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Non trad (family of 4) medical school expenses?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by GIGATT, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    I just posted this over in the financial aid area but i'm hoping that if it's in the non-trad that i'll get more responses. Pleaaaaase forgive me..i may be breaking some kind of sacred rule!!! Anyway, here it goes:


    IF my husband is accepted then financially I'm just not sure how it'll work. How do other non-trads with families do it? What is the total loan amount you were able to get?

    We're hoping for Davis, praying for Davis and waiting for Davis to show us some looooove. :0) At the same time, i'm afraid of what will happen financially- i just need to know that our needs (not wants) will be covered. I"m focusing purly on this budget.

    Tuition/school expenses: whatever it is at Davis
    Rent: 1,400/mo
    food: 600/month
    health insurance: hopefully!!!

    Did your loans cover this amount???

    I'm not worried about budgeting. We're not the kind to overspend-we live within our means always and actaully, for the past 6 years we've been able to survive off of 12k a year...of course, we didn't have health insurance or ability to go to the Dr either!...
     
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  3. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    Well, I'm a mom with two kids and a husband. He actually started his career over at the bottom of the ladder when i got into med school 2000 miles away from home and they all moved with me. The move was outrageously expensive. Traveling cross country expensive. Fixing the house to get it to sell expensive. Buying a new house don't get me started expensive. And our tax bill... well, let's just say we took money out of his retirement account to pay for the home repairs, the move, and a few other expenses so I hate the IRS right now.

    But as for school. He will qualify for financial aid up to cost of attendance - that's tuition plus an allowance (set by the school) for living expense for the student alone. They don't give financial aid for family expenses unless there's daycare involved. And yes, they generally make you pay for health insurance (and for a family of four at my school was going to cost $10K/year!!!!!). That being said, you'll generally get a check at the beginning of each semester for about $10K to last you six months. This does mean you'll end up owing an awful lot in loans (and you'll have to take out supplemental loans other than Stafford), but it is doable. My husband has a job that provides very affordable health insurance. With his job and the student loan money, we can afford to live reasonably. Not outrageously, not like paupers, but reasonably. We don't eat out much, but we can afford to buy good healthy food to eat at home, we can pay our bills on time, our kids have what they need. Vacations and new cars are completely out of the question, but we can also afford a home to live in and not just an apartment (this was important to us).

    Look at the financial aid site of the schools you're interested in. They should clearly list the costs of attendance and give you an idea of what you can borrow to live on so you can start planning.
     
  4. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    Ah. Here we go. from UC Davis' website, first year med budget:


    Fees $25,887
    Books & Supplies $ 2,361
    Housing $ 8,070
    Food $ 3,608
    Personal $ 2,300
    Transportation $ 2,382
    TOTAL $44,608

    so it looks like you're given $18721 to live on for the entire year for everything, including books and supplies. Wish I could bring better news for you. Perhaps Davis will work with you - there's also a message on the top of the page i got the above figures from:
    I don't know if they'll actually give you more or not, but it might be worth a shot. Good luck.
     
  5. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    You could try to get private loans. Their interest rate is higher and you may not get to defer during residency (not sure), but I think med students with families tend to do this when their expenses aren't being met by the usual loans.
     
  6. SOUNDMAN

    SOUNDMAN Senior Member
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    The school will only approve a budget for that STUDENT. It may include some extras for the kids, but NOT for the spouse. So some people have gotten private loans ABOVE that budget but realize they have different regulations, interest, payback, etc than student loans and even student alternative loans.

    We are a family of 5.5, wife and 3.5 kids with me in school, and we were fortunate to have some money before school, but none the less we have to take out some significant loans to make it, and my wife stays at home with the kids. Now if you work that can help out a whole lot, but sometimes it's not worth it with that many kids. A home job is helpful and my wife does that, but it's not helped us financially yet. Good luck, it can be done.
     
  7. OncoCaP

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    You folks are amazing. Isn't that like half of poverty level? That just seems impossible. If you can do that, I'm sure you can figure out a way to make it through medical school. Maybe you can pick up a flexible job that pays a little bit and helps with those "unexpected" bills.
     
  8. helpfuldoc2b

    helpfuldoc2b Membership Revoked
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    I am curious how you did that too, I make double that amount and have no health insurance and cant fix my car, fix my root canals and barely make it and i live in the midwest. I also have no kids. How did you manage doing that?
     
