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Financial Aid FAQS

Q. What documents are required for me to apply for Financial Aid?


Q. When will I get these documents?

Your Financial Aid Forms will be sent via email in mid-December/early January.


Q. As a graduate/professional student, I am independent of my parents, why do I need to provide parental information on the FAFSA? Do I need to provide this information even though I am married and have children?

To be considered for the Health Profession Student Loan (HPSL), parental information is required on the FAFSA regardless of your age or marital status. The HPSL is a subsidized 5% interest rate loan limited to students in specific graduate-level health professions programs. This loan is need-based, and your eligibility is determined by the Federal Government. They examine the student's income and assets, as well as parental income and assets. We ask that you use 2020 Federal tax figures (for 2022/2023) when submitting parental information and to complete your FAFSA as early as possible. October 1 is the earliest date your FAFSA can be completed.

* Your parental income will not affect any other loan options.

The HPSL is the most attractive loan offered to health professional students with a 5% (fixed) interest rate and no interest accrues while you are enrolled full-time in a graduate health profession program. HPSL has a 12-month grace period after graduation; no interest accrues and no payment is due during this period.


Q. Are there any scholarships available and how do I apply for them?

There are more than 80 endowed scholarships awarded from our Admissions Office. All SCO applicants are considered for these scholarships. The Admissions Office notifies the recipients of their selection. All inquiries concerning these scholarships should be directed to the Admissions Office.


Q. Are there any Federal Grants available like Pell?

Unfortunately, for graduate students, there are no federal grants offered.


Q. Is there any type of aid available other than loans?

We offer Federal Work-Study. Check with the Financial Aid Office to see if you are eligible.


Q. Can you explain the interest rates?

HPSL is subsidized with a 5% fixed interest which does not accrue interest while enrolled full-time in a qualifying program or during your grace period. Unsubsidized Stafford Loans also have a fixed interest rate and accrue interest while enrolled in the program, during your 6-month grace period following graduation, and during repayment. GradPLUS loans have a fixed interest rate. Additional information on current interest rates for each loan type can be found at


Q. What if I get married after completing the FAFSA?

If you get married after completing the FAFSA, a correction is not necessary. You will submit your spouse's information next year. Please complete your FAFSA using the name which appears on your social security card.


Q. How do I get FWS and how can I find a Federal Work-Study(FWS) position?

Entering students are allowed to work FWS the summer before enrollment beginning July 1. Indicate on your SCO financial aid application the semesters you want to work. If you have the financial "need", federal work-study will be awarded to you. A FWS student is awarded $750 per semester to earn using federal work-study funds with the exception of the summer semester, when $2000 is awarded. This amount can easily be increased with documentation of allowable expenses or if the student has the "need" as calculated from the FAFSA. After accepting your awards, you will complete a FWS contract and other documents needing proof of citizenship and identification. The Accounting Office will need a copy of your social security card for payroll.

Complete a Federal Work-Study Application.


Q. How does Federal Work-Study work? How am I paid? Will I get a check? When will I be paid?

If you have a Federal Work-Study job, you will receive a direct deposit at the end of the month. The salary varies from $13 - $17 per hour depending on the position. You will enter hours worked in TimeForce each month. Time is approved by the supervisor.


Q. When will I find out which loans I have been awarded and the amounts?

After you have completed your FAFSA and submitted your SCO application for Financial Aid, you will receive an award notice by email. This includes your Award Letter, telling you exactly how much money you have been awarded in loans and Federal Work-Study funds. After receiving your award letter, you will accept your awards online.


Q. Is $20,500 the maximum I can get in Unsubsidized Loans?

Your unsubsidized loan can be increased to meet the needs of your total budget if you request additional funds. The maximum for 1st-year students is $40,500, and $43,833 for 2nd-year students. For 3rd & 4th year students, the max is $47,167. You must remember that the unsubsidized loan accrues interest upon disbursement. It will accrue interest while you are in school, while you are in your grace period, and during your 10-25 years of repayment. Keeping in mind that the interest rate is 5-6%, we highly encourage you to be conservative if you MUST increase your unsubsidized loan. Entering students are encouraged to plan ahead and save your money before coming to school here to help keep borrowing at a minimum. This will help to keep you from defaulting on your student loans and allow you to enjoy life and live the lifestyle of a doctor after graduation.


