Budgeting

Cost of Attendance

As mentioned in the Eligibility page, the first component in determining your financial aid award is your cost of attendance (COA).  Each year, the Office of Financial Aid carefully prepares the COA for each class.  Certain budget components, such as tuition and University fees, are standard for all classes, while other expenses, such as national board exam fees, are class specific.  Please click here to view budget details for the current year.   Comparing this 2016-2017 Cost of Attendance, you will see our yearly figures represent monthly survey results below. 

2015-16 Student Budget Survey Results - Monthly Figures

MD16

MD17

MD18

MD19

Mth Av

Rent

708

658

745

745

714

Utilities/Services

180

109

94

86

117

Groceries

260

255

237

217

242

Entertainment

176

172

139

130

154

Books/Supplies

34

54

30

32

37

Local Transport

185

359

163

124

208

Distance Travel

58

58

63

78

64

Personal Items

89

90

112

76

92

Fixed Expenses

143

127

68

114

113

Health Insurance

Students are required to have health insurance while attending Alpert Medical School (AMS) at Brown University.  Initially students are billed for the University provided health coverage plan; however this fee can be waived if proof is provided of alternative coverage.  The 2016-2017 student fee is $3,548.  The full year cost of the insurance coverage is charged to your student account in the fall semester, so students opting for the coverage will have higher billed charges in the fall than in the spring semester.  Please visit Insurance and Purchasing Services for detailed information about the University health insurance coverage plan, waiver and yearly fee. 


In addition, students can opt to secure health insurance on their own, independent of the University and of their families through Health Insurance Marketplaces or Exchanges, as part of the Affordable Care Act.  Available health care plans can be researched at https://www.healthcare.gov/.  Many states offer their own marketplace options as well, for example, HealthSource RI, offered to residents in Rhode Island.   Enrollment in the health insurance plans occurs on a yearly basis for the marketplace and exchanges, generally opening in the fall and closing early in the New Year.  

 

Adjustments to Student Budget

Adjustments may be made to student budgets for the expenses listed below with Director approval. Students must provide appropriate documentation (e.g., bills, receipts, and airline tickets) for budget increases. Generally, budget adjustments are covered with the Unsubsidized Direct Loan or Graduate Plus Loan.  For COA adjustments, please submit the Special Circumstances Appeal Form  along with your receipts.

  • Transportation Allowance up to $2,000 per academic year
  • One-time Computer Allowance up to $2,000 in four year period
  • Unusual Medical and Dental Expenses up to $5,000 per year: not covered by health insurance or otherwise reimbursed.
  • Child Care: expenses are considered for single parents, or when a student's spouse is working outside the home or attending college/graduate school on a less than half-time basis.
  • Away Electives: to cover out-of-state elective expenses related to transportation, registration and related fees. 
  • Residency Application and Related Expenses: fourth-year students may request a budget increase to cover application fees, interview travel and hotel accommodations.  Please contact our office to discuss.

Budgeting Tips

Once you determine your Cost of Attendance for the year and pay tuition and associated fees, you then need to calculate monthly living expenses. Some budgeting tips to help reduce monthly expenses:

  • Pay off car loan and credit card debt before you start medical school
  • Share apartment expenses with a roommate
  • Establish a detailed and accurate budget using the following websites:
  • Open a savings account and a checking account. Deposit your semester refund into your savings account and transfer your monthly allowance electronically to your checking account. Do not allow ATM access to your saving account.
  • Don’t purchase books and supplies with a credit card, but charge bookstore expenses to your student account

Budgeting Resources

The Budget Guide can help you prepare a budget to manage your educational and living expenses and to manage the resources available to meet your expenses. The guide also provides specific budgeting recommendations for living frugally in medical school.

Keeping a ledger of transactions can help you stay on target with your budget.  The AMS Student Budgeting Worksheet is an interactive tool to help you "crunch the numbers."    This worksheet is a monthly tool to determine living expenses per academic year.  The AMS Charges vs. Resources Worksheet helps you calculate Bursar charges with internal and external financial aid.  This is a good tool to determine how much aid is needed after tuition and living expenses have been met.  

American Association of Medical Colleges has several helpful tools: MedLoan Calculator (download NSLDS loans to strategize repayment options), My Money 101 through SALT (gain real-life financial skills taking self-directed courses) and monthly SALT Newsletters.  Another valuable resource is the AAMC Monthly Budget Worksheet.