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rich parents... a blessing and a curse

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by happysquirrel, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. happysquirrel

    happysquirrel nutcracker 2.0 2+ Year Member

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    So I'm filling out my financial aid info (late, I know) for Georgetown for instituional aid and I'm puzzled as to what to include. My mom is a dentist, which means we live pretty comfortably (my parents are separated and my mom pays for all my expenses), but I'm wondering if I should include her income tax return and her financial info for Georgetown's institutional aid. I'm pretty sure if I do I won't get much aid.

    She works really hard to support my brother and I so I want to take the financial burden of paying for med school off of her. Should I not include her info and bend the truth by saying that she doesn't pay for all my expenses? I put myself as "independent" on FAFSA but I included her financial info (a mistake?). Now I'm working on Georgetown institutional aid which includes grants and scholarships and such (need-based I believe), and thinking that maybe I should omit all her info to maximize my chances of getting a good amount of aid.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? Financial aid is so confusing!:eek:
     
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  3. lord_jeebus

    lord_jeebus 和魂洋才 Moderator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    They're not going to give you need-based aid if you exclude parental info...
     
  4. neuroneurd

    neuroneurd 10+ Year Member

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    happysquirrel, i just did georgetown's finaid app yesterday and spoke with david pollock a few times earlier with questions. if you don't include your mom's income data, etc, you will only be eligible for federal loans. you need parental data for georgetown to consider you for any type of institutional aid (i.e. grants, scholarships, loans with better rates than stafford). while you might not be eligible for need-based institutional aid, it doesn't hurt you at all to include the info... otherwise, you won't know one way or another. hope that helps!
     
  5. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah...pretty much all schools do this, for the very reason they don't want people who have resources to be able to fib and try to hide it. Must be tough...:rolleyes:
     
  6. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

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    If the school doesn't think you're eligible for need-based aid then you can take out private loans to cover the remainder so you don't burden your mother.
     
  7. nekrogg

    nekrogg 5+ Year Member

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    is he going to get need based aid? his mom is a dentist.

    i was going to ask for my parent's tax income return before i realized i would be wasting my time and theirs as its probably not going to make a difference in my aid outcome.
     
  8. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    No. That's why this person wants to omit his/her mom's income....so the school might actually fork over some $$. Thankfully schools are smarter so that the little need-based free $$ that actually is available can go to students whose parents are NOT dentists/doctors and who actually don't have any financial safety net.

    It is a crappy situation, but when I am eating bean burritos even with tons of institutional aid from Duke and half of my classmates are living waaaay above my means, I don't feel so bad anymore. At least they have mommy and daddy to console them with cash...
     
  9. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

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    Would you say a good half of the students at Duke have mummy and daddy footing the bill of their education? No wonder they have an astoundingly low avg. debt figure :rolleyes: .
     
  10. LifetimeDoc

    LifetimeDoc EM Attending Physician 10+ Year Member

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    OP has total of 8 posts, inflammatory main post about rich parents and the desire to apply for need-based grants/scholarships, nice troll potential...priceless. :rolleyes:
     
  11. PhotoMD

    PhotoMD Rad! 5+ Year Member

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    Even people on 100% loans have to eat bean burritos if their parents give them 0.

     
  12. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    Look, I don't want my mom to help pay for my med school either (she kinda offered), although she's not rich at all-just insanely hard working...she works 6 days a week right now because she's convinced she has to do that to help pay for my brother's UG tuition. And obviously I haven't accepted her offer to help pay my current undergrad loans (seriously, I keep trying to tell her she doesn't have to work that 6th day plus the random OT she does at her weekday job).

    But OP, to be honest, most med students end up having to loan the hell up anyways, so if you don't want your mom to have to bear the burden, just borrow more money.

    However, if your mother can spare the cash (I dunno how much she has saved up, but you probably have a better idea) without having to work any harder, I don't know if it's the greatest idea to turn her down. I mean, being buried in loans probably isn't the funnest thing ever, and I can only presume that she would eventually leave her money to you anyway, so if she has tons of savings just sitting around there's no real reason why you couldn't let her help you out.

    You can just buy her some ridiculously nice stuff when you get out of med school and start making real money =) Although, since she's a dentist she probably already has nice stuff lol.

    Seriously though, if your parents are super rich the only real way you can save any money on med school is to go to a state school (or Baylor if you're from Texas *grumble*). Then again that actually kinda applies to most of the upper middle class folks too.
     
