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Medical Student Cost of Attendance (COA)

The estimated cost of attendance should help you to plan your educational financing. Great care has been taken to calculate a fair student cost of attendance, reflective of average living costs in Iowa City. These figures are used in conjunction with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) data to determine your financial need.

No school-approved financial aid is available to meet expenses that exceed the estimated cost of attendance. The information that you supplied on the FAFSA is analyzed to derive an expected amount you should be able to contribute toward your costs. Your expected student contribution is based on your assets and your base year income (most recent tax year on upcoming year aid applications).

If you are concerned about your expected student contribution and there is a big discrepancy between your base year and expected income in the upcoming year, you may want to schedule an appointment with your financial aid advisor to discuss your expected contribution. The OSFA may be able to adjust the analysis to use your expected income in the upcoming year instead of base year income. This adjustment is done on a case-by-case basis.

Cost of Attendance

Tuition and Fees

Your Cost of Attendance figure includes actual tuition charges based on your expected number of credit hours per semester, your classification level in medical school (M1 – M4), and on your residency status in the state of Iowa (see Cost of Attendance).

All full-time medical students are assessed general University of Iowa fees in addition to Medical School tuition. If you are not receiving financial aid, tuition and fees will be charged in full on the first University Bill (U-bill) each semester. You may choose to pay the balance in full or to pay the minimum monthly payment for tuition (one of three installments each semester) for a $20 per semester deferred payment charge.  The MD program is a full-time, four-year program.   As such, students are required to pay a minimum of 8 semesters of full-time tuition.

If you receive financial aid: all financial aid sources will first be applied to your university account and the appropriate tuition and fees will be withheld.

Within about three to five days of the start of each semester (if you are properly registered, promissory notes have been signed, entrance counseling has been done for all loans, and your university account does not have a past due amount), any excess funds will be deposited into your bank account.  If you have not set up direct deposit on MyUI, a paper check will be mailed to the physical address on file.  The check process takes an additional week to process, so direct deposit is highly recommended. If you move, it is important to change your address with the university immediately using your MyUI account.

If you have declined the full amount of aid and the remainder of your financial aid does not cover all of your tuition and fees, the balance of these charges will be billed to you on your first U-bill of the semester, along with other miscellaneous charges you have made to your account.

Miscellaneous charges (books, hospital meals, etc.) are billed to your university account on the first of every month, with the payment due during the third week of the billing month.

Students who have not paid their U-bill by the due date will be reported to the Registrar for restriction of registration. If the registration restriction is not lifted by the end of the month, a $25 reinstatement fee will be added to the next U-bill.

Books & Supplies

The books and supplies portion of the Cost of Attendance reflects the cost of required material to complete the medical curriculum.

  • Required books
  • Course fees
  • Equipment and supplies

Whenever possible, book costs are based on Medical Student Bookstore prices, which reflect a considerable savings. The amount calculated for required medical instruments is based on average prices, as per the annual instrument fair held during Orientation.

Living Expenses

The estimated cost of attendance for M1 and M2 students includes 40 weeks of expenses. Living expenses increase as clerkships or electives are scheduled.  M3 students are scheduled over a 12-month period and M4 students are scheduled over an 11-month period.

Room and Board

The amount for room and board in the budget is meant to cover the average rent and utilities for a one bedroom apartment and food costs for the student's academic year.

Personal Expenses

The personal expenses allotment is for miscellaneous costs, such as clothes, personal hygiene items, and entertainment costs.

Transportation Expenses

The transportation portion of the cost of attendance assumes use of the local bus systems and includes the cost of an occasional trip home per academic year. The budget cannot be adjusted for the purchase of a car, car payments, or auto insurance.

Students with Dependents

According to the Federal Construction Rules for the student Cost of Attendance, only the student's costs are to be included in the expected COA, regardless of filing status (single, married or with dependents).

Other dependents are taken into consideration in the establishment of the expected student contribution (SC) during the FAFSA needs analysis. Since the standard Cost of Attendance includes expenses only for the student, it will be necessary for students with dependents to identify means other than student financial aid to support them.

Generally, unless you have children, it is expected that your spouse will be employed. If your spouse attends school, he/she will be expected to apply for his/her own financial aid. Should your spouse be unable to find employment, is unemployed due to caring for small children at home, or is unable to earn sufficient money to support your family, you may wish to make an appointment with your medical school financial aid advisor to discuss your personal situation.

Adjustments to Cost of Attendance

It is expected that you will keep your expenses within the budget (COA) that is established. It is recognized, however, that you may have exceptional expenses that are reasonable and necessary, such as child care, medical or dental expenses, monthly health insurance premiums, or extensive car repairs.

In cases where appropriate documentation is provided to the OSFA, it may be possible to include these expenses in your Cost of Attendance.

See your medical school financial aid advisor if this pertains to you and you are in need of further financial assistance and advice.