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Financial Aid: Responses to decrease in funding

Financial Aid: Responses to decrease in funding

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Financial Aid: Responses to decrease in funding

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  1. Financial Aid: Responses to decrease in funding Medical Student Council August 21, 2013

  2. Overview • Survey sent to student body of School of Medicine on 8/18/13 • Housing costs from 2010 to present • How the changes in disbursements will affect students • Questions about experiences with Financial Aid Office • Students were given 48 hours to reply to the survey • Quick and dirty analysis of the data • 99.5% stated that they learned about the disbursement in August

  3. Who Participated?

  4. Results Do you feel that financial aid disbursements are adequate to cover cost of living?

  5. Results • How would you rate the communication you have received from Financial Aid? • 5 = Adequate • 4 • 3 • 2 • 1 = Inadequate • Average rating = 2.43 • Median rating = 2

  6. Results

  7. Comments on how the disbursement will affect them? • “After all of my bills and required monetary obligations (including food), I had approximately $75 extra per week I could spend. This was supposed to cover textbooks, and all other "non-obligatory" spending. This left hardly anything for luxury or entertainment, and certainly nothing for emergencies. I had some emergency expenses come up that have now been put on a credit card as a result.” • “As an out of state student I incurred many expenses for moving and while the loan disbursements are enough to cover my bills, I am starting school without any savings. I was expecting to get 1600 as described on the financial aid website and budgeted accordingly. The 200 less will be 200 less I have for personal expenses. However, I am very grateful to get to be a full time student and I will live within my means.”

  8. Comments on how the disbursement will affect them? • “I actually accepted less loan money this year because my living/financial situation changed a bit and, wanting to accept the lowest amount possible to cut down on the amount of grad plus loans i would have to undertake, i thought i could get by accepting less than what was offered. The communication that living costs would be decreased was so delayed, however, it did not give me any time to adjust my budget and decide if I could still afford to accept fewer loans or if I needed to accept all of it due to the decreased calculated living expenses when MY calculated living expenses were based on previous loan amounts. No one likes to be blind sided like this.”

  9. Comments on how the disbursement will affect them? • “I am married, and I know that in the past the monthly stipend for married students with children was only enough with other government assistance (like food stamps and medicaid). If it is further reduced this year for married students I don't know how they will make it without taking out private loans.” • “I couldn't believe the school would spring something like this on us with practically no warning and no discussion, especially when, you know, I've already signed my lease, which, for the same apartment, has gone UP in the time I've been here.” • “I have about $100/month to spare each month to live a "comfortable" lifestyle with minimal social activities. It doesn't allow me much of a chance to save for emergencies (like car repairs), but it at least allows a little. I'm not sure where this extra $100 is going to come from. many of my bills (such as my phone and internet) are locked in contract and cancelling incurs a significant fine.”

  10. Comments on how the disbursement will affect them? • “I will need to ask relatives to help me out to a greater extent.” • “I will probably have to try to find a roommate and move.” • “I'm currently applying to residency and it turns out that this is very expensive. While I live cheaply (with 2 room mates) residency application costs are very high and I am concerned about my ability to afford applications, flights, and rent/utilities/internet/car/cell payments.” • “It's forcing me to deal with readjusting my budget at the beginning of my second year. There were some months when money was tight last year and this is only going to make things worse. I am a first generation college graduate, my parents are not very wealthy.”

  11. What does financial aid do well? • “Positives: Whenever I call the Fin Aid office everyone is very pleasant and helpful. They are responsive to my concerns.” • EXTREMELY POSITIVE response to Deedee Smith • Responsive to in-person appointments

  12. Where could they improve? • COMMUNICATIONS, COMMUNICATIONS, COMMUNICATIONS. • Difficult to get a hold of by e-mail. • Education about what loans each semester will include (i.e. Step 1/Step 2) • E-mails more frequently • Better explanations of what to expect each semester