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swtiepie711

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Please pardon me if this seems at all "dumb," but I am having issues understanding the FinAid process & requirements (which I know vary from school to school). My questions are general and I am looking for advice from current med students who have already been through the process (hence why this isn't in pre-allo). Hopefully, y'all will be able to help.

I was fortunate in that my parents funded my undergraduate education. Unfortunately, that now leaves me with very little knowledge of how to fund my own education.

I understand that we file the FAFSA (sooner rather than later). After that, I assumed we'd get forms to fill out later on for schools.

Every school I interviewed at said it was in the applicant's best interest to submit parental information on the FAFSA. However, as my parents make a bit, I figured that it wouldn't be to my benefit to include this. I figured that if a particular school required it, I could just submit their info at a later date. I went about beginning to fill out the FAFSA with this in mind.

Then I found out (b/c I happened to be perusing one school's website) that they require parent info on the FAFSA to be considered for the schools scholarships or LOANS!

Does anyone have any thoughts/experience with submitting or not submitting parental info on the FAFSA?

Without parental information, I won't be eligible for some scholarships/grants because schools seem to require that information; however, if I do submit I won't have the need to be eligible for those scholarships/grants.

Any help in trying to understand this system would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

rock_climber

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if you have to submit parental info, do it. i think most medical schools (and the man) consider you an independent and will give you loans despite what your parents make. if the school doesn't require parental info, then i wouldn't provide it. i dont think med schools expect your parents to pick up the tab even if they did for undergrad
 
D

deleted77919

Agree with the above. Never will they cut your loans (disclaimer this includes the 23 schools I applied to), and you might qualify for a small scholarship, etc. At worst you won't get any additional funds, but you won't qualify for any additional school funds if you don't submit it.
 
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For federal loans, my understanding is that the school cannot consider your parent's information if you are a medical student. For private loans, most lenders do not consider parent's information unless you use them as a cosigner. For school-based scholarships, many schools use parental information because they see it as the only way to separate the truly needy students from others (since most of go through the process with very few assets and very little income). Hope that helps.
 

Noeljan

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For federal loans, my understanding is that the school cannot consider your parent's information if you are a medical student. For private loans, most lenders do not consider parent's information unless you use them as a cosigner. For school-based scholarships, many schools use parental information because they see it as the only way to separate the truly needy students from others (since most of go through the process with very few assets and very little income). Hope that helps.

I started to fill out FASFA and they say I am independent. Then it asks if I would like to add parental info. I don't know what to do. Our household made under 30,000 for 4 people (but I think my mom is only claiming 3 this year because my brother wants to claim himself) so I wonder if I can get some grants. I never got much except for a very small amount of Pel and TAP but mostly loans for UG and grad. I know people say on here if your parents make less than etc, but for some reason (I dontknow why:( I have never gotten any of these "grants" that people say I would get based on such factors. Maybe med school is different? Anyone?
 
W

Wizard of Oz

Without giving parental info, you should be eligible for $38,500 in Staffords. That's the baseline.

Some schools give scholarships based on family contribution nonetheless and may want you to provide that info in some way. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably go ahead and put it on the FAFSA for the heck of it because it looks like you are pretty needy either way (especially in NY).

Check out this recent thread:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=366258
 

mules05

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Without giving parental info, you should be eligible for $38,500 in Staffords. That's the baseline.

Some schools give scholarships based on family contribution nonetheless and may want you to provide that info in some way. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably go ahead and put it on the FAFSA for the heck of it because it looks like you are pretty needy either way (especially in NY).

Check out this recent thread:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=366258

I'm not sure I understand why parental information is used to make decisions as to who is "needy". My parents make enough money that they put me as well as my four siblings through college (2 1/2 of those college funds are still sitting in the bank, and have to be claimed on tax returns). But they're not giving me anything to get through school, other than offering me a place to stay when I come home for christmas. How am I less needy, in terms of the financing I need to get through medical school, than someone whose parents make less??
 

beefballs

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at my escuela, to get federal (stafford sub and unsub) aid you don't need parental info but for school based aids you do-most of the school based stuff is need based for which I don't apply (the wife is my sugar momma) so its nobodies business regarding my moms cash flow
 

sirus_virus

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I'm not sure I understand why parental information is used to make decisions as to who is "needy". My parents make enough money that they put me as well as my four siblings through college (2 1/2 of those college funds are still sitting in the bank, and have to be claimed on tax returns). But they're not giving me anything to get through school, other than offering me a place to stay when I come home for christmas. How am I less needy, in terms of the financing I need to get through medical school, than someone whose parents make less??

