The financial aid application process

A group of medical students wearing white coats pose for a selfie after the white coat ceremony.

Receiving a financial aid package can help reduce your medical school costs.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (DGSOM) offers medical school scholarships, grants, and loans to assist in making medical education affordable for a broad range of students. We understand that navigating the financial aid process can be quite an endeavor, so we provide personalized assistance with helpful information, counseling, and financial resources. Our mission is to enhance the student experience by providing exceptional guidance and counseling.

Below you will find: 

  • Eligibility requirements
  • 1 and Done Policy 
  • Application options and instructions

Who Qualifies for Financial Aid?

Once admitted to DGSOM, medical students are considered for various sources of financial aid. To receive and retain eligibility for financial aid, medical students need to meet the following:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen or California Dream Act student
  • Be registered with Selective Service, if required
  • Be working toward a medical degree
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress
  • Not owe a refund on a Federal grant
  • Not be in default on any Federal educational loan
  • Have financial need (except for Merit Scholarships, Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS Direct Loans, and private loans)


Need Analysis will only be performed for incoming eligible medical students. The same documentation will be needed for need-based scholarship determination one time only (see step A).

Are there exceptions to the One and Done Policy?

Yes, students who qualify for the HRSA Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS) Loan Program must still submit parental information every year per HRSA guidelines.

What is changing? 

Parental information is required only during your initial year of enrollment. Parental information will not be required in the FAFSA or Institutional Application for future years unless there are substantial changes in parental income level. You will only need to complete an attestation form indicating that you will inform DGSOM Financial Aid and Scholarships Office should there be a change. 


Need analysis determination will be the same for the remainder of the medical school curriculum. You can expect a similar amount of financial aid for each year of your medical school education. 

What is not changing? 

Parental information is required in the pre-matriculation review of your documents to determine your level of need due to limited scholarship funding. 

What does this mean for you? 

Your financial need analysis during your MS1 year will be carried over into the following years of medical school, saving you time and shortening your annual aid renewal process. If you are a federal loan borrower, you will only be required to submit a yearly FAFSA (no parental information required). If you matriculated on or before August 2022, your most recent need-analysis calculation would be used for the following years.

What if your family's income changes after your first year of medical school? 

If your parent’s financial circumstances change, contact your financial aid counselor for guidance. Please note that this only applies to students with an Student Aid Index (SAI) greater than 0.

Ready to apply?


Newly admitted and current DGSOM students are eligible to apply. There are no financial aid application deadlines for entering medical students. You can access all application components via this website; each online application provides instructions.

To begin, choose one of three application options and follow the steps below:

Option A

Apply for DGSOM need-based medical school scholarships and loans. This option requires you to provide parent information on the Institutional Application.

Option B 

Apply only for Federal Direct Loans (Unsubsidized Direct and Grad Plus). You are not required to provide parent info on any part of the application.

Option C

Apply for DGSOM need-based medical school scholarships and loans as a continuing student who has already had need analysis calculated previously. This options allows you to complete the Attestation Form along with the FAFSA.

A) Apply for DGSOM medical school scholarships & loans, and Federal Direct Loans

If you are applying for need-based medical school scholarships for the first time, follow the instructions below. If you have previously received need-based scholarships but are a federal loan borrower, you only need to complete Step B. If you have received need-based scholarships then you must complete Step C. 

1. Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA -  Priority Deadline March 2, 2024

  • Provide student (& spouse's) information
  • The DGSOM FAFSA school code is E00374 (for all program tracks: Traditional MD, PRIME, MSTP)

2. Complete the 2024-2025 Institutional Application -  Priority Deadline March 2, 2024

  • Submit a copy of your Parent's signed 2022 Federal Tax Return if filed using the "Browse" button in the online form.

