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911Med
09-06-2007, 02:53 PM
OK community I need your thoughts:

I applied for September and was accepted. I sent in my $500 deposit and all was fine

I applied for my loans and was consequently denied - quickly I contacted MM at SMU Financial Aid in Orlando and we discussed clearing up credit items and co-signers etc. I then deferred to the January class.

I contacted SMU Orlando a few days ago and asked about what happens if this tiem I am also denied my loans. Their response was:
1. I will lose my $500 and will have to send in another $500
2. Another application fee and applixation is needed (although they will keep my transcripts and letter on file.)
3. I am subject to admissions once again.

I am upset because I am applying to medical school, not to FICO University. Is it wrong to think that they should allow a deposit to be "banked" until the student qualifies for the loans?

Thoughts?

Also, I will be doing the MBA as well - this I am all set for. Can I try applying for less than the $65,000 that Financial Aid tells you to put down?

I am really on the fence as to what the heck I am going to do here - any thoughts are welcomed.

azulpanther
09-06-2007, 04:07 PM
Isnt the 500 bucks a seat deposit to hold your place in line ?? its doesnt seem fair that you will have to pay those 500 bucks again. Make sure you make all of the necessary phone calls. Thats not rational to make u pay them 500 bucks again

spyyder
09-06-2007, 05:02 PM
If I remember correctly it is a NON-REFUNDABLE deposit to reserve your spot in that semester. If you choose to enroll the amount carries over as part of your tuition. If you defer, you lose the privilege. This is pretty standard everywhere, even US schools.

However the other fees shouldn't have to be resubmitted. That doesn't make any sense. You should talk to someone higher up the food-chain for a definitive answer.

911Med
09-06-2007, 06:44 PM
It just seems to me that students should apply for LOANS prior to applying to schools.

I have been accepted. Because I could not pay for it immediately, I am now back in the pre-acceptance pool.

gschneid
09-06-2007, 08:00 PM
How can you apply for loans if you don't know which school you are accepted to? Different schools (especially carib) use different loan companies. It doesn't sound like fun to apply for 8 different loans just in case

911Med
09-06-2007, 10:01 PM
I am really bummed. I am in the process of leaving a high-paying job to pursue my dream and all that is stopping me are the loans. Also, I stand to lose $575 because I cannot qualify for the loans in time for the next semester.
IMHO they should keep my deposit and apply it to the May semester (or whenever I qualify for the loans) - they (SMU) has nothing to lose. They even get interest on the $500.

JTP73
09-06-2007, 10:30 PM
Unfortunately, your only options are to spend the time to play the credit game (creditboards.com) or get a co-signer. Get your credit fixed either way for your own sake. It will follow you wherever you go. It's a shame the Carib med schools cannot use Stafford loans, but there's a lot of power and money keeping federal dollars away from these schools. (Conspiracy theorists feel free to expand upon that one!) As far as the OP's question, no, it doesn't seem fair. Make some calls to the people in Orlando and see if they can't find a way to satisfy a disgruntled customer. I think you will be surprised. Let us know how it goes.

jackets5
09-06-2007, 11:45 PM
i defered to next semester and will not have to pay the $500 again. My reason however was beacuse i caught a bad case of pneumonia, was hospitalized for two weeks and needed surgery on my right lung. When i called to defer till january there was no mention of pay the seat deposit again.

Mongolian
09-07-2007, 09:39 AM
dont expect anything out of this school when it comes to money, especially yours.. Im sure this is true for most carribean schools, that aside though, if you didnt know if you can pay for tuition and you KNOW you have credit issues, chances are you should of been smart enough not to send the school $500 in the first place till you knew for sure you could go.... my2cents

AmericanIMG
09-07-2007, 10:53 AM
business is business man.
hopefully you can arrange something w/ the school to transfer that seat deposit, but at the end of the day, SMU is a business. the fact that you couldn't get your health express loan is not the schools fault...have you tried w/ a cosigner? the requirements for acceptance of the Health Express is much lower then the Teri.
might be better to wait a year and clean things up.

UFTim
09-07-2007, 01:20 PM
I am really bummed. I am in the process of leaving a high-paying job to pursue my dream and all that is stopping me are the loans. Also, I stand to lose $575 because I cannot qualify for the loans in time for the next semester.
IMHO they should keep my deposit and apply it to the May semester (or whenever I qualify for the loans) - they (SMU) has nothing to lose. They even get interest on the $500.