You are less needy than the guy/girl that doesn't even have parents, or the guy/girl who's family income is below poverty level. That is just the fact. You just said your parents put you through college, that was not an option for some people. Not to mention that people from poorer families statistically have worse credit, so there goes the private loan option. We can go on and on, but you get the point.
 

Noeljan

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You are less needy than the guy/girl that doesn't even have parents, or the guy/girl who's family income is below poverty level. That is just the fact. You just said your parents put you through college, that was not an option for some people. Not to mention that people from poorer families statistically have worse credit, so there goes the private loan option. We can go on and on, but you get the point.

exactly. I mean I wish I got a PENNY of help for undergrad from my parents but I didnt:( If I had my UG paid for I would be soooo happy right now. Instead, I had to take out alllll loans. When I said my TAP award was small, I mean small (23.00!!!! for grad school each semester) Im like WTF keep your 23 bucks so you can say you give grants to people, lol.
Anyways, I sure could use some non loans for med school, like I said I had not a cent of help for UG or grad school, and of course not med school. I have been looking at some stuff which I fit the bill economically and educatioanlly (my mom only finished grade 9) but then it goes on to say must be a minority:( That is not a slight against them, heck some of my bestest friends are black but like I have said before if you are poor you are poor!!!
 

swoop

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In order for schools to not need parental information, you need to be 25 or older or be married. As stated before it is one of the only ways schools can seperate. Without it though you are still eligible for some government loans. If it comes to it you can always get private loans for your medical education.
 
4

45408

You are less needy than the guy/girl that doesn't even have parents, or the guy/girl who's family income is below poverty level. That is just the fact. You just said your parents put you through college, that was not an option for some people. Not to mention that people from poorer families statistically have worse credit, so there goes the private loan option. We can go on and on, but you get the point.
It doesn't matter if your parents make 23 cents or 23 million if you're not getting any of it. Granted, it probably helped you get to where you are now, but it's just frustrating when you apply for financial aid and don't get it, even if you need it more than someone who got it. My old roommate manages to get tons of financial aid because his parents are divorced, so he uses his mom's info, and her husband works in the Netherlands, so her US income is negligible. Result: grants out the wazoo. He wasn't any poorer than I was growing up, but he gets to work the system.
 

Timmythemic22

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Please pardon me if this seems at all "dumb," but I am having issues understanding the FinAid process & requirements (which I know vary from school to school). My questions are general and I am looking for advice from current med students who have already been through the process (hence why this isn't in pre-allo). Hopefully, y'all will be able to help.

I was fortunate in that my parents funded my undergraduate education. Unfortunately, that now leaves me with very little knowledge of how to fund my own education.

I understand that we file the FAFSA (sooner rather than later). After that, I assumed we'd get forms to fill out later on for schools.

Every school I interviewed at said it was in the applicant's best interest to submit parental information on the FAFSA. However, as my parents make a bit, I figured that it wouldn't be to my benefit to include this. I figured that if a particular school required it, I could just submit their info at a later date. I went about beginning to fill out the FAFSA with this in mind.

Then I found out (b/c I happened to be perusing one school's website) that they require parent info on the FAFSA to be considered for the schools scholarships or LOANS!

Does anyone have any thoughts/experience with submitting or not submitting parental info on the FAFSA?

Without parental information, I won't be eligible for some scholarships/grants because schools seem to require that information; however, if I do submit I won't have the need to be eligible for those scholarships/grants.

Any help in trying to understand this system would be greatly appreciated!!!


Sure, it's going to be a bit of a delay while your parents get their tax returns together for you, and it's a bit of a bigger pain in the ass for you to fill out, but it is definitely worth it. You never know what scholarship/grant you might place into by the addition of this information. Both my parents make between 20-25,000 a year, and this could put me at an advantage. Depending on the your parent's financial status, you could receive a decent amount of additional help.

I wish you fortune in your endeavors!
 
W

Wizard of Oz

You are less needy than the guy/girl that doesn't even have parents, or the guy/girl who's family income is below poverty level. That is just the fact. You just said your parents put you through college, that was not an option for some people. Not to mention that people from poorer families statistically have worse credit, so there goes the private loan option. We can go on and on, but you get the point.

