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Marriage impacts med school finances?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Guppytrillion, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. Guppytrillion

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    Not sure if this is the right forum (maybe Allo forum is more appropriate?), so please move if it isn't.

    I am engaged and have been accepted to several MD schools. I will probably stay in-state, but I am wondering if there is any economic advantage to getting legally married before med school starts (better federal aid, lower rates, more low rate loans available etc). I don't know too much about marriage and tax laws, but neither one of us has income now (she is still in school). State is CA if it matters.
     
  2. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man
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  3. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    Not really, but depends upon the school to some extent. For example, you are not required to submit your parents' income to FAFSA, however some schools will require you to submit that information to them anyway if you are looking for need-based grant money (which is only offered by some schools). If you are married, then you will be exempt from submitting your parents' information b/c the school will truly view you as independent. It won't help at all with getting loans or lower rates, at least WRT federal loans.
     
  4. Adam Smasher

    Adam Smasher persona non grata
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    I can think of a few things.

    1) If her credit is crappy, that might affect the quality of your student loan funding. This probably doesn't affect you.

    2) If she needs medical insurance, you might be able to buy insurance through your university and get coverage for her too for relatively cheap. Emphasis on the relatively. However, most insurance companies offer the same thing for domestic partners.

    In other words, it's a small difference but negligible difference. Marriage tax might affect you but since she's not working, it will be beneficial.
     
  5. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    wouldnt you also have to report your partner's tax stuff to the med school? that may negatively impact your financial aid and stuff...
     
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  6. skiqueen

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    Just a few comments... I'm married and have asked quite a few financial aid people about this. First, you will have to report your spouse's tax info, which will influence your financial aid package. If he/she makes a lot, you will get less, if they are a student (my scenario) you may get more. Second, unfortunately you still have to submit your parent's info. If you are over 30 years old you may not have to, but under 30 and married means you must still submit it (which annoys me to no end).
     
  7. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    Nope. I wish it worked that way, but it doesn't, at least not at the schools I applied to. They didn't give a crap whether I was married or not. They all wanted my parents' info.
     
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  8. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I thought you got a tax break for being married. We did last year, but we're poor. It could very well be different when you both have significant incomes.
     
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  9. oneandonlylo

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    I can think of at least one school (Ohio State) that grants you automatic in-state status if you have a spouse who becomes employed in the state (if you're originally OOS, obviously). Not a bad deal.
     
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  10. MadEvans

    MadEvans is a warm gun
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    Everybody asks me why I applied to the OSU. Us married folk know a secret... :smuggrin:
     
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  11. copperfrog09

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    #11 copperfrog09, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  12. chessknt87

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    Wouldnt this make the OP eligible for the poor people federal loans (Pell I think) assuming his parents arent wealthy? Or is that for ugrad only?
     
  13. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    If your spouse becomes employed in the state for a certain period of time, they can usually become a legal resident of that state.

    That's the way it is in Texas. Then, you can base your residency off of your spouse.
     
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  14. Chemist0157

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    While you're going to med school, she can go work and be your sugar-mama!
     
  15. Chuck's Right Foot

    Chuck's Right Foot Class of 2013
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    Just FYI, your Parents info will not decrease gov't funding....
     
  16. Rabbit36

    Rabbit36 Lagomorphadelic
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    From what the UCSF financial aid guy said at the interview day, if you're married and your spouse works, this can actually be a problem for financial aid since it will reduce your calculated need. He actually half-jokingly recommended holding off on getting married if the finances are an issue. Not sure if this is true, but he is in sort of an authority. Also not sure if this applies to other UC schools, but I'd assume so. If your spouse will not be working then it probably shouldn't be a problem. I don't know about advantages in terms of tax or federal loan policies.
     
  17. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    This presumes that your spouse will help with the household expenses such that you won't need to borrow as much to meet the cost of attendance. Reducing your calculated need will reduce the amount you need to borrow which in the end is a good thing for both of you as a couple and the need to pay back later is going to affect both of you for a long time.
     
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  18. diosa428

    diosa428 SDN Angel
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    My school will count you as independent if you can prove you're independent (ie, married or you can prove your parents haven't supported you in years).
     
  19. Keona

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    All Graduate/Professional school students are considered independent for the FAFSA, however, some schools still require that you report your parents income, even if you're married and receive no support from them.
     
  20. potato head

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    this is quite annoying. if we're under 18, i can understand why we'd submit our parents' info, but otherwise, i can't understand how my mother's income is of any relevance. will she be paying for my education into my thirties? absolutely not.
     
    #20 potato head, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  21. potato head

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    okay, phew, thank goodness.
     
  22. ericL

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    ya, I haven't seen any schools yet that required the reporting of parent's financial records... I believe there are certain loan products, some primary care loans I think, that do require this regardless of your age or marital status.

    At least for undergrad, I was able to petition and say "hey, my income is dropping this year, yes my wife is working but our total income is still going down significantly..." and this affected my EFC so I actually became Pell eligible (yay! grant money!) I don't believe that Pell eligibility plays any difference in professional schools though so I would not count on getting the same grants that we got in undergrad. In fact all the schools I have been to have basically laid out the fact that I'll be taking out lots of loans with the only real benefit to one over another is the date of when interest starts accruing.

    Either way I wouldn't worry about it. I'll take out lots of loans, and they will eventually get paid back, thats how it works. It seems daunting at times, but if it were that bad then people wouldn't consistently put themselves through this...
     
  23. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    As a professional student, parental income will NOT affect your EFC. All federal aid is determined by you and your spouse's income. Thus, federal loans/grants are unaffected by your parents.

    However, a large number of schools require parental information for distribution of institutional need based aid, regardless of marital status.
     
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  24. nogolfinsnow

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    Marriage could decrease your eligibility for subsidized Stafford loans if your spouse makes a lot of money and you go to a cheap school (i.e. the total cost of attendance minus the EFC is less than $8,500). An upside is that if your spouse works, you can file taxes jointly and apply the $2k lifetime learning credit (I think). Assuming you're not working, you can also have your spouse modify their W-4 so their monthly witholdings are decreased and you'll have a little more $ each pay check.
     
  25. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Exactly what Jolie has been saying.



    Just a side note that nobody has mentioned - I get a "tax break" for being married, because my wife pays taxes. We file jointly, so we use my tuition expenses to qualify for the lifetime education credit. If you or your spouse aren't paying taxes, you won't get any money back, but she pays more than $2000 a year in taxes, so we qualify for the whole credit. It's basically $8000 off your tuition bill over the course of four years.

    EDIT - oh, nogolf just mentioned this :D
     
  26. MadEvans

    MadEvans is a warm gun
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    I thought you could only claim the 2k hope credit (lifetime learning credit) twice in your educational career. This makes me gladly mistaken person, since I've already used it twice during undergrad.
     
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  27. kansaskid

    kansaskid too school for cool
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    Great information guys! I'll probably be in this boat by the time I apply, so it's good to learn a bit about where I'll be headed financially.
     
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  28. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Hope credit is different than the lifetime earning credit. http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96273,00.html
     
  29. pasdechat28

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    I am married and am hoping to enter med school in the fall 2009. At my interview day at UofA-PHoenix I specifically asked the financial aid coordinator whether you are legally required to submit your parent's information on the FAFSA (especially if you are married). Her answer was NO--they may prompt you to do so but it is NOT required. I have not checked though with anyone else, but thought the info may be helpful to others.
     
  30. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    as I said earlier, parental information is not required to determine your EFC on FAFSA. you will qualify for all the federal loans without it.

    however, at many schools you will not be considered for institutional aid if you do not provide parental info.
     
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