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How do you pay for medical school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by aabbcc1234, 05.16.14.

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  1. aabbcc1234

    aabbcc1234 2+ Year Member

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    I understand that some schools give out need-based scholarships/grants and the rest of the fees are paid with gov't/private loans. However, when you apply for a loan, do you take out what you need for that year (1st year)? Or do you take out the amount that you need for all 4 years of medical school?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. akinetopsia

    akinetopsia some dude 7+ Year Member

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    Each year you fill out a FAFSA through the US Department of Education (www.fafsa.gov). They determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You release this information to the school you plan on attending, and if you are looking for institutional aid in addition to federal funds, you have to furnish your parents' personal income information (think of submitting your parents' tax returns for the previous year). This is the case regardless of if you are 22 and still live at home, or 42 and independent.

    Graduate/professional loans are offered directly (Direct Stafford Unsubsidized), and I think the cap is $20,500 per year. I'm not sure about the aggregate (lifetime) limit. The different between the direct loans and the cost of attendance is usually covered by Grad Plus loans, which are also federal, and are at a slightly higher interest rate than the direct loans.

    Schools DO offer merit-based or need-based financial aid, but like I previously mentioned, you have to supply your parents' personal income information to be eligible for it.

    The loans are disbursed each semester/quarter each year, with the school taking tuition & fees out and issuing a refund, typically by direct deposit or a debit card, depending on what you signed up for, and like I said this is done every year. It would probably be a nightmare for most people to budget a huge amount of money for four years, so it's probably for the best that you have to do it each year.
     
  4. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Per year. You fill out FAFSA every year and you get a financial aid award letter every year detailing the cost of attendance (COA) which includes tuition + estimated cost of living for the area. You apply per year, and usually the loans are distributed per semester - half in the fall and half in the spring.
     
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  5. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    You apply for fin aid every year, and loan/scholarship money is typically disbursed to your account twice a year: the first half of it just before the school starts in August (or July for some schools) and the second half in January.
     
  6. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    Cap for Stafford Unsubsidized is ~$42,000 per year (not sure of exact number). Grad PLUS can cover the rest.
     
  7. justAstudent

    justAstudent SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread, but when do we actually receive the money? Will it be a week or two before school? Or will it be released to us the day of school?
     
  8. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    Direct Unsubsidized Stafford loan maximum for medical and health professions students is currently $40,500/year
     
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  9. akinetopsia

    akinetopsia some dude 7+ Year Member

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    https://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#how-much-can-i-borrow

    Graduate/professional students are all considered independent, so subsidized Stafford loans aren't available. The table by the federal student aid website indicates the limit is $20,500 in unsubsidized Stafford loans per year, with an aggregate limit of $138,500. So above that you're going to get Grad PLUS to cover the difference and hope for institutional aid to lower your debt burden.

    [Edit: You guys would know better than I do. It must be what you say it is. It's definitely been $20,500 for my M.S.]
     
  10. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    I've been receiving these loans for the past 2 years. The cap is $40,500/year.

    "Graduate and professional students enrolled in certain health profession programs may receive additional Direct Unsubsidized Loan amounts each academic year beyond those shown above. For these students, there is also a higher aggregate limit on Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are enrolled in a health profession program, talk to the financial aid office at your school for information about annual and aggregate limits."

    ^ They're referring to medical school, probably dental school too.
     
  11. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    See what Ismet wrote and the link I gave earlier: medical and health professions students are considered separate from other graduate/professional students and can borrow up to $40,500/year in unsubsidized Direct Stafford loans.
     
  12. akinetopsia

    akinetopsia some dude 7+ Year Member

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    Gotcha. It's just weird that they don't mention the health professions exception on the the federal financial aid website.

    [Edit: one of my state schools, on their website has the annual direct unsubsidized limit at $44,944 and aggregate $224,000.]
     
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  13. tantacles

    tantacles Lifetime Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

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    Or once per quarter, depending on your school's system.
     
  14. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

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    Is the grad PLUS similar to the parent PLUS? Does it work in the same way?
    I'm ineligible for the parent PLUS as my parents' credit is legitimately, laughable. It's terrible. If I get in, are my only options private loans at that point? (Sorry to hijack as well)
     
  15. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun SDN Administrator 5+ Year Member

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    True.

    At least at my school, it's based on the undergrad schedule. We start 2-3 weeks earlier than the undergrads, but loan disbursement happens whenever the undergrads get theirs. I don't remember exactly when that happens, but I think it's early to mid August, which is pretty much right when we start. So if you need to pay for rent and etc for the summer before MS1, you'll need to rely on credit or take out a private loan to cover that. But I'm sure it's all school-dependent.
     
  16. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    Grad Plus is *your* credit +/- a cosigner.
     
  17. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you.
     
  18. BrawnsNBrain

    BrawnsNBrain Twitter: @BrawnsNBrain

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    You do not need a co-signer on Grad plus if your credit is good or non-existant (it's better to have no credit than bad credit!)
     
  19. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    I can't say anything about a non-existent credit history, but co-signers are usually required for people with bad credit.
    I also know that you need a US citizen cosigner if you're a foreigner applying for private loans to pay for medical school, but that's a whole different can of worms.
     
  20. aabbcc1234

    aabbcc1234 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    I was just starting to get worried, because if we had to take out our loans at the beginning of our first year then the accrued interest would be really high.

    Okay, so since loans are disbursed per semester or quarter, does that mean that the total amount you borrowed for that year starts adding on interest? Or is it just the amount that gets disbursed per semester or quarter that begins to accrue interest?
     
  21. aabbcc1234

    aabbcc1234 2+ Year Member

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    Also, does anybody happen to know the financial aid awards for need-based students at the UC medical schools (CA resident)?
     
  22. sjv

    sjv SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    Interest begins accumulating the minute you take out the loan and balloons while in med school and possibly residency depending if you start paying then or later.

    Same Direct/Direct PLUS loans, need based doesn't exist for professional schools.
     
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  23. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    There are need-based scholarships (=free money) at most schools; the amount of scholarship depends on the school and your/your family's financial situation.

    Plus, there are additional specific federal loan types for disadvantaged students.
     
  24. Cyberdyne 101

    Cyberdyne 101 Runnin' Down a Dream Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

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    I was gonna say to take out loans and become a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon to pay off the debt. But it seems that you were asking about the short-term (which I know nothing about and seems to vary).
     
  25. sjv

    sjv SDN Moderator 2+ Year Member

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    Good point but scholarships vary by school and situation. I was trying to get at that some sort of loans will likely be necessary.
     
  26. Amygdarya

    Amygdarya 7+ Year Member

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    [QUOTE="sjv, post: 15239664, member: 55433]I was trying to get at that some sort of loans will likely be necessary.[/QUOTE]
    Yes, this is very true. Expect to borrow, though the amount you'll have to borrow will vary.
     
  27. mvenus929

    mvenus929 10+ Year Member

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    At my school, we get the fall disbursement mid to late August, and it's usually 2-3 weeks after classes start for the first and second years. In the Spring, we get it sometime mid January, but if you planned it right, you're not relying on getting that money right away because your Fall disbursement should cover any bills you have in January.

    It can actually be a little more, depending on how long your school is in session. We definitely got more during third year and less during fourth year (because we were enrolled 12 months for third year and only 9 for fourth year vs 10 first year).

    Interest accrues based on how much has been disbursed to you. So first semester, it's only on the funds you got in the fall, second based on two semesters, etc. If you cancel part of your loans before disbursement, you never pay interest on the cancelled part.
     
    Amygdarya likes this.

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