Package Determinations

How Financial Aid Awarding is determined in the MD Program

When calculating a student’s financial need, the Financial Aid Office uses a standardized analysis formula to determine the expected family contribution. Financial disclosure is made via several financial aid application documents, including the US Department of Education’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Collegeboard's CSS Profile Application.

These two national application processes perform needs analysis to determine Expected Family Contribution. The formulas are nationally standardized, developed and maintained in partnership with financial aid professionals and economists.

Expected Family Contributions (EFC)
Packaging Financial Aid Awards
Sample Award Packages
Appeals Process
Cost of Attendance
Family Contribution

 

Expected Family Contributions (EFC)

Federal EFC: The information provided on the FAFSA is evaluated by the federal government using its Federal Methodology need analysis formula. This formula determines the expected family contribution that is used to determine eligibility for federal student aid only.

Institutional EFC: The information provided on the CSS Profile is evaluated by the College Board using the standardized institutional needs analysis formula. This formula determines the expected family contribution that is used for the purpose of awarding institutional HMS scholarships and loans.

The College Board website provides an Expected Family Contribution Estimator for students who wish to get a rough estimate of what the assessed family contribution may look like.

Students may qualify for both federal and institutional aid.

Packaging Financial Aid Awards

The combination of aid sources offered to a student is referred to as the financial aid package.

HMS Need-Based Scholarship

HMS assures that high need students have top priority for scholarship aid. Our financial aid formula ensures a student with a zero expected family contribution will have full coverage of both tuition and mandatory fees.

Tuition and Mandatory Fees Minus Institutional EFC Equals HMS Scholarship

Loans will make up the cost of living expenses at HMS. The loan programs may be made up of a combination of institutional, federal and private loan sources. Loan packages will be determined by:

“Total Cost of Attendance Minus Institutional EFC Minus HMS scholarship equals unmet need

Students with unmet need equal to or less than $7000 will be eligible for an HMS institutional loan.

Typical Composition of Federal and Institutional Loans for Pathways MD students with need for 2019-2020

Loan Type Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Year 5
Federal Direct Unsubsidized $19,152 $25,382 $26,087 $23,757 $27,300
Institutional Loan* $ 7,000 $ 7,000 $ 7,000 $ 7,000 $ 5,750
Total Loan $26,152 $32,382 $33,087 $30,757 $33,050

*LDS, HMS Revolving/Wolfson loans

International or DACA-Eligible Students

International or DACA-eligible students who qualify for loan funding will receive a loan level consistent with their entering class. International and DACA-eligible students entering HMS will have the federal portion of their loan replaced with a supplemental, private loan.

Institutional Scholarship Policy

Includes HMS Scholarships, General Restricted Scholarships, the Yellow Ribbon Program and the Resident Tutor Policy.

Outside Scholarship Policy

All applicants for HMS financial aid are encouraged to seek additional sources of funding. Outside scholarships generally are first applied toward replacing the calculated parent contribution. After the parent contribution has been fully replaced, a dollar for dollar adjustment is made to the aid package. When making this adjustment, the outside scholarship will be used to decrease the loans in the aid package, beginning with least favorable loan. Only if the outside award exceeds the total amount of student loans would the HMS scholarship be decreased.

In addition to private outside scholarships, this policy also applies to HST research and teaching assistantships.

Sample Award Cases

Applying the policies described above, the following shows three types of financial aid awards given in the 2019-20 academic year. It is important to note that if the students in these sample cases were unable to obtain the calculated family contribution, they would need to make up the shortfall from other resources. These resources might include additional unsubsidized loans or Federal Work-Study earnings.

International and DACA-eligible students would receive similar awards, with federal loan programs replaced by additional HMS loan or private loan.

Sample Packages for Pathways Students 2019-20

Tuition and Mandatory Fees $68,903
Cost of Living and Loan Fees $26,152
Total Cost of Attendance $95,055
IM EFC $35,725

HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship

(Tuition and Mandatory Fees - IM EFC)

$33,178
Combined Loans $26,152
Equals Total Aid $59,330
Tuition and Mandatory Fees $68,378
Cost of Living, Loan Fees and National Board Fees $33,087
Total Cost of Attendance $101,465
IM EFC $35,725

HMS Need-based Aid Scholarship

(Tuition and Mandatory Fees - EFC)

$32,653
Combined Loans $33,087
Equals Total Aid $65,740
Tuition and Mandatory Fees $13,378
Cost of Living, Loan Fees, and National Board Fees $30,757
Total Cost of Attendance $44,135
IM EFC $35,725
Combined Loans $44,135
Equals Total Aid $44,135

MD Students do not qualify for HMS need-based scholarship assistance beyond their fourth year.

