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Michigan's Financial Aid Blows

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by elias514, May 3, 2004.

  1. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    What the hell is the deal with UMich's financial aid packages? Mine is absolutely rotten. For such an incredibly well-funded and "financially healthy" (according to the current executive VP) medical institution, Michigan's financial aid packages are terrible. My offer includes a whopping $16,000 in grant money, the rest is loans to cover NON-RESIDENT tuition and expenses. $184,000 for a degree from Michigan?

    Anybody current Michigan students in the same boat? What do you think about this situation? When I visited Michigan a couple of weeks ago, I was told by several students that the financial aid packages are very generous, but mine sucks. This is such bulls**t.
     
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  3. SoulRFlare

    SoulRFlare Senior Member
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    it's really hard to sympathize with you. $16,000 in grants to go to Michigan?!? I'd give my right arm for that!
     
  4. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    $16,000 over 4 years, not $16000/yr.
     
  5. taehong81

    taehong81 Senior Member
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    It is better than nothing. Emory gave me no grant money even though I have 0 EFC
     
  6. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    taehong, I wouldn't be shocked if emory ups your fin aid offer a little as people with offers already out get off the waitlist at duke, columbia, cornell, etc. I think this financial aid game is all pretty messed up. I have a 7000 efc. Big deal...I worked a year after college. That's not going to impact my 'need' in any way for the purpose of paying for medical school over four years. And then you know there are all kinds of scams with parental info on css profiles at schools like emory going on.

    It just makes no sense that one applicant would get 70k over 4 years while another gets zero, considering none(or 95% of it isn't) of it is merit based and it is highly arbitrary who is really "needy". 85% of all students going to out of state schools with large endowments like emory are needy, so in my opinion they should just give an award of $15,000/year to almost everyone. After all, they brag on and on in the literature about how the average grant is almost 20k, and yet there are several examples here of students getting virtually nothing.

    Elias, yeah, 4k/year at UMICH really sucks. And that would only be a total byudget(186k +16) of a little over 200k. Plus there is all that ubsub, interest to consider. Pretty tight budget to get the loan levels down that low. Do you have any other school options you might be considering?
     
  7. ollie2003

    ollie2003 Junior Member
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    Do most people think they are going to get grants? I, for one, have always been under the impression that I would not, since my parents make a decent amount of money. I have heard lots of people complain about their packages, but I really dont get it. I mean, we have the budgets from day one the price should not be a surprise----why did you expect to get a lot of grant money???
     
  8. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    I expected a lot of grant money because several students at Michigan described the financial aid packages as "generous" and numerous administrators at Michigan, including the current hospital CEO and executive VP, think that UMich is extraordinarily well-funded and financially healthy. In other words, I expected a fairly decent financial aid package because UMich is a "rich" medical school. Other top schools offer admitted students significant financial incentives to matriculate (in-state tuition, automatic scholarships, etc.), why can't Michigan do the same? It's ridiculous, man. The school hands out 200K scholarships to individuals and leaves others 200K in debt. What a load of horse crap. :thumbdown: :mad:
     
  9. Kosmo

    Kosmo Senior Member
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    elias:
    I'm just curious, when you spoke with other students, did you find out if they were non-residents? $4-6,000 is pretty standard for public schools with students who demonstrate fininancial need. And that does take a significant chunk out of the in-state tuition at UM. Though I agree, that sounds like a mere pittance when it comes to out-of-state tuition.
     
  10. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    Is the hospital in good financial shape? Yes. Does that translate to scholarship money? NO.

    I didn't get any grant money last year. From what I've observed they pretty much give full scholarships (they give a lot more than just the dean scholars), or nothing. Without the MSTP kids, I'd say around 13% of the class has almost their entire tuition paid for. That's not official, just from talking with close friends....

    Sounds like you wrote your letter of intent earlier than you should of from the sound of your bitterness.....
     
