Is there enough aid?


Junior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 28, 2001
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Hi Everyone!-
For those of you with families, is there enough financial aid available for me to do med school and not have my wife work outside the home? I realize that there are large amounts of financial aid "available", however it is based on what your school determines to be your estimated cost of attendance. Have you found that your estimated cost of attendance is enough for your family to live? All the schools I have contacted have told me "go ahead and apply then we will figure things out." I am hoping to find out some general situations from you all and then go from there instead of going through all the steps just to learn that I can't even afford to attend. Do you know what I mean? I appreciate any advice you could give me. I have been the one working and doing school thus far, but I know I can't work during med school. Thank you very much!


Hoohaa helper ;)
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2000
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I hate to be negative but I doubt seriously that you, your wife & your child can live on the budget your school will provide. Not knowing your exact situation this is just a generalization, but most school budgets are made for "younger", single folks that are used to living in dorms or meager apartments with several roommates that are helping to pay bills (along with parental contributions). Some schools do actually budget in "childcare" if you have a child, but it is never realistic (neither is the rest of the budget usually) and it will definitely NOT cover your spouse (she has to eat too, ya know!)

I know my school budgets out $500 a month (for 10 months...don't know what they expect you to do during June & July!) for "room". First off, actually FINDING an apartment for $500 is next to impossible (unless you don't mind living in the "ghetto") and secondly, even if you DO find a place that cheap, you still haven't paid for electricity, water, phone, trash, and god-forbid, cable/internet connection! They give a buget of ~$600 for "clothes" for the ENTIRE year...and then expect you to have "professional" clothes for patient contact. I know most guys would think $600 is fine, but go out & buy a suit + accessories and then see how much you have left over for everything else for the year. Now imagine being a girl (like your wife!) Most schools also have a budget for "transportation"...but at $150 a month (again, for 10 months) I can barely pay my insurance, let alone my car payment.

Bottom line is unless you have money coming in from somewhere else (parents, stocks, savings, etc) it's highly unlikely that you & your family can survive on the school's version of your budget. However, there ARE options! The first is the most obvious...try to work it out so that your wife CAN work. I'm assuming you have a new baby and that you both would prefer for her to stay home, but maybe you two can find a way to supplement your income (maybe she can babysit for others while watching your child too). However, this may still not be enough to offset your debt so you may want to look into "private" education loans.

There seem to be two types of "private" education loans. Those that ARE reported to the school (and held against you getting additional federal money!) and those that are truly private loans that are NOT reported to the school. Both will probably require a co-signer that will have to qualify for income, credit and job requirements. The good news is that you can borrow pretty much as much as you will need (up to $30,000 a year at BankOne...plus whatever you get from the feds! That's a lot!)...the bad news is that the interest rates are higher.

Anyway, this is long enough for now! Start looking into private loans and trying to find a co-signer, just in case. Better to be prepared now, then broke later. Trust me, worrying about your finances does NOT help you make good grades in med school...I know from experience! If you end up not needing a private loan, great....if you do, you'll have it all ready to go!

Do a search online for "BankOne education loans", Education One loan, Chelea, Wells Fargo...and ask your financial aid officer for a list of potential private lenders. Just be sure to ask the lenders UP FRONT whether they report to the school or not!