I think 30K with 4 kids would be below poverty in the region that the OP is going to school. If your parents were able to help you on that income, then they are both smart and financially savvy.

I'm not touching the credit thing. I don't think most med students have problems with private financing if they've never defaulted on a debt.

I didn't mean to touch a nerve with my use of the term "needy." What I meant was that relative to those qualifying for "need-based" financial aid, you look like an excellent candidate. Again, this is not talking about Staffords which should be in the bag already, I'm referring only to disadvantaged student monies and/or private need-based scholarships offered by specific schools.

According to a prof of mine, children of docs are 61 times more likely to become docs than children of non-physicians. This does indeed skew the parental income statistics for medical school matriculants.

In order for schools to not need parental information, you need to be 25 or older or be married. As stated before it is one of the only ways schools can seperate. Without it though you are still eligible for some government loans. If it comes to it you can always get private loans for your medical education.

100% wrong. Do the online FAFSA, and it will tell you that if you are pursuing a doctoral degree, you are independent.

Sure, it's going to be a bit of a delay while your parents get their tax returns together for you, and it's a bit of a bigger pain in the ass for you to fill out, but it is definitely worth it. You never know what scholarship/grant you might place into by the addition of this information. Both my parents make between 20-25,000 a year, and this could put me at an advantage.!

Fill it out now for sure to get the application in with your info on it. Trust me, if you answer the questions properly, FAFSA will not make you give parental info.

You can make a revision later when your parents have done their taxes if you want to and/or the school asks for it.
 

mules05

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In order for schools to not need parental information, you need to be 25 or older or be married. As stated before it is one of the only ways schools can seperate. Without it though you are still eligible for some government loans. If it comes to it you can always get private loans for your medical education.

25 or older, OR married, OR in professional (medical/law) school. According the the FAFSA, anyway. I also like the "if it comes to it..." part. I'd like to meet these people who are bringing down the average med school debt to $150K. I have more than that now, and I'm an M2. Not to mention the potential credit card debt I'm going to have to add to pay for qbank and such. And a PDA. And work clothes for clerkships. Just cause my parents gave me clothes when I was growing up doesn't mean they're giving me anything now.
 

sirus_virus

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It doesn't matter if your parents make 23 cents or 23 million if you're not getting any of it. Granted, it probably helped you get to where you are now, but it's just frustrating when you apply for financial aid and don't get it, even if you need it more than someone who got it. My old roommate manages to get tons of financial aid because his parents are divorced, so he uses his mom's info, and her husband works in the Netherlands, so her US income is negligible. Result: grants out the wazoo. He wasn't any poorer than I was growing up, but he gets to work the system.

It is not a perfect system, but the fact remains that even in our glorious america, poor families tend to produce poor offsprings. You are more likely to have poor parents with poor kids than rich parents with poor kids. An alternative might be for schools to pretend everyone is equal, and give equal aid to everyone. Not a good alternative IMO.
 

mules05

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It is not a perfect system, but the fact remains that even in our glorious america, poor families tend to produce poor offsprings. You are more likely to have poor parents with poor kids than rich parents with poor kids. An alternative might be for schools to pretend everyone is equal, and give equal aid to everyone. Not a good alternative IMO.

In general this may be true when you look at the big picture, but the point remains that the majority of us, from rich, poor, or middle-class families, have not spent time in the workforce prior to medical school (or if we have, it's not for long enough to have the money to cover med school). Therefore you can't classify us as "rich" or "poor" based on the size of our bank accounts, unless we have a trust fund somewhere. Whether or not children of rich families tend to end up in higher-paying jobs eventually is irrelevant when you're talking about a bunch of just-out-of-college kids who, overwhelmingly, don't have any money.
 

Noeljan

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In general this may be true when you look at the big picture, but the point remains that the majority of us, from rich, poor, or middle-class families, have not spent time in the workforce prior to medical school (or if we have, it's not for long enough to have the money to cover med school). Therefore you can't classify us as "rich" or "poor" based on the size of our bank accounts, unless we have a trust fund somewhere. Whether or not children of rich families tend to end up in higher-paying jobs eventually is irrelevant when you're talking about a bunch of just-out-of-college kids who, overwhelmingly, don't have any money.

