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Financial aid for those with families?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Nanook, Jan 31, 2001.

  1. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    Hey folks out there with families (ie, kids + non-working spouses):

    How difficult is it to obtain adequate financial aid to support one's family? I estimate that I will have to borrow at least an additional $5,000/year above what a single student would to account for additional rent (3 bedroom place), food, and other expenses.

    I never really thought it would be a problem, but now that I am filling out my financial aid stuff, I am noticing problems. For example, this statement is posted in bold letters on Midwestern's (CCOM/AZCOM) website:
    "Because the calculation of the expected family contribution takes into consideration the size of the family, the cost of attendance is not normally adjusted to support the
    children and cannot be adjusted to provide for the spouse."

    What gives? How does one support wife/children if you have to live on the same budget as a single student? And how does this vary from school to school?

     
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  3. doatc

    doatc Senior Member
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    At CCOM you can appeal for a budget increase for Daycare for children. I received one last year. All you need is documentation to prove the need. I would call the FA office and ask them for details.
     
  4. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    So, two questions, then.

    1) Do you actually have to prove that you use that money for daycare (ie, can your spouse stay home and use that money for food/rent), and
    2) How then, does one pay for food to feed the child, and rent to pay for their room (not to mention clothes, health insurance, toothpaste, an occasional toy, etc)?

    By the way, I have begun to contact the financial aid offices at the schools where I have been accepted. So, far, no helpful results.

    Thanks, tho.

     
  5. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)
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    I'm in a little bit different situation...

    My husband and I have no children so we wouldn't qualify for any type of "child support" (forgive me)

    The problem is that my husband has pretty much supported me while I've gone to school. I have worked as much as possible but <$5000 a year just doesn't cut it! He's currently active-duty military but it looks like he'll have to get out after September (his tour of duty will be ending) to follow me wherever I end up going to school. This is going to cause a HUGE financial crisis in our household. We've been living on military pay and benefits since we've been married and there is NO way for him to earn as much money (short of becoming a merchant marine) outside the Navy. When I read that I could borrow $38,500 a year I was ecstatic (that would cover our household bills plus school)....then I found out I could only get as much as the school would let me (that won't). Not to mention they are going to base my EFC on LAST year's income and not take into account the CURRENT circumstances.

    And who makes up these budgets anyway????

    One of the schools I interviewed at gave us a budgetary list that is what they base financial need on. It listed "transportation" at $825 a semester. Assuming a "semester" is 4 months, like usual, that only gives you $206.25 a month for a car (and what do you do during the other months???). Personally, I don't know very many people that can drive a "dependable" car for $206.25 a month. Once you figure in insurance, gas, and maintanance, it seems pretty damn ridiculous to me. Then you throw in a SECOND vehicle so your spouse can actually get to work too....

    "Housing" costs worked out to about $350 a month...once again, not taking into account electricity, water, trash, phone, and god forbid, INTERNET SERVICE [​IMG]!

    I guess if I was 18 again, still driving a clunker (that had no insurance), living with five roommates, and eating ramen-noodles, I could probably do it...but let's be real! I don't expect to drive a porsche while I'm in school, but I'd at least like to be able to keep my Beetle (that I bought for its good gas mileage, excellent insurance rates, and 10-year warranty...I thought I was thinking ahead at the time!)

    Any thoughts (besides selling everything I own)?
     
  6. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    I'm a little upset, too.

    At AZCOM they gave me the runaround that it was a "federal regulation" that they only budget for the student, but, mysteriously, at UW (an allopathic school) they were willing to base my budget on a family of 4. Hmmm. . . .

    Stupid statement #2: The schools seem to say that you can borrow money to pay for day care *if* your spouse works. Doesn't anybody realize that your spouse is the best possible daycare one could have? Why not just give us the money and let they stay home? We don't need that much, and the amount my wife could make would be close to what day care for 2 would cost! Talk about anti-family policies. Who made that rule? Bill Clinton?

    If *anybody* out there has any experience with dealing with this, please post. I know there are people out there with family/children.

    I have seen people on these boards state how the medical school system is designed to perpetuate the "passing on" of medicine from one rich family to the next. I did not believe it before. I am starting to.
     
  7. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Yes...I echo your frustration. I don't believe it is intentional; but the FA system is very very biased toward the circumstances encurred by the traditional 24 year old. You will also find that virtually all programs, outside of the Fed subsidized ones, will also require that you submit your PARENTS financial data...irregardless of how old you are, how long you've married or how many children you have of your own ----> they'll want Mom & Dad's money picture!!!!