3. If your parents are divorced/separated/Unmarried, complete the 2024-2025 Noncustodial Parent eForm - Submit by priority deadline March 2, 2024

  • Your noncustodial parent is required to submit a copy of their signed 2022 Federal Tax Return, including Schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if filed).
  • Use the "Browse" button in the online form to submit both the Non-Custodial Parent Form and the 2022 Federal Tax Return Forms

B) Apply only for Federal Direct Loans - Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS

1.  Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA - Priority Deadline March 2, 2024

  • Provide student (& spouse's) information 
  • The DGSOM FAFSA school code is E00374 (for all program tracks: Traditional MD, PRIME, MSTP)

C) Apply for Need based scholarship and or student loans (For continuing students only)

1.  Complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA - Priority Deadline March 2, 2024

  • Provide student (& spouse's) information 
  • The DGSOM FAFSA school code is E00374 (for all program tracks: Traditional MD, PRIME, MSTP)

2. Complete the 2024-2025 Attestation of Need Analysis eForm

  • If you select the option that indicates there have been no changes to you or your parent's financial circumstances then you only need to complete the 2024-2025 FAFSA with just your student 2022 income information.
  • If you select the option that indicates there have been changes to you or your parent's financial circumstances then you must include student and parent 2022 income information on the 2024-2025 Institutional Application eForm along with submitting additional documentation. Your financial aid counselor will follow up with additional instructions once your Attestation Form is received.

Before you can be awarded financial aid, you will need to complete a financial aid application, including all supporting documentation.

Once we receive all required documentation, your file will be reviewed by a counselor, and financial aid will be offered to you. An electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN) will be made available specifying each award type and the amount you are eligible to receive. An email will be sent to you when your electronic Financial Aid Notification (eFAN) is available via MyUCLA.

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Understanding Need Analysis

To help students and parents understand the principles and rules of need analysis, the Financial Aid Committee at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA offers the following information about the major factors which affect the determination of financial aid awards.

Financial aid at the David Geffen School of Medicine is need based. This assumes that the parents and the student (and spouse) pay for the cost of education to the extent they are able and that financial aid will be used to supplement the effort the family is making. It also assumes that need can be calculated with uniformity and equity.

There are two need analysis formulas used. "Federal Methodology" (FM) is used to determine a student's eligibility for federal aid, including Federal Direct and Graduate PLUS Loans. Federal aid eligibility is determined from the data the student provides on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Using FAFSA data, FM calculates the student's "expected family contribution" (EFC) which is displayed on the Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) received by the student.

UCLA uses a different, more traditional formula called "Institutional Methodology" (IM) to determine a family's need for aid. IM more accurately and equitably determines the parents' ability to pay for a medical education from family income and assets. A student may have whatever federal aid is available based upon eligibility under Federal Methodology. The need for DGSOM aid, however, is determined solely on the basis of the Institutional Methodology.

We review many financial factors such as income, assets, the number of family members, and the number of members currently enrolled in college in determining the parents ability to contribute to the cost of the student's education. A description of each factor is listed below.

Family Size - In general, this is the number of family members living in the same household who are claimed on the federal tax return. We do not include relatives (such as grandparents) living outside the home, even when supported by the family, who are not claimed on the federal tax return. "Adult children" who have finished their education and are not claimed on the federal tax return are also not included.

Family members in College - College matriculation of family members results in the equal division of the total parental contribution and only the student's portion of the contribution is used in determining need. Family members in college can include, in addition to the student and the siblings, one or both parents.

Divorce or Separation - In cases of parental divorce or separation, both parents are expected to provide information on individual financial aid applications. While divorce or separation may affect the extent to which one or both parents can contribute, it does not absolve either parent of this obligation. Our policy for determining the financial need of students whose parents divorce or separate is derived from the principle upon which we determine need of all of our students; that is, both parents (or step-parents) are responsible for the educational expense of their children to the extent that they are financially capable.

Parent Income - For institutional aid, 'income' is a reflection of the family's total annual income received (taxable and non-taxable).

Taxable Income - For all families the income used in the institutional need analysis will include wages or salaries, interest, and dividends. It can also include such things as business/farm profit, pensions, annuities, rents, royalties, trust income and other forms of miscellaneous taxable income.

For those who own businesses and/or rental properties - depreciation on real property, automobiles, and some part of all other forms of depreciation, half the allowance for car and truck expense, wages paid to dependent children, and non-cash benefits such as automobile use and insurance coverage are customarily added back to income. Other types of losses such as capital losses and losses carried forward from prior years are also added back to income.


Real estate current market value will rarely be considered lower than its purchase price and national real estate appreciation multipliers are often used to project market value. For family owned businesses and farms, accumulated depreciation, loans from shareholders, capital stock and retained earnings are not considered liabilities in calculating net value of these assets.

