(For admissions, curriculum, and other FAQs, click here)
What types of financial aid are available?
Financial aid may consist of federal, state, institutional, or private sources. It may be in the form of loans, scholarships, grants, awards, or provided by a third-party such as veteran's benefits. Funds are awarded to help students meet their educational expenses including tuition, books/supplies, and living expenses.
Currently, the primary forms of financial assistance used by medical students at WMed are merit- and need-based scholarships from the medical school, and private (non-federal) loans. WMed anticipates participation in the federal students loans program during the 2016-17 academic year. Students will be notified once federal student loan program participation begins.
What medical student scholarships does the medical school provide?
The medical school annually offers merit- and need-based scholarships that are awarded by the Student Scholarship Committee. All applicants and current students are considered for WMed merit-based scholarships, which do not require any application. The NeedAccess application is the needs analysis application that is required for consideration for WMed need-based scholarships in 2016-17. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be the required application after WMed is granted approval from the U.S. Department of Education.
Why aren't federal student loans (Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS) available to WMed medical students?
As a new medical school, WMed is going through the lengthy process to meet U.S. Department of Education requirements to achieve Title IV federal loan eligibility. This is a high priority for the medical school. Upon approval, students will be directed to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for determination of federal student loan eligibility. Those with pre-medical school loans will be advised to contact their federal loan servicer for "in school" deferment on federal student loans borrowed during undergraduate or graduate school.
What alternatives to federal student loans has the medical school identified?
WMed has identified four lenders who are willing and available to provide private loans to WMed students. Students are not required to borrow from any of the lending options identified by the medical school, and may choose any other option. Additional information is available from the Director of Financial Aid.
Does the medical school require using a specific private lender?
No. Students have complete freedom to obtain loans from any lender they choose. The medical school does not "approve" any lender option but may be required to certify that the student is enrolled and in good standing, and to verify the cost of attendance.
Should I apply for financial aid?
Students who do not have sufficient resources to attend medical school should apply for financial aid. Students are sometimes hesitant because they did not receive financial aid as an undergraduate student, or are uncertain about the income and asset criteria that must be met. There is no adverse impact to applying, and students can decline all or part of an aid offer if alternate personal resources become available. Students must complete the application process annually, so can decide each year whether to accept an offer of aid.
Applicants must meet the following general eligibility requirements to receive financial aid:
- Meet satisfactory academic progress standards
- Be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Not be in default on prior federal student loans
- Not have a prior drug conviction while receiving federal Title IV funds
- If male and between the ages of 18 and 26, be registered with the Selective Service
What application forms should I complete annually?
All applicants and current students are considered for WMed merit-based scholarships, which do not require any application.
WMed need-based scholarships require submission of an annual needs analysis application. For 2016-17, the NeedAccess application is the needs analysis application that is required for consideration for WMed need-based scholarships. As soon as WMed is granted eligibility by the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the federal loan program (Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS), the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be required by WMed for needs-based scholarships.
Students who borrow loans to meet their educational costs must apply annually. Until WMed is granted federal program participation, students may apply for private (non-federal) loans from one of the lenders participating with WMed Students apply online using FASTChoice, an independent student loan comparison and application tool. FASTChoice is made available to borrowers, schools, and lenders at no cost by the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (GLHEC).
In addition to the annual NeedAccess application, or FAFSA when it becomes available, are other forms or documents required?
Students applying for need-based aid using the NeedAccess application must submit signed copies of federal tax returns or other proof of income for each individual whose income information is reported on the application. When students are able to submit the FAFSA, they will have the option of providing income information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool instead of submitting copies of tax forms.
Are there deadlines by which financial aid forms and documents should be submitted?
Yes. Students should submit applications and any additional requested documents to the Office of Financial Aid by the priority deadline of March 31st.
Are there any penalties for applying after the priority date?
Institutional funds are limited and the Office of Financial Aid processes applications in the order received. Institutional funds may be awarded to late applicants if funds remain after the review of all on-time applicants has been completed.
Processing of all financial aid, including requests for additional loan funds, should be completed prior to the last day of the academic year. If a loan increase is needed, students should apply at least one month before their last day of classes to ensure that there is adequate processing time.
How is my financial aid eligibility determined?
Consideration for financial aid may be based on merit, need, and other factors such as remaining enrolled full time and maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Donor-supported named scholarships may require additional information to determine eligibility for award criteria, according to the requirements defined by the donor.
All applicants offered admission and all continuing full-time students are considered automatically for WMed merit-based scholarships. Applicants are considered on the basis of their entire medical school application, and continuing students are considered on the basis of their entire record in medical school including academic performance, citizenship, and leadership.