    As one previous poster pointed out, how much you may receive is predicated upon your EFC, as determined by the Feds & your FAFSA; and (a huge factor) your schools "budget". Which is the total cost of attendence of said school: gas, insurance, car food, rent, blah, blah, blah. Those are set at what a reasonable traditional student requires.

    There is some minimal levity programed into the budgets (at least there is here) for people who have children that will need daycare. They way my classmates have dealt with it: 1)spouses daycare networking - a few PT or non-working ones rotate responsibility for babysitting/childcare amongst small groups of families; or 2) many have temporarily gone onto Fed asst (welfare).

    The system is biased against the non-trad. I doubt it is intentional. Taken in context, it has not been all that many years since non-trads have begun comprising a significant % of the student population, both Ugrad & professional...this is a pretty recent phenomenon. Plus, good old Uncle Sam is rather slow to adjust to changes...eventually, the aid program will have to learn to acomodate our special needs. We just have the luck and honor to be here during the "transition phase".

    Look on the bright side...it can be done. Too many, in similar and far worse cicumstances, have gone to professional school and made it through. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

    I wish you much luck and success!!
     
  8. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
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    Yes...I echo your frustration. I don't believe it is intentional; but the FA system is very very biased toward the circumstances encurred by the traditional 24 year old. You will also find that virtually all programs, outside of the Fed subsidized ones, will also require that you submit your PARENTS financial data...irregardless of how old you are, how long you've married or how many children you have of your own ----> they'll want Mom & Dad's money picture!!!!

    As one previous poster pointed out, how much you may receive is predicated upon your EFC, as determined by the Feds & your FAFSA; and (a huge factor) your schools "budget". Which is the total cost of attendence of said school: gas, insurance, car food, rent, blah, blah, blah. Those are set at what a reasonable traditional student requires.

    There is some minimal levity programed into the budgets (at least there is here) for people who have children that will need daycare. They way my classmates have dealt with it: 1)spouses daycare networking - a few PT or non-working ones rotate responsibility for babysitting/childcare amongst small groups of families; or 2) many have temporarily gone onto Fed asst (welfare).

    The system is biased against the non-trad. I doubt it is intentional. Taken in context, it has not been all that many years since non-trads have begun comprising a significant % of the student population, both Ugrad & professional...this is a pretty recent phenomenon. Plus, good old Uncle Sam is rather slow to adjust to changes...eventually, the aid program will have to learn to acomodate our special needs. We just have the luck and honor to be here during the "transition phase".

    Look on the bright side...it can be done. Too many, in similar and far worse cicumstances, have gone to professional school and made it through. If you want it bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

    I wish you much luck and success!!

    ------------------
    David W. Kelley, MS-2
    'Old Man Dave'
    KCOM, Class of '03

    Nothing Risked, Nothing Gained!!
     
  9. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    Does anyone have experience with private loan-finding services, such as "Kaploan" (run by Kaplan), or MedLoan (advertised by the AMA)?

    Perhaps they could help one find additional funds?

     
  10. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire
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    Unfortuately, those with families do suffer due to the current FA situation...especially those with spouses who don't work. I'm single and still ended up with a fair amount of credit card debt. The spouses of a couple of people I know turned their homes into day care centers so they could stay home with the kids and also earn an income. Others relied on family to help with the kids so mom/dad could work full time. A few people even had to be seperated from their familes because their spouse had a good job and they were dependent on the income...or the spouse had to stay behind so they could get help from family. Finally, I know a few people who actually worked during med school. This should only be viewed as a last resort but a few folks did it. One person was nurse and another was an EMT. They both limited their work time to only a few shifts per month and never worked during test blocks. Of course the other option is getting private loans from family or other outside sources. You'll be bombarded with offers from credit card companies, but be careful...you don't want to get in too deep. I would definately look into MedLoans (I think you can get as much as $35,000 total). Also, I got a very decent rate on a mastercard from AMSA (student section of the AMA) which is what I lived on during breaks. I decided I NEEDED my breaks, and would rather go farther into debt than work. Sorry, I wish I had better news. The only consolation is that it only lasts 4 yrs and I don't know anyone who didn't figure out some way to get through it. Good Luck!

    PS: Even though I'm single, I was interested in getting a little extra money (ok...I'm pretty spoiled). EVERY school (DO and MD) that I contacted stated that they were bound by federal law from loaning more money than that determined by their budget and that budget was for a single individual...didn't matter whether you were actually single or had a family. After responding to one woman that that policy seemed unfair, this very rude person stated, "it's not the job of the federal govt to put entire families through med school!" UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!!! Of course, I reminded her that we were talking about loans...not handouts!