  11. GoodMonkey

    GoodMonkey sproutmobile
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    hm. from my experience, it's "generous" to a handful in each class (like sunny said, about 20 students out of each class of 170,) but not much else. not sure who you spoke to about the fin aid (student-wise) but maybe they were the lucky few. i'm in-state, paying full $, and with living expenses that brings me up to about $40K/year. but i never expected any money (esp grant money) from anyone, as i made a decent income for a few years before coming to school, and both of my parents are remarried (giving me FOUR freaking parental incomes, which michigan wanted to know all about yet the government was happy w/only two,) so i just figured i'd pay in full anywhere. *shrug* i just went where i thought i'd be happiest of the schools to which i was accepted. no regrets yet. :)
     
  12. mellantro

    mellantro Senior Member
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  13. ice_23

    ice_23 Economics Monster
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    Wait, why do NJ residents get this aid? Is it from the state of NJ or the state of Michigan.

    -Ice
     
  14. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    Michigan has all sorts of private scholarships set up by alumni. The NJ one is just one example. If you are from certain counties you also get something. None applied to me, so I don't know the details. Don't worry, they'll let you know if you qualify.
     
  15. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
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    I think that the financial aid system is screwed up.

    I am sympathetic to the notion that those people who have the means to pay should pay. And if those means are coming from parents, then I have no objection to using parental income to evaluate that need. However, the schools MUST study the borrowing patterns of students who demonstrate "no need" because of a parent's ability to pay. IF (as I suspect) students who demonstrate no need - and therefore do not qualify for any free money - end up borrowing substantially more than those "needy" students who are flush with free grant money, then the system is arbitrary and capricious. It makes no sense to burden "non-needy" students with close to $200,000 in debt while "needy" students escape with only a fraction of that when the basis of this inequitable allocation is the mere wealth of a non-needy student's parents. "non-needy" students who do in fact accumulate large debts (as I will) are by definition "needy" despite how much thier parents earn (or have saved).

    Medical school is a great equalizer in that all students, needy and non-needy, will have an equal ability to service medical school debt as they begin to practice. On what reasoned basis should one students be burdened with so much debt while another is burdened with so litte? I would endorse a system which applies available grant money to an across-the-board reduction in tuition for all students regardless of "need". Make rich and poor students borrow the same amount of money and do away with this fiction that students with wealthy parents are somehow better able to service debt.

    Judd
     
  16. Xega

    Xega Senior Member
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    Doesn't Northwestern do something like this, in that they forgive a certain amount of everyones loans when they graduate instead of just giving money out in the beginning they let people borrow and then those who have high loans get a portion forgiven?
     
  17. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    I'm not bitter, I'm just worried about incurring a debt of this magnitude. In all honesty, I'm really happy about my decision to attend Michigan--it's a tremendous privilege and I look forward to starting classes in a few months. The new curriculum looks solid and I'm sure that my class will be filled with very bright and talented folks. But you have to admit, 180K of debt is a reasonable source of anxiety :cool: . No?
     
  18. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    I'm expecting $200k+. It's all good. Its worth it to be here. As one of my classmates who could have gone to one of the cheapest state med schools in the country and is top 25 said, "you get what you pay for."
     
  19. prmd4555

    prmd4555 Member
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    Northwestern only debt caps for needy individuals.

    I feel your pain. I got 0$ in grant money from Vanderbilt and it was dissapointing bc I knew that i couldn't go there with 200,000 in debt. I think it can be deceiving bc they say that their average debt is so low and that they really try to keep the debt down, but then some individuals will be very very much indebt. As much as I liked the school its not worth going into that much debt and I am taking a scholarship elsewhere.
     
  20. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Hey, maybe I'll win the lottery someday and 200K of debt will seem like chump change (that or get struck by lightning) :)

    I have to post my favorite emoticon: :smuggrin: You gotta love it.
     
