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.  

Health Insurance

Students are required to have health insurance while attending Alpert Medical School (AMS) at Brown University.  By vote of the Corporation of the University, all registered students are automatically enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan. Participation in this Student Health Insurance Plan is required unless a Waiver is completed and submitted each academic year by the Waiver deadline.  The 2017-2018 student fee is $3,615 for current students and $3,752 for first year students.  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.   For the 2017-18 plan, the network will be the United Healthcare Choice Plus. 


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. 


Apartment Insurance

Your landlord's insurance policy does not cover your items if something happens in your building. But with renters insurance, you can protect yourself from having to replace lost or destroyed items on your own. Sign up for a free SALT account to gain access to this article and many other financial resources.

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 Adjustments to Cost of Attendance form along with your receipts and proof of payment.  Adjustments can only be made to expenses incurred during the months in school.   A sampling of qualifying adjustments are:

  • 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.  Receipts detailing expenses incurred and method of payment are needed.   
  • Residency application and related expenses where fourth-year students may request a budget increase to cover application fees, interview travel and hotel accommodations.  Receipts detailing expenses incurred and method of payment are needed.   Please contact our office to discuss.

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.  

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