Q&A: What to consider before giving money for law or medical school

Dear Liz: Our daughter is in medical school using scholarships and student loans. We are now in a position to help her out, but worry that financial help might work against her sources of aid. Would it be better to pay some on her outstanding loans, give her money, pay some of her living expenses or put the money into a savings account to give her when she graduates to use towards paying down her debt? The amount we could give her would not be enough to pay for everything each semester, just something to ease her burden. We don’t want to jeopardize her ability to receive aid.

Answer: While nearly all graduate students qualify as independent — which means that parent financial information isn’t required to get aid — some medical and law schools do consider parental assets and income in their calculations.

Your daughter should call her school’s financial aid office anonymously to ask about its policy regarding parental aid, said Lynn O’Shaughnessy, a college financing expert at TheCollegeSolution.com. If your help would hurt, you can use the savings account route but you needn’t wait until she graduates to give her the money. Once she files financial aid forms for her last year, she should be able to accept your largesse without consequence.

Related Posts

  • Q&A: Best way to pay for college Dear Liz: We have two children in college, both entering their junior years. We have two more in high school. The two currently in […]
  • Q&A: Co-signing student loans Dear Liz: I have two kids heading to college. Both need co-signers for their student loans. Will me co-signing have a negative effect on […]
  • Q&A: Financing a career change Dear Liz: I am 48 and planning on a career change. I was looking at a culinary school website and it looks pretty exciting. It is a […]
  • Q&A: Push lenders for student loan help Dear Liz: I saw your previous column about the federal student loan payments being suspended by the CARES Act until Sept. 30, with […]