Financial aid?

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heartman1998

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I'm a non-trad, international student in my 30s. I currently have a high-paying job, but I will be quitting if and when I get an admission. Parents are retired. I'm a permanent resident of the US (green card).

How is need-based aid determined for students like myself? Should I try to get offers from schools I am not truly interested in to use as leverage during negotiations? Anything I should say during interviews? Or is all this negotiation only done post-admission?

GPA: 3.7
MCAT: 524
Research: few thousand hours, 10+ pubs
Volunteering: 500 hours
T10: ugrad
WARS: 90+

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There is very little need-based aid in medical school.
There are schools with a large endowment for recruitment, though.
Do not apply to schools you would not attend.
Do not talk about money at the interview stage! It would be a huge turn-off and it's not the interviewers role.
Many schools do not negotiate, but there is no harm in trying once you are accepted.
 
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With a MCAT of 524, some schools might make you a merit aid offer to get you to enroll. Your 10+ publications won't hurt, either, in that regard. Good luck!

Don't bother with schools you wouldn't consider attending even if they gave you a free ride. Aside from that, wait for the offers of admission and financial aid packages and see what your options are. Some admitted applicants will say, "I am getting x from school A, can you match that?" The school can always say, "no" but it doesn't hurt to ask after you've been offered admisson.
 
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Thank you for the feedback!

Both of you discourage applying to schools I would not attend. Why is that? It is very common practice in industry while applying for jobs. It will allow me to practice interview skills and will also allow me to pit them against each other so we get the best offer. Both parties (schools and applicants are looking out for themselves). This is how we approach job searches in my industry.
 
Thank you for the feedback!

Both of you discourage applying to schools I would not attend. Why is that? It is very common practice in industry while applying for jobs. It will allow me to practice interview skills and will also allow me to pit them against each other so we get the best offer. Both parties (schools and applicants are looking out for themselves). This is how we approach job searches in my industry.
This is an area where medical school admissions differs from normal jobs. If you get accepted to medical school in a given cycle and turn it down only to reapply the following year, that is a black mark on your record. You are now applying as a reapplicant which to an extent will weaken your application. Medical schools do not want to interview/admit applicants who have turned down an admission offer from another school previously (and they do ask). The risk you take is that a school you would not attend under any financial circumstances would be your only acceptance, and then you are in a position of having to either attend that school or reapply with a big red flag. That said, unless you are highly restricted from a geographic standpoint, there's really no reason you shouldn't be able to find plenty of schools you're interested in potentially attending.
 
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In industry, one does not generally pay to apply for a job. Also, a cover letter and resume generally does not take hours to prepare de novo as is the case with secondary applications. So applying to medical school needs to be done more parsimoniously than one might do with job applications.

You run the risk of ended up getting into only the school you wouldn't attend even if it were free and then you come back in May asking, "should I turn down the offer from Loser School of Medicine and reapply?" (believe me, it happens every year).

The idea that you can negotiate for aid after being admitted is of limited value. Most schools will offer what they can, take it or leave it. Most are figuring on many, many people with offers not matriculating and they are in some corner of their souls hoping you will turn down the offer.
 
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Admittedly our Financial Aid forum is not very active, but you may want to rummage through the articles there.

Your financial aid packages are determined by your resources that you would need to disclose in a FAFSA. Every schools will have access to this information and may request more information like tax forms. You are independent, so that will be taken into consideration. A credit/debt check will certainly be performed.

Need-based scholarships are not plentiful in medical/health professional admissions; any amount that you get will be a couple of thousand dollars at best. There are very few "merit" scholarships, but those aren't the same as undergraduate admissions. Most scholarships are granted based on mission fit with the schools or as dictated by donors. You may not even know if you are being considered.

You also need to consider your own personal and family needs with this decision. I doubt you want to uproot your entire family for four years and then again if you get a residency. Looking at the schools within your region winds up being the more sensible decision, especially if you already have a mortgage.

Please go to What Are My Chances? and complete a template.

Read/watch
 
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Your financial aid packages are determined by your resources that you would need to disclose in a FAFSA. Every schools will have access to this information and may request more information like tax forms. You are independent, so that will be taken into consideration. A credit/debt check will certainly be performed.
I want to avoid being declined aide on the basis of my past income. I intend to quit my job once I begin medical school. I suppose I should speak to a financial advisor about this? It seems like a very niche topic: high-income but leaving to go back to school and hoping to secure financial aide. Not sure who I should go to for advice.

You also need to consider your own personal and family needs with this decision. I doubt you want to uproot your entire family for four years and then again if you get a residency. Looking at the schools within your region winds up being the more sensible decision, especially if you already have a mortgage.
Yes, absolutely! Geography is my #1 determiner in selecting a school.
 
No one works while in medical school, so there is no expectation in that regard. How much you have may play a role in what you are offered. You might expect that someone with $800 in savings might have a greater need for financial aid (including loans) than someone with $80,000 in assets, or even $800,000 in a trust fund. That all goes into the equation, is my understanding.
 
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