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Office of Financial Services

Student Affairs

Supporting a Family

Supporting a Family during Medical School

Cost of attendance includes only those expenses associated with the student. A dependent care allowance, which most often means the cost of day care for dependent children, can be added to the cost of attendance.

The amount allowed for day care is based on the ages of the children and on reasonable costs in the area of the medical school. Keep in mind that this results in borrowing more money to cover the cost.

Federal need analysis methodology assumes the student and spouse have sufficient resources to meet the living expenses of the spouse and any dependent children. The calculation of the family's contribution to educational expenses from the student and spouse income excludes a specified amount of income.

The amount excluded is called the Income Protection Allowance and varies according to the number of dependents for whom the student will provide at least half support during the academic year and the number of family members in college. This amount is set aside exclusively for the support of dependents and is not part of the contribution expected to cover the student's cost of attendance.

Problems often arise when the student's or spouse's means of support are insufficient to take care of dependent family members, either because the spouse is not employed or the student is a single parent with minimal personal resources.

Student with these circumstances should talk to the Financial Aid Officer early in the admission process. Other sources of dependent support that should be explored include social services, church groups, and financial assistance from parents or other relatives.

Even students with sufficient resources can experience financial difficulty if they are not realistic in preparing a spending plan. Student and spouse should review their lifestyle expectations and be in agreement before making the financial commitment to attend school.

Each one needs to be prepared to live like a student, which often means giving up "extras" that were taken for granted before. Begin planning early to pay off any debts that you may have, and start saving now in anticipation of relocation expenses and salary reductions.

Good communication, planning and realistic expectations for funding will help you avoid the stresses commonly experienced by combining the rigors of medical school with family responsibilities.

Resources for Families

Tennessee has a federally mandated, state supervised, county administered, Social Services
System. This means the Federal Government authorizes national programs and a majority of the funding and the State Government provides oversight and support, but it is the 95 local county Departments of Human Services (DHS) that deliver the services and benefits.

Economic Services Programs

County DHSs provide services that help low income families get and maintain work, support employment, promote quality health care coverage, food assistance, energy assistance and other economic supports for families. These services include:
• Medical Coverage (Medicaid)
• Tennessee TennCare
• Families First Assistance
• Employment Security Services
• Emergency Assistance
• Child Day Care Subsidies
• Electronic Benefit Security Card (EBT) Food and Nutrition Services
• Low Income Home Energy Assistance
• Child Support Enforcement
• Special Assistance to elderly and disabled adults
• Transportation Services

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):


Women, Infants, and Children (WIC):
WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children and is also called the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program. WIC is a federal program designed to provide food to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children until the age of 5.

Contact Information for Department of Human Services, Washington County, TN
Office Hours: 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday

Dist. 1, Cty. #90
103 East Walnut Street
Johnson City, TN 37601-6847
Office Hours:  8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Phone: (423) 929-0171
FAX: (423) 434-6974
Services: Food Stamp; Families First; Child Care Certificate; Medicaid; and TennCare

District 1 Office
907 Buffalo Street
Johnson City, TN 37604-6719 Office Hours:  8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Phone: (423) 434-6953
Fax: (423) 929-2944
Services: Food Stamp; Families First; Child Care Certificate; Medicaid; and TennCare

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