BoxingTheStars

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Got 3 fin aid letters in the mail today and i feel like a first-grader attempting calculus.

So specifically, one school's COA (from last year, i found it on the website) is roughly 46K. My fin aid "award" says they're only giving me 22,533. (breakdown: 8500 federal subsidized, 12,000 federal unsub, 2033 "fed add'l unsub loan")...

wtf? :confused:


School #2: COA for last year is ~67K, award = 42,722

School #3: COA (as given with award letter) ~77K, award = 47,922 (this includes an institutional loan & scholarship of 5200 so loan-wise it's the same amount as school #2...)

alright guys someone please tell me what i'm missing...

(side note: my FAFSA says my EFC is 10K... but all of these are way more than a 10K difference)
 

moe_4eva

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Really more appropriate in the financial aid forum, but I'll tell you what I know.

There is a breakdown in loans given by the government. Basically, everyone gets the 8500 subsidized and 12000 unsubsidized. The remaining additional unsubsidized loan can be up to 20k, depending on your financial need as determined by the FAFSA and the counselors. Anything above this, you need to get a private loan for, so you'll want to either speak with a financial aid counselor, or get on the web and start searching.

Very few lenders will go above your COA, and the interest rates to do so are ridiculous (8-25% variable!), but all lenders will give you a fixed interest rate up to your COA, so that is where the hole is filled in (or by your parents/grandparents/whatever).

Hope that helps!
 
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I think I know one of your schools :) but it's entirely possible to have the same COA at two completely different schools

Anyway, to answer your question, I called a school where the COA was 67,000 and I got ~41,000 in loans to find out what was going on, since my FAFSA EFC was 0. Turns out, the FAFSA EFC will be low because even if you put your parents stuff, the government is calculating it based primarily on you, the independent (whether you are or not) grad student. However, when the med school gets your parents' tax returns, they will look at all of their financial info and thereby figure out that they have the money (at least on paper) to contribute to your education. Whether or not they will, well...
 

BoxingTheStars

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I think I know one of your schools :) but it's entirely possible to have the same COA at two completely different schools

Anyway, to answer your question, I called a school where the COA was 67,000 and I got ~41,000 in loans to find out what was going on, since my FAFSA EFC was 0. Turns out, the FAFSA EFC will be low because even if you put your parents stuff, the government is calculating it based primarily on you, the independent (whether you are or not) grad student. However, when the med school gets your parents' tax returns, they will look at all of their financial info and thereby figure out that they have the money (at least on paper) to contribute to your education. Whether or not they will, well...

oh wow, if that's what is going on then that's just not cool at all. Sad part is my fafsa EFC is higher because my parents paid my tuition bill last year, which is apparently considered as part of my "income" since it was a gift (or some such nonsense). but schools are expecting them to keep on paying? not gonna happen...

anyways I'm remembering hearing about the Grad plus loan... why am I not seeing this on my fin aid? do i not qualify??
 
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oh wow, if that's what is going on then that's just not cool at all. Sad part is my fafsa EFC is higher because my parents paid my tuition bill last year, which is apparently considered as part of my "income" since it was a gift (or some such nonsense). but schools are expecting them to keep on paying? not gonna happen...

anyways I'm remembering hearing about the Grad plus loan... why am I not seeing this on my fin aid? do i not qualify??



I think everyone should qualify for the Grad Plus loans. I've only really looked into the financial aid packages at two of my schools since the other ones I have more or less decided I will be withdrawing from. Out of those two schools, one will not require me to take out a Grad Plus loan, while the other will. On the second school's online financial aid report thing, they explicitly list the Grad Plus loan as "offered" to me in the quantity of $27,000+:eek:.
 

AMDFAO

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I would give them a call and ask them to eliminate the amount your parents paid at undergrad as your income. Provided you were a dependent undergrad, money your parents paid in tuition is not reported on the FAFSA as either taxable income or untaxed income (worksheet B, last question on the FAFSA). After you clarify that to them, ask them to review your current award and see if there would be changes.
The max sub/unsub combo for a med student max is based on a prorated calculation: $40,500 for a 9 month academic year, $42,720 for a 10 month (add another $2220 for each month over 9). You should be able to request the max in sub/unsub pretty easily.
If you are still short to meet your COA (meaning you need to fund all your expenses and not just the stuff on the bill: rent, food, personal) you should be able to apply for a GradPLUS loan.
Many schools don't automatically pop the max sub/unsub onto an award. It depends on their packaging policy.
Best of luck
 

BoxingTheStars

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I would give them a call and ask them to eliminate the amount your parents paid at undergrad as your income. Provided you were a dependent undergrad, money your parents paid in tuition is not reported on the FAFSA as either taxable income or untaxed income (worksheet B, last question on the FAFSA). After you clarify that to them, ask them to review your current award and see if there would be changes.
The max sub/unsub combo for a med student max is based on a prorated calculation: $40,500 for a 9 month academic year, $42,720 for a 10 month (add another $2220 for each month over 9). You should be able to request the max in sub/unsub pretty easily.
If you are still short to meet your COA (meaning you need to fund all your expenses and not just the stuff on the bill: rent, food, personal) you should be able to apply for a GradPLUS loan.
Many schools don't automatically pop the max sub/unsub onto an award. It depends on their packaging policy.
Best of luck

I figured out what the problem was... school #1 gave me a COA for undergrad students. So now I get to wait a week or 2 for them to fix it. yay.
 
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