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Should I put unemployment due to coronavirus on AMCAS application?

XyZ1000

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Hi, everyone. I am double-checking all my information on my application and realized that there is a question that says "Have you or members of your immediate family ever used federal or state assistance programs?" It goes on to include unemployment benefits in the description of these programs. My family has never been on one of these programs before, but due to coronavirus my parents have been laid off and now receive unemployment benefits. Would this be included, since it says "ever"? Or would coronavirus and the recency of the situation make this irrelevant and I should put "no"? We are suffering financially because of this, but we were not in this situation when I was growing up, so I don't want to misrepresent either way. Thanks for your help.
 
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KnightDoc

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That's what I had thought, but the phrasing with the term "have...ever" makes me confused...
Actually, this is a no-brainer. If the question says ever and specifically includes unemployment benefits in the definition, there is only one correct answer, if your family has now, or at anytime in the past, ever participated in the program. Don't worry -- schools will see where you live, what your family's income and assets are, whether or not you are applying for need-based FA, etc., and draw the appropriate conclusion regarding your SES, notwithstanding the fact your parents are among the 30 million Americans presently collecting unemployment benefits.
 
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XyZ1000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2016
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12
86
Actually, this is a no-brainer. If the question says ever and specifically includes unemployment benefits in the definition, there is only one correct answer, if your family has now, or at anytime in the past, ever participated in the program. Don't worry -- schools will see where you live, what your family's income and assets are, whether or not you are applying for need-based FA, etc., and draw the appropriate conclusion regarding your SES, notwithstanding the fact your parents are among the 30 million Americans presently collecting unemployment benefits.

That's what "ever" seemed to indicate to me as well...It just feels dishonest considering this is such an exceptional situation!
 

KnightDoc

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That's what "ever" seemed to indicate to me as well...It just feels dishonest considering this is such an exceptional situation!
Not at all. I'm sure this situation wasn't contemplated when the question was formulated, but this is impacting a ton of people this year, so schools are certain not to draw the obvious conclusion when they first read the answer. Not to mention, plenty of middle and upper middle income families deal with unemployment at some point over the course of a career.

Again, this is only one data point in your application. Schools are not going to assume you are disadvantaged based on this answer, and other data points in your profile will be used to make the appropriate determination regarding your SES. It's not dishonest to respond honestly based on their definitions and time frames.
 

XyZ1000

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2016
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Not at all. I'm sure this situation wasn't contemplated when the question was formulated, but this is impacting a ton of people this year, so schools are certain not to draw the obvious conclusion when they first read the answer. Not to mention, plenty of middle and upper middle income families deal with unemployment at some point over the course of a career.

Again, this is only one data point in your application. Schools are not going to assume you are disadvantaged based on this answer, and other data points in your profile will be used to make the appropriate determination regarding your SES. It's not dishonest to respond honestly based on their definitions and time frames.

Good points. Thank you for your input.
 
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