I don't think it is irrelevant. You said your parents paid for college right? Do you have any idea what it is like to have ZERO help for any of college. I am not saying you don't need any help, but you also cannot say everyone is on equal footing. It is much much more difficult getting to this point without any help than with. I mean there was tuition, food, living expenses, books, evertything. I cannot explain it but it is much more difficult to get ahead in this country if you don't come from any money to begin with.
 
W

Wizard of Oz

I'm not sure I understand why parental information is used to make decisions as to who is "needy". My parents make enough money that they put me as well as my four siblings through college (2 1/2 of those college funds are still sitting in the bank, and have to be claimed on tax returns). But they're not giving me anything to get through school, other than offering me a place to stay when I come home for christmas. How am I less needy, in terms of the financing I need to get through medical school, than someone whose parents make less??

Schools make the decisions about "need-based," and there is no getting around them thinking that you have money if your parents are wealthy in some cases. Not my rule.
 
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Mules,
I understand your pain because I'm in a similar situation--I'm married and don't get money from my parents, but my parents make enough money that I'm unable to qualify for school scholarships (which are almost exclusively need-based and include parental data). Originally, I felt frustrated by it, and I figured it would be even worse for someone who is 35 or 40, married and with kids, who STILL has their financial status determined by their parents. So I asked our financial aid people about it.

Their explanation is that there is very little difference in the bank accounts and incomes of med students. Virtually everyone is poor. At the same time, the school has a limited amount of money to distribute, and most of it has restrictions that the money distribution be based on need (i.e., the money came from donors who said that the money has to be spent on people who have financial need). The school needs a way to separate out people so they can identify those who are most in need, and the best proxy they can come up with is parental income and assets. They figure that parents with more money are more likely to have helped with undergrad expenses, are more likely to be able to give gifts, and provide a safety net should everything fall apart for us. I know that all of those things are true for me. My parents paid for my undergrad education, they do buy me more expensive gifts than my classmates get (e.g., for Christmas, they bought me a good amount of the clothes I will need for rotations), and I know that if I was ever in real danger of being on the streets, they would bail me out because they have that ability. It still is frustrating because I certainly feel like I'm a needy student, but their explanation does make sense to me.

They also pointed out that they (like most schools) have an appeals process where you can highlight special circumstances (e.g., estranged from a parent or the hypothetical 40 year old I mentioned above). They also agree that medical education costs a lot and that there need to be better ways for med students to pay for it. But given the situation they have, they find that including parental income is the best objective criterion they have for ensuring that they distribute their resources fairly and in accordance with the donors wishes.

Hope that helps explain it, at least a little bit.
 

Noeljan

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while I understand everyones pain and frustration with not getting much grants/need based aid, I am kind of confused how people had their UG paid for by their parents, get clothes and other things (maybe cars), can even say they get nothing from their parents? I don't think some of you realize what it actually means to get nothing and have nothing. I am not trying to be mean, but think about it from my point of view.
ps if I had it my way we would all get medical school paid for as in the original oath:)
one more thing, I doubt I will get much grants to begin with. I don't have much, but like I said before did not get much for UG or grad in terms of that, and am not a minority so there are not many "disadvantaged" scholarships I seem to qualify for, even though I meet all the other criteria. So don't worry, I'll prob being taking out all loans just like anyone.
 

sirus_virus

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In general this may be true when you look at the big picture, but the point remains that the majority of us, from rich, poor, or middle-class families, have not spent time in the workforce prior to medical school (or if we have, it's not for long enough to have the money to cover med school). Therefore you can't classify us as "rich" or "poor" based on the size of our bank accounts, unless we have a trust fund somewhere. Whether or not children of rich families tend to end up in higher-paying jobs eventually is irrelevant when you're talking about a bunch of just-out-of-college kids who, overwhelmingly, don't have any money.

By that logic, Bill Gates' kids will qualify for "need based" financial aid.
 

t33sg1rl

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We had a cold snap in our area, and one of my classmates got a $300 heating bill. She casually mentioned that she called her parents and asked for some money. My only thought was "Must be nice!" There's no way my parents could send me $300 on the spur of the moment, and I'd never ask them-why make them feel guilty that they couldn't help?
There are lots of med students around who, just like me, don't work and have no income aside from student loans. I have a Disadvantaged Student Scholarship, which I qualified for based on (lack of) parental income. I don't get much, but it does make the difference between a person like me, who hasn't visited their parents in three years because I can't afford air tickets, and someone like Daddy's Little Doctorette driving around in the car Daddy bought her, living alone in a 2 bedroom condo with cable TV and eating at restaurants six nights a week, a little less irritating.
 