Appeals Process

A student who feels that exceptional family circumstances have not been fully considered in the review of his/her application may discuss those concerns with his/her Financial Aid Officer. If a satisfying resolution cannot be achieved through this meeting, the student may petition for a formal hearing of his/her appeal by the Financial Aid Committee. Changes in circumstances and income must be carefully documented. Appeals for increases to the standard student budget are rarely granted. When this is the reason for the appeal, the student expenses above the standard budget must be well-documented; receipts are required.

Students planning to file appeals should present their petitions in writing to a Financial Aid Office no later than April 15th (incoming students) or October 1st (all students). The Assistant Director will review the appeal in accordance with HMS policy guidelines. Should the appeal be denied by the Financial Aid Office and a student wishes to further appeal, students may request to have their petition go forward to the Financial Aid Committee, and the Committee will then render a decision on the appeal. Names will not be used when cases are discussed, and the Committee's action will remain both absolutely confidential and final.

Cost of Attendance

The 2019-2020 financial aid calculation assumes a total cost of $95,055 for a first-year student. This includes $68,903 for tuition and mandatory fees and $26,152 for all other fees, supplies and living expenses. This cost is recalculated annually and varies by year in school. There are no separate budgets for married students because support for dependents is part of the expected family contribution; school-administered funds are only available to meet the expenses of students.

Family Contribution

Potential resources available to help meet educational costs always include, but are not limited to, the calculated contribution from the student's income and personal assets, contribution from parents, and if married, contribution from spouse's income and assets. These family resources are grouped together to form the family contribution.

Family Contribution

Student Contribution

HMS expects every student to contribute to his/her educational and living expenses. A review of the student’s income and assets will determine an appropriate student contribution assessment. Effective in 2007-08, no minimum student contribution from earnings is assessed for incoming students; the minimum contribution from earnings requirement for rising second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-year students is also waived.

Students participating in the Summer Federal Work-Study Program should note that a portion of the work-study award (after adjusting for taxes and living expenses) is required to be used to fund a portion of the calculated student contribution. This portion will be determined at the end of the summer once final summer earnings are known. Federal regulations prohibit students from borrowing additional student loans to fund the Summer Work-Study component of the calculated student contribution.

If the student/spouse has accumulated assets, s/he is expected to contribute a portion of these assets towards educational expenses. The need analysis formula assesses 25-35% of the total net value of student/spouse assets as part of the calculated student contribution each year.

Parental Contribution

Contribution

Harvard Medical School requires parent financial resource information from all applicants who are applying for institutional funding regardless of age, dependency, marital status, tax status, income level or prior history of financial independence.

In extreme cases, e.g. when the whereabouts of a parent is unknown, the Committee requires that the situation be documented by a third-party professional such as clergy, attorney, social worker, family physician or other professional with personal knowledge of the family. Please refer to the Petition for Waiver of Non-custodial Parent Financial Information for more details.

Students who anticipate that parents will not provide the full expected parent contribution must plan in advance how they will finance an education at HMS without this support. Institutional funds are not available to replace an absent expected parent contribution.

Parental contribution will be calculated using standard institutional need analysis policy. This calculated contribution may be adjusted under several scenarios. For more information, see Parent Contribution Adjustments.

Adjustments

Parental contribution will be calculated using standard institutional need analysis policy. This calculated contribution may be adjusted under several scenarios:

1. HMS’ Middle Income Financial Aid Initiative
2. Student Age Policy
3. Sibling(s) Enrollment in Postsecondary Education
4. Self-Supporting Status
5. Non-Custodial Parents
6. Replacing a Missing Parent Contribution

1. HMS’ Middle Income Financial Aid Initiative

HMS remains committed to taking steps to reduce the cost of a four-year medical education. Harvard Medical School waives the parental contribution (PC) for students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is $100,000 or less and whose assets are typical for those income levels. For students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is between $100,000 - $150,000 and whose assets are typical for those income levels, Harvard Medical School reduces the expected parent contribution as noted below.

Total Income Under $100k: PC waived
Total Income $100K - $110K: PC reduced 90%
Total Income $110K - $120K: PC reduced 80%
Total Income $120K - $130K: PC reduced 55%
Total Income $130K - $140K: PC reduced 40%
Total Income $140K - $150K: PC reduced 25%

2. Student Age Policy

For students who are below age 29 as of October 1, 2019, the full calculated parental contribution will be used in determining eligibility for need-based funds:

  • For students who are age 29 as of October 1, 2019, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 25%.
  • For students who are age 30 as of October 1, 2019, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 40%.
  • For students who are age 31 as of October 1, 2019, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 60%.
  • For students who are age 32 and above as of October 1, 2019, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 80%.

