MD Financial Aid FAQs

What types of financial aid are available?
Financial aid can come in three forms:

Loans (federal and institutional)
Limited partial scholarships
Federal Work Study funds

Who may apply for financial aid?
Applicants whose cost of attendance exceeds their family resources are encouraged to apply for financial aid. To be eligible, the applicant:

Must meet satisfactory academic progress standards
Must be a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen
Cannot be in default on prior student loans
If male, you must comply with Selective Service Registration
Must have no prior drug convictions while receiving Title IV funds

What forms need to be completed annually to be eligible for financial aid?

All applicants for 2018-19:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • TUSM Financial Aid application

Students applying for institutional assistance should also submit:

  • Signed copies of student’s (& spouse’s if applicable) 2016 federal tax return (including all schedules and W-2′s)
  • TUSM Parental Information Form
  • Signed copies of parents’ 2016 federal tax return (including all schedules and W-2′s) and mortgage statements
  • TUSM Background Information form



I’m financially independent from my parents. Why does TUSM ask for my parents’ information?

When determining federal Title IV eligibility, all medical students are considered independent. Only the student’s (and spouse’s if applicable) financial information will be used to determine need for Title IV federal loan programs.  Parental information is NOT required when determining federal financial aid eligibility. 

Since institutional funding is limited, parental information is used as a way to determine the family’s ability to pay for the student’s educational expenses and rank students based on their financial need. It allows the Office of Financial Aid to consider all families in an equitable fashion, as the same need analysis formula is applied to all families consistently.  A parent contribution will be calculated regardless of marital status and financial dependency, unless the student is 38 years or older when determining eligibility for institutional aid.  If parental information is not provided, students will only be considered for federal funds.

Should everyone file financial aid with parental information?
We encourage all first time financial aid applicants to file with parental information in order to determine if a student will be eligible for institutional assistance. This information is used to rank each student in order of consideration for institutional and some Title VII low-interest loans and scholarships. If you did not qualify for financial aid as an undergraduate, do not assume that you will not qualify for financial aid as a medical student.
I have unusual extenuating circumstances and am unable to provide parental information. Is there a formal appeal process for a parental waiver?

In the event you have documented, unusual and extenuating circumstances, you may file a parental waiver appeal.   You must submit a letter detailing the situation along with relevant documentation.  You will then need 3 letters of reference from: your parent, a third-party (i.e. teacher, clergy member, physician, attorney, and/or financial aid professional from undergraduate studies), and any individual of choice.  You must also submit a parental waiver application to the Office of Financial Aid.  Once all information has been received, the Scholarship and Financial Aid Committee will review your request and inform you of their final decision.  Parental information is only required when determining eligibility for institutional assistance (i.e. TUSM scholarship and/or TUSM loans) and/or some Title VII loans.  Parental information is never required in order to borrow Federal Direct Unsubsidized or Federal Direct GradPLUS loans.

My parents reside outside the United States and I am a citizen or permanent resident. How do I apply for institutional financial aid?

Families residing in a foreign country should submit the foreign tax return, as well as a copy that has been translated to English and converted to US dollars. The exchange rate must be based on the date the FAFSA was filed. If a foreign tax return does not exist in a particular country, we may accept a notarized statement attesting to all income and assets. Parents are held to the same deadlines regardless of the country they reside.

My parents are divorced/separated. Who should fill out the financial aid applications?

Both parents are required to complete the Parental Information Form(s) and provide their most recent federal tax returns, including all schedules and W-2s. Students should choose the parent who provides most of their support and/or the last parent they resided with to use on the FAFSA. The other parent would still be required to complete the parental information form and submit it along with all required documentation.

What is the deadline by which financial aid forms need to be submitted?

The application deadline for 2018-2019 is March 30th, 2018.


What is the penalty for applying after the priority consideration date?

Late applicants may be excluded from consideration for institutional funding since these funds are limited. Federal student aid eligibility will not be negatively impacted by a late application, however, the Office of Financial Aid processes applications on a first-come, first-served basis; therefore, late applicants may experience a delay in the notification of their eligibility and/or students may not receive any or all institutional aid they would have otherwise been eligible for. Institutional aid will be offered to those students deemed eligible only if funds remain after review of all on-time applications has been completed. Additionally, students would still be expected to meet all registration and bill payment deadlines even if they have not received financial aid award notices by those dates. Consequently, this may also cause a delay with disbursements and/or refund checks being issued.