Automobiles and consumer goods are not included as assets, nor is the value of the parents' primary retirement fund.

Debts are subtracted from asset values to determine net worth, but the only debts used are those against the assets themselves or those over which the family has no control, such as medical expense. Consumer debt and debt of choice do not apply.

Asset protection allowance - Which increases as parents age and retirement gets closer, is subtracted from the total net worth, resulting in the parents' contribution from assets. In general, the asset contribution for parents will fall between 2% to 5% of net worth.

Parental Contribution - The parents' contribution from income is added to the contribution from assets resulting in the total parental contribution. This "total" parental contribution is then divided by the number of verified family members enrolled in college to yield the parental contribution.

savings equity in real estate (other than the family home) investments of all kinds (i.e. trusts, annuities, etc.) a portion of business/farm net value

After these allowances are subtracted from total income (taxable and non-taxable), the need formula assumes that a portion of any remaining income can be used for educational expenses. That portion increases as the remaining income increases. As a rough rule of thumb, the contribution from parents' income that the formula produces will range from a low of 5% to a high of 20% of all taxable and nontaxable income used in the analysis. For high-income families, the percentage may go above 20%.

Parent Assets - Because assets contribute to a family's financial strength, they play a part in determining the parent's contribution along with income. Assets used in the formula include:

One-time additions to income - Capital gains or the cashing in of an annuity or pension, which are examples of one-time additions to income, are considered an exchange of assets and are not included in income.

Untaxed income - For all families, nontaxable income is also included under certain circumstances. This could be limited to Social Security Benefits, Veterans' Benefits, welfare, or child support. In more complicated circumstances it can include voluntary annual contributions to tax-deferred savings or retirement plans, housing and other living allowances, untaxed portions of pensions or annuities, Workers' Compensation, and other forms of untaxed income or benefits.

Allowances from Income - Once the income is established, certain non-discretionary expenses or allowances are deducted. These include:

federal income tax state and local taxes mandatory retirement payments (i.e. Social Security) medical/dental expenses not covered by the insurance up to a certain level employment allowance in single-parent households or when both parents work basic family maintenance allowance which varies by family size but is the same for all families of a given size.

Student Contribution - Each student aid recipient is expected to contribute toward his or her educational expenses from earnings (student's and spouse's) and from assets, which may include savings, investments, trusts, real estate, etc. These earnings and assets are used in the calculation of the student contribution.

Financial need is the result of the student budget or cost of attendance minus the calculated parent and student contributions. An award package composed of university scholarships and loans is provided to meet the need.

The David Geffen School of Medicine's need analysis system is based upon principles of equity: those with the same financial strength are expected to contribute the same amount from income and assets; when financial strength is different, the expected contribution is different from the contribution increasing as financial strength becomes greater. The principles of equity also require that income and assets be defined the same way for everyone and all allowances be non-discretionary in nature.

Described in the DGSOM Financial Aid Application, Pennies (our outside scholarship publication), and this Website are a variety of sources of need-based and non-need-based scholarships and loans for students. We encourage reading the information in these publications carefully in deciding whether one or more of these options may be appropriate. While our Financial Aid Office staff can provide some basic information about most programs, we suggest contacting each program listed in Pennies directly for detailed information.

A need-based financial aid award represents the results of using the formula and principles outlined previously. If errors are made in the annual reporting or calculation of data, or if family circumstances have changed, aid awards can be reconsidered. However, we cannot make adjustments that would require exceptions to the standard principles and practices we use for all families.

You may request reconsideration if your circumstances have changed since filing your DGSOM Financial Aid Application, including your FAFSA and Institutional Applications.  Examples of the changes in circumstances that can be considered by the Financial Aid Committee are:

  • Total loss of employment for at least 10 weeks by either parent, disability or death of either parent and extraordinary medical or other non-discretionary expenses during the current year. Such requests must be in writing, including appropriate documentation.

Since the following factors would cause a violation of the principles of need analysis which apply to all families, the Committee will not give reconsideration due to:

  • Differences between the institutional need analysis and eligibility for federal aid under the Federal Methodology; aid offers from other colleges and universities (whether based on the other institution's definition of need for merit); the spending pattern of the family; or the consumer indebtedness of the family.

Connect with us if you would like to request reconsideration of your circumstances for the purpose of reevaluation of financial needs.

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