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So, I am starting PA school January, 2021. I have applied for the Stafford Loan and will get $20,500 per year and the Direct Plus Loans, which I have no idea how much I'll receive because my school doesn't built cost of attendance packages until mid-november. 

I know my program is roughly $14,000/semester, and housing +utilities is around $1,000/month where I will attend. I also decided to factor in around $300/month for groceries and for health insurance respectively because I will be over the age of 26 when the program begins. 

Let's say my school says costs of attendance is $43,000 per year, and we subtract the $20,500 from the $45,000 to get $22,500. That means that I'll be receiving $14,333.33 per semester, over the 3 semesters. Which leaves me with $333.33/semester to pay for books, housing, health insurance, food, etc. Should I apply for private loans, or am I missing something. When I talked to financial aid they made it seem like I should be receiving like $5,000-$6,000/semester to help pay for non-tuition expenses.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thank you - Squaaatch 

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The cost of attendance provided by the program should include estimated expenses for books, school health insurance, rent and some other factors. Look into how the CoA is broken down into categories. The way you have your post written sounds a little confusing. The $22,500 is what you have to figure out how to cover using additional loans besides the Stafford unsub.

The way my brain works and calculates is apply the loan amount that you already know (Stafford) to the fixed cost that you already know (or at least the closest estimate), which is tuition. If your program tuition is roughly $28,000/year, using all $20,500 of the Stafford loan leaves you with $7,500 of tuition to cover plus all associated living expenses - housing, health insurance, transportation costs, medical equipment, fees, etc. Use the program's provided  cost of attendance estimates to calculate how much those additional expenses would cost, and that's the amount of loans you need to get through Grad Plus/Direct Plus/private

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