For need-based scholarships, an "expected family contribution" (EFC) is calculated from income and other information provided on the need analysis form. The calculation uses a federal methodology approved by Congress and passed into law. An applicant's financial "need" is the difference between the Cost of Attendance and the amount of the calculated EFC:
COST OF ATTENDANCE - EXPECTED FAMILY CONTRIBUTION = FINANCIAL NEED
Am I an "independent" or "dependent" student for financial aid purposes?
As a medical student, regardless of your dependency status for other purposes such as federal tax returns, you are considered an independent student. However, you must still provide parent information on the needs analysis application to be considered for need-based aid unless you meet one of the conditions for an exception (see below).
Am I required to fill out parent sections of the needs analysis application?
All new and continuing students are required to submit parent information on the needs analysis application in order to be considered for, and become eligible to receive, WMed need-based scholarships unless they:
- Are at least 30 years old
- Have dependents other than a spouse
- Are a veteran of the armed forces
- Were granted "independent" status by their undergraduate financial aid office, or
- Have not been claimed on another individual's federal tax return for at least seven years.
Parental information is not used to determine eligibility for institutional merit scholarships or private/alternative or federal loans.
I am financially independent. Why am I asked to provide parental information?
Institutional funding is limited and parental information is used to evaluate the family's ability to pay for the student's educational expenses. Using a standardized needs analysis application allows WMed to apply the same formula consistently to all students and their families. Students who do not submit the needs analysis application, or who submit an incomplete application, will be considered for merit-based aid and private/alternative or federal loans, but not need-based forms of aid.
Where do I find the NeedAccess application and is there a fee?
The NeedAccess application can be found by clicking here. There is a $28 annual fee for new applicants and a $15 annual fee for returning applicants in subsequent years. This form will no longer be available after 2016-17 and can be completed through September 30, 2016.
How much financial aid do I qualify for each year?
The maximum amount of financial aid from all sources cannot exceed the annual Cost of Attendance.
How much can students borrow in loans each year?
Students may borrow private/alternative loans up to the annual Cost of Attendance minus other aid (such as merit- or need-based scholarships). Students may borrow federal loans up to the Cost of Attendance or up to the annual and aggregate caps established by the U.S. Department of Education.
When is the best time to apply for a loan?
Students can generally wait until they are within a few months of starting medical school to apply for a loan. Private loans and federal Grad PLUS loans required a credit check as part of the application and approval process. The credit approval is valid for a specified period of time (usually between 120 and 180 days depending on the lender). The loan approval must still be valid at the time the first disbursement of the loan is made.
Am I required to purchase health insurance through WMed?
Health insurance that provides coverage for preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, and mental health services is required of all students beginning at the start of courses and continuing throughout medical school to graduation. Students may satisfy the health insurance requirement with annual documentation of health insurance coverage that meets the Essential Benefits requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under a parent plan, spouse/partner plan, or separate individual/family health insurance plan. A student has the option to purchase individual/family health insurance through the medical school. Additional premiums apply to include family members. The student is responsible for the cost of individual/family health insurance.
The cost of health insurance will only be included in the Cost of Attendance for students purchasing the medical school plan.
The medical school provides students with disability insurance and professional (malpractice) insurance.
What if the amount of financial aid I receive is not sufficient to cover all of my educational expenses?
In some circumstances, a student may have education-related expenses (such as uninsured medical/dental expenses, emergency travel home, or emergency car repairs) not accounted for in the Cost of Attendance. On a case-by-case basis, a student may submit an Appeal for a Budget Increase to the Office of Financial Aid. If approved, the Cost of Attendance will be increased and the student will then qualify for additional aid.
Is my tuition refunded if I leave the medical school?
Students must obtain prior written approval from the associate dean for Student Affairs to withdraw or take a leave of absence to be eligible for a partial credit of tuition according to the following schedule. All unpaid, non-refundable charges, such as for electronic books, lost or damaged medical school property, excessive photocopying, parking, health insurance, or other charges, must be paid in full before any tuition is refunded.
- 75% refund of tuition within 14 days of the start of class for the term.
- 50% refund of tuition within 21 days of the start of class for the term.
- 25% refund of tuition within 28 days of the start of class for the term.
There is no refund of tuition for withdrawal after 28 days of the start of the term unless an exception is made by the associate dean for Student Affairs due to extenuating circumstances.
What is the average educational loan debt for medical student graduates?
Below is data published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in October 2015. More information can be found on the AAMC website at aamc.org/FIRST.
|CLASS OF 2015
|Percentage With Medical School Ed. Debt
Last Revised 09/29/2016