General Policy Statement
While the Warren Alpert Medical School (AMS) tries to assist students with documented financial need, the primary responsibility for paying for one's medical education must rest with each student and his or her family. When the amount that a student and his or her family can contribute is not sufficient to meet all of the costs of attending medical school, financial aid is available from several sources. Actual awards depend on federal funding levels as well as on institutional resources, as determined annually in the medical cost of attendance approved by the University Corporation. Although graduate students are considered independent for most types of federal aid, the medical school does not recognize the status of the independent student in the awarding of institutional funds, regardless of the student's age, marital status, or number of years which he or she has been self-supporting. This policy ensures that institutional funds are allocated to students who have demonstrated limited family resources.
In accordance with federal laws and applicable regulations, Brown University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, handicap, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin in the awarding of financial assistance.
Eligibility for Financial Aid
To be eligible for financial aid in the Medical School, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program and must be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree as defined in Section V, Policies and Protocols on Academic Standing and Promotion. Please review the Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress for Receipt of Federal Financial Aid, printed below.
Institutional financial aid generally is not available for expenses related to enrollment in courses taken by away clerkships, even though transfer of academic credit may be authorized. Students who attend AMS for less than a full academic year will have aid prorated to reflect their actual enrollment. Students are not eligible for aid during periods of fellow-status. Students are only eligible for aid during periods of enrollment for which they are being charged tuition by AMS, which does not include the fellow-status fee of $100 per term.
International students who do not hold a permanent resident visa are not eligible for federal financial aid programs, although institutional funding is available to a limited number of students.
Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress for Receipt of Federal Financial Aid
Federal regulations require that all students receiving federal financial aid maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP). There is both a qualitative and quantitative measure for determining students’ progress. The SAP policy applies to all medical students receiving federal financial aid. SAP will be assessed at the end of each semester to determine medical students’ eligibility for federal aid.
The following policy presents the standards established by the Alpert Medical School (AMS).
Policy Qualitative Measure: Grading Policies and Academic Promotion
The Medical Committee on Academic Standing (MCAS) at AMS is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the academic performance of all medical students. On the basis of this review, the MCAS determines whether students are to be promoted, promoted with conditions, not promoted, dismissed, graduated, or graduated contingent upon completion of certain remaining requirements.
Medical students are graded on an honors, satisfactory, and no credit basis. For a detailed description of AMS grading policies, refer to the Student Affairs Policies Handbook 2011-2012, Section III. Students are required to complete each course, clerkship or elective in the curriculum with a satisfactory grade (or an equivalent as determined by the MCAS) in order to graduate. Therefore, grade performance as a measure of satisfactory academic progress is reviewed in the context of each course. Note that students must achieve a grade of at least 70 at the end of their second year of coursework in order to be making satisfactory progress for purposes of receiving federal aid.
Quantitative Measure: Student Pace and Maximum Time Limits
The normal period of enrollment for the M.D. degree is four years and nine years for the MD/PhD degree. For purposes of receiving federal aid, the academic progress students will complete satisfactorily is:
After Year I: At least 12 credits*
After Year II: At least 12 credits* and will prepare for the Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).
After Year III: At least 40 weeks/credits of clerkships or electives*.
After Year IV: At least 40 weeks/credits of clerkships or electives* and will have passed Step 1 of the USMLE and taken Step 2 of the USMLE.
*Note that students can review the specific course and clerkship requirements as listed in the Student Affairs Policies Handbook 2011-2012, Section II, Policies and Requirements for the M.D. Degree
Students’ failure to complete the requirements set at each yearly interval, will be assessed by the MCAS and if necessary, an academic plan will be developed for students to follow in order to regain satisfactory academic progress. For purposes of receiving federal financial aid, the successful pace for completing each interval is assessed by MCAS at meetings held six times throughout the academic year. The MCAS determines the promotion of each medical student to the next interval at the end of the academic year, set for each class.
Students will be permitted a maximum timeframe to complete the medical degree:
|M.D. (Transfer Students)||2||6|
Since the MCAS may give approval for a student to repeat a portion of the curriculum (subsequent to incomplete, ED, unsatisfactory course work or an approved leave of absence), the maximum timeframe for enrollment is six years. This includes the time spent on an approved leave of absence or fellowship status. The required number of courses, clerkships and electives to be completed at the end of each enrollment period will vary in these cases, according to what portion of the curriculum that must be repeated. Funding beyond the maximum timeframe may be provided only if approved by the MCAS based on a student appeal due to significant mitigating circumstances.