  21. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios
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    elias514,
    Sorry to hear about the financial package man. I have to say that its really hard to take med students at their word about financial aid, because if they get a lot, they will be GLAD to tell you about it, but if their aid is nonexistent, they are unlikely to make any mention of it. Its like mdapplicants, students love reporting 45's and acceptances, but they dont like reporting 20s and rejections. Id imagine a similar mentality exists for med students (in addition to those not up to their eyeballs in debt being happier with their overall experience). Just remember that your financial situation is on par for most students who go to private (or in UM's case, pseudoprivate) schools. So youre definitely not alone, and you, like several tens of thousands of med students prior to you, will pay off you loans just fine. Sorry to hear about being misled though.
     
  22. Xmulder

    Xmulder Member
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    Curious, why did they quote you $16,000 over 4 YEARS? I thought financial aid packages are given one year at a time?

    Re: your question on grant money, when i visited, Michigan did say their packages are generally pretty good -- but only for in-state residents. They also said that this year they expect to have less money available, since a lot was handed out last year and years past. Besides being a public school, they are a very proud school -- that is what kind of turned me off.
    either way, your $16k is awesome. I *really* got screwed.
     
  23. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    They didn't say 16 grand over 4 years--I simply assumed that this would be the case, because I was told that the financial aid packages are stable over the 4 years. Oh well, I could be wrong and misinformed once again.

    They certainly are a proud school, but in certain respects I think that the pride is justified. It's an innovative school (the shift to more outpatient experiences during the clinical years, the nation's first center for depression, etc.), and more importantly the faculty and administrators alike seem wholeheartedly committed to excellence. The classes are extraordinarily diverse--Michigan is ranked 5th nationally in the # of minority of physicians it graduates annually, and there is a good mix of Ivy grads, state school grads, trads and non-trad students. I'm looking forward to starting classes. The educational experience should be outstanding...hopefully worth the 180K of debt. :)
     
  24. 911Med

    911Med Senior Member
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    Dude, you are going to be living in Ypsilanti, eating White Castle, and picking up bottles after football games just to stay afloat. :(

    But hey, your in at U Mich! ... and MI bottle return is 10 cents per bottle. :laugh:
     
  25. spumoni620

    spumoni620 .:good girl down:.
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    strange, i'd also always heard really good things about michigan's financial aid. the people i spoke to said the financial aid office is really accomodating (esp if you have scholarships/other types of packages elswhere - they're amenable to bargaining/negotiation etc.) they have a ton of other scholarships as well apparently - like the nj one, and another one my friend mentioned was all females who didn't major in a science subject get about $6k their 2nd year. i don't know much more on the topic though. best of luck, i'm sure the education will be well worth the price :)
     
  26. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    The number of strange scholarships we have is mindboggling. I got two today. Geographic constraints and all sorts of strange things.......I wonder who goes through and figures out who qualifies for what.

    I was told that every year we go over our allocated scholarship money (by the dean of admissions) but the med school dean said, who cares, just get the best students you can.
     
  27. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Are there any scholarships for males over the age of 25 originally from Kansas who moved to Austin, TX, 5 years ago and whose last names begin with "b" and end with "d"?
     
  28. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    Money means different things to different people. It's important for me when I'm in my mid thirties to have a 1000/month student loan payment instead of a 2300/month student loan payment. That's 1300 dollars a month extra that I can spend on my family, a nicer house, retirement, etc....
     
  29. lealf-ye

    lealf-ye I am a super doctor.
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    Yes, the amount is 4k/yr. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  30. DriNDT

    DriNDT Member
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    I wish that was the case. I am an in-state resident, and as far as financial aid goes, I'm looking at nothing but the 8500 in subsidized loans and 31000 in unsubsidized loans. I was sort of bummed, considering my parents, my husband and I have all paid our debts to the state of Michigan in taxes our entire working lives. But, I guess being $160k in debt is a bargain compared to the $240k I was looking at for the private schools I was seriously considering. I am thrilled to be attending such a top-notch institution (and still can't believe I'll be there come August), but the debt is sobering, even as an in-state resident with a working spouse:(
     
  31. BigBopper

    BigBopper Senior Member
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    Hard to feel sorry for you. I had zero dollars offered in grant money at all the schools I was accepted to. Many of the schools were just as well funded as Michigan, but that has nothing to do with financial aid packages.