3. Sibling(s) Enrollment in Postsecondary Education

The amount of the parent contribution is re-calculated each year and can be significantly affected by several variables. The most notable of these is the number of siblings enrolled simultaneously at a post-secondary educational institution at least half-time. Since the need analysis formula assumes that parental resources are evenly divided among all of these siblings, students who foresee a change in this number should be prepared for a substantial change in the expected parent contribution. This will result in a corresponding change in the amount of financial aid awarded and one's eligibility for scholarship assistance.

Students who indicate on the financial aid application that one or more siblings will be enrolled in a Degree Program at least half-time in a postsecondary educational institution during the same academic year may be required to complete a Sibling Enrollment Form for each sibling enrolled. The form is to be completed and signed by the Registrar of the sibling’s institution only after the sibling has matriculated for the academic year. If this form is required, failure to submit documentation of enrollment may result in a cancellation or reduction in the financial aid award.

4. Self-Supporting Status

Harvard Medical School requires parental information when considering eligibility for institutional need-based scholarships and loans. Failure to provide parental information means that the student is forfeiting his/her candidacy for Harvard Medical School scholarships and loan programs.

If a student feels that his/her particular circumstances warrant a reconsideration of the required level of parent contribution, s/he may submit a petition to the Financial Aid Committee through the financial aid appeal process. Waivers of this requirement for parent information are very rare.

Because the eligibility criteria for many federal and private financial aid programs do not take parent information into account for graduate and professional students, students can be considered for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the Federal Work-Study Program and private supplemental loan programs without submitting parent information (see Option II). For federal programs, with limited funding allocations such as the Federal Work-Study Program, it is important to realize that being considered for programs does not guarantee receipt of funds.

5. Non-Custodial Parents

In order to be considered for Harvard scholarships and loans, the student’s custodial parent must complete the parent sections of the CSS Profile Application. The non-custodial parent must file the Non-Custodial Profile Application. Each biological parent must also submit tax returns to the Financial Aid Office.

In cases where the whereabouts of a parent is unknown, there has been extremely limited or no contact with a noncustodial parent for a significant period of time, or there are legal orders that limit the non-custodial parent’s contact with the student, the Financial Aid Committee may waive the requirement for that parent’s financial disclosure provided that the family's situation is adequately documented. Students requesting this waiver must complete the Petition for the Waiver of Non-Custodial Parent Information.  A letter from a third-party professional (ex. attorney, clergy, social worker, or family physician) who has personal first-hand knowledge of the family's situation and history is also required.

Unwillingness of a noncustodial parent to contribute financially is not a sufficient reason to file this petition. In the event that a biological parent is deceased, his/her whereabouts are unknown and/or the petition to waive the non-custodial parent information has been approved, the surviving parent’s spouse, if any, is required to provide financial data as the second parent. If the surviving parent is not remarried, then only one parent’s financial information will be considered.

6. Replacing a Missing Parent Contribution

Students who anticipate that their parents will not provide the full expected parent contribution must plan in advance how they will finance Harvard Medical School without this assistance. Harvard Medical School policy does not ordinarily provide for replacing a missing calculated parental contribution with institutional aid; exceptions to this policy are considered by the Financial Aid Committee through the appeal process and are very rare.

Students may request to replace a missing family contribution with additional unsubsidized student loans (Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan and/or private supplemental loans). In addition, students also have the option of using outside scholarships or Federal Work-Study earnings to meet this gap.

Spousal Contribution

The spouse of a married student is expected to contribute to the support of the student as well as to contribute to his/her own support and that of any children. The need analysis formula used for calculating the student/spouse contribution makes allowances for the household expenses when determining the portion of the couple’s resources available for educational expenses.

If the available resources are insufficient to support the spouse and children, it may be possible to use unsubsidized student loan programs, Federal Work-Study earnings, and/or outside scholarship to help meet family expenses. A student in this situation should speak with his/her Financial Aid Officer for more information. Harvard Medical School scholarship and loans are not available to meet costs attributable to persons other than the student.

Note: Option I applicants who are married or planning to become married by August 2019 will need to complete the Fiancé/Spouse Financial Resources Application.

HMS’ Middle Income Financial Aid Initiative

HMS remains committed to taking steps to reduce the cost of a four-year medical education. The Middle Income Initiative adjusts the parental contribution expected for HMS families with the greatest financial need.

Harvard Medical School waives the parental contribution (PC) for students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is $100,000 or less and whose assets are typical for those income levels. For students whose total parental income earned in the U.S. or Canada (including untaxed income) is between $100,000 - $150,000 and whose assets are typical for those income levels, Harvard Medical School reduces the expected parent contribution as noted below.

Total income under $100k: PC waived
Total income $100-110K: PC reduced 90%
Total income $110-120K: PC reduced 80%
Total income $120-130K: PC reduced 55%
Total income $130-140K: PC reduced 40%
Total income $140-150K: PC reduced 25%