  13. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    From my experience, even most of the people I meet that are "paying their own way" [and this includes in undergrad] end up having their parents give them a lot of cash. Even two of my best friends in undergrad would complain about money constantly, and I found out that they both basically had an allowance and had money coming from their parents. In med school, people's parents will pay for housing or give them spending money or something.... So you're right, all of us with no parental contribution are eating bean burritos... But the # of medical students that are truly in that position is pretty low.
     
  14. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I am not positive how the #'s are so low. I assume it has to do with a few factors like having a LOT of scholarships [you won't get one probably, so don't worry.... you have to be the right, well, nevermind]. Then the Duke grant also helps a lot of people. Then there is 3rd year funding. But I think what also pulls the #s way down is that there are tons of people that ARE borrowing at least SOME money. So they go into the calculations, but they might have only borrowed a small amount. So, no, most people in my class do not have mommy and daddy writing a $250K check. But I'd say most people get a hell of a lot more parental "help" than I do [which is $0]. But, Humble, that's with every medical school across the country. I just think Duke's #'s are so low b/c of other factors like a lot of scholarships, etc. Oh yeah, I forgot, there are also students that get this NC scholarship where they have to stay in NC. Well, they still have to borrow a few grand a year b/c the scholarship covers ALMOST everything.... so that will bring the #'s way down.
     
  15. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

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    I thought less than 30% of students get third year funding? If so I'm not going to bank on it. Ugh, damn, I hate money concerns. I wonder if Hillary's wonderful healthcare plan includes lowering med school costs.:(
     
  16. gotmeds?

    gotmeds? 5+ Year Member

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    I'm so sorry. What a burden it must have been to grow up with rich parents. Yet somehow you persevered and managed to get into medical school, against all odds. You sir/ma'am, are an inspiration to us all.
     
  17. jmart

    jmart Member 7+ Year Member

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    If your parents aren't helping you and pay and you are an independent I think you should get need based if you meet the requirements. My dad is a doctor and they have no offered to pay for med school, I was hoping I could get something. I guess I can't now, I don't understand that.
     
  18. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    That's just one factor. But say 30% of students borrow like $25,000 less. That's going to have an impact on the #s.
     
  19. notgettingin

    notgettingin 2+ Year Member

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    That's a really **** thing to say. My parents do quite well for themselves and are not giving me any form of aid. The way they see it I am 28 and should be responsible for myself. Which puts me in the rank of eating bean burritos along with you and getting NO aid. Looks like you will be living well above my means with your institutional aid. THAT is unfair.
     
  20. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I don't think it is a crappy thing to say. You want to omit their information b/c you feel like you should get some institutional aid. Isn't that the case? The unfortunate thing about this is that some people, like you, get the short end of the stick. The problem is that there is no other way to do it. EVERYONE would instantly be "independent" from their parents if that's all it took to get free $$.

    EDIT: And if your parents do quite well for themselves, take it up with them. School isn't meant to be free. The institutional aid that is available is designed for people who would probably NOT attend those schools b/c of the price tag. If you don't like how much this process costs, quit.
     
  21. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    All institutional aid does is lower your debt. You have a safety net and probably an inheritance coming eventually so its cosidered less of a priority for you to come out with less debt than someone who has no one to turn to when they are in financial trouble. During residency they will have nothing more than the 30-40K income to try to live on and pay down their debt, there's no one to turn to for some extra cash for groceries if they get in trouble, theres no nice ipod in the mail for their birthday. They are much more likely to have serious troubles paying off the debt so the idea is to help them first.
     
  22. notgettingin

    notgettingin 2+ Year Member

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    What does that have to do with anything? If I quit, then why shouldn't everyone that can't afford school quit? The point is, I will take out an extreme amount of loans to finance school which is exactly what people whose parents can't afford to pay school would be doing. In my opinion, institutional aid should be merit based. Or at the very least, after a certain cut-off age, you should not have to report your parent's financial information anymore. 28 is really old to be reporting financial information.
     
  23. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

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    Sometimes I wish SDN had a feature where you could reach out through the computer screen and slap an annoying poster.
     
