. The key thing is that it is very difficult to support more than yourself on the studnt budget, but if you are willing to live like a student (share an apartment, make most your food, don't have a car/have a paid off cheap to insure car) you'll have some money to go to the occasionaly movie and be able to afford your textbooks. You won't have a lot of free time, so the lack of spending money is okay, but sometimes having to make lunch because you can't afford to buy it on a regular basis is occasionally frustrating.

    If you take out less than the max offered loans, you can go back to your financial aid office partway through the year and ask for the rest if you need it.

    UCSF's standard package is about 16K for 10 months for living expenses. Unfortuately San Francisco is not cheap, and I need all of it just to pay my non-optional expenses.
     
  8. hotbovie

    hotbovie Member

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    My schools financial aid has been the bane of my existence since I started here. I go to a state school. As a 4th year student, and now that I've done a rotation at a nearby much more "highly rated" school, I can say that I'm not sure that the private school would have been worth the money. During the first two years, comparing notes with folks I know there made me mad..their preclinical education was much better, I thought. But where I am now the clinical years are stronger, and that's what really matters.

    At any rate, my schools finiancial aid office issues a standard package of expenses, period. There is no allocation for differing needs of students. I am a non-traditional student who has carried expenses that the average 22 year old doesn't have. The financial aid office doesn't care...I get only the standard budget designed for a 22 year old. I had some savings prior to starting school (now nearly gone). I got a (very) part time job which gives me an extra couple hundred bucks a month. I also worked briefly a part time job which paid better, but the hours were too difficult to keep up. I lasted about 4 months of my 2nd year in that. The summer between my 1st and 2nd year, I also worked. (kept the part time job going, too).

    The most annoying thing that happened finiancial aid wise was that during my 3rd year, I was awarded a small scholarship. The funds for that came after the tutition had been paid and I had picked up the balance of my loan check. However, since the scholarship award put me "over budget", I was not given the check. Instead, the check was sent to the student loan people. You see, the finiancial aid office holds very strictly to their formula without any consideration for indivdual variation in needs. When you go to talk to someone about it, they just lecture you on the need to keep your debt as low as possible. In addition, the office is inefficent and not particularly helpful in guiding students throught the applciation process. All students this year should have been able to get some extra funds due to a tutition hike, an I had to go to the office 3 times before I finally acually got the check, each time was told there was something else I needed to do that I was not told about previously. I had to physically go because when I tried to handle the matter by telephone, no one seemed to even know what I was talking about.

    Now I'm really starting to feel a pinch. For some bizzare reason, we are not allotted funds to apply to residency programs. Nor are we alloted any travel funds for interviews. Furthermore, we aren't allowed to take any financial aid to go to visiting electives. If you are fortunate enough to be accepted to more than one school, I would definitely ask the finiacial aid offices about what funds are alotted for those things.

    How I've managed is by trying to cut expenses, working the part time job. And thought I firmly believe that, as I am an autonomous adult and my retired parents should not be expected to contribute one red cent to my medical education, I am fortunate in that they are pretty comfortable in their retirement and willing and able to help me out.
     
  9. daisygirl

    daisygirl woof

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    Ouch, that is a very expensive state school :eek:. If you are very happy there, then it will all be worthwhile in the end (well, that is what I tell myself anyway) :) .
     
  10. MD2b06

    MD2b06 Senior Member

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    Trust me, money will not be a problem. If you get in, the financial aid office will find a way to get you the money to pay for not only tuition, but also living expenses. The one thing I'd suggest you do right now is to start looking around for scholarships. That's what I did and I was lucky to get 40K from a hospital where I used to volunteer. Not bad for only 50 hrs worth of work! :D
     
  11. femdoc

    femdoc Senior Member

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  12. USeF

    USeF sunny L.A.

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    my only acceptance was off a waitlist this summer at my first choice school. It was late in the season and so I assumed I'd be paying the full amount. My EFC was 0, yet my parents combine $100K+ salary.
    My package still included $11,000/yr scholarship!

    so yes, some of the 'healthier' private schools will throw out some money.
     

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