Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Student loans and previous earnings

Recommended Posts

I'm just wondering....


I've applied this year to a few schools, and hopefully I'll get accepted (or at least get in sometime). I have a question for those of you who had jobs before going to medical school. I currently make a decent living. I earn just under $80,000 a year. Sounds like I should have lots of savings, right? Well, actually, I am making HUGE payments on my existing student loans. Do you know whether the student loan powers-that-be take this into consideration when making their award (loan) assessment?


If they don't, I know I can fall back on a bank line of credit (even if I get maximum student loans, I would require some of this ...). I am just hoping to minimize my use of a bank line of credit as much as possible.



Link to comment
Share on other sites



Well I can tell you that your first year you may not get a whole lot...but all you need to do is qualify for some and you will qualify for the other bursaries your school may have for those who qualify for student loans. That was my goal first year...to qualify for just something...cause U of Ottawa gives all its first years $3000 IF they qualify for OSAP.


You are allowed to have put away $2000/year since you were done high school that they don`t expect you to touch (so if you haven`t put away any money in RRSPs...do it!).


If you now own your own home...they will not hold your primary residence against you.


The thing that'll get you even if you qualify for a decent amount is...if you own or lease a car. They will substract from the amount you qualify for (say $10 000) the value of your car in excess of the allowed $5000 (so if your car according to OSAP is worth $12000, they will subtract $7000 from your $10000) and you are left with the difference ($3000)


They don`t look at your income for years before...a few months, but I don`t remember how many. Presumably, you income in prior years would be reflected in your savings....and if you pay a large amount to your student loans etc. then I suppose it would be reasonable that you don't have alot of savings.


That's all I can think of right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Meredith,


I have been thinking about these issues as well. It would seem that we have to claim the income we earn for the 16 weeks prior to the start of school. I was actually wondering if it might be worth quitting my job a little earlier than I need to, in order to lower my income for those 16 weeks.


How is the amount of need determined? Do they use the value of tuition plus books plus a certain amount for living expenses, and then subtract things like income and car from that amount?


Also, does anyone know how pensions are determined? I have been working full time for 9 years, and paid into my pension. As I'm likely going to take a leave of absence rather than resign my job for medical school (so I have the option of going back for the summers after years 1 and 2), my pension will be held "in limbo". I'm not sure the value of the pension, nor how that amount would be claimed.


Any information would be appreciated!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't put your pension down...they are funds you cannot access no matter how much you would beg, they don`t count.


I believe the Canadian portion of the loan takes into consideration the actual tuition you pay while the provincial (in ON) has a max tuition automatically used (which is nowhere near the actual tuition we pay)


I wouldn`t personally quit my job early and lose actual money...just to get a loan I will have to pay back anyway. The amount you would probably make would be more than the loan you would get.


You will, like most other students, likely be using an LOC while in med school...even if you get the max OSAP it doesn`t even usually cover tuition let alone your other expenses. I know it is really hard when you are used to having positive cash flow...but you do get used to the idea of debt!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmmm... maybe I will give the student loan office a call about the current student loan payments. I understand how they look at your income (and 16 weeks is better than the whole past year) and expect you to have saved it, but I'm still curious whether they consider the loan payments as part of your living expenses (I remember as an undergrad, if you had living expenses in the summer (i.e., didn't live with your parents), then you were not expected to save as much of your earnings).


Good to know how they assess a car! Thanks Satsuma.


Elaine... I hadn't thought about my pension...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi, I have outstanding student loan debt that is in default of $40,000. I am looking for a grant to help me. I want to apply for an individual grant program to help me pay-off this debt. Who knows what program will help me with applying for and receiving grant money thru the U.S. govt.? I know there are several programs that I need to apply to and write a grant proposal for in order to receive the grant, but where can I find these organizations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To get an estimate of the student loans you can expect, visit the webpage below. When I've used it in previous years the software has been decently accurate in depicting the amount one might be eligible for. For those who've never had to fill out student loan applications, it will give you a rough idea about the information the government gathers in determining your assessed need.




Usually when you apply for student loans, the government agency receives all the expenses from the school so you wouldn't have to put any of that information in. But for the calculator you can estimate what tuition and books might cost by going to the medschool's webpage and using last year's data.


Essentially the main determinants used in regards to income, are what you expect to make during your pre-study period (summer before medschool) and study period (when enrolled in medschool which is usually zero for most students).


Edit: For those of you from Ontario, you can check out the OSAP estimator at:



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...