  9. Jejton

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    Do you get a discount on half a kid?:D
     
  10. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    Casseroles, casseroles, casseroles (rice, dried beans, extra ingredients are used sparingly). you make one caserole and you eat it for three meals. you dont' go anywhere and you have fun at the park instead of at a movie. you keep the heat low and keep the lights off except when absolutely needed,. you make your own bread, pastas and treats. It wasn't easy- I cried alot over the fact that we couldn't afford to take our kids to the dentist or Dr- i prayed that they stayed healthy- it was aweful BUT, if that's the sacrifice that I (we) have to make again then i can't argue with the longterm benefits that expand far beyond us.

    We also lived in the midwest at the time and had fairly low rent (650/month) so what took up most of our money, aside from rent was insurance on the cars and gas...
     
  11. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    You might want to check into whether or not you and your kids can qualify for Medicaid. That'll reduce the health insurance burden a lot. With the school plans, it's usually pretty cheap to insure the student but the prices goes up a ton when you add anybody else to the plan.

    Also, totally mooching here, but would you mind sharing some casserole recipes? :)
     
  12. Johnny_D

    Johnny_D Just strummin' away
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    I have a family of 5. At Drexel you can increase your student budget, but this means more loans. The standard student budget does not include health insurance for a family, so it has to be increased in these circumstances. Also, needs-based scholarships are sometimes available.
     
  13. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    LOL. YES, i would love to share some recipes! I'm not the kind of girl who measures though so you'll have to experiment. If you want to cut the cost of the casserole then cut the amount of meat you put in... if we're not in a pinch i'll even put cheese on top and bake it till it's crunchy golden brown!

    Chicken Parasean Casserole

    1 or 2 chicken breasts- diced. Coat the cubes in italian bread crumbs (you can make your own or buy them) and cook in olive oil. Set them aside.

    Boil noodles (as much as you need) and drain when done.

    Make (or buy) spaghetti sauce...probably around a big jars worth... Pour over noodles and mix in chicken. Dump it into a greased casserole dish and then bake until it's all warm-put cheese on top if you want it.
    350 for roughly 25-30 min.



    Cheapo tamale Pie:

    Make corn meal mush (about 3 cups cooked) and pour about a 1/3 into the bottom of a greased casserole dish. I usually use a bit less water becuase i like the thicker consistancy for casserole and i add some onion, garlic and a little salt and butter to it.

    Brown some burger 1/2 pound (more if $$ isn't tight)-season it mexican style (cumin, chili powder, garlic, onion, cheyenne, cilantro, jalapeno ect)


    You can modify the spaghetti sauce you already made by adding more garlic, chili powder, onion and cumin-to taste.

    Frozen corn (as much as you want)

    Layer the mush, then burger, corn and sauce, Cheese to if you have it until your casserole dish if full. Bake 350 until its bubbly-- cheese on the top is super good.




    Hamburger corn and rice casserole:

    1/2 lb hamburger browned
    1 can of cream of mush soup+one can of milk (or you can make it by using a couple TBL of butter and add 2-3 tbl of flour and add milk until it's thick...dumb in a couple sliced mushrooms)
    1 1/2 cups of rice cooked (it'll make three cups).
    1/2 bag of corn
    cheese, if you have it

    Mix it all up and bake it until it's bubbly and cheese on top is just how you like it.




    Chicken and stove top

    1 or 2 chicken breasts cubed and cooked
    1 can of cream of mush +one can milk or broth
    You can make your own stovetop with breadcrumbs, celery, onion and spices or you can use ONE BOX of stove top.

    Mix it all up together, put cheese on top and bake... I added peas or carrot pieces to it once in a while too.



    Broccoli, chicken and rice casserol

    1 or 2 chicken breasts, diced and browned--add garlic, onion if you want
    1 1/2 cups of rice cooked (will be 3 cups cooked)
    Broccoli-as much as you want... if it's frozen i let it thaw before i use it.
    1 can of cream of mush, or Golden Mushroom, or cream of broccoli, or cheddar cheese soup- modify how ever you want. ADD one cup of milk, or water to it.

    Mix it all up in a bowl then dump into a casserol dish and bake until it's warm and cheese is melted (if you added cheese.)




    Sometimes, if i wanted it thicker i'd use less of hte liquid ingredients and if i wanted it softer (if i was going to use it for another recipe later) then i would add the full cup of liquid to any of hte recipes that called for soup. You can make any of those soups on your own fairly easily... The trick is to just be ready to modify it which what you've got on hand.


    :0)-=--good luck
     
  14. OncoCaP

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    You are an amazing family. Most families have trouble paying their bills with 3-4x your income. You must be very disciplined.