    [This message has been edited by Neurogirl (edited 02-07-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Neurogirl (edited 02-07-2001).]
     
  11. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    Ha ! Your last comment made me smile, b/c the irony of the rude person's statement is that I, and many others like me (according to Dave above) will probably resort to Medicaid, WIC, and other forms of government help which ARE a free handout from the government!!

    At least if they loaned us the money, they would get it back with interest, but now we'll just be getting a handout.

    As much as I don't like "freeloading", I think old Uncle Sam will more than recoup his costs from me when I begin working in practice.

    I have about $15,000 in savings (which was noticeably higher before the stock market crunch in November-December). I also have about 30,000 in a retirement account if I need it. Don't get me wrong--I'm not rich, just frugal (I was a high school teacher). Hopefully that will be enough to get us through.

    I can't help but crack up, though, at the irony of the "it's not the job of the federal gov't" statement. What a maroon!
     
  12. SCHOOCH

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    Some of you people need to get out of the utopian umbrella you are living under. Specifically those too "prideful" to accept assistance from the government. News flash to those that think you do not pay for government welfare programs.
    Medicare A is financed through payroll deductions (your money)
    Medicaid is financed through joint and federal funds (and if you don't think that money comes from your pocket book check the Social Security Act for the details)
    Unless you went to a private school then your college educations were funded by Uncle Sam. No matter how much you paid in tuition, the government has subsidized a portion of your higher education.

    Welfare is coined Government Assistance for a reason, it is to assist those that can not for whatever reason. Many leech off the system and that is wrong. Welfare was conceived so that people that needed help to get on their own two feet would have the chance.

    Sorry but welfare is not a bad thing and one need not feel they are a charity case for having received it. As individuals embarking on careers in a service industry, where charity care will be rampant, some of us ned to evaluate how we feel about social justice.
     
  13. SCHOOCH

    SCHOOCH Member
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    Some of you people need to get out of the utopian umbrella you are living under. Specifically those too "prideful" to accept assistance from the government. News flash to those that think you do not pay for government welfare programs.
    Medicare A is financed through payroll deductions (your money)
    Medicaid is financed through joint and federal funds (and if you don't think that money comes from your pocket book check the Social Security Act for the details)
    Unless you went to a private school then your college educations were funded by Uncle Sam. No matter how much you paid in tuition, the government has subsidized a portion of your higher education.

    Welfare is coined Government Assistance for a reason, it is to assist those that can not for whatever reason. Many leech off the system and that is wrong. Welfare was conceived so that people that needed help to get on their own two feet would have the chance.

    Sorry but welfare is not a bad thing and one need not feel they are a charity case for having received it. As individuals embarking on careers in a service industry, where charity care will be rampant, some of us ned to evaluate how we feel about social justice.
     
  14. Cobragirl

    Cobragirl Hoohaa helper ;)
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    Schooch,
    I don't think that post was intended as a shot against welfare...I think it was meant as irony. Here we have a whole group of intelligent people with college degrees, who are trying to acheive a goal that will ultimately help many, many people, yet we can't seem to get help ourselves, other than the assistance that "should" be reserved for people in MUCH less fortunate pridictaments than just trying to get through MEDICAL SCHOOL (many on welfare haven't made it through HIGH SCHOOL).

    The point of the post is that...we want to BORROW money....not have it given to us ( unless it's a grant/ scholarship!) . I'm sure the poster doesn't feel like he/she "deserves" welfare, because in reality, most of us are capable of going out and getting a job (if we weren't going to med-school) making 3 or 4+ times what a typical welfare recipient can earn. Personally, I would feel horrible about being on welfare, not because of some sort of stigma, but because I know I have the means NOT to be on it (IF I wasn't in medical school)and there are people much more deserving than I.

    You said that welfare is there to help people get "on their feet", and it certainly is. I hardly think someone with a college degree and an acceptance to medical school needs help getting on their feet anymore. We need money, yes, but we're willing (and able) to pay it back...and that's all we want to do!
     
  15. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member
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    Actually, I just meant to point out the irony in the person's statement that was quoted above by Neurogirl.

    Cobragirl is right--many of us feel bad simply b/c we are aware of the fact that we are not exactly the kind of people welfare is targeted to help.

    I, however, will have *no* problem taking Medicaid, rent assistance, welfare, WIC, and whatever else the gov't feels like handing me. The sole reason for this is that I know I will be paying the gov't back in spades (with taxes) once I actually start to make money.

    And what's up with all the double-posting?
     

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