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GSA Committee on Student Financial Assistance (GSA-COSFA)

July 2015

The group on student affairs' committee on student financial assistance (GSA-COSFA) is constantly advocating for medical students. This advocacy comes in multiple forms like speaking to public loan servicers regarding interest rate adjustments, loan terms, repayments plans, and overall financial wellness. There was some miscommunication regarding the time of interest capitalization post graduation that was cleared up via a conference call during the meeting. Currently, all public loans should have interest capitalized at the end of the 6-month grace period and once again at the end of the primary residency.

We also had an extensive discussion regarding incorporating business and financial topics in the medical school curriculum. This was met by great feedback and interest by the other committee members who agreed that students should learn about the intricacies of the healthcare model and develop financial literacy. These topics will help future physicians practice more cost effectively and understand the implications of their financial decisions towards loans and other areas of their personal life. Currently, there is an organization called SALT, which has online modules through My Money 101, which is a great place to start learning about these topics. You can access the site here External Link. I encourage students to help make a push through OSR to develop financial literacy at their home institutions and develop electives, distinctions and courses. If you are interested, you can also participate in the Financial Aid Student Interest Group within the OSR.

During the conference, I also got an update from Matt Shick regarding legislation being discussed on Capitol Hill. Currently there are talks of cutting student aid within various bills and there are social media campaigns organized to give students a place to inform their local congressman the importance of financial aid. You can learn more about it here External Link. You can post on Facebook and Twitter (#SaveStudentAid) and encourage your colleagues as well.

On June 23-36, 2016, there will be a Professional Development Conference in which OSR will be involved and have meetings for OSR representatives to attend so please stay tuned for more information regarding this exciting opportunity.

If you have any financial aid concerns that you feel need to be addressed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Neal Shah
Saint Louis University School of Medicine