MEETING COLLEGE EXPENSES:
A Guide for Seeking
The key to successful management of your money is planning. It is crucial that you plan how you are going to spend your money. The Office of Student Financial Aid suggests that prior to the completion of the FAFSA you begin planning your budget for the academic year. Since the majority of your financial aid package will consist of loan(s), this would also be a good time to begin an estimation of your ability to repay your loans in the future. We have provided several tables at the back of this guide which may assist you in this speculative task. Above all, try to be realistic. An underestimation of your budget can result in an aid package which is not sufficient to meet your needs. An overestimation of your budget can result in a greater encumbrance of debt upon graduation or exit from school than can be accommodated by your ability to repay. Student budgets allow for approximately $1700/month for living expenses during the academic year covered by financial assistance. (NOTE: This budgetary amount was derived from random surveys by the OSFA of UT Southwestern students.)
Words to the wise:
Table A provides you with the budget of Reasonable Expenses which has been authorized for UT Southwestern students by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. (For future estimations, we are adjust student budgets to reflect inflationary cost of living adjustments or tuition/fee increases.) These expenses have been determined based on a detailed survey of the Dallas-area market. The table is specific to your academic program and class.
As you review your personal budget, be aware that we cannot consider installment payments on credit cards, prior educational debt, automobile purchases or mortgage/ rent payments in excess of our allowance.
Medical and disability insurance is required of all enrolled students and the amount of the actual premiums for the academic year is included in the budget.
Married students should note that we expect a spouse to contribute to the support of your household while you are a student. If your spouse is also a student, your budget is determined by using the appropriate single living allowance and adding one-half of any child care allowance. Student spouses should apply separately for financial aid at the school they are attending.
Tables B and C provide you with budget worksheets while in school and after graduation, respectively. The in-school budget will indicate the approximate amount of aid you should request for the academic year. The post-graduation worksheet can be utilized with Tables D and I to provide an approximate future base for cost of living and loan repayment. Sound like a tax form? (Please keep in mind that these tables all reflect current average values, and do not reflect inflationary adjustments. They should only be used as a guide.)
Computers -- First and second-year medical students are required to have a computer which will meet minimum standards for using the computer-based curriculum. The one-time costs to upgrade or acquire a computer can be included in the financial aid budget. Medical students in the first and second-year classes have two options to meet the minimum equipment standards established by the Student Computerized Curriculum Committee:
|1.||Purchase a computer. The purchase of equipment that meets or exceeds the minimum specifications may be completed through the University Store and paid directly from your financial aid disbursements within the installment payment plan. Financial aid up to $3,200 may be used for this purchase.|
Use a computer you already own or purchase on your own. Detailed information regarding computer specifications and frequently asked questions are available on our website at http://www4.utsouthwestern.edu/stuaff//mdcomp/.
The basic student budgets reflected in Table A of this guide include the computer hardware budget allocation. The cost for the first and second-year medical school software bundle is already included in the financial aid books/supplies budget. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to verify the inclusion of the computer equipment in their homeowners or renters insurance. Students who will not need to borrow funds for the acquisition of a computer for this purpose are strongly encouraged to decline these funds offered in the award notification letter.
Most of the aid forms you will submit will refer to your student status as dependent or independent. Students who are enrolled in graduate or professional (e.g., medical) degree programs are typically considered to be financially independent of their parents. Since the steps are finely detailed, please see the FAFSA for the qualifications to determine your dependency status.
The Office of Student Financial Aid recognizes that your financial circumstances are subject to change. Where money is concerned, these changes tend to be for the worse. Should your situation result in increased financial need, whether short-term or long-term, please contact the OSFA immediately. If funds are still available, you may be eligible for a revision of your financial aid package.
During times of unforeseen circumstances, we may be able to provide you with a short-term emergency loan to help you get by. The available emergency loan funds range in maximum ceiling from $200 to $1,500, depending on your program classification. In most cases, the loans can be issued within 72 hours of the request. If repaid according to the conditions of the promissory note, no interest is charged for the emergency loan. If the source of repayment is a financial aid disbursement check, the loan must be repaid prior to the release of that disbursement. However, these funds are not without limit or restraint. You must:
|Submit an application for review of need and available funds. The OSFA reserves the right to deny your request or reduce the amount of the loan.|
|Provide a reasonable basis for repayment of the loan.|
|Repay the loan within the time indicated on the promissory note (30, 60, or 90 days -- all emergency loans must be paid by the end of an academic semester, whichever comes first). Repayment of an emergency loan with next semester's financial aid is not permitted.|
If you have reached this portion of the guide, you now have a greater understanding than the average student of the three Fs of student financial aid: facts, fundings and frustrations. We have attempted to provide you with both a guide through the process and assistance in planning your budgets and debt encumbrance. Please do not hesitate to discuss any of your financial questions or concerns with a Financial Aid Counselor. We are staffed to provide a valuable student service and will try anything reasonable that is within our means to accommodate your individual situation. You can best assist us in this endeavor by being
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