Advanced Standing/Transfer Students
Medical students who are accepted for transfer from other medical schools are assumed to be making satisfactory academic progress at the time of initial enrollment at Alpert Medical School. The total years for completion of the M.D. degree includes time spent at the previous institution. The standard timeframe for completion of required coursework, clerkships and electives as a transfer student is six years.
Course Completion Requirements, Remedial Study and Course Repetition
When the MCAS has identified a student who is experiencing academic difficulty, an academic plan will be prepared to help the student regain satisfactory academic progress. The student will receive the plan in writing and a copy will be made available in the Electronic Medical Student Record (EMSR) database. The MCAS reviews each student’s situation individually. In general, the committee follows these guidelines:
Students who have failed one course but who have received satisfactory grades in the remaining courses in the core curriculum may be promoted with the condition that the failed course be satisfactorily completed before the end of the next semester. These students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and continue to be eligible for federal aid.
Students who have failed two courses will be placed on academic warning. While on academic warning, students may receive federal Title IV financial aid, but will be placed on financial aid warning as well. Students will be asked to repeat the failed coursework and possibly the entire semester. At the conclusion of the warning period/semester, if the student has successfully completed the requirements for making satisfactory progress, then the student continues to be eligible for federal aid. If not, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. This means the student will have one more semester to complete the incomplete and/or failed work satisfactorily. Failure to do so at the end of the second semester will result in suspension of financial aid until the work is completed satisfactorily.
Failure to do so at the end of the second semester will result in suspension of financial aid until the work is completed satisfactorily.
Students who have one grade of Existing Deficiency (ED*) but who have received satisfactory grades in the remaining courses in the core curriculum for the period under review will be promoted with the condition that the deficiency be remedied before the end of the next semester. These students are considered to be making satisfactory academic progress and are eligible to receive federal Title IV financial aid.
Students with two grades of ED or one failed clinical course will be placed on academic warning. While on academic warning, students may receive federal Title IV financial aid, but will be placed on financial aid warning as well. Students will be asked to repeat the failed coursework and possibly the entire semester. At the conclusion of the warning period/semester, if the student has successfully completed the requirements for making satisfactory progress, then the student continues to be eligible for federal aid. If not, the student will be placed on financial aid probation. This means the student will have one more semester to complete the incomplete and/or failed work satisfactorily. Failure to do so at the end of the second semester will result in suspension of financial aid until the work is completed satisfactorily.
A student whose financial aid has been suspended may appeal, based on the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. The appeal should be submitted to the Director of Financial Aid within three days of the date on the written notification requesting reconsideration of the decision.
The letter should include:
- Reasons why the student did not meet the minimum academic standards
- What has changed in their situation to allow them to meet satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation?
Each appeal will be considered on its own merit. Individual cases will not be considered a precedent. The decision once made is final.
A student shall be reinstated for federal Title IV financial aid eligibility at such time as they have satisfactorily completed sufficient coursework/GPA requirements to meet the standards for progress, set forth in this policy and as determined by the associate dean of medical education/ MCAS.
Assessing Parental Resources
Graduate and professional school students may wish to declare independence from their parents. Some have been self-supporting for years. While the medical school is sensitive to the desire of these students to become independent of their families, it is not in a position to transfer financial dependence from one's parents to AMS. Therefore, parental information is required for all students applying for institutional funding (i.e., Alpert Medical School loans and scholarships) as well as many types of federal funding, regardless of the student's age, marital status, or number of years which he/she has been self-supporting.
Parental information may be waived in exceptional circumstances. Students who have unusual family circumstances are advised to discuss their situation with the director of financial aid.
Assessing Student (and Spouse) Resources
Students are expected to pay for a portion of their educational expenses. That contribution depends on several factors which are described below:
- Base Year vs. Academic Year Income: In determining student and spouse contributions, the Federal Methodology, uses base year data, or income data for the calendar year prior to the academic year for which financial aid is sought. The analysis assumes a continuation of that income in the following calendar year. In many cases, that assumption will be wrong. If your income will be substantially different from one year to the next, please explain this change on the AMS Financial Aid Application. First- and second-year students should take special care to report large decreases in income from year to year.
- Summer Earnings Expectation: First- and second-year students generally are expected to contribute $1,650 from summer earnings toward their educational expenses. The summer earnings contribution is not waived for students who elect to take courses that are not required for admission to the medical school. Since third- and fourth-year students are enrolled year round, a summer earnings contribution is not expected unless a significant block of time is free from class or clerkship requirements.
- Student's (and Spouse's) Assets: A contribution is expected from assets which the student and/or spouse own, including, but not limited to, savings, certain types of property, and investments. Please be aware that federal regulations require assets which are held in the student's social security number or his/her spouse's social security number to be considered a resource for the student's education.