  24. Noeljan

    Noeljan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    :thumbup:
     
  25. dabiophyz

    dabiophyz 2+ Year Member

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    It is ridiculous that some of you think that just because our parents are well off we shouldn't be entitled to any aid. Most of our parents are around retirement age anyway, and to fork over 250k is a stretch for nearly everyone. Why should you get aid if your parents don't have money versus our parents having money but not willing to jeopardize their retirement? Why should we be punished for having parents who were lucky enough to do well financially? Stop resenting people, claiming you're entitled to be debt free but we should be hung out to dry, and grow up.
     
  26. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member

    Rich or financially secure? There's a large difference. But either way, the children of said people don't ever get any help in paying for school. My parents fall into the latter category, but they would have a hard time finding an extra $40,000 for med school in addition to the $20,000 they already pay for UG for my sibling. Many of my friends have well-off parents who gave them the boot (financially) when they graduated high school. Your parents money is not your own, and schools don't respect that. And you're being unnecessarily harsh. Having wealthy parents is hardly pre-meditated. It just happens. It would be unfair of you to criticize me because my parents are making money. What role did I play in that? And what good does it do me when I graduate and they say, "have fun with the rest of your life!"?
     
  27. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy 7+ Year Member

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    :rolleyes:
     
  28. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    You sound like the one who is resentful. I was explaining the logic of the system in place, its not like the people in the finaid office are jelous of you and thats why they set the system up, there is a logic. No one expects your parents to pay for you, but even if your wealthy parents aren't paying your tuition you undoubtedly will profit financially from them over the course of your education. I have an uncle who isn't paying for my education, but who I know would bail me out if I was in a financial bind (i.e. needed some money for groceries, not ran up my credit card), there are many people who don't have any safety net at all and they definitely need to be prioritized ahead of those of us who do. You probably don't think of all the things your parents do for you that add up to alot of help because you've never gone without them, but I have and trust me those socks they give you for christmas, the money in the mail on your birthday, the old couch they gave you for your new apartment . . . all of these semingly minor things add up to something significant that many of your future classmates don't have. I don't resent those who have more than me, I have compassion for those who have less.
     
  29. Davjc2009

    Davjc2009 2+ Year Member

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    It's the best system med schools have. If everyone filed independently without their parents info, what would that tell a med school? That everyone needs aid? There's just not that much to go around. The system gets aid to the people who DEFINITELY can't cope with financial strain if it comes their way in med school.

    Like so:
    Med Student A and B both don't have enough money to buy groceries.

    A: Parents gross 25k$ with 5 other kids.
    B: Parents gross 100k$ with one other child.

    Who is more likely to give their kid a benjamin to help with the groceries?


    Note: My parents' gross more than 100k$, none of which I will receive a penny of during med school, and I still agree its the best possible system.
     
  30. alwaysaangel

    alwaysaangel 5+ Year Member

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    So take out loans like most people do.

    Aid is limited and they had to decide how to give it out somehow. So they decided the extremely talented (merit based) and the extremely poor (need-based).

    Like others have said there are lots of tiny things well-off parents do for their kids that make a huge difference. Then there is the fact that you will probably receive an inheritance 30 years down the road when your parents pass on, while the very poor will probably receive some inherited debt.

    So who needs to come out with lower loans?

    If you can't figure that one out I worry.
     
  31. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    Will my insurance cover it? So the children of the rich and famous are to be treated the same as the children of parents who barely can afford to buy a pizza on Friday night for ten bucks on special. Because the med school should worry about whether or not it will affect the rich parents ability to play golf at Pebble Beach on the weekends during their retirement? Yeah, we need a level playing field in the med school financial aid offices so the rich kids don't get screwed. Clearly, that is one of the major social issues facing America today.
     
  32. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc 10+ Year Member

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    What is the worst is when a person, especially true in the case of nontrads, has been paying their own way for everything and declared independent for years on end and what not. Yet, they are required to tell their parents info and could possibly get screwed over for it.
     
  33. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc 10+ Year Member

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    Yeah I see your points, but what about those cases where parents have money but are not willing to help their children out and hence though the kids come from money they don't really have money?
     
  34. scrubsaresexy

    scrubsaresexy 2+ Year Member

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    You missed the point. We're ALL going to have debt.

    Let's say we have two potential med students. One has fairly wealthy parents who will still be getting a fairly large pension. The other doesn't really have much money; his family lives paycheck to paycheck. If the first person doesn't get a lot of financial aid, his parents will probably grumble and help him out. If the second person doesn't get a lot of financial aid, he's not going to med school.
    The problem here: this has nothing to do with how well-qualified, motivated, or intelligent someone is. The second person could be 1000x more qualified to be attending med school, and yet he won't be able to.