I'd call and talk to someone about it. I think it could be easily dealt with. If they don't have sympathy and help, then email some of the higher-ups. Their email addresses can be found on St. Matthew's University (http://www.stmatthews.edu)

911Med
09-07-2007, 02:46 PM
dont expect anything out of this school when it comes to money, especially yours.. Im sure this is true for most carribean schools, that aside though, if you didnt know if you can pay for tuition and you KNOW you have credit issues, chances are you should of been smart enough not to send the school $500 in the first place till you knew for sure you could go.... my2cents

The thing is was that my credit is actually pretty good - I am an older student (31) and have a pretty decent credit history. I was taken back as to why I didn't qualify. I think if theer is one lesson here it is that students should run their credit, get their score, call Teri and Health Express with their score, and see if they could "pre-qualify."

I think if you follow those rules and don't get caught up in the "excitement of acceptance" and send in your money right away, you can see if this is really possible.

summerwind
09-07-2007, 03:19 PM
Did you consider applying to the Caribbean med schools that are still eligible for Stafford Loans-SGU, Ross and AUC?

911Med
09-07-2007, 05:22 PM
Yes, I was accepted at Ross. That was a while ago (years) and I guess if I cannot make SMU work, i will have to revisit that option and call admissions to see if I would need to retake the MCAT etc.

JTP73
09-08-2007, 02:14 AM
The thing is was that my credit is actually pretty good - I am an older student (31) and have a pretty decent credit history. I was taken back as to why I didn't qualify. I think if theer is one lesson here it is that students should run their credit, get their score, call Teri and Health Express with their score, and see if they could "pre-qualify."

I think if you follow those rules and don't get caught up in the "excitement of acceptance" and send in your money right away, you can see if this is really possible.Student Loan Xpress: cut-off=685. They pull from whatever credit bureau that is "of" your US region. Judy may no longer be employed, but she is helpful, will pull from another bureau if that report is cleaner. Even if you have what they consider "good" credit, you may not have a high enough score. Quickest way to gain points: pay down all credit cards to less than 25% utilization. Of course, this may mean you have to rob Peter to pay ****, ie, let's say you have a score of 645 and therefore need a quick 40 points, but you have $3K on a card that maxes out @ $5K. More than likely paying this down to $0 (or even $1250) will bump you 40 points. Borrow this from someone/anyone til you get your loans, then pay them back 1st with a nice thank you. Experian is the only one in real time, so it reports as soon as paid. But they are also usually the lowest score. The others will take some time (from a few days to weeks--not til the end of the month like they might say). Where there's a will there's a way.

911Med
09-12-2007, 06:52 PM
Bump.

I would like a few more thoughts prior to putting a pen to paper and writing to the board.

Thanks so much - you guys rock.

AmericanIMG
09-13-2007, 07:54 PM
Student Loan Xpress: cut-off=685. They pull from whatever credit bureau that is "of" your US region. Judy may no longer be employed, but she is helpful, will pull from another bureau if that report is cleaner. Even if you have what they consider "good" credit, you may not have a high enough score. Quickest way to gain points: pay down all credit cards to less than 25% utilization. Of course, this may mean you have to rob Peter to pay ****, ie, let's say you have a score of 645 and therefore need a quick 40 points, but you have $3K on a card that maxes out @ $5K. More than likely paying this down to $0 (or even $1250) will bump you 40 points. Borrow this from someone/anyone til you get your loans, then pay them back 1st with a nice thank you. Experian is the only one in real time, so it reports as soon as paid. But they are also usually the lowest score. The others will take some time (from a few days to weeks--not til the end of the month like they might say). Where there's a will there's a way.

great information here! you should rewrite this paragraph into a new post, and UFTim, you should make it a sticky.

props.

camryllionareMD
09-13-2007, 11:51 PM
U know what, smu needs to make this clear way before people apply so that some people won't waste their time, or can decide before it's too late to go to another school. This isn't fair to you at all man.

911Med
09-14-2007, 12:17 AM
U know what, smu needs to make this clear way before people apply so that some people won't waste their time, or can decide before it's too late to go to another school. This isn't fair to you at all man.


I am 100% committed to go to SMU - that's why I sent them my $500.00. BUT I feel really slighted that I was not informed about this whole process. In this case it truly is "buy your seat."

