The first component in determining your financial aid package 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.
Students are required to have health insurance while attending The Warren 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 2020-2021 student fee is $4,077 for current students and $4,419 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.
In addition, students may 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 the ACA website. 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.
Your landlord's insurance policy does not cover your items if something happens in your building. Renters insurance, however, can protect you from having to replace lost or destroyed items. Consider purchasing renters insurance to protect your personal property.
Adjustments to Student Budget
We suggest an email or meeting to discuss your current circumstance. Once it is determined you qualify for a COA adjustment, please upload the Adjustments to Cost of Attendance form, an itemized receipt of the expense incurred and proof of payment through the Self-Service Banner (SSB). Adjustments may be made to student budgets for the expenses listed below with Director approval. Generally, budget adjustments are covered with the Unsubsidized Direct Loan or Graduate Plus Loan. Adjustments are made for expenses incurred while school is in session in the name of the student and with student funds. 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.
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.
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 savings account.
- Don’t purchase books and supplies with a credit card, but charge bookstore expenses to your student account.