How Do I Apply For Financial Aid?
The Financial Aid Office sends Financial Aid Application Packets to incoming students after they have confirmed their acceptance with the Admissions Office. Financial Aid Application Packets are distributed to returning students at the end of the winter term. Please note the following:
1. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): To apply for financial assistance at PCOM for the 2010-11 academic year, you must first complete a 2010-11 FAFSA on or after January 1, 2010. This form is used to apply for federal student financial aid, including grants, loans and work-study. In addition, it is used by most states and schools to award non-federal student aid. File your electronic application at www.fafsa.gov. Paper applications are available upon request from the PCOM Financial Aid Office. They are also available at most libraries.
2. Institutional Need-Based Funds: In order to be given consideration for need-based institutional funds, all students are required to complete the parental income section of the FAFSA. (PLEASE NOTE: If you will provide parent information, do NOT use the "skip" options available on the FAFSA web site). You must also provide the Financial Aid Office with a copy of your parents' 2009 income tax return and/or a copy of their yearly statement of non-taxable income. Parental income provides additional information to establish need for the awarding of need-based institutional funds. Please note that need-based institutional funds are gift aid that does not have to be repaid. To be given consideration, the required information and documents must be received by April 15, 2010.
3. Alternative Documentation: An application method is available for students who have not been supported by their parents prior to enrollment at PCOM. For example, students who are returning to school from the workplace, or who are married or have supported dependents may submit their own 2009 signed, federal tax return or non-taxable benefits along with a supplemental statement, in lieu of providing parental financial information. The supplemental statement should tell the Financial Aid Office about the number of years you worked and/or about your household situation. To be given consideration, the required information and documents must be received by April 15, 2010.
4. Personal Identification Number (PIN): If you applied for aid last year, you should have a personal identification number (PIN) and should complete a pre-filled FAFSA on the web at www.fafsa.gov. If you did not file a FAFSA last year or did not receive a PIN, you may request a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov and then complete your FAFSA on the web upon receipt of your PIN.
5. Title IV School Code: The PCOM TITLE IV SCHOOL CODE IS 015979 for the Philadelphia campus and the Georgia campus. Use this code on the FAFSA to report PCOM as a school that may request your information.
6. Student Aid Report (SAR): After your FAFSA is processed, the U.S. Department of Education will then mail a SAR to you. If you provided your email address, you'll receive an email with a link to your SAR on the web. If you do not receive a SAR within three weeks of applying, check the status of your application online at www.fafsa.gov or call the Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243 for a status update.
7. 2010-11 PCOM Financial Aid Application: Each year, every student must complete a new PCOM Financial Aid Application. This form can be found in the financial aid packet that is mailed to all new students after their admission to PCOM is confirmed. At the end of the winter term, financial aid packets, along with the PCOM Financial Aid Application, will be placed in the note files of returning students who are on campus and mailed to those who are on clinical rotations.
8. Master Promissory Note (MPN): All students must complete a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note for the 2010-11 academic year in you plan to borrow under the federal Direct Loan Program or the federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan program.
9. Entrance Counseling: All new student borrowers under the federal loan programs must complete Entrance Counseling. This is a federal requirement.
10. Mailing Address: Send your completed PCOM Financial Aid application and supporting documents to:
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Financial Aid Office, Suite 203R
4190 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1693
11. Tax Returns: All students who are selected for verification of the information that was provided on the 2010-11 FAFSA, must send signed copies of student (and spouse's) 2009 federal tax return(s) to the Financial Aid Office as soon as available. If you are selected for verification, this will be noted on the SAR. Federal Financial Aid verification policy can be found here. In addition, medical and graduate students who wish to be given consideration for PCOM need-based grants must submit copies of their parents' 2009 federal tax return, or a copy of their own tax return and alternative documentation, to the Financial Aid Office by April 15, 2010. Tax returns should be sent to the address listed above.
12. Loan History: We encourage you to review your loan history at www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need your PIN to access this information. Under the Federal Stafford Loan Program the life time aggregate borrowing maximum for medical students is $224,000 and the life time aggregate borrowing maximum for graduate students is $138,500. The maximum amounts include undergraduate loans.
13. Financial Aid Transcripts: Students who transfer to PCOM from other medical schools must submit a financial aid transcript to the Financial Aid Office. This applies even if you did not receive aid from your former institution.
14. Oath of Office: First time recipients of the Armed Forces Scholarship must submit an Oath of Office to the Financial Aid Office.
13. Graduate PLUS Loans: As of July 1, 2006, graduate students are able to borrow under a new program - the Federal PLUS Loan for Graduate Students. This loan can be used to cover up to 100 percent of your Cost of Attendance, minus other financial aid that you've been awarded. Unlike private educational loans, the Graduate PLUS Loan offers a competitive fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan and can be consolidated with your other federal loans. While you are required to pass a credit check, many students with limited or no credit history may still qualify for this loan.
14. Alternative Private Loans: Unlike the Federal Stafford Loan Program. private educational lending programs require a credit check on all applicants. If you are not sure that you are "credit ready", it's a good idea to obtain a recent copy of your credit report. The amount that you can borrow from a private lender is also determined by your Cost of Attendance, the overall amount of financial aid that you will receive and limits set by the private lender. Unlike the Graduate PLUS Loan, most private loans come with a variable interest rate that may adjust several times a year with no interest rate cap. You may contact the Financial Aid Office for further information on obtaining a private loan.
15. A complete 2010-11 Financial Aid file consists of:
· Receipt of 2010-11 FAFSA results
· A completed 2010-2011 PCOM application
· A signed copy of parent(s)' 2009 federal tax return for need-based grant consideration (see #2 above)
· A signed copy of your 2009 federal return, if required for alternative documentation (see #3 above) or
if you are selected for verification
· If selected for verification, a 2010-11 independent federal verification worksheet with supporting
· Any other required documents requested by the Financial Aid Office
16. Award Letter
: Estimated award letters are sent to students in the spring, provided that the Financial Aid Office has received your electronic SAR. In addition, if you are a new student, your admission must be confirmed prior to receiving a financial aid package and award letter. If additional information is required resulting in a change to your original award, you will receive an updated award letter. The award letter details the type and amount of aid for which you are eligible. If you wish to reject or adjust the amount of any award, you are required to sign and return the award letter. If no changes are necessary, you may retain the award letter for your records. You do not need to return a copy to the Financial Aid Office.
Use the Living Expense Worksheet
. Fill in the areas that apply to your situation. To reduce your indebtedness, we strongly recommend that you complete this worksheet so that your borrowing is restricted to the amount that you truly need to meet your expenses.