I am going to talk to Dr. MC and go from there. Hopefully I will be able to slide that money to May if I don't qualify for loans by Jan. If not, I have decided to position myself geographically in an area where I can save some extra money, increase credit my credit score, and move quickly if all works out. Worse case scenario I reapply to the schools that have federal money and see what happens. That would most likely mean retaking the MCAT (original scores have expired) and going from there. At 32 yo, that gets pretty ridiculous, but hey, its what I want to do.

Worse that could happen is a leave the beach and end up in cold Detroit with a few extra bucks in my pocket and a better credit score. Suppose I could examine life in that position....


Thanks for all yoru help guys - if you have any additional talking points, I would love to hear them.

AmericanIMG
09-14-2007, 12:35 AM
...i wouldn't really blame SMU on this one. even with US schools, heck ANY school, you get accepted and THEN you apply for loans etc.
Its unfortunate that you are stuck in your current position, but how is a bad credit score the fault of SMU? I also understand that you sent in your deposit and held your seat...but the seat was only held for that term. I personally don't know of any US med schools that would hold your seat until your financial affairs are in order.
from the posts above, you only need a high 600s score in order to get approved for the Health Xpress. have you gotten your free annual credit report this year? grab it and see if there are any discrepancies and get rid of them ASAP...pay off your CCs as much as you can, as fast as you can. open up a CC or two, and leave them empty to increase your available credit levels (BUT YOU CAN'T HAVE TOO MUCH REVOLVING DEBT!). all this will boost up your score pretty darn significantly.
if you can increase your credit score enough by next term (jan) or summer (may), then maybe you can repay your seat deposit and get some sort of automatic acceptance into that term...

good luck man.

camryllionareMD
09-15-2007, 01:16 AM
A bad score is not the school's fault. But, they can be CLEAR that it's only CREDIT based private loans the same way they're clear that SMU is in the cayman, because like 911med, a lot of students are used to staffords that are not credit based loans. Generally people don't associate going to school with a credit score good enough to buy new car at 0% interest. Seriously, for the average applicant, this loan process is rare and a surprise.

rokshana
09-15-2007, 10:33 AM
exactly how long do you think the school should roll over your deposit- a year? 2 years?

my understanding of a seat deposit is that it holds your seat for the term you are accepted, if you decide (or it is decided for you) that you will not take said seat in the term, then your forego the deposit.

I think SMU is generous in letting you defer to the next term - many school won't let you do that- you have to apply all over again, much less allow the deposit to roll over.

i find it odd that you are leaving a high-paying job with good credit that you can't find a borrower to approve you are that you haven't put aside in savings enough that could at least get you through one term while your loans work themselves out- can yuo not get some one to co-sign your loarns - at least for the 1st year? ONce you are in school- if credit is still a problem- you can at least take a leave of absence to work it out.

911Med
09-16-2007, 10:32 PM
exactly how long do you think the school should roll over your deposit- a year? 2 years?

my understanding of a seat deposit is that it holds your seat for the term you are accepted, if you decide (or it is decided for you) that you will not take said seat in the term, then your forego the deposit.

I think SMU is generous in letting you defer to the next term - many school won't let you do that- you have to apply all over again, much less allow the deposit to roll over.

i find it odd that you are leaving a high-paying job with good credit that you can't find a borrower to approve you are that you haven't put aside in savings enough that could at least get you through one term while your loans work themselves out- can yuo not get some one to co-sign your loarns - at least for the 1st year? ONce you are in school- if credit is still a problem- you can at least take a leave of absence to work it out.


I will turn to the parents for co-signing. At 32, I really didn't want to go there, but hey, you have to do whatever it takes.

The alternative is staying in my current career and working in a less expensive area. As far as not "saving" enough - I live in an expensive area of California. Although I do pretty well as a senior research scientist, most mortgages here hover around $4000 per month. Its just the way Southern California is, you get a few roommates and you make it happen. I think stepping away from California will allow me to hopefully improve that credit score and save some money. The flipside, if this all doens't work out, I am packing up the UHaul and heading back.

As far as deposits go, I have a friend who was accepted at Princeton and has deferred her acceptance for 5 terms now. They are making money on her $1000 deposit via interest. I think a school should actually care about who they admit - not that I am any sort of unique special snowflake, but I don't want to have to fight my way back in if I have to apply again.

AmericanIMG
09-16-2007, 10:42 PM
deferred her acceptance 5 years? thats ridiculous.
there is a point where med schools won't even look at your MCAT scores as being valid anymore. she must be a special case.

med schools in the Carib are a business first. you have to realize that with the high attrition its only fair the schools look at it that way. they give you an opportunity, what you do with it is entirely up to you.







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