Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are questions pertaining to educational financing most frequently asked by students. Some are general questions that apply to any school you may attend, while others pertain to the programs and procedures of PCOM. We hope that you will find these helpful as you explore your educational financing options. Keep in mind that financing of your education involves a partnership between you, your family, PCOM, and your lender(s).
How do I apply for financial aid at PCOM?
To apply for financial assistance at PCOM, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you applied for aid last year, you should have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and can complete a "pre-filled" FAFSA at www.fafsa.gov
What is a PIN?
A PIN is your Personal Identification Number, which serves as your identifier to let you access your personal information in various US Department of Education systems. Because your PIN serves as your electronic signature, you should not give it to anyone.
What if I don't have a Personal Identification Number (PIN) or if I lost it?
If you do not have a PIN, you may request a PIN online at www.pin.ed.gov and then complete your FAFSA on the web upon receipt of your PIN. You may also complete the FAFSA on the web without a PIN, then print the signature page and mail it to the Department of Education.
What is the ISIR Data Retrieval Tool?
Officials in the Office of Federal Student Aid and the Internal Revenue Service worked together to develop a process to simplify the steps that families must take each year to complete the FAFSA. All 2012-2013 FAFSA on the Web applicants who indicate that they have filed federal tax returns and who are otherwise eligible will be directed to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process to complete their FAFSA more easily and accurately. By this process, families must actively choose to use the data retrieval tool. If they choose to do so, they will be transferred to the Internal Revenue Service web site where they will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA if there are eligible to do so as determined by a “filtering question” on the FAFSA.
What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?
A Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information you submitted on your FAFSA. You'll receive a SAR Information Acknowledgment Report in the mail about 2 weeks after submitting your online FAFSA. Or, if you provided a valid email address, you'll receive an email with a link to your SAR information on the Web within 5 days.
What if I don't receive a SAR Information Acknowledgment?
If you don't receive your SAR within the time frame stated above, check the status of your application at www.fafsa.gov or call the Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243.
What if I don't have access to applying for aid online?
Paper FAFSA's are generally available at public libraries and high school guidance offices.
What is PCOM's Federal School Code for the FAFSA?
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine's Federal School Code for both the Georgia and Philadelphia Campuses is 015979. List this code on the FAFSA so that PCOM's Financial Aid Office is authorized to receive your information.
What other forms must I complete to apply for financial aid at PCOM?
Each year, every student must complete a new PCOM Financial Aid Application. This form is completed online at Financial Aid Self-Service via nucleus.
Do I need to submit a copy of my Income Tax Return?
All students who are selected for verification of the data that they reported on the FAFSA must submit signed copies of their federal tax return. The Central Processing Unit of the U.S. Department of Education determines who is selected for verification and indicates this on the SAR. All students who want to be given consideration for institutional need-based funds are required to report parental information on the FAFSA and to submit copies of their parents' federal tax returns. Certain federal programs earmarked for medical students, such as the Primary Care Loan Program, also require that parental financial information be provided on the FAFSA to determine eligibility.
Why is parental financial information required by PCOM on my FAFSA if I am independent?
Institutional need based aid is limited. Therefore, parental data is evaluated to determine equitable distribution of institutional need based funds. If you are unable to provide parental financial information on the FAFSA, or if you feel that the data inappropriately represents your financial situation, you may submit alternative documentation to the Financial Aid Office.
How do I apply for a Direct Federal Stafford Loan at PCOM?
New PCOM students and those who have not borrowed Direct Stafford Loans while attending PCOM should complete the Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN).
What is a Master Promissory Note?
A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a binding legal document you sign promising to repay your loan. The MPN opens up a line of credit for educational expenses and is good for 10 years from the date you sign it.
What is PCOM's Federal School Code for Federal Stafford Loans?
PCOM's Federal School Code for Federal Stafford Loans is 00335200.
How do I apply for grants and scholarships at PCOM?
To be considered for need based grants and scholarships, students must provide parental data on the FAFSA and a copy of their parents' 2011 federal tax return or statement of non-taxable earnings. If you are unable to provide parental financial information on the FAFSA, or if you feel that the data inappropriately represents your financial situation, you may submit alternative documentation to the Financial Aid Office. The deadline date to submit the the required information and documents is March 15, 2012.
Where can I find information on government and private sources of financial assistance?
Refer to the Resources Section of PCOM's Financial Aid Web pages, to the Financial Aid Section of the Web Site of the American Association of Osteopathic Medicine at www.aacom.org and to PCOM's handbook, A Guide to Financing Your Education, which is available at PCOM's Financial Aid Office and online at the Financial Aid Home Page of the PCOM Web site.
How much can I borrow in Federal Stafford Loans?
Graduate students are eligible to apply for a maximum of $20,500 per academic year. PsyD students enrolled in a 9 month program are eligible to apply for a maximum of $33,000; PsyD students enrolled in a 12 month program are eligible to apply for a maximum of $37,167. Medical students are eligible to apply for a maximum of $40,500 per academic year. Medical students enrolled in a medical program, which extends during a consecutive 12-month period are eligible to apply for a maximum of $47,167 per academic year.
What should I know about the loans I am offered?
Each loan that you borrow must be repaid once you leave school. Even if you do not complete your education, you will be expected to begin repayment after the grace period of the loan has ended.
What can I do to reduce my living expenses once I arrive on campus?
Plan ahead and remain in the same apartment or situation for the duration of your time in school. Start-up costs of moving and apartment deposits are quite expensive and can cut deeply into savings and living expense funds. Consider a roommate and save hundreds of dollars each month by sharing the costs of living. Save money before entering graduate school. Make a budget and stick to it.