Financial aid may be available to you while studying at a Caribbean medical school.
Traditional loan options
Federal Financial Aid in the Caribbean medical education is not readily available. Only a handful of schools have US Federal Loans. If a school has federal funding, you can rest assured that the school is appropriately accredited. However, as of 2013, no new school has been awarded federal funding.
There are other private loan providers that work with accredited Caribbean schools. However, be wary, just because a school works with a private lender, it does not mean it is accredited. Some private lenders that commonly work with Caribbean schools include:
These lenders have various approval criteria as well as different repayment terms. You would have to check with each school to see whether they are working with a lender and what terms the lender offers. Schools certify funding based on different criteria. Make sure you are aware of the amount of funding you are receiving and whether you can furnish the rest out of pocket.
Some schools that do not have traditional financial options offer a dual program, meaning that you enroll in the medical program with the Caribbean medical school and then in an online program like MBA or MPH with a school from the United States that has access to Federal Financial Aid. By doing so, the student would be able to finance their education with the US school, and any excess funding would generally go to the student, which they use to cover the cost of the Caribbean medical school. This is an approach that many students consider when attending a Caribbean medical school that does not have financial aid available. However, please remember that in order to continue to receive financial aid in the online program, you have actually to attend your MBA or MPH program and perform academically. Many students end up failing because they cannot commit the time and energy to attend the two full-time programs.
If you are considering joining a dual program, ask the school if they offer a decelerated medical program. This is often an option offered by many schools. It would allow you to still attend the medical school, at the pace that you can actually be successful. Yes, it will require that you stay longer on the island, and the overall cost of living will increase, but it definitely beats failing out and be stuck with a large amount of loans and no degree.
TIP #8: Medical school requires Full-Time committment. Make sure that your lifestyle allows you to dedicate this much time.
TIP #9: If you are considering joining a dual program, ask the school if they offer a decelerated medical program.
TIP #10: US Government Financial Aid and loans are NOT dischargeable in bankruptcy. In case you don’t weigh your options correctly you could be stuck with a large amount of debt and no ability to repay it.
There are a few private lenders that partnered with specific schools in the Caribbean, particularly those that do not offer Title IV loans. These lenders have various approval criteria as well as different repayment terms. You would have to check with each individual school to see whether they are working with a lender and what terms does the lender offer.
TIP #11: Interest rate and terms and conditions offered by the private lenders can be extremely unfavorable. Before accepting anything, consult a lawyer or a finance expert. This could be the best investment of your life (after signing up with us).
Financing for Canadian Students
To be eligible for educational financing in Canada, the student must attend a school that has been recognized by Canadian authorities and listed on Canlearn.ca as a Designated Educational Institution. There are several criteria for the school to be placed on this list. Additionally, each Province maintains its own list of approved institutions, so you should check with your province to ensure that the school is listed there as well.