How do you pay bills?

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by Emio, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    i'm wondering if any of the current students (or soon-to-be) can help me out with this one: is getting a job to pay for rent/gas/food/public transportation a reality?

    i have an apartment outside the city of Philadelphia right now, and may stay in it for vet school, but i'd rather be in the city and bike to school every day. i'm worried about affording it though. is everything done on loans while you're a student? parents pay? are there enough hours in a day to work for $400-$500 a month? i've found a 4 bedroom for $800 just 2 miles from penn, and would be ecstatic to live that close for so cheap, but i'm completely on my own here. (yes my mom loves me very much, but i'm not going to ask her to foot this bill.)

    i, like most of us i'm sure, am no stranger to hard work and long hours, but i'd like to hear from anyone who has done it or is doing it during vet school.
     
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  3. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    yeah, ok, that didn't help me at all, lol. i said i'm on my own... i.e. can't buy a condo.

    thanks though :)
     
  4. ckgilabert

    ckgilabert CSU PVM c/o 2014!!!!
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    well, my brother went to law school in san francisco, had his own studio apartment near hastings law school...and paid for all of it with loans. i'm not sure if that helps. what MIGHT help is that:

    these 2 girls from my school (cal poly pomona) came back to talk about the vet school in australia...and they took out enough loans to pay for their apartment and school and a couple of plane tickets. so i think you can do it. i would talk to financial aid or something about it. hopefully someone here will know more. good luck!
     
  5. cyrille104

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    oops, i skimmed over that part...sorry :oops:
     
  6. tiddlywinks

    tiddlywinks UC Davis c/o 2011
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    A 4 bedroom for $800? That's REALLY cheap, especially if you get roommates.

    I'm in the same position as you, so not entirely sure what my advice is worth :) , but didn't the Penn financial aid packet (that we got at the interviews) basically say that we were guaranteed loans of $38,500/yr, enough to cover at least some living expenses? I haven't replied to Penn yet so I haven't heard anything more about financial aid.

    The students I talked to all seemed to agree that it was possible to fit in work, but maybe not straight away, since the first semester is more of a struggle with the transition. And they were big fans of cushy desk / library jobs where they were being paid for study time. You could also work summers and save up for the rest of the school year.

    On a related note, Penn hasn't said what their 07-08 tuition is, have they?
     
  7. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    THAT'S what i'm talking about.

    oh man, i know that's cheap. it's not exactly Rittenhouse Square, but i have friends in that area and i don't think it's too bad. def roommates.
    and actually i am planning on working my ass off this summer so i can at least take the first few months off of my first semester. but ok, between what you and ckgilabert said, loans can cover it. i wasn't sure how to go about getting those for anything other than disbursement to the institution (not to mention i'd rather not tack on yet another loan), but i can find out.

    nah penn hasn't given us the exact number, nor have they said to what the in-state grant is going to amount. alas.

    and cyrille, way to make me look like an idiot, replying to my own thread ;). thanks everybody!
     
  8. KittenKiller

    KittenKiller chop suey
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    I think $38,000/yr is the stafford loan. I think Penn projected total cost of tuition, expenses, and cost of living to be around $60,000/yr. Im sure you can do better than that if you live frugally. There are additional federal loans available to people who qualify as financially in need. For those that don't, there are private loans, some of which arent too bad. Personally I was surprised to find even the Stafford loans start accruing interest while you're in school. I had always thought education loans waiting till you were done to start accruing interest.

    Personally, Im not planning on working while I'm in school. I did that in college and regret some of the sacrifices I made in order to have some cash flow. The way I see it, I could get a part-time job for $9/hr and sacrifice a bit of my education, or invest more time in my schooling, which will pay off at a much higher rate than $9/hr in the future.

    Jessica

    PS - Is there free time in the summer to work for $$$, or do they keep us busy with requirements (mandatory internships, classes, etc) during the summer?
     
  9. fromjersey

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    ....
     
    #8 fromjersey, Mar 21, 2007
    Last edited: May 21, 2009
  10. Serendipity4

    Serendipity4 U of MN Class of 2011
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    Question along these lines: I'm still considered a dependant on my mom, and for the purposes of residency need to remain as such. That said, my mom DEFINITELY can't pay for me to go to vet school, so I'll need to be taking out loans to cover everything. Does anyone know if I'm going to have difficulty getting government loans to cover tuition (and as much cost of living as possible), considering my dependancy status? (I'm going to MN, btw, if that makes a difference...)
     