How Student Budgets are Determined
The cost of attendance is calculated annually based on market analysis of the cost of living in the Providence area, University charges approved by the Brown Corporation and periodic survey feedback from enrolled students regarding their living expenses. Student budgets reflect costs only for periods of enrollment and include tuition, fees, health insurance, medical and dental costs, books and supplies, national board fees, transportation expenses, and reasonable personal and living expenses. Living expenses may vary depending on whether the student is living in an apartment or at home with his or her parents. Federal regulations do not permit student budgets to include expenses related to the cost of purchasing an automobile or home and cannot include consumer debt that is not related to educational expenses. The cost of attendance is finalized in April and typically increases by 4 - 5% each year and is displayed on the financial aid website at http://med.brown.edu/financialaid/.
Financial Aid Packages for Students Receiving Institutional Funding
Once financial need has been determined, the OFA constructs a "package" or combination of financial aid resources. The sources of aid are based upon program eligibility criteria, availability of funds and the level of financial need. Awards may consist of scholarship funds, subsidized loans or unsubsidized loans.
The financial need of students who qualify for institutional funding is covered first with a fixed amount in institutional and federal loans, which is called the base loan component. The amount and composition of the base loan is determined annually based upon anticipated institutional resources and the projected aggregate need of financial aid applicants. The first portion of the base loan is the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan of $8,500. This loan has a fixed rate of 6.8% and the federal government pays the interest on this loan while the student is in school, so interest is not accruing during this period. The second component is the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, which also has a fixed interest rate of 6.8%. Interest begins to accrue on this loan from the date that the funds are disbursed to the student’s school account. The amount packaged in the Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is determined each year and depends on other aid factors. An announcement is sent to all students explaining the new aid policy.
Financial Aid Packages for Students Receiving External Funding
Students who do not qualify for institutional funding may borrow from several loan programs. The most common programs are the Federal Stafford Loans, and, if necessary, alternative loans such as the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan. Together, these loans provide sufficient funds to cover the full cost of attendance each year. Students who prefer to borrow from other alternative loan programs should be aware that creditworthiness is a factor in determining eligibility for these loans.
Financial Aid for MD/PhD Students
During Years I and II of the MD program, MD/PhD students are eligible for financial aid on the same terms as other medical students. While enrolled in the PhD program, students receive fellowship or assistantship support including full tuition and fees and a stipend for twelve months per year for up to five years.
MD/PhD students who complete all experimental work needed for the thesis prior to re-entry into the third year of the Medical School receive a full tuition scholarship in the third year, and students who successfully defend their thesis prior to entry into the fourth year receive a full tuition scholarship for the final year of medical school.
Students who elect to start their research during the summer before the first year of medical studies receive a fellowship to do so. In addition, each student receives fellowship support for research conducted in subsequent summers.
Financial Aid for International Students
Students who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent U.S. residents can be considered for institutional funding, typically a combination of institutional loans and scholarships. Eligibility for institutional aid is determined at the point of the admission application and cannot be considered afterward. International students who are enrolled in the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME) should be aware that if they are admitted to the College without financial aid, they generally will not be eligible for aid during the medical school years outside of exceptional circumstances. Please refer to the financial aid website at http://med.brown.edu/financialaid/ for information about application procedures and requirements, specifically for international students.
Recipients of private loans and/or scholarships are obligated to provide the OFA with written confirmation of the annual award from the outside agency. Outside awards first reduce the student’s higher cost loans (e.g., Federal Graduate PLUS or Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loans). Awards that exceed the amount borrowed through these loans then reduce the Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan, and then the Alpert Medical School loans and scholarship.
Appeal of Financial Aid Decisions
A medical student who feels that his/her application for financial aid has not been given full consideration should first discuss the matter with the director of financial aid. If, after discussing the matter with the financial aid staff, the student does not feel the award is appropriate under the University guidelines, he/she may appeal to the associate dean for medical education that has been designated by the dean of medicine and biological sciences for supervision of the OFA. The associate dean will consult with the dean of the medical school. All the matters pertaining to financial aid are confidential, and all decisions made by the dean are final.
Short-term, interest-free loans are available to students in the medical school through the OFA. Funding for these loans is provided by the Office of Biomed Finance and Planning. Loans are repaid to the Office of Biomed Finance and Planning within three months from the date of issuance. There are no fees associated with these loans. Since this is a small revolving loan fund, prompt repayment is expected. Failure to repay or to make satisfactory arrangements for repayment will result in the withholding of official correspondence by the school on behalf of the student, withholding transcripts and withholding of the diploma, if necessary.
