Financial Need

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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 U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Need Access Application. The calculated family contribution is then subtracted from the cost of attendance for the year to arrive at the amount of financial need:

Cost of Attendance minus Family Contribution equals Financial Need

Cost of Attendance

The 2014-2015 financial aid calculation assumes a total cost of $81,700 for a first-year student. This includes $54,200 for tuition and $27,500 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

In order to be considered for institutional grants and loans, all applicants must supply parent financial information - 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: clergyman, 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.

*Note: 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.

Consideration of Parent Contribution

Harvard Medical School requires parent financial resource information from all applicants who are applying for institutional funding. A parental contribution will be calculated using standard institutional need analysis policy. This calculated contribution may be adjusted in the following scenerios:

Middle Income Financial Aid Initiative

In an effort to reduce the cost of a medical school education, Harvard Medical School adjusts the parental contribution expected for its families with greatest financial need.

For students entering HMS in 2012-13 or later: Harvard Medical School waives the parental contribution (PC) for students whose total parental incomes (including untaxed income) are $100,000 or less and whose assets are typical for those income levels. For families whose total parental incomes (including untaxed income) are 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. Please note, parental financial information must still be submitted in order to qualify for this initiative.

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

For students who entered HMS prior to 2012-13: Harvard Medical School waives the parental contribution (PC) for students whose total parental incomes (including untaxed income) are $120,000 or less and whose assets are typical for those income levels. For more information, please see the April 2008 announcement of this initiative. Please note, parental financial information must still be submitted in order to qualify for this waiver.

Student Age Policy

  • For students who are below age 29 as of October 1, 2014, 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, 2014, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 25%.
  • For students who are age 30 as of October 1, 2014, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 40%.
  • For students who are age 31 as of October 1, 2014, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 60%.
  • For students who are age 32 and above as of October 1, 2014, the calculated parent contribution will be reduced by 80%.

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