W

Wizard of Oz

Everybody gets handed a different deck of cards in life. I grew up in a family with under 20K income, I had to go into considerable debt during UG, and it took me years to get back on my feet with a worthless Master's degree. Feces happens.

I'll tell you this, though, med school is your equalizer. Pretty much all students (especially those with no personal income) are eligible for the $38,500 in Staffords. I keep stressing this point because that should be plenty of money if you earned a slot in your state school. There might be a little bit of free cash on the side, but if you weren't given it as a recruiting incentive with your offer letter, whatever free money you get isn't going to be a lot. Society doesn't feel the pain of a fledgling doctor when it comes to educational debt.

Yes there are plenty of students who still live high off of their parents even in medical school, but that doesn't matter any longer. You have the power to out-compete them if you work hard. Day 1 of medical school wipes all slates clean. Your destiny is in your own hands, and there aren't that many professions where the massive debt won't be handled by future income.
 

Timmythemic22

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Everybody gets handed a different deck of cards in life. I grew up in a family with under 20K income, I had to go into considerable debt during UG, and it took me years to get back on my feet with a worthless Master's degree. Feces happens.

I'll tell you this, though, med school is your equalizer. Pretty much all students (especially those with no personal income) are eligible for the $38,500 in Staffords. I keep stressing this point because that should be plenty of money if you earned a slot in your state school. There might be a little bit of free cash on the side, but if you weren't given it as a recruiting incentive with your offer letter, whatever free money you get isn't going to be a lot. Society doesn't feel the pain of a fledgling doctor when it comes to educational debt.

Yes there are plenty of students who still live high off of their parents even in medical school, but that doesn't matter any longer. You have the power to out-compete them if you work hard. Day 1 of medical school wipes all slates clean. Your destiny is in your own hands, and there aren't that many professions where the massive debt won't be handled by future income.


You make a lot of sense. Considering I grew up in a lower-middle-class (?) environment, I always relied on grants and scholarships to get through school, though my parents did save a great deal for me to go to college. I'll be going to a state school in august, but I'm still in constant worry that whatever aid I'm awarded will not be enough. Though it's still early in the aid cycle, I wish my school would hurry up with more information and some step-by-step programs to help us out.
 

peace84

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I don't think it is irrelevant. You said your parents paid for college right? Do you have any idea what it is like to have ZERO help for any of college. I am not saying you don't need any help, but you also cannot say everyone is on equal footing. It is much much more difficult getting to this point without any help than with. I mean there was tuition, food, living expenses, books, evertything. I cannot explain it but it is much more difficult to get ahead in this country if you don't come from any money to begin with.


Just because someone's parents have enough money to pay for the kid's college tuition doesn't mean they do it. I know students who come from well-off families who have to put themselves through college and med school. And are not eligible for grants or need based scholarships.
 

Saluki

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The fact is that med schools don't have enough money to help everyone out... If your parents don't want to pay for it, becuase they already paid for undergrad, that's unfortunate but realistic. If your parents had a sizeable trust fund set up, you could have chosen to go to a cheaper state school for undergrad and then use that money to pay for medical school. If your wealthy parents didn't give you a dime after high school (rather unusual from what I've seen), then you still got educational advantages either from your better public school or your high-fluting prep school. I'm not saying that it's unfair that you got those advantages, but I don't think that those whose parents make large incomes should begrudge the financial aid those whose family incomes are below the poverty level are receiving. Moreover, it's not like there aren't opportunities for those who are wealthy: you can do the National Health Service Corps, get your school paid for by the military, excel academically in undergrad and try to get a scholarship at a slightly lower ranked medical school than you might have otherwise have chosen, or simply live poor during residency and fellowship so you can pay off your loans as quickly as possible.
 
4

45408

while I understand everyones pain and frustration with not getting much grants/need based aid, I am kind of confused how people had their UG paid for by their parents, get clothes and other things (maybe cars), can even say they get nothing from their parents? I don't think some of you realize what it actually means to get nothing and have nothing. I am not trying to be mean, but think about it from my point of view.
And some of us didn't get help for undergrad either, even if our parents could have done so. I worked a lot to pay for undergrad, and I never saw a penny from my parents for tuition. My dad's business actually owed me a lot of money that it had borrowed over the years, interest-free.
 
