Annually Review the Cost of Attendance (COA)

COA Changes May Lead to Borrowing and Budgeting Changes

On a yearly basis, if you need financial aid, you will want to apply by the school’s deadline and review your school’s financial aid offer in comparison to your school’s COA.

You will want to use your aid offer as a guide for determining how much you may need to borrow and to create a budget based on the year’s upcoming expenses. Keep in mind the length of each academic year, as well as the expenses that you may incur, will change each year, so you will want to be prepared to manage your finances appropriately.

Be sure to discuss the upcoming years’ costs with the financial aid staff at your school and review your school’s financial aid website for additional details. Preparing for upcoming expenses that occur throughout medical school will be helpful academically and financially.

In addition to talking to your financial aid staff, you will also want to be sure to take advantage of the resources and knowledge that your classmates and other offices and services within the institution can offer. Here are some examples:

  • Learn about supportive student groups.

  • Investigate what offices at your institution can help you with your needs (including academic and financial support services, such as financial aid and student affairs).

  • Familiarize yourself with resources across campus (mental health and wellness services).

  • Join student council meetings. 

Each year of medical school is going to differ, and how you manage your finances will differ too. Different costs arise at different times throughout your medical education, and you will want to be aware of these anticipated expenses so that you can plan and budget accordingly and minimize borrowing when possible.