    My parents contributed nothing even though they make decent money (not that I expected them to, but it hurt for financial aid packages). I also had about 40K in loans from undergrad as well. I am sure there are many others who will graduate with higher overall debt than you.
     
  32. elias514

    elias514 Senior Member
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    Does anybody know the argument for inclusion of parental financial information? Why are parental assets and income even a consideration for the determination of a student's financial need? I mean, my parents aren't going to contribute a dime to my medical education. In fact, I've yet to meet a single incoming med student whose parents are contributing any money for med school. What's the deal with this? Anyone know the argument for this policy?
     
  33. ollie2003

    ollie2003 Junior Member
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    I have heard an argument like the following:

    if a student was forced to decide not to go to school because they couldn't afford it, then the parents would most likely do everything they could to help their child get to go. The logic is that those students with parents with higher incomes will be more likely to be able to get help. And, although I don't know many people who have parents paying for school out right---I DO know many students who have parents that help them out here and there. Like with books, rent, a few hundred bucks here or there, a car, etc. etc.

    I agree that for the individual it is unfair (myself included), but I can see how this helps the greater number of students overall.

    This is from the NYtimes
    As Wealthy Fill Top Colleges, Concerns Grow Over Fairness

    By DAVID LEONHARDT (NYT) 1507 words
    Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 1 , Column 5
    ABSTRACT - Students from upper-income families are edging out those from middle class at prestigious universities around country, from flagship state colleges to Ivy League; change is fast becoming one of biggest issues in higher education; experts trace change in student population to steep tuition increases and phenomenal efforts many wealthy parents put into preparing their children to apply to best schools; some college officials worry that their universities are reproducing social advantage instead of serving as engine of mobility; some colleges are starting to take action to improve economic diversity; at Univ of Maryland, students whose family income is less than $21,000 will get scholarships to cover full tuition; similar, even more generous policies have been announced by Harvard, Univ of North Carolina and Univ of Virginia; photo; graph (M)
     
  34. SunnyS81

    SunnyS81 Senior Member
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    I'm guessing whenever they made the rule they thought about potential resources for funding students education

    1) Student
    2) Parents
    3) Government
    4) School

    Since most med students are staight out of college (or one or two years out), their income is probably around $50kor less, making it neglible. The government will give you ample loans, but people don't want loans, and the medicare already pays for residencies. And every dollar the school gives you is a dollar some other student is paying (or donations). I'm surprised law schools aren't the same way,but I'm guessing it has to do with lower costs and most students being out of school a lot longer. The cost of educating a medical student has been estimated at $90k per year (forgot where i read it). I'm not happy with my package either, but I think of financial aid as a gift. Schools are in no way obligated to fund our education. I'm sure all the top schools could find students to fill their seats who would be eager to pay the full cost of tuition. Thus, they should be the last resource to fund our education, not the first or second. Go to www.aamc.org....they put out an interesting report on student debt.

    Just my theory on how it came about.
     
  35. mlw03

    mlw03 Senior Member
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    My guess is that the thinking on this is that if your parents are uber-wealthy then you shouldn't be getting any institutional aid because your parents COULD give it to you, while a poorer-family (ie, normal income) student wouldn't have such a possibility. I think there's merit here - for example, if you need $2000 for start-up money and you come from a wealthy family they can give it to you, but if your family struggles to pay the rent they aren't going to be helping you.

    I certainly understand your thinking though, but I still like the idea of the neediest students being given the most financial aid. And I do know a girl whose parents are paying for her ENTIRE med school costs - tuition plus living expenses. So it does occasionally happen.

     
  36. automaton

    automaton drone
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    yes it does
     

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