W

Wizard of Oz

The beauty of med school is that you really don't have a great advantage from school to school. The material is standardized to meet the needs of licensing exams, so all you have to do is put in the required effort for admissions to get an affordable state-based medical education. After that, the ball is completely in your court.
 

mules05

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By that logic, Bill Gates' kids will qualify for "need based" financial aid.

If Bill Gates' kids are getting no money, trust funds, or other gifts from Daddy, why shouldn't they get financial aid? Are we now discriminating based on family name?

I'm not trying to say that no one should get aid, nor that everyone is necessarily on equal footing. I realize that some people may have more difficult financial situations than others. What I'm sick of, though, is hearing people's self-pity because of their background, and being blamed for the fact that I'm a doctor's kid, whether it's being told I got into school because I'm a legacy or being told I haven't earned for all the things I'm assumed to have (like the comment about the "doctorette" driving around in her car that daddy bought).
 

vtucci

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In order for schools to not need parental information, you need to be 25 or older or be married. As stated before it is one of the only ways schools can seperate. Without it though you are still eligible for some government loans. If it comes to it you can always get private loans for your medical education.

I am 30 and my school still requires my parents' information in order for me to be eligible for any school/institutional funds (including grants and scholarships).
 

vtucci

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The fact is that med schools don't have enough money to help everyone out... If your parents don't want to pay for it, becuase they already paid for undergrad, that's unfortunate but realistic. If your parents had a sizeable trust fund set up, you could have chosen to go to a cheaper state school for undergrad and then use that money to pay for medical school. If your wealthy parents didn't give you a dime after high school (rather unusual from what I've seen), then you still got educational advantages either from your better public school or your high-fluting prep school. I'm not saying that it's unfair that you got those advantages, but I don't think that those whose parents make large incomes should begrudge the financial aid those whose family incomes are below the poverty level are receiving. Moreover, it's not like there aren't opportunities for those who are wealthy: you can do the National Health Service Corps, get your school paid for by the military, excel academically in undergrad and try to get a scholarship at a slightly lower ranked medical school than you might have otherwise have chosen, or simply live poor during residency and fellowship so you can pay off your loans as quickly as possible.

I agree that it is silly to require parental information on graduate student FAFSAs. I also know many students at the UG and Grad Levels whose parents made an inordinate amount of $$$ and so they did not qualify for aid at UG (it took my best friend 10 years to get her UG as a result of her parents' unwillingness to contribute). At the grad level, almost all $$$ is in the form of loans-- which we must pay back. Even filing for bankruptcy will not wipe out our student loans.
 

Saluki

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I agree that it is silly to require parental information on graduate student FAFSAs. I also know many students at the UG and Grad Levels whose parents made an inordinate amount of $$$ and so they did not qualify for aid at UG (it took my best friend 10 years to get her UG as a result of her parents' unwillingness to contribute). At the grad level, almost all $$$ is in the form of loans-- which we must pay back. Even filing for bankruptcy will not wipe out our student loans.

I think you misunderstood what I said... I don't think it's silly to require parental information for private aid as long as federal loans are not based on it. I think that if this girl's parents make a ton of money that she shouldn't receive financial aid instead of the girl whose parents make 15k a year. If her parents chose not to help, that's unfortunate, but if she'd chosen a cheaper undergraduate instituion, it might not have been as difficult. At the grad level most aid is in the form of loans and we're equally eligible for those regardless of our parent's financial circumstances. Grants from a school are just a bonus, and it seems fair to reserve those for the students who come from the poorest families.
 

vtucci

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It is silly to require parental information for people who are over 25. Doubly so, for students over 30.

With respect to the OP, you are assuming that if she want to a cheaper school her parents would have paid for medical school. That may not be the case. I knew plenty of students whose parents considered their obligations to educate students over with the BA/BS and not to continue paying indefinitely. Regardless of how much parents make, if they are not willing to contribute anything, it totally sucks to be that child-- esp at UG where you can't get enough loans to cover it.

The parents do not have to make 6 figures for this to happen. When my parents made 50K, colleges expected them to kick out 11K for tuition. They had taxes, enormous medical bills, a mortgage etc.

The current forms do not take into consideration cost of living (which is vastly different in NYC than podunck, iowa), taxes (city, state and federal), mortgage, unpaid medical bills. Some schools will consider these items others won't. So some parents who want to help out might not be able to do so.
 

Saluki

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It is silly to require parental information for people who are over 25. Doubly so, for students over 30.