Please be aware that loan eligibility may not be certified after the last day of classes. Students who are applying for financial aid late into the semester (within one month of the last day of classes), should contact the Office of Financial Aid to confirm that adequate time is available to process the request.

How much can students borrow per year in Federal Direct Loans?
The maximum amount a student can borrow in Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans is $42,722 for first year students, $44,944 for second year students, $47,167 for third year students and $44,944 for fourth-year students. Actual eligibility for these loan programs will be outlined on your financial aid award notice. Direct Grad Plus Loans that are approved may be borrowed up to a maximum of any remaining cost of attendance.

How much debt does the average student graduate with?

The average medical school indebtedness for the graduating class of 2016 was $219,500.


What is Federal Work Study?

Federal Work Study (FWS) is a need-based program designed to allow students to work part-time to assist with educational expenses. The Office of Financial Aid awards FWS funding to students that meet eligibility requirements. Students are responsible for notifying the Office of Financial Aid if they are interested in receiving FWS as part of their financial aid package. Employers may find students that are eligible for work study to be beneficial as a portion of the studen’s earnings are subsidized by the federal government. More employment information may be found on the student employment website.

What is the maximum amount of institutional scholarship a student may receive?

No individual scholarship will exceed the value equivalent to (¾) three-quarters MD tuition and no student may receive a combination of multiple scholarships that exceed the value of 100% of MD tuition.  Externally funded scholarships are considered when determining the total scholarship eligibility for institutional funding.  Students are encouraged to disclose outside scholarship awards as early as possible to avoid having their institutional scholarship reduced later in the year.

What about outside scholarships, loans and the impact on my financial aid package? What about outside scholarships?

Federal law clearly states that a student cannot receive funds from any source in excess of the cost of attendance.  If funding not originally reflected in the financial aid package causes an over award, we may be required to reduce institutional, federal, and/or private loans as not to exceed the cost of attendance. 

 Students who are notified that they will be receiving outside assistance once their initial eligibility for institutional assistance has been determined will have their aid eligibility recalculated when the Office of Financial Aid has been notified.  This may include reducing institutional loans and/or scholarships at the time of notification, regardless of the time of year.  Students are encouraged to disclose outside scholarship awards as early as possible to avoid having adjustments made to their financial aid award later in the year.  

Students who receive an outside scholarship/loans after aid eligibility has been determined and awards have been accepted will have their loans reduced dollar for dollar upon the receipt of an outside scholarship in order to reduce indebtedness, i.e. scholarships will be considered to replace loan funds.  If an over award does NOT exist and students still have room within their budget, they may always request additional funding. 

In addition, the Office of Financial Aid will also review students who are recipients of institutional scholarship funding that receive subsequent outside scholarship awards.  If it is determined that the total amount of all scholarship resources exceeds the value equivalent to 100% of MD tuition, institutional scholarships will be adjusted.  Tufts University School of Medicine will not provide institutional scholarship funds for any student  that exceed a combined total equivalent to 100% MD tuition value regardless of the source of funding.

How does the Office of Financial Aid determine my financial need?

Once a student has been admitted to TUSM, their financial aid counselor reviews their completed financial aid application. Financial aid counselors determine a student’s Total Family Contribution (TFC) when determining eligibility for institutional aid by assessing the student’s (and spouse’s if applicable) and parents’ taxed and untaxed income, assets (including home equity), and family information. The calculated TFC is then subtracted from the appropriate Cost of Attendance (COA), a figure that includes direct (billed costs like tuition and fees) and indirect (unbilled expenses such as housing and personal expenses) costs that students incur during their enrollment.  What remains is the student’s demonstrated financial need.

The need is reduced by any outside assistance the student expects to receive (i.e. private scholarships, military assistance) and the remaining financial need is further reduced with a standard loan component (generally made up of Unsubsidized Stafford Loans). After the standard loan component is added to the award AND if the student has any remaining need, they are considered for institutional assistance.  If students file after the priority deadline, institutional assistance would be offered only after reviewing all on-time applicants and only if funds remain available. The maximum amount of financial aid that a student is eligible for will be summarized on the Financial Aid Notice (FAN) they receive but will never exceed the Cost of Attendance. 

Remember that at TUSM, all students are considered dependent for institutional aid and a parent contribution will be calculated regardless of marital status and financial dependency, unless the student is 38 years or older.

Students and parents’ are never expected to pay the calculated TFC out of pocket; the TFC is used to get a snapshot of the family’s resources and to rank students based on their need when determining eligibility for institutional resources.