  11. Cheska

    Cheska Monkey Power!
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    FYI- if anyone is thinking about doing this at Colorado State, be careful- Fort Collins is a real stickler about more than 3-4 people living in the same house.... something about antiquated laws preventing brothels from existing. I guess it is the wild west after all :rolleyes:
     
  12. JoShappo

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    As far as I am aware, when you go to professional schools they always consider you as an independent for loans and such... even if you still depend on your parents for money, health insurance, etc... I could be wrong but that was my impression.
     
  13. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011
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    cyrille--just so you know, unless your parents are paying cash in-full for your condo, there will still be monthly mortgage payments. think of that as your parents paying your rent. and there will always be tax & insurance payments. but what you're saying is, your parents are footing your bill, so you don't have to worry about any of that.

    for the many folks who are on their own, you can take out quite a bit in loans from the federal gov't as a health professional student. the limit on combined Stafford subsidized (interest does not accrue while you are in school) and unsubsidized (interest does accrue while you are in school) starting July 1, 2007, is going to be $40,500 (of which a max of $8,500 can be subsidized). the unsubbed Stafford is not need-based. meaning, if the comparison between the cost of attending and your EFC shows that you don't "need" to take out the full unsubbed Stafford, you could still choose to do so. you just can't take out an amount exceeding the total cost of attendance (that actually goes for all loans, i believe...the combined amount you take out from all loan sources cannot be more than the school's calculated total cost to attend).

    there are other loans, such as the Health Professional Student Loans (note: even if you are independent, you must provide parental income data on your FAFSA to be considered for this), and the Perkins Loan. The interest rates on the Health Professional Loans and the Perkins Loans are more favorable than the Stafford, but they are for students with "exceptional need". And then there are private loans...interest rates probably not as favorable as any of the above, but they are an option if you have to go that route.

    i think working while in vet school is completely reasonable. i say this having worked all through undergrad and grad school. but if you think about it: even if you get a job in a clinic working as little as 5 or 10 hours a week at night or on weekends, every little bit will help. and i'd have a hard time imagining NOT working during the summer months. i know it might not sound ideal to work during vet school...and maybe you could give yourself a break during your first semester while you settle in, transition, and figure out a schedule, etc, etc., but i do think it's doable. plus, it would balance you out a bit...get you out of the school environment, and that might actually be a welcomed change sometimes.
     
  14. cyrille104

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    What, how did you see that? I deleted it like an hour after I posted it because I realized I wasn't responding to her question (since she taught me how to delete posts and all!). My parents aren't necessarily footing the bill, though...they're paying in full, and whatever they don't get back after 4 years I have to compensate (hopefully within reason if the market goes bad :scared: ). Tax and insurance I haven't worked out with them...maybe they won't mention it? (yeah right)

    Anyway, I was wondering if it's possible to get a lab job during school. This way I could get experience AND money.
     
  15. tapir

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    If you look at Penn's student budget, they assume a certain amount for rent/mortgage(haha)/utilities, which is enough to pay for a small apartment on your own and is probably more than enough if you'll be sharing. They also assume you'll be working during the summer after your first and second years (be it a lab job or otherwise). When I asked, they thought it very unlikely that one could have a lab job during the school year.
     
  16. Emio

    Emio Fudge Bane
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    i think the same goes in philly. i had forgotten about that. but apparently if women choose to live in a dwelling with 3 other members of the same sex, we can be considered whores. :rolleyes:

    maybe i best check that out before i go getting a 4 bdrm :(
     
  17. JumptheMoon

    JumptheMoon UPenn Class of 2011
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    Hey, even split only 3 ways, $800 is still a deal! And then you could have a pet room :D
     
  18. TurboVet

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    i've been doing heavy thinking about this myself. since most schools out there are allotting you 8-10k for room and board, you have to divide this into 12 months or 10 months, depending on your summer. let's say i divide my 10k over 10 months= 1000/month for rent, food, all utilities, car insurance, gas money? cause they sure as hell aren't being realistic when they give you a 1500/year allowance for transportation. it just doesn't seem do-able at all with the amount they give you in the cost of attendance. and i am one of those lucky people whose parents refuse to pay for any college for you because they couldn't go themselves.
     
