Preparation Tips

Before applying for financial aid as a student at the College of Medicine – Tucson, we suggest that you review your credit score and prepare a draft budget.

Complete a Credit Check

There are three major credit bureaus which track consumer credit scores (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). The Federal Government requires each credit bureau to give consumers a free credit report annually.

You can request your free reports at Here’s what to look for, and how to handle it:

  • Confirm you have no adverse credit markings. Good credit improves your Grad PLUS loan eligibility.
  • Review all 3 credit bureau reports (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).
  • If you have inaccurate negative credit findings, please dispute with the credit bureau prior to matriculation.
  • If you cannot rectify a bad credit score before arriving to medical school, obtain a credit worthy co-signer.

Prepare a Draft Budget

Estimating your monthly expenses and resources will help you to request the right amount of financial aid for school. Use this monthly budgeting worksheet to create a draft budget. 

Since your offered financial aid is an academic year amount, it is recommened to calculate your annual expenses on the budget worksheet over a 12-month period. Some more tips:

  • Enter your values for income and then initially add in the financial aid amount that is offered of for the following budgets below:
    • AZ Resident Non-Commuter (independent)= $76,626
    • Non-Resident Non-Commuter (independent)= $95,706
  • Enter all of your fixed and variable expenses into the budget sheet. Please see below the expenses we provide for the following:
    • Tuition & Fees = $39,796 Resident ; $58,879 Non-Resident
    • Books & Supplies $800 + Computer  $1,300 = $2,100 TOTAL Books & Supplies 
  • Review your ‘Total Discretionary Income’ calculated at the bottom of the page.
    • If it is a positive amount: Reduce the amount you reported in the income section for ‘Financial Aid’ by the ‘Total Discretionary Income’ providing a new $0 value. When you accept your financial aid in July, you will only accept up to the amount reported in the ‘Financial Aid’ section on the form. This implies that you do not need all of the aid that has been offered to you. 
    • If it is a negative amount: Your financial aid does not cover the amount you will need and you should schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Office to review further. Please bring this budget sheet to your appointment.