how do you support yourselves?

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    i have heard that it is virtually impossible to work while in med school, but then how do you support yourself and your family. i know if someone is married their spouse probably takes on most of that burden, but what about if both are students, what if they have children? what about us single parents. right now i live with my mother and there is a chance she will move too if i get into med school, but that’s just room and board. i have other family to help with childcare, but what about other expenses?

    Brooke TroutBrooke Trout

    Finances will be tight, regardless. You are fortunate to have your mom and room and board. As for the childcare…will the other family members move also to provide this?
    There are several options: you will need to get loans. Most medical students are eligible for up to 26,000(give or take) a year. This should most certainly cover tuitions, books, even clothing, transportation if you are cautious. Usually, for someone who is need based there are grants, too. And many single-parent scholorships…they all take energy to apply for.
    Childcare reimbersment. If you pay for childcare try going through Health and Welfare. I know that may seem degrading, but they will pay, if you are eligible, the majority of your childcare costs. The paperwork is tedious, but the check is worth it. I did it for awhile but I wasn’t on top of the paperwork. Bad move.
    Depending on your age…there are job training programs that can assist with books, tuition, even utilities if you are strapped. More paperwork but helpful.
    Also, as a single parent, when you file your taxes you should be eligible for earned income credit. I used to get about $3,000 a year with one child. If you are disciplined, stash the money until fall when you need school cloths for you and your children, books, parking permits, any small items that add up cost wise.
    Actually, being a single mother provides more “free money” opportunities then being married. Reasearch what is available. No one will hand it to you, but it is avaliable.
    Be smart with your money…even if you don’t have rent to pay, be very frugal and make a nest egg for the unexpected. A 3/$10 teeshirt is more practical for a 2 year old then that really cute hand embroidered one.

    About 80% of medical students emerge with some sort of debt, usually about $120,000. Though I know one who came out with $400,000 debt. There are many ways to repay this obligation. The government will take care of it if you dedicate yourself to 2 or 3 years in an underserved area.
    It is good to think about finances now. Don’t let the money issue block you from your goal. Good Luck.

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