The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov with your federal tax information. For new students, we recommend completing and submitting the FAFSA by Feb. 1 for maximum aid consideration. Filing by this date ensures you will be considered for all institutional aid as well as federal loans. The Federal School Code for Penn State College of Medicine is 003329.
2021-2022 financial aid application deadlines:
- Feb. 1, 2021: First-year medical students
- April 1, 2021: Continuing medical students
The financial aid awarded by the College of Medicine is only for the time period stated on your student aid summary and can be used only at The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. You must submit a renewal application for each additional enrollment period.
If you receive financial assistance — including scholarships, loans and grants — that is not included on your financial aid notification from the Office of Student Aid, you must report it to the Office of Student Aid. Federal regulations require that these funds be taken into account in determining your eligibility for federal student aid. If the assistance that you receive from private or outside sources results in an over award, an adjustment will be made to your financial aid award so that your total financial assistance is not greater than the institutionally determined Cost of Attendance.
Your FAFSA will indicate that you are an independent student for eligibility consideration for Federal Loans such as Stafford and Grad PLUS. However, you are encouraged to provide parental financial data on the FAFSA for eligibility consideration for PSCOM need-based scholarships and loans.
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Penn State College of Medicine Office of Student Aid offers a variety of resources for students to assist with debt management and encourage smart borrowing.
Students who borrow Federal Loan monies are required complete Entrance Loan Counseling at studentaid.gov.
The Office of Student Aid requires students who borrow federal loans to meet annually with a financial aid coordinator. These meetings are mandatory and provide students with information regarding their total loan indebtedness as they move through each year of medical school. Resources for student budgeting are also provided during these meetings and available for students at any time.
Students may make an appointment with the Office of Student Aid at any time. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walk-in appointments are also available.
In addition to personal consultations, the Office of Student Aid coordinates annual events that focus on financial literacy. For example, a mandatory program on financial fitness is offered for first year students that includes a guest speaker from the AAMC. We offer a Financial Literacy Day and Information Fair to second- and third-year students which also includes a guest speaker from the AAMC and several local vendors to share information related to debt management, scholarship opportunities and loan repayment.
Exit loan counseling is provided to graduating medical students, students going on leaves of absence or students who cease to enroll. Exit loan counseling is required for all graduating student loan borrowers prior to commencement. A mandatory session is held for fourth-year students each year that includes guest speakers and a panel discussion. The panel comprises former medical students who share personal experiences with borrowing and repayment of student loans.
Penn State’s Student Aid website is a good place to get an overview.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to you by the Central Processor.
- Receive your award notice from the College of Medicine.
- Sign the Master Promissory Notes for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
- Complete a Master Promissory Note for University Loans if applicable.
- Complete verification if notified by Penn State.
- Search for scholarships.
You should obtain a copy of your credit report every year. You should check for any discrepancies and resolve any issues before applying for additional credit. You can receive a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Credit scores are available on-line by paying a fee or joining a service. The three major credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Companies are allowed to choose which of these bureaus they want to use to determine the credit score for their products so you should check your credit report from all three.
We recommend that accepted students file their FAFSA prior to Feb. 1 and currently enrolled students file their FAFSA prior to April 1 for maximum aid eligibility consideration.
Financial Assistance Details
Parental data is not necessary if you only want to be considered for Federal Stafford Loans or Alternative Loans. Parental data is required if you want to be considered for University Loans or University Scholarships.
Student aid resources cannot be accessed before matriculation in July. We recommend that students budget properly in advance to have financial resources for moving expenses as well as the first month’s rent and security deposit for their apartment. Refunds for living expenses are available at the end of August for the fall semester of medical school.
Most forms of financial aid offered at Penn State College of Medicine are provided by the federal government and are available only to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents. There may be private loans that are available for International or Canadian students. Information regarding these loans can be found on the Penn State University website. Additional financial information for international students can be found on the Global Penn State website.
Federal Direct Stafford Loans: A federal education loan administered by the US Department of Education. All graduate and professional students receive unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan which means interest begins to accrue soon after disbursement. See the latest interest rates at Penn State’s Student Aid site.
University Loan: A need-based institutional loan administered by the Office of Student Financial Services at Penn State. Interest is fixed at 6% and no interest accrues while enrolled or during residency.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: A federal education loan issued by the U.S. Department of Education to credit-worthy students in graduate or professional degree programs. Interest begins to accrue soon after disbursement. See the latest interest rates at the Penn State Student Aid website.
Alternative or Private Loan: Used if the students cost of attendance exceeds the annual limits of other sources of financial assistance or to replace federal loans if student does not qualify for federal money. Approval is based upon credit history. Interest rates vary and are higher than those for most other student loans.
Student Aid Office
Penn State College of Medicine has both merit and need-based scholarships. Need-based scholarships are awarded based upon family financial strength as determined by the financial data provided for both student/spouse and parents on the FAFSA. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based upon a number of criteria including faculty recommendations. Some have a need component and some do not.
In 2019-2020, 66% of our MD students received a scholarship that did not require a service commitment, and 2% received scholarships tied to a service commitment (Health Professions Scholarships and National Health Service Corps).
These scholarships usually cover complete tuition, fees, educational expenses and a living allowance. Each program is slightly different and should be researched completely before making a commitment.
- Health Professions Scholarships: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Guard
- National Health Service Corps
Scholarships are available from private sources, but you must take the initiative to research availability and follow through with the application process. The following are suggestions for finding potential assistance opportunities:
- Scholarship directories in libraries or student aid offices
- Internet databases such as FastWeb
- Research centers
- Cultural and Diversity Scholarship Fund
- Local medical societies and chapters of AMA
- Charitable foundations
- Service clubs such as Lions, Rotary, etc.
Scholarship information from outside sources received by the Office of Student Aid is available outside the Student Aid office on the bulletin board.