Federal regulations mandate that the student expense budget only include education-related expenses. There are many items that students assume can be included in the student expense budget that are prohibited. The most common misconceptions include the following:
- Consumer Debt: Students are advised that the budget will not allow for any consumer debt such as monthly credit card payments. Students are advised to budget wisely during the summer months, and to attempt to pay off all credit card debt before coming to medical school. The Financial Aid Office cannot make allowances for credit card debt.
- Wardrobe: The cost of a professional wardrobe will also not be considered for a budget adjustment. Students are advised that this cost may be considerable and that wise comparison shopping is advisable.
- Moving/Summer Expenses: Moving expenses incurred during the summer preceding your enrollment at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry are not legitimate for increases to the student expense budget. Students are advised to budget accordingly if they will be moving a distance. Additionally, expenses incurred during the summer(s) between academic years are not covered under the student expense budget.
- Board Prep. Materials: Expenses associated with board preparation such as the USLME Qbanks are not allowable under the budget adjustment process. Only required books and educational supplies may be included in the student expense budget. Occasionally, a student may be approved for a budget increase for a Board Review course. However, students need be mandated/required to attend the program in order to continue in the curriculum and/or graduate.
A Word on Savings: It is important that you build up some form of liquid savings that can be used prior to arriving on campus. This will help you cover startup costs such as first month's rent, security deposits, moving expenses, etc., while waiting for your financial aid to disburse to your student accounts and refund checks to be issued.
Students who are accepted and enroll in a degree program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry should arrive in Rochester with at least one month of living expenses in reserve. The federal loan disbursement process does not take place until the first week of classes, and it may take up to another week for refund checks to be issued.