In an article that appeared on Bloomberg.com, titled “For-Profit Caribbean medical Schools Use Federal Funds Loophole” it was reported that at least nine medical schools located outside of the U.S. ally with U.S. colleges to make available a financial-aid loophole that allows online students to receive loans for living expenses.
As the debate surrounding the financial burden tied to the cost of obtaining a medical education intensifies, finding a way to get a break on the price tag of an MD would almost naturally be luring. The article details what the president of the nonprofit Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education calls “a shenanigan.” According to the article, through the graduate Stafford Loan program, students who attend school in the U.S. – on campus or online – can take out up to $20,5000 a year to cover the cost of tuition, room, board, books, and transportation.
One example of such a partnership was between Urbana University and American University of Antigua (AUA), where nearly 50 AUA students registered for Urbana’s online healthcare management MBA track. While students attending school in the Caribbean grapple with their options for financing there medical school dreams, the number of U.S. schools partnering with island medical schools will continue to grow.
Several schools in the U.S. are helping medical students take advantage of this financial-aid loophole and as long the federal government does not seem to be making a fuss about it and schools and students are meeting the requirements, the trend will continue. The full list of schools mentioned in the article can be found here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013- 12-03/for-profit-caribbean-medical-schools-use-federalfunds-loophole.html.