    Also, that I kind of ***hole thing to say, that you were just lucky enough to have rich parents. Not everyone can get a well-paying job. If you don't understand that, then you need to grow up. Get a 'real' job...McDonalds, Wal-mart, whatever. See how a majority of the people in the world live before you start grumbling about Mummy and Daddy being too rich for you to get loans.

    Be thankful for what you have.
     
  35. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I think you need to reconceptualize your idea of institutional aid a little. First of all, even the schools with the best institutional aid [aka free money] still do not give you a free ride unless it is a merit based scholarship. The financial aid free money might leave a person $150K in debt instead of $250K or whatever, and that is if a person gets the MAX amount. That is usually never the case. The poor kids going to medical school are still up to their a$$es in debt too. The difference is, like others have mentioned, that their debt isn't going to be paid off by someone else or by a future inheritance, etc. Secondly, no one claimed that students receiving free aid are entitled and that others should be left out to dry. There is limited aid, and the students with the least money get it first. Should we start with the richest students? Should we do away with the aid altogether and pretty much ensure that medicine is even more of a profession for the wealthy to enter?

    I think the problem with the argument that wealthy kids should get free money is that it is sort of like arguing that a wealthy person should get free food stamps just because someone on welfare does. I could see where you might take the stance that the person on welfare should not be allowed to get free help. This isn't my stance at all, but I could understand how a person might feel that way. But to turn the argument into one where the wealthy person wants food stamps too?

    I would also like for those people who have wealthy parents and want some sort of free money to propose a better system of allocating funds. After all, you can take loans like the rest of us if your parents aren't paying for your school. What is so silly about this whole topic is that even someone like me who gets a fair amount of free money from Duke probably will be in more debt than 90% of the students graduating.

    Finally, let's get real about this situation. Medical school has a price tag for a reason. That's just how much it costs, and if you're not willing to pay that much, don't go to medical school. Go to graduate school for free instead. And if it bothers you so much that medical schools are trying to give a helping hand to those students who need it most, you might want to consider a field other than medicine because your attitude most likely won't fit in too well.
     
  36. signomi

    signomi Amongst the Gravelings 2+ Year Member

    Ahhh yes, I remember those days! My parents were in their 60s and retired and living on jack **** social security and the schools said they could afford $15,000 a year for my education! Suuuuuuuure, they could afford 1/3 of their yearly income. Who needs food? Meds? A place to live? Good times.

    Then you see classmates write checks for $50,000 a year and talk about jetting off for a weekend at Tahoe while you struggle. Oh those were the days! I was poor, my parents were just getting by and I received no aid. Loans people. The vast majority of you will end up with massive loans.
     
  37. lilnoelle

    lilnoelle Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    crazyland
    I'm in a similar situation.... I am not eligible for need based aid either. I'm taking out the max loans possible and I will have almost $300K in debt when I finish med school. I'm a nontraditional with two young children. We have to support our kids on my husband's income (which is little enough that if financial aid were to base my aid on my family, we'd be eligible for need based loans).
    And get this. My parents made $36K last year. If they could claim me on their taxes, I'd be eligible for aid. They don't, and so I'm not. If they made $6K less, I'd be eligible for aid. They don't, and so I'm not.

    So stop complaining. It could always be worse.
     
  38. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

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    over the rainbow
    exactly what i was thinking:rolleyes:
     
  39. MChitty

    MChitty 5+ Year Member

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    That's just wrong...

    Look at this way, if our kids ever apply for aid, they probably won't qualify. And then they can complain!
     
  40. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

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    Really good post...I agree, just didn't want to take the them to write it.
     
  41. DoctorHappyFeet

    DoctorHappyFeet Banned Banned

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    6 days a week - that blows. When i\m a rich dentist i'll only work 3-4 days a week. :cool:
     
  42. ssquared

    ssquared Member 2+ Year Member


    I agree with most of your point here, except that I think what people are trying to argue is that for children of parents who make enough money that they won't qualify for aid have no recourse should their parents decide to not give them any money for medical school. There's no "parents are kicking you to the curb" form. I don't think it's a case of "hey they get free stuff, why can't I?" (Or at least, no reasonable person should think that). It's more of a "well I don't have any money either!" type of situation. The system is imperfect, no doubt. I think that most children of wealthy parents, even if they have no parental support, certainly have more of a safety net, but it isn't guaranteed. Simply because they're blood relatives doesn't mean that they have to give you a dime. And I don't doubt that there are plenty of parents out there who follow that philosophy. It just sucks that medical school costs so darn much. My UG education, in-state, will cost about $50,000. In state, for medical school, I tabulated it at being around $188,000. How on earth does that make sense?!
     
