The Financial Aid Office provides a standard cost of living (often referred to as the "budget") amount per student as part of the annual awarding criteria. Based on Department of Education guidelines, the amount per month for each student is $2,325. This monthly expense is multiplied by either ten (10) or twelve (12) months, depending on whether the student's program contains a mandated Summer term or not. If a student determines that more living expense month is needed, the student can request a review by a financial aid counselor. The following are the two most commonly allowed reasons for increases. Under each reason is the required procedure and documentation.
Students need to remember that the cost of living component in the financial aid budget "considers only the student's costs, not the cost of providing for an entire family" (Handbook for Financial Aid Officers, American Association of Medical Colleges, March 2007, page 44). At OUHSC, we realize that many students have families and need additional assistance. It is expected that the spouse works and contributes to the family's financial needs. If the spouse does not work because of the number of children and the high cost of day care, or for other vital reasons, the Financial Aid Office will take the circumstances into consideration. Cost of living increases are not automatically granted, but we try to accommodate all reasonable requests.
The student must complete the Cost of Living Increase worksheet provided below. This form indicates the standard amounts provided in the financial aid budget on the right column of the form. Below is a list of allowable budget items. Documentation of the most recent month's bills is needed to support the student's request. We will not including funding for past due balances if we previously included funding for payment(s) that should have been made.
If the reason for the budget increase is due to a one-time unusual expense such as a medical event not covered by insurance, car repair, home repair, etc., the student may simply supply a statement of the reason for the request for more funds and documentation to support the claim.
For all cost of living increases, the student needs to provide the Financial Aid Office, in writing, the specific amount being requested. Requests are not automatically approved. The documented costs provided by the student must exceed the amounts already covered in the standard financial aid budget. The financial aid counselor must determine if the documentation provided and the need for the request complies with federal regulations.