    Why did you choose to apply to Davis for medical school? Did your midwest state school not offer an interview? It seems like cost of living (as well as tuition cost) is a factor when you are choosing where to go to medical school and you have a family.
     
  15. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    We moved out here a year and a half ago so my husband could get his masters in public health (tox.). He defends his thesis on friday...yeaaaaah! It was a chain of God events that brought us here- grandpa moved out so we have a cheap place to live, hubby got into the only masters program he applied for---it wasn't our doing that's for sure!

    He took his mcat last aug so he was a late applicant and he only applied to Cali schools because we don't want to move the kids (ages 11 and 6). So, we're hoping that he gets into Davis:
    because the school stands for everything he does- they're all about community health AND it's a short flight from San Diego (where we are now) to Sacramento.

    We are disciplined but we also drive old cars- it's helpful not to have car payments through this whole journey. We have also found that our circumstances are often lead by attitude...we've chosen to find joy in that that matters and we've left what doesn't matter behind. In the long run, driving a 1984 Murcury Topaz won't matter :0)
     
  16. OncoCaP

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    Thanks for sharing your story! I wish you all the best in this journey and hope you will stay in touch about your progress. :)
     
  17. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    LOL... i just pray we have progress on which we can report!!! :) If not this year then we'll try again next year. We kind of backed ourselves up against a wall with our application technique (WHO ONLY applies to cali schools anyway!!!) hehe... This application cycle will be broaaaaad-although, my husband is still only applying to schools that have direct flights to San Diego so he can get home easily. My goodness, what a ride!


    Good luck to you as well!
     
  18. cali-ob

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    Dear Gigatt,
    first, I wish your husband luck in getting accepted into Davis. I am my family have done the opposite of you...we're from Cali, moved to midwest now for med school, and it looks as if we'll be staying for a while.
    We are a family of four and my husband has been the primary income earner. His employment has been crappy at best, and we have struggled financially quite a bit, but it can be done. I have a NHSC scholarship, and that gives me a stipend year round. Also during the first summer between first and second year of medical school, I applied for and got several thousand $ in research grants, externships, etc. We have medicaid for insurance (it would be medi-cal in california), because I can't allow us to be uninsured, espeically with children. and you shouldn't feel bad about that. Your husband will be giving it back many times over when he takes care of patients who can't afford to pay, but deserve to be taken care of. Even if you can only get Healthy families for you and the children look into it. It's not as hard as you think. I know it's a lot tougher to be low income in Cali than in the midwest. We now pay $750 for rent here, when we used to pay $1300 and that was "good". :) Feel free to PM if you have any specific questions. It can be done. I can give you four years worth of advice on how to make it.
     
  19. GIGATT

    GIGATT Member
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    OK..i have to say that you just gave me a new angle to present to my husband about the insurance deal. Even at our poorest he refused state help (can't tell you how mad i was at him for that one...BUT ,we made it through anyway!!!). You are SOOOOOO RIGHT when you say that he'll be paying it back many times over by helping his patients who can't afford to pay but need care. THANK you for wording it that way. Perhaps, if I phrase it the way you did he might re-consider letting us get some help. It's insane, I'm not worried at all, i know that all the provisions we need will be there. Thinking about this scenario is the most "comfortable", yet seemingly "uncomfortable" situation to be in- and we're totally at ease with it. I just hope that Davis comes through soon. I reaaaaaaaally don't want to go through the whole application process again!

    Midwest has its perks...people there seem to care alot about family priorities. It's not a bad place to raise the kiddos :0)
     
  20. SOUNDMAN

    SOUNDMAN Senior Member
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    I wish, but we get more of a tax break which is double bonus and the child credit once born of course. Kids do pay!!

    Also the midwest is excellent for raising kids, as well as being way cheaper. !Very family orientated at many schools and they make families a priority. DMU here wants you to leave with the same people you brought to medical school, it's kind of their moto regarding families.

    GL
     
  21. emgirl

    emgirl Senior Member
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    hey i don't mean to slam you here because you guys have enough to think about but i think that your husband's perspective is a bit selfish (in terms of the refusal to go on some sort of govt healthcare plan like medicaid). it's one thing if he wants to refuse that for himself but when children are concerned, dental and medical care, even if it's just once a year for a cleaning and physical/vaccinations, is really important to have for your kids. there are many state options just for kids that i would urge you to look into (CHIP). they are low cost or free depending on your income and then you wouldn't be in the position of choosing between eating and taking your kid into the doc for say an ear infection. we all pay taxes to medicaid- so in some respect you guys have paid into the system. tell him to get over his pride and sign your kids up for whatever you can afford.




     

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