  19. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    I know nothing in regards to your residency but for financial aid one question you have to answer on FASFA is something in the nature of are you attending graduate or professional school. You must answer yes to this question as a vet student and this makes you INDEPENDANT for financial aide. This is the case with any vet student in the US.
     
  20. hopefulinPA

    hopefulinPA PennVet '11
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    The woman I spoke with at Penn's financial aid office made it seem as though getting enough lonas to cover everything wasn't a problem (so long as you're not living the high life or anything). Her name was Grace and she was very very helpful :)
     
  21. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    I think there's probably an assumption that if you've got a car at all, it's a beater that you own outright (i.e. no comprehensive insurance, change the oil once a year). Walking or biking is essentially free. $1500/year is probably more than you'd use taking the subway/bus, too, especially since as a student you can probably get a low-cost pass. If you want to buy a parking permit and drive to campus that's a luxury, not a required cost of attendance...
     
  22. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    I don't think this is true (the "need to remain" part, that is, not the fact that you're currently considered dependent). You qualify for MN residence through your mom, OK. But once you become a student there you'll be living there (if you're not already) and will therefore be a resident. So... No worries. Besides, the school is responsible for determining residence, whereas the government determines whether you're dependent from the point of view of their loans. So whether the school sees you as dependent or independent doesn't actually affect the government loans you're eligible for...
     
  23. TurboVet

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    that is, of course, you're attending a school in the middle of nowhere with no public transportation and no available housing nearby. and no grocery stores nearby, etc.
     
  24. mom2jnc

    mom2jnc UC Davis Class of 2011
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    I wouldn't necessarily call it a "luxury". I already attend UC Davis, but we live in West Sacramento since the apartments are much cheaper and have a lot more square footage than apartments in Davis. So I need a car to drive across the causeway with my kids safely buckled up in their carseats :D so that I can drop them off at the on-campus daycare (fabulous Montessori school, by the way...).

    You could argue that once I drop my kids off, I could park off-campus and ride a bide to my first class. BUT, I can't drop my kids off earlier than 7:30 and my first class in vet school would start at 8:00, so I already have a pretty narrow window to make it to my class on time and I'm not willing to trade tardiness in order to forsake the parking permit fee.

    Therefore, once I am accepted into vet school, either this year or another year, I will still drive to school, I will still park on-campus, and I will pay for the permit. So, I think transportation fees suggested by Financial Aid are perfectly reasonable :D and that parking permits are not a "luxury". Be in my shoes one morning as I jog 4 miles with the dog, prepare two boys for daycare (inlcluding lunches, teeth brushing, and battling what to wear to school that day), and settle in both kids in their respective classes so that I can start my school day. I will gladly pay the permit fee!!
     
  25. horsybaby

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    I realize this is off topic but I had to say to "mom2jnc". You are amazing! I know your post has to do with your everyday life- but it is obvious your commitment and devotion to your goal is unwavering. Davis ...or whatever school decides to accept you will be lucky to get you. I am sure some days are "rough", but I have NO DOUBT you will be an awesome vet---- as well as a great role model for your kids. Good Luck! Sorry about the off topic
     
  26. 4theanimals

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    The regulation in Fort Collins is that no more than three unrelated people can have residence in a house. This law has been in effect for awhile but they are beginning to reinforce it. Basically, some of the residents get tired of all the cars and partying when you have a three bedroom with six people. I can't imagine but I've seen it!
     
  27. Hollycozza

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    wow those US rules about people living together seem bizarre to me!!! :laugh: The more the merrier in Australian households as far as I know!

    Anyhows I guess I should respond to the topic as well and I pay bills through working as a vet nurse and an RA. Its a bit manic though......
     
  28. seaturtlegirl

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    I have been concerned about paying my bills right from the get-go! I am older (will be 30 this year...) and have MANY credit card bills. A friend of mine who is currently a 1st year at MS said that she worked her butt off over the summer to bank as much money as she could. So far, she has not needed to borrow more than the 38,500! Still, the cost of living there is much less than at other schools...

    For myself, I will most likely be taking out a HUGE supplemental loan the first year and paying off ALL pre-existing debt! :eek: I figure that this option is better than trying to pay a monthly bill for so many things when I will need to be studying! Not to mention, that the interest rate will probably be less, even if it does add to the amount borrowed.