With respect to the OP, you are assuming that if she want to a cheaper school her parents would have paid for medical school. That may not be the case. I knew plenty of students whose parents considered their obligations to educate students over with the BA/BS and not to continue paying indefinitely. Regardless of how much parents make, if they are not willing to contribute anything, it totally sucks to be that child-- esp at UG where you can't get enough loans to cover it.

The parents do not have to make 6 figures for this to happen. When my parents made 50K, colleges expected them to kick out 11K for tuition. They had taxes, enormous medical bills, a mortgage etc.

The current forms do not take into consideration cost of living (which is vastly different in NYC than podunck, iowa), taxes (city, state and federal), mortgage, unpaid medical bills. Some schools will consider these items others won't. So some parents who want to help out might not be able to do so.

I disagree that it's ridiculous to ask for parental information. I'm not trying to say that if she had gone to a cheaper school that her parents would have helped her out with med school, rather that if she'd gone to a cheaper school she could have gone through faster and accumulated less debt.
Most medical school financial aid forms allow you to list special circumstances, and even if there isn't a spot for it you could certainly send in a letter explaining the enormous medical bills.
But the end point is that the school isn't obligated to give anyone money. You're in professional school and you're going to be making a large salary when you get out-- you'll certainly be able to pay off the loans. And if you're absolutely opposed to taking out loans you can do the military, NHSC, etc. But to say that the child of wealthy parents should get the same amount of financial aid as the person who worked their way through the state school because their parents work for minimum wage at Walmart is ridiculous... And that's the vibe I get from the people who are posting...
 

dpmd

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The point is that it is impossible for the school to know which students are getting help from mom and dad (whatever their level of income) and which are not. Every single med school student who didn't commit a drug offense, and is a US citizen (not sure about permanent residents) can get the maximum stafford loan (which went up to 40,500 according to the site I checked). A portion of this will be subsidized if the student (and their spouse) qualifies as needy (no parental info factored in-even if you put it on the FAFSA for those schools that require it). Some schools have money they can give that is designated for need based aid (loans or scholarships). It is money that belongs to the school, and therefore they decide how to distribute it. They can give every student something like $500 (except for those people with spouses who earn good money, and those students that earned a good amount before they started). Or they can decide to base it on more things like how much your parents make and how old they are. They could ask whether your parents provide any assistance, but I would think many students would not be so forthcoming with this info. They could end up giving need based aid to someone who has never worked, but whose parents bought a house for their child to live in and make money off of by renting out extra rooms (actual student at my school, a good friend who did not in reality get any need based aid). That would leave no money for the kid whose parents are dead and who has worked a starbucks all through undergrad. How is that more fair? I guess if you really don't like the way those schools distribute their money you can protest by not going there.
 

vtucci

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I disagree that it's ridiculous to ask for parental information. I'm not trying to say that if she had gone to a cheaper school that her parents would have helped her out with med school, rather that if she'd gone to a cheaper school she could have gone through faster and accumulated less debt.
Most medical school financial aid forms allow you to list special circumstances, and even if there isn't a spot for it you could certainly send in a letter explaining the enormous medical bills.
But the end point is that the school isn't obligated to give anyone money. You're in professional school and you're going to be making a large salary when you get out-- you'll certainly be able to pay off the loans. And if you're absolutely opposed to taking out loans you can do the military, NHSC, etc. But to say that the child of wealthy parents should get the same amount of financial aid as the person who worked their way through the state school because their parents work for minimum wage at Walmart is ridiculous... And that's the vibe I get from the people who are posting...

I think whether our parental information should be required should be based on the applicant's age. As more and more students are switching into medicine from other fields and the age is increasing for incoming MS1s, it seems antiquated to require parental information for students who are 30, have been on their own for nine years. They may be married, have children, own property in their own right. My parents are 65 and retired (they were working class) and are living off social security and a meager pension/401K. To even suggest that they should contribute to my education at this point, is absurd IMO.

Also, keep in mind... the option of the military or NHSC may not be available to everyone (either due to medical or other disqualifications or because of intended specialty with NHSC limiting to FM, IM, Psych, Ob/Gyn, Peds- anyone else find it amusing the Ob/Gyn is included and not EM which is essentially the primary care of the urban poor).