Annual tuition—such amount as is fixed by the Corporation of the University for the medical school for a given academic year. The annual charge does not cover tuition for courses taken in the summer preceding the first year of medical school or between the first and second years of medical school.
Tuition Unit—one-twelfth of the annual tuition.
Full-time enrollment—registration for all courses/rotations in the relevant portion of the medical curriculum for that semester, or as defined by the Associate Dean for Medical Education.
Part-time enrollment—registration for less than the requirement for that semester, or as defined by the Associate Dean for Medical Education.
Adjustment of annual tuition charges will be made for any student in the medical school who withdraws officially or who is dismissed for academic reasons, subject to the following provisions:
Years 1 and 2
1. A student who leaves the medical school prior to the beginning of the semester shall not be charged tuition for the semester.
2. A student who leaves the medical school during either Semester I or II shall be eligible for a refund of the normal charge for that semester (50% of the annual charge for the medical school) during the first five weeks only as follows:
First two weeks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80% refund
Third week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60% refund
Fourth week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40% refund
Fifth week . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20% refund
Years 3 and 4
1. The academic program for the third and fourth year of the medical school is divided into four clerkship periods of approximately thirteen weeks each.
2. A student who leaves the medical school during or at the end of the first clerkship period shall be refunded 75% of the total annual charge.
3. A student who leaves the medical school during or at the end of the second clerkship shall be refunded 50% of the total annual charge.
4. A student who leaves the medical school during or at the end of the third clerkship shall be refunded 25% of the annual charge.
5. No refund shall be made to a student who leaves the medical school during or at the end of the fourth clerkship period.
Students who have received no credit grades in coursework and must repeat the course are responsible for additional tuition payments during the academic period in which the course is repeated, unless the course is an add-on to a regular academic load, in which case no additional tuition is charged. If the course is a first or second year course, tuition is calculated on a per course basis. If the course is a clerkship, the tuition is calculated on a quarterly basis (e.g. l2 week clerkship equals one quarter; 6 week clerkship equals one eighth).
Additional tuition is charged for courses taken beyond the traditional course load or for repetition of courses previously failed. Tuition is charged on a per credit basis.
Delinquent Student Accounts
Brown University requires payment of tuition and fees by August 1 for first semester obligations and by January 1 for second semester obligations. Students who fail to make payment in full by these deadlines will be assessed a late payment charge of 1.5% per month (an annual rate of 18%) on any unpaid balances. In addition, outstanding balances greater than $1,000 will prevent any student from pre-registering for any subsequent semester and may jeopardize their continued enrollment with the University.
Accounts which are not paid in full (except those on the monthly payment plan) will be referred to the University Student Account Committee for review. The committee will then meet with a representative designated by the Dean of Medicine shortly thereafter to review the student's account. The Committee's action may include cancellation of eligibility for enrollment and/or dismissal. No diploma, certificate, transcript, letter of honorable dismissal, or recommendation will be issued to any student or former student, unless all accounts are satisfactorily settled.
The Dean's designate on the University Student Account Committee will be the Associate Dean for Medical Education, or an alternate person designated by the Dean of Medicine who is familiar with the student's academic and personal situation and with the authority to withdraw the student from the University.
Withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds
Students must notify the OMSA in writing or in person to formally withdraw from the medical school. If the student received financial aid in the form of federal loans, such as the Federal Stafford or Perkins Loans, then the student must also notify the Alpert Medical School Financial Aid Office as well. The student may be required to complete an exit interview program and satisfy other requirements as a borrower of federal loans.
When a medical student withdraws from the Warren Alpert Medical School, the Office of Medical Student Affairs (OMSA) must determine the date of withdrawal, based on the date of the student’s last day of attendance. OMSA will work with the University Offices of the Registrar and Bursar to adjust tuition and other charges following the institutional withdrawal policy for the medical school. The policy varies for students in their first or second years and those in their third and fourth years as described above.
Students who receive federal (Title IV) loan funding, such as the Stafford or Perkins loans, will be subject to the Title IV Refund Policy which does not necessarily follow the University’s tuition refund policy. Instead, the medical school must determine the earned and unearned portions of the eligible Title IV aid as of the date the student ceased attendance based on the amount of time the student spent in attendance.
The calculation of Title IV funds earned by the student has no relationship to the student’s incurred institutional charges. Up through the 60% point in each semester, a pro-rata schedule is used to determine the amount of Title IV funds the student has earned at the time of withdrawal. After the 60% point in the semester, a student has earned 100% of the Title IV funds he or she was scheduled to receive during the period. For a student who withdraws after the 60% point-in-time, there are no unearned funds.