    Does anyone know more specifics about the health professions loans? I know that we are all considered independent, but I'm afraid that my parents' info will prove to me my undoing...:confused:
     
  29. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    Er... OK, but TurboVet was arguing that the $1500/year allowance was *not* reasonable (i.e. not enough). So... If you're saying it *is* reasonable even given that you drive your car every day and park on campus...

    (Though actually I'm guessing that you weren't counting the entire cost of owning the car - gas, insurance, maintenance, payments if you don't own it outright - because that's an expense you're already covering as a family with your husband's income. Whether $1500 could get a single student on their own even absolute minimum liability insurance and very basic maintenance on a really cheap car that's already paid for probably depends a *lot* on the area of the country.)

    And of course, budgets for cost of living etc. assume a single student. The problems of parents getting enough financial aid to cover their costs (particularly single parents or if both parents are students) is well-known. From the point of view of the financial aid calculation (note: not my own opinion here) your children are also a luxury, and so the fact that you need a car to take care of them (and need to live in West Sac rather than with a roommate in a dorm) is not relevant to the aid calculation...

    All that said, I don't think I've heard any students, even those paying out of state at MN, say that they couldn't get enough loans to cover their actual costs and manage to generally live OK.
     
  30. JumptheMoon

    JumptheMoon UPenn Class of 2011
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    I have an older car that I own outright, but $1500 a year wouldn't even pay for insurance and gas, let alone a parking permit, regular maintenance, and *god forbid* any repairs. Granted I live in MA and we don't have access to most of the cheaper insurance chains like Geico and Allstate, but still. The transportation estimate for Tufts is along those lines as well, and there is simply no way to stay within that budget around here - it's a joke.
     
  31. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    I've been looking into this too. It's not actually a dependent/independent issue for this loan. They always, no matter what, look at your parents' finances when deciding if you can get this loan. The way it was explained to me is this:

    The school defines a total estimated cost of attendance (tuition/fees/books plus the cost of living). The government uses a formula to get an "expected contribution" for you and your parent(s) - the amount they think you should be able to pay for the year given your income and savings. (This formula includes "asset protection" which means they don't just assume you'll drain your savings account, and also an age-based protection criterion for your parents - the closer they are to retirement age, the less of their assets are included.) Your "need" is the total cost of attendance minus the expected family contribution. If this need is above zero, then you can take out a Health Professions Loan up to the amount of the need.

    The basic point of assessing things this way, I think, is that even if you come from a rich family you, as a student, probably look poor on paper. So looking at your parents' finances gives them a way to decide who really deserves to get the money - someone whose parents *can't* pay for their schooling, rather than those whose parents simply *aren't* paying.

    Since the Stafford loan will not consider your parents' finances, you can take out Stafford loans to cover the amount that the Health Professions Loan assigned as your parents' expected contribution (that is, the rest of the cost of attendance).
     
  32. tapir

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    For clarification, it's worth noting that you need to 'need' (after grants/scholarships/personal contribution) more than the 40,500 stafford limit in order to qualify for Health Prof. or Perkins in any case. You can't borrow from either of these programs unless you borrow staffords to the limit. This is per my conversation with Penn, anyway.
     
  33. TurboVet

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    i was told by tufts financial aid that my parents "made too much for me to qualify for the HPLC", but it seems strange because the COA at tufts is 51k and i'm sure i'd be borrowing up to the max in staffords since my parents don't pay for anything. but tufts has their own magic formula for your EFC anyway- they don't go by the governments- otherwise i'd be rolling in free money.
     
  34. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member
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    Really? That seems... backwards. $40,500 is above the total cost of (in-state) attendance at Davis I think, and the finaid person there said that many students qualify for the HPLP each year. I got the impression that it worked totally the other way around. They estimate your need (total cost minus student and parent contributions), offer you the HPLP in the amount of that need, and then offer you Staffords (subsidized or non) to make up the rest of the actual cost. Hmm. I can't imagine that it's actually up to each university to make up a policy like that...
     
