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Financial Wellness

Our financial wellness program, Life $upport, was created to encourage students to establish good financial habits such as budgeting and checking credit regularly.  Being pro-active about finances can help minimize stressors related to finances.  Most sessions include an active learning component to help students acquire the basic skills needed to develop these habits.  Explore the list below of required and optional sessions offered.

 Required

M4 Required Student Loan Exit Meetings (Three-Step Process)

Repaying loans can be stressful for someone who is not familiar with loan repayment options. To combat this issue, all students who borrowed federal student loans are required to complete a three-step student loan exit process through the FSM Life $upport program.

Step 1: Watch AAMC Student Loans and Repayment Strategies Video
Students will learn the terminology and become familiar with the basics regarding loan repayment. This foundation is critical to prepare students for the required one on one student loan meeting. Students can take an active role by logging into NSLDS and uploading loan history to the AAMC Organizer/Calculator

Step 2: One-on-One Loan Repayment Meeting
Students are required to meet one on one with Cynthia Gonzalez in AWOME to discuss their loan portfolio. Cynthia will provide sample repayment schedules based on actual debt. The goal of the session is for the student to fully understand their repayment options. This will allow them to build a strategy and set goals.  Students can sign up soon for this meeting.

Step 3: Online Counseling
In mid April, students will receive an email from the Northwestern University Office of Student Finance with an invitation and instructions regarding online counseling. This requirement should be complete by a specified date, typically in early May. During the online counseling, students will be required to choose a repayment plan. The plan selected can be changed. The goal is that students will be prepared to make this choice after completing the first two steps. Any questions or concerns about this should be discussed at the one-on-one meeting.

Other Required Sessions

Understanding Your Loans (M1-Fall) *required for all entering students receiving financial aid
The goal of this session is to educate students about the terms and conditions of their loans.  During the session, students are encouraged to login to NSLDS to determine loan servicer as well as login to servicers website to establish the relationship.

BYOB~Building Your Own Budget (M1-Fall)
*required for all entering students receiving financial aid
This is a one on one session. Students are asked to come to the meeting with a completed AAMC interactive budgeting worksheet. Resources and expenses are reviewed to determine if loan funds can be returned. 

Credit 101-Part 1 (M1 Winter)
This session will teach students the basics about credit. The goal of the session is to help students learn to make educated decisions about credit. During this session students pull their credit report for review.

Credit 101-Part 2 (M2 Fall)
The basics from Credit 101 will be reviewed. Ways to safeguard credit will also be covered. The session will end with students pulling their credit report for review. The goal is to encourage students to make this into a financial habit.

Preparing for the Cost of Residency (M3 Winter)
This session helps students budget and plan for the upcoming costs of what they can expect during the M4 year as they prepare of the residency application process.

Personal Finance Tips (M4 Spring)
This session is presented during the M4 Capstone which is required for all M4 students. During the session, students will be use interactive tools to help with budgeting, W-4 tax forms and credit.   

 Optional

Students are also encouraged to attend the following sessions:

  • AAMC The Cost of Residency Interview Resources
    The Cost of Residency AAMC Webinar (recorded)
    The Cost of Applying for Medical Residency (FIRST article)
    The Cost of Residency Interviews (FIRST article)
  • Mortgage 101 (M4-Winter)
    A representative from Physician Home Loans will present an informational session about mortgages. Highlights include: determining a good time to buy and how much you can afford, renting versus buying and budgeting for a home.  Here is a link for the recorded session
  • Financial Planning 101 (M4-Winter)
    A guest speaker from MEDIQUS Asset Advisors Inc. will share details about basic financial planning skills. Highlights include: building a financial plan, money management and retirement planning.  Students can sign up now.
  • Year-End Financial Aid Session (Spring)
    All students who have borrowed student loans are encouraged to attend the year-end financial aid session. At the end of this session, students will receive copies of their loan histories and projected debts at time of graduation. We’ll also review application steps to ensure your student loan funds arrive for the upcoming school year.