Q. I have been awarded $40,500 but my budget says I need $51,000. What do I do about the difference?

The preferred solution to this problem would be using your earnings saved from previous employment before entering SCO. You can always contact our office for an increase. You may need to apply for a GradPlus loan.


Q. What do I do about my car payment while I am going to school?

The Federal Government will not allow you to borrow federal loan funds to pay for a car. Federal loans are to help pay for your education and living expenses while attending school. If your financial needs are above your budget, loans cannot supplement this need. You will have to find an alternative means to fund this difference. Auto repairs are an allowable expense, but remember that loan will be an additional Unsubsidized Stafford loan. We suggest you do not go out & purchase a new car. It is best if you do not have an auto payment while attending school. That payment is not and cannot be included in your budget. The best option is to not have a car payment while in school.


Q. I have credit card debt. Can I add that debt to my budget? Where will I get the money to pay my credit cards?

Please pay off all credit card debt before coming to SCO. The Federal Government will not allow you to borrow money to pay for credit card debt.


Q. Why do I have to submit a copy of my lease?

Each student's budget is figured precisely for him or her. If you pay less than $690 per month, your rent budget is reduced to the amount actually paid. The goal is to get through this program with the least amount of debt possible.

Students that are unmarried with no dependent children are allowed $690 per month for rent while attending SCO. Students with a dependent child are allowed up to $990 per month for rent. If you are single and have a roommate, you can live in a very nice apartment or house with your share being $690.


Q. If I move, do I have to submit another lease?

Yes. We must have a copy of your lease for your current address. Budget adjustments will be made with each change in address and rent.


Q. What is the SCO Box number?

The SCO Box number is your SCO mailbox. You will be assigned a mailbox and key at orientation.


Q. Can I get loans for the summer? How am I supposed to live during the summer?

You can only get Federal loans for the period enrolled in school. Currently, all 1st-year students are enrolled at SCO for 8 months. Second years are enrolled for 10 months. Third and fourth-year students are enrolled for 12 months.

You must plan for the summer months that you will not have loans to pay for your rent and other living expenses. Federal Regulations prohibit the Financial Aid Office from processing a Federal loan when you are not enrolled and attending classes.


Q. When can I get my loan funds? How does that work?

Your loan funds will be deposited into your bank account, within the first week of school, after tuition, fees, books and equipment are deducted. Federal Regulations prohibit disbursing loans until actively enrolled in school. Your Health Profession Student Loan will be a credit on your fee sheet. If you are due a refund, the Accounting Office will process a refund to be directly deposited.


Q. How will I know if all my money has arrived in time for registration?

You may check to see if your funds are here at Student-NetPartner. To sign in, you will need your ID (SS#) & password. You may also contact the financial aid office. We will receive the funds a week before the first day of class.


Q. How are Academic Scholarships disbursed?

If you were notified by Admissions that you are receiving an Academic Scholarship, know that it will be a credit on your fee sheet at Fall semester registration.


Q. Can my budget be increased with the birth of a child? Is it increased for each additional child?

Yes, a budget adjustment can be made if you have a child. We can increase your rent budget up to $990. Also increased are your food, utilities budget and transportation budget. We can add health insurance to your budget for your family as well as any medical expenses. Your spouse is expected to contribute to the household earnings and pay their share. These budget exceptions are made to help provide for just one or multiple children. Child daycare expenses can be added to the budget for each child with proper documentation from a childcare provider and proof that your spouse is employed. These budget exceptions are added based on the number of months you are attending classes.


Q. What are your budget adjustment limits?

  • Rent:
    • $690 per month max for students with no dependents
    • $990 per month max for students with dependents
  • Auto Repairs: Amount of Paid Receipt
  • PC: $1,000 maximum- one time only
  • Childcare: No maximum, but if married must have proof spouse is working and documentation from childcare provider

Q. Are there limits to the amount of loans I can receive?

Yes, and they are:

  • Stafford Unsubsidized per year $40,500 (1st year), $43,833 (2nd year), and $47,167 (3rd and 4th years)
  • HPSL: approximately $6,500 per year

Keep in mind that you can never borrow more than your actual cost of attendance. Most students never borrow the entire loan limit each year.

Aggregate (Lifetime Limit)

  • Stafford Total: $224,000 of this only $65,500 can be from subsidized loans
  • HPSL: ($20,000)