  35. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011
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    for their need-based INSTITUTIONAL aid (and all of their institutional aid to first-year students is need-based), tufts does have its own formula (as do several other schools). they look at sources of income that the fed govt does not look at: equity in primary home & retirement accts being the two biggest differences. if you've been financially independent for a while and have assets in either or both of those vehicles (or if you are dependent in the eyes of tufts and supply parental asset data that make your financial situation look more attractive), that will affect what tufts will award you from their institutional pot.
    they do that b/c they have a limited amt of need-based school aid to go around, and they want to distribute it to those who truly have the most need. while they don't expect you (or your parents, if dep) to liquidate all of your/their assets, the fact is you might have access to assets that other students do not have.
    i can't argue with that.
     
  36. TurboVet

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    so to clarify- they expect my parents to sell their house and empty their retirement accounts at age 53 and give that all to me for college? is this a tufts only thing? it seemsi would have been better off NOT submitting parental info if i can't get institutional aid anyway...am i going to get screwed at every school?
     
  37. runnerDC

    runnerDC Tufts - class of 2011
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    i know only about tufts b/c i spoke at length with them about this institutional aid thing before i learned of my alternate status (so i'm probably not going there, anyway).
    if you haven't been financially independent for the 5 yrs prior to vet school and/or won't be indep during vet school (and you prove this by submitting a signed/notarized affidavit of independence, along with 5 yrs of fed tax returns and W2s), then you must submit parental data to them to be considered for institutional aid.
    no, they do not expect your parents to sell their house and liquidate their retirement accts for your education! and remember: this is for institutional aid only. you will be considered independent (federal loans) in the eyes of the govt (with the exception of HPSL, which requires and considers parental assets). but tufts' rationale, i believe, is that their institutional aid includes either loans at very favorable rates or gift aid (grants, etc) that they reserve for the most needy students. those who are not as needy but are still determined to have some level of need can turn to the fed stafford loan, first the subsidized if need allows, then to the unsubbed. the unsubbed is not need-based but is available to you as you decide (as long as the total of what you're taking out is not exceeding the total cost to attend). your unsubbed loan accrues interest while you're in school. it is a more burdensome loan compared to other loans, hence, sort of a 'last-resort' loan if you feel you still need more money even after all of your determined need (cost to attend-EFC) has been met. this would happen, for instance, if your EFC were larger than what you could actually realistically contribute.
    i would suggest calling tufts' finaid office if you're seriously considering them and asking them exactly how they dole out the goods, or just wait for the finaid award letters that will probably spell it out.
    the woman i spoke with asked me about my assets (i've been indep for 11 yrs, so submitted the affidavit of indep and no parental data) and then told me what proportion of each asset they look and in what order. then she told me to pretty much forget about getting anything from them. but she was very helpful in giving me a picture of how they determine need for institutional aid purposes and how they awarded institutional funds.
     
  38. TurboVet

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    thank you for the info. here's one more person who's not going to be able to go to vet school becuase vet schools live in an alternate reality.:(
     
  39. tapir

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    I agree with your logic, and like I said I've only spoken with Penn. However, it does match with their other financial aid documentation, which indicates that health prof. and perkins loans are reserved for students with exceptional need (hence the much more onerous and parentally-involved application process if you want to try for those). If you would be able to borrow, say, 5k in health profs and 5k in perkins, and then only needed 20k in staffords (for a total debt that year of 30k), then your need clearly wouldn't be as 'exceptional' as a student who needed the full 40,500 in staffords (which is still notably less than the full student budget) and then some.

    They even told me that if I were to hypothetically get a scholarship after the loan disbursement, the scholarship $$ would cut into any hypothetical health prof./perkins loan $$ before the stafford amounts, as the federal gov't would prefer that I be left with the most favorable (from THEIR perspective) loan terms.
     
  40. Serendipity4

    Serendipity4 U of MN Class of 2011
    2+ Year Member

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    I just want to thank everyone for their feedback on my question! I'm feeling a lot more hopeful now, especially if I'm considered an independant for government loans even if I'm a dependant for residency... Who'd a thunk I'd actually be excited at the possibility of taking out massive amounts of loans!!! :D
     
  41. tapir

    2+ Year Member

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    Just to update, I did some poking around online, and it LOOKS LIKE it is up to each school, at least to a certain extent. Cornell, for example, lists no annual maximum for health prof. loans, whereas Penn does, and doesn't require parental info on the FAFSA for perkins, whereas Penn does.
     

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