The amount our parents make does not impact our ability to get private loans to cover medical school. That is not the case at the undergrad level and that was my point. I know many people whose parents did not care at all about their education, would not contribute a penny to it and the kids could not get enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, room and board, books etc. For some people, it may mean taking 10 years to get a BA/BS. I only suggest that there should be an alternative for people at the UG level.

By the time we get to grad level (at least in the professional arenas), we can cover the cost with loans because banks will lend us enough. The OP can take out loans to cover the full amount. As for the rest of us, we could omit our parents' information and forfeit any potential institutional funds and scholarships. As annoying as it is to get my parents' information, at least they are willing to give it to me and I can jump through this hoop in the hopes of getting some institutional funds.
 

vtucci

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The point is that it is impossible for the school to know which students are getting help from mom and dad (whatever their level of income) and which are not. Every single med school student who didn't commit a drug offense, and is a US citizen (not sure about permanent residents) can get the maximum stafford loan (which went up to 40,500 according to the site I checked). A portion of this will be subsidized if the student (and their spouse) qualifies as needy (no parental info factored in-even if you put it on the FAFSA for those schools that require it). Some schools have money they can give that is designated for need based aid (loans or scholarships). It is money that belongs to the school, and therefore they decide how to distribute it. They can give every student something like $500 (except for those people with spouses who earn good money, and those students that earned a good amount before they started). Or they can decide to base it on more things like how much your parents make and how old they are. They could ask whether your parents provide any assistance, but I would think many students would not be so forthcoming with this info. They could end up giving need based aid to someone who has never worked, but whose parents bought a house for their child to live in and make money off of by renting out extra rooms (actual student at my school, a good friend who did not in reality get any need based aid). That would leave no money for the kid whose parents are dead and who has worked a starbucks all through undergrad. How is that more fair? I guess if you really don't like the way those schools distribute their money you can protest by not going there.

The system definitely works properly for the vast majority of people. I was working class and never had a problem with financial aid (although ironically, it was much cheaper for me to go to Yale than my state colleges). I always worked in college and law school.

It just sucks for the students whose parents really don't give a damn about them (and there are a lot more of them out there than you might think). Yes, I understand the quagmire whereby you could not prove what parents would or would not help their children. However, I would propose a system whereby UG can be totally funded by loans as well (that would be a last resort for such students but at least then it would not take them an obscenely long time to graduate, if ever) if a student is unable to obtain their parents' information. Sure, you could amass one hell of a debt (esp if you planned on grad school) but it would be an option.
 

dpmd

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Oh, I totally misunderstood. I agree that there should be more options for undergrad students. I was one of those stuck in the middle people whose parents made enough not to qualify for much (plus I worked part time-shooting myself in the foot financial aid-wise), but whose parents didn't actually have all that money rolling around (my dad was 62 when I stared undergrad, lots of money was going towards retirement). They helped as much as they could (which I know lots of parents wouldn't), but I had intended to at least cover my own tuition. Imagine my surprise when I was told I was maxed out on loans and could not get any more unless my parents applied for it. Luckily we worked out a deal where I was supposed to pay them back for it (although they refused when I tried to pay a while back). I can't imagine what would have happened if they had refused (or if they couldn't get approved). It doesn't have to be free money, or even super low interest rates, just available for those that need it (although there should be some financial counseling on whether you should, ie. an underwater basket weaving major who is preparing for a career in the food service industry maybe shouldn't be taking out 100k in loans-perhaps community college would better serve them).
 

Sol Rosenberg

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I am 30 and my school still requires my parents' information in order for me to be eligible for any school/institutional funds (including grants and scholarships).
Quick question, vtucci: Did you actually receive any aid from your school (besides Federal loans)? I know you used to be an attorney, and your salary before med. school was probably in the same ballpark as mine. My future medical school keeps giving me the whole "we need your parents' information or else you won't be considered for institutional grants/loans/etc" but I wonder (and they keep dodging the question when I ask it) if I really have a chance for any of those awards anyway. So, I'm considering not even bothering with my parents' info, since I doubt I'll receive anything anyway.

Anyone know anybody who made a sizeable salary before medical school and still get awarded any need-based aid?
 
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Anyone know anybody who made a sizeable salary before medical school and still get awarded any need-based aid?

Yes and no. Yes I know a few people who had moderate to high incomes working professionally and then attended medical school. And no, they didn't get any institutional aid (above the basic federal loans, etc). However, starting MSII most (2 out of the 3 I know) qualified for meager handouts in line with what other students were getting. The 3rd just had way too much in investments.
 
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