Calculated Parent Contribution

The UVA School of Medicine, like most medical schools, requires students to submit parent information to qualify for need-based institutional scholarships and loans.  We use a “Calculated Parent Contribution” which is used to determine your eligibility for school need-based aid.

The calculated parent contribution comes from the federal needs analysis formula, which is explained below.  The benefit of using the federal needs analysis formula is that it treats all students the same and so allows us to distribute our limited school funds equitably.

However, the downside is that the federal formula produces a “contribution” that is sometimes unrealistically high.  The University of Virginia School of Medicine does not expect that your parents will contribute the entire “calculated parent contribution.”  While medical school is expensive and we strongly suggest that families help to the degree that they are able, the amount that your parents are able and willing to contribute is a family decision.  Any amount of the calculated parent contribution that your parents are unable or unwilling to actually contribute can be covered with federal loans.

Parent Information and the Federal Needs Analysis Formula

Determining the calculated parent contribution is complicated, but it is not secret.

All information that you submit on the FAFSA is verified using the UVA financial aid application (in SIS) and the tax returns.  If information that you have submitted is found to be erroneous, we will adjust the figures in our calculations.  For example, if you report on the FAFSA that your parents have a family size of 4 with 2 in college, and your parents do not claim any dependents on their tax return, we will adjust these numbers to be a family size of 3 (your parents and you) with 1 (you) in college, because the FAFSA rules dictate that people included in the “family” must appear as dependents on the tax return.

Once all of your parent information has been verified, the contribution is calculated using the federal needs analysis formula.  The full worksheets for this formula can be found online here (pages 9-19).  Most students will find these worksheets cumbersome, but the basic formula is this:


Adjusted Gross Income
plus      untaxed income (from any source)
minus  federal income tax paid
minus  state tax allowance (pg 17)
minus  FICA taxes
minus  employment allowance ($0-$3500)
minus  income protection allowance (based on family size and # in college, pg 18)
equals  INCOME

Cash Assets
plus      Investment and Real Estate Assets
plus      Business Asset (adjusted, pg 18)
minus  Asset Protection Allowance (based on age, pg 19)
times    0.12
equals  ASSETS

Then take INCOME + ASSETS, and use the chart on page 19 to determine the “calculated parent contribution” (generally, it is between 22%-44% of INCOME + ASSETS).  This number is then divided by the number of children in college.  This final calculated parent contribution is then applied to our packaging policy to determine your aid eligibility.


You can get an extremely rough estimate of your calculated parent contribution online: