Help me understand FAFSA, student loans, and financial aid

fw5tape6kq

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I know most medical students take out loans to pay for their education. Certainly, I will need to do this if I matriculate into medical school, since I do not have enough money to pay for the entire experience. Can someone please explain to me how to do this (get loans for medical school)? How do you apply for loans, when do you do it in the timeline of your medical school career, and how much money can you get? Moreover, is your loan rate dependent on your (family) annual income? I've been told that virtually no medical schools offer scholarships that aren't need based.
 

lovemango

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I know most medical students take out loans to pay for their education. Certainly, I will need to do this if I matriculate into medical school, since I do not have enough money to pay for the entire experience. Can someone please explain to me how to do this (get loans for medical school)? How do you apply for loans, when do you do it in the timeline of your medical school career, and how much money can you get? Moreover, is your loan rate dependent on your (family) annual income? I've been told that virtually no medical schools offer scholarships that aren't need based.
Lots of good info here: https://www.aamc.org/services/first/first_factsheets/
 
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circulus vitios

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Wait until you apply to schools, then submit FAFSA in January or whenever you get your taxes done.

Stafford loans cover up to $224k, Grad Plus loans cover up to the medical school's cost of attendance.
 
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xffan624

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I know most medical students take out loans to pay for their education. Certainly, I will need to do this if I matriculate into medical school, since I do not have enough money to pay for the entire experience. Can someone please explain to me how to do this (get loans for medical school)? How do you apply for loans, when do you do it in the timeline of your medical school career, and how much money can you get? Moreover, is your loan rate dependent on your (family) annual income? I've been told that virtually no medical schools offer scholarships that aren't need based.
Let me google that for you....
 

Ismet

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I know most medical students take out loans to pay for their education. Certainly, I will need to do this if I matriculate into medical school, since I do not have enough money to pay for the entire experience. Can someone please explain to me how to do this (get loans for medical school)? How do you apply for loans, when do you do it in the timeline of your medical school career, and how much money can you get? Moreover, is your loan rate dependent on your (family) annual income? I've been told that virtually no medical schools offer scholarships that aren't need based.
FAFSA opens each year in January. You fill it out in the year of matriculation (so if you're going to matriculate in Fall 2016, start filling out FAFSA in winter 2016). You will want to include your parents' information as well, as most schools require that information in order to be considered for need-based aid. You submit your FAFSA to schools where you are accepted/waitlisted/hope to attend, but you don't have to wait for an acceptance or anything to list the school.

You can receive loans up to the cost of attendance (COA) of your respective medical school. COA = tuition + cost of living (rent and other living expenses) for one year. My COA for Pitt is around $70,000/year. Direct unsubsidized loans cover up to around $42,000/year (I don't know the exact amount) and GradPLUS loans can be used for the remainder up to your COA. You can take out all of the loans you are eligible for, or you can take out however much you think you need.

Interest rates
Direct unsubsidized: 5.41%
GradPLUS: 6.41%

Some med schools offer merit-based scholarships, but it's much much less common in med school than it is for undergrad.

More links for your perusal:
http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized
http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/plus
 
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xffan624

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A number of people will suggest using the military's training program. I need to remind you of something: you will be in the military, with all that entails.

You can do a civilian residency but there is a decent chance you will end up doing a military residency, depending on the branch.
You have a good chance of being deployed, though not necessarily to active combat. You might just sail around for a year or two or hop from base to base.
You will need to meet physical fitness requirements. Remember: you are in the military.
You will need to meet mental fitness requirements, i.e., you probably can't be depressed or have ADHD.
You will need to meet moral requirements. Remember: you are in the military.

Source: http://www.airforce.com/pdf/physicianPDF.pdf
http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/physician.html

Food for thought.
Dude, no one even mentioned the military, but ya know it's not a bad life. Having significant motivation to stay in shape and have your life in order is not necessarily a bad thing. The doctors I met while deployed with the Army had the cushiest time over there and it was all federal tax free (including their bonuses). I roomed with one and she left the base one time -- to go on leave to Argentina (free flight!).

Myself, I did the opposite. I served as an officer for five and half years, paying off my student loans from UG and an MSPH and obtaining a nice lifestyle, and then left and now the VA is paying for school through the post 9/11 GI Bill. I owe the Army nothing after I'm done with school.
 

xffan624

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The flip side is not always having this sort of flexibility. I don't know how long ago you went, but I believe the number of deployments has gone up significantly in the past 10 years. Also, the military is not friendly to a variety of people, such as homosexuals (regardless of the laws) and, let's be frank, women. I am the daughter of a retired colonel, so I'm not just randomly bashing the military. I just want people to recognize that the military is just that: an organization whose major purpose is to participate in conflicts.
I was in during the end of height of the deployment period (2008-2013). Deployments have gone down significantly recently, as we are no longer in Iraq and Afghanistan is winding down (of course, they always have the potential to go up, if we go somewhere else). I was also a female in the Army, and the medical section of the Army is almost 50/50 divided so don't expect the same environment you see on TV or movies as an Army/military doc. There are lots downsides to the military and Army and I can expound upon them, but honestly it's not the nightmare that SDN makes it out to be and even somebody who just wants to eliminate their loans is not crazy for considering it if they are generally a resilient person with no major personality defects or health problems.

Yeah, the military's there to protect this country and Congress and the president decide what that means. If you have no desire to participate in that, then the military isn't for you. Unfortunately MAJ Hasan (Fort Hood physician who killed 8 people) didn't understand this.