HELP!! How do i list off the books work?

Hi everyone!

I’ve been reading this forum for about a year, but this is the first time I am actaully participating. I am applying to both DO & MD program for 2010. I am applying for the fee assistance program (FAP) through AAMCAS, but I am rather distressed about this. I spent most of the last few years working off the books in a night time position so I could attend school during the day. Work significantly affected school, and it would be detrimantal for my application if the admission people were not able to see how I struggled taking an average of 18 all science credit hours and holding down a full time job, while maintaining a great GPA. I am elidgable for the FAP because I have no declared income, and dont have any idea how I can possibly afford to apply without recieving it! How should I deal with this situation?

My only thoughts are to go through with the FAP and place my work experience under experience titling it as a “leadership role” where I was an event cooridinator at a social club for 30 hours a week. What do everyone think of this… Any advice for a worried, completely distressed 28 year old pre-med? Thank in advance guys/gals.

This is a tough one because if you show that you have worked off the books, you may get dinged by the Tax man. And this is bad, bad choo choo.

Depending on the kind of work it is will determine the best course of action.

You really should be honest. As I remember, AMCAS and AACOMAS do ask application fee assistance applicants for either their financial aid award statements/FAFSA EFCs or their 1040s and declarations on untaxed income and assets. You still might qualify (I remember both associations had income qualification tables you could refer to) even with the additional income. Don’t worry about the taxman: AMCAS and AACOMAS aren’t employers or government agencies obliged or looking to report your income to the IRS or your state tax board. Because you stand to gain financially from this, the penalties for lying or omitting pertinent information when applying for the fee assistance programs could become criminal.

That’s the other problem…the kind of work… I have decided to catagorize it as event coordinating at a social club. I actually dead texas holdem poker. I have fully planned a few charity tournaments, and our business has been charted as a social club so this is the nicest spin I can put on it. So now what do you think?

Honesty is always the best policy. And, after one signs the AMCAS application stating that everything is true, it is determined that information was not as presented, the consequences can be dire. These dire consequences follow clear into residency applications, should someone get that far.



(never mind)


Either I was unclear or you are very quick to judge. I am not in any way trying to abuse the system. I have put my life on hold for YEARS, and have struggled to make ends meet while preparing myself for medical school. There is not a chance in the world I would do anything to jeopordize my future by playing games with AAMCAS. My financial situation INCLUDING my income from this job, qualifies me for the FAP, but I have no idea how to declare undeclared income…if I put it under the Non-taxable income catagory (there are only 2 places to put income, either “income from W2” or “non-taxable income”) then I feel like my application will contradict the FAP when I fill out the work experience part. That is why I started this post; I dont know how to go through the application process without somehow damaging my chances for gaining entry into medical school. There is no phone number listed to speak with a live person, just an email address listed and I don’t how I feel about sending my concerns to them in an email. I came here hoping for some advice, I’m sure that there have been plenty of people who have worked off the books while doing undergraduate pre-reqs; I am wonder how the dealt with it on the application?

Okay. I think I understand your question now.

You’re a casino dealer right? It’s pretty well known that casino card dealers (like waiters and waitresses) derive a large portion of their income from cash tips. You’re suppose to report your cash tips along with your W2 numbers onto your 1040 and pay tax (if any) on your cash tips when you file your 1040. Sounds like you don’t make enough in cash tips to have to pay taxes, so just list your tip income as nontaxable income. Under work experience, just fill what you actually do (which I surmise is a casino/card dealer). Forget about trying to spin doctoring your job title. You’ll just invite undue suspicion and scrutiny.


Thanks again for your post. I am hesistant to place a card dealer on my application because I do not work in a casino, nor do we have any casinos here in my state. I was dealing a private game in a social club. While it is a chartered business, it is not public knowledge that cards are played there. The game itself is not illegal, nor is my part as a dealer accepting tips, but the social club is straddling that line. I’m sure you know how much work has gone into my preparation for medical school, and the last thing I want is for something that I put on my application or fee assistance application to get in the way of that! I guess a better explanation in the beginning of the post would’ve prevented some “moral indignation” against my situation; I hope in my disclosure here I can prevent an admissions commitee, or AMACAS, from seeing me that way.

With the prevalence of office pools, state lotteries, race tracks, and Indian gaming, I really don’t think there is anything sinister about being a poker dealer and I think medical schools would have the same opinion. It’s perfectly acceptable to work as a poker dealer getting paid in cash tips to get through college. It would be no different than being a waiter, waitress, housekeeper, valet, etc.

Hell, I revealed my “career” as a bouncer & bartender on my med school apps. At the time, I did not want to, but I felt that a 2 year gap in employment would appear worse than bouncer/bartender. In the end, I found that many folks wanted to ask about it.