  43. Dookter

    Dookter Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Agreed. However, there certainly seem to be people on this thread taking the stance of "It's not MY fault that my parents are rich. I deserve free money too!" Honestly, I really feel for the people who are getting no money despite supporting themselves. However, they will most likely inherit enough to cover their debt anyway, so it will work out in the end. The system isn't perfect, and I'd be all for improving it if possible. There isn't a way to truly declare independence from your parents since everyone would obviously declare themselves as independent.
     
  44. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

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    The kids of the rich and famous don't get kicked to the curb and left on their own unless they don't get along with their step mother who is in a bad mood because her face lift looks like crap and she got some bad botox. If Daddy paid all those bucks for private high school and private college, you will not be abandoned in med school even if the evil step mother hates you because your annoying face reminds her of hubby's first wife.
     
  45. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    N'awlins
    If you are truely estranged from your parents you can have the requirement to submit their info waived, I've done it. If you are independant but not estranged, from said moderately wealthy family, then you still have the safety net, inheritance etc that someone else doesn't have and that does need to be taken into account. Even if your parents are trying to give you a sense of personal responsibility they wouldn't let you starve/get evicted etc if it came down to it. The people who don't have this should still be prioritized when there is only a little money to go around.
     
  46. new_doc

    new_doc 2+ Year Member

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    It does suck to be a non-trad. I'm supposed to ask my 77 year old parents to cough up money despite being independent of them for decades? And they're supposed to give their retirement savings to me, as opposed to one of my six siblings, some of whom really need the money a lot more than I do?

    No, I don't think so. However, I understand the schools' desire to direct aid to those who don't even have the theoretical possibility of asking their family for money. So, it's sayonara to all my savings and hello, debt.
     
  47. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

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    Get over it people! We're all independent from our parents when we go to med. school. We're grown ups and we should pay for ourselves regardless of what our parents make. Which usually means loans and lots of 'em. No, your parents aren't obligated to pay for you....you are!

    As for who should get free aid? Here's a scenario from my undergrad:
    Me: My mom's a school teacher, not exactly bringing in the big bucks. I take out $60K in loans to cover my undergrad, no winter ski vacations in Colorado, no spring break in Cancun. However, if I need say $300 bucks for books one semester, Mom can usually fork it over.

    My Friend: Comes from a trailer park, daddy's a crack ho. She gets a Pell Grant plus scholarship from our school, ends up with the same amount of debt as me. She actually contributed to her family's income through her part-time job at the book store as an undergrad. In other words, she had to send her mom money to pay for rent and electricity. No extra cash for books coming from her family.

    So who would you give the institutional aid to? Me or my friend? Yes, I could have used some aid to lower my debt, but I did have a safety net, albeit a small one and I think my friend deserved to aid more than I did.
     
  48. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Please. I'm sure you're enjoying your pity party, but spare the rest of us. Life is not so bad. :rolleyes:

    For the record, my parents could certainly afford to send some money my way, but they don't. At all. If you have a better solution, please let us know.
     
  49. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

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    I don't think that the institutional aid form asks about your parents' retirement savings - I know that a number of retirement funds are exempt from things like the FAFSA.
     
  50. new_doc

    new_doc 2+ Year Member

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    Ah, I wasn't as clear as I'd hoped. My point was that, according to med schools, you are NEVER independent of your parents, no matter how old you or they are. Those 45 year-old MS1s with kids of their own, they're expected to provide mom and dad's financial info, same as the 21 year olds. I find that ridiculous.
     
  51. Crazy4F1

    Crazy4F1 10+ Year Member

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    i know you've been pretty much bashed to pieces on this thread, but i do kind of have to agree with the sentiment. at a cost of 250K+ for med school, we all have "financial need". my parents make a lot of money too, and i'm not getting a cent of it for med school. to me, i'm just another ramen-noodle-eating, unbelievably-in-debt med student to be, and i dont see why my parents income should have anything to do with it if i'm really an "independent".
     

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