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Which Would You Choose?

Discussion in 'Podiatry Students' started by subadoob, Apr 28, 2012.

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  1. subadoob

    subadoob

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    I was hoping to get some advice from current students (the further in school the better) about which school I should pick. I know about the other threads; "Choose where you feel most comfortable" and "You can get a good education anywhere as long as you apply yourself," but I'm still stuck. It's between DMU and Scholl; DMU offers $5000 and Scholl offers the big $15000. The last podiatrist I asked said he sees good students from both universities but called it a "no brainer" for Scholl; coming out with less debt especially since podiatrists aren't necessarily making much right out of school. There is the cost-of-living difference but it seems splitting an apartment at the Woodlands Apartments next to Scholl is no more than $200 a month more than what I might get in Des Moines. Maybe could someone provide some numbers of how much debt they've picked up, what scholarships they have and if the budget provided by the schools (e.g ~$50000 a year for either school, which includes everything) is about right? Also, from what I've read on these forums, DMU may have a better managed schedule for the first two years; I guess some Scholl students feel more swamped before the first board exams than DMU students. Naturally, in order to maintain or receive any other scholarships and to get into good clerkships, you have to keep the GPA up and I figured I would have a better chance of doing so at DMU because of how the curriculum is set-up. Clinical experience is important but a podiatrist told me understanding the information, i.e. what you learn first few years, is most important and "once you've seen a few, you seen them all,". Going strictly by classroom/lab education, I'd say DMU because they have new facilities and (possibly) higher board pass rates. Thanks in advance for the advice and congrats on the acceptances Class of 2016.
  2. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    are those scholarships per year or total?
  3. SuperFeisty

    SuperFeisty

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    Yes
  4. dtrack22

    dtrack22

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  5. subadoob

    subadoob

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    Thanks for the reply, they are per year for both schools. I was worried about what you have to do to keep the $15k from Scholl; from the website, it seems only 15 of those scholarships are available so I would guess I would have to be in the top 20-15% to maintain it. To those who are out of school, how big of a deal is an extra $30k (quick estimate of extra tuition for four years needed to go to DMU instead of Scholl, including interest) during your residency/early years of practice? Thanks again everyone (minus the one who answered, "yes").
  6. subadoob

    subadoob

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    That's a very important point, thank you. A $15k scholarship is nice but if I have a better chance (i.e. higher % of students who get the scholarships or lower GPA requirements) to maintain the $5k from DMU then that's +1 for DMU in my books
  7. amaprez

    amaprez

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  8. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    I'll clarify on the scholarship situation. The scholarships you receive when accepted to Scholl are NOT renewable. They are only applied for that year's tuition only. At the end of your first year you can apply for scholarships again. Scholl offers 10 half tuition scholarships for the 2nd year. They also offer a few smaller (3-5K) scholarships for the 2nd year as well. Again the scholarships awarded during the 2nd year are NOT renewable.

    I was fortunate enough to receive the half tuition scholarship for the 2nd year of school. Those half tuition scholarships are very competitive to get. I think the person with the lowest gpa to get one had a 3.9.

    They just awarded alumni scholarships for 3rd year students at the midwest podiatry conference for Scholl students. I also just applied for the APMA scholarship, through my school, as well. There is also 1-2 half tuition scholarships offered during the 3rd and 4th years. Scholl even has a full tuition scholarship.

    But again NONE of these scholarships are renewable and you will have to re-apply to get free money. Subadoob, being that you received a half-tuition scholarship this late in the cycle means you must have a a high gpa and MCAT. That's great. On paper you should be competitive to win the 2nd year half-tuition scholarship and prob more money during your 3rd and 4th years. But there are always "wild-card" students who could come out of nowhere and challenge you for those scholarships. I didn't get a dime from any school I applied to and was accepted at. Then I finished my first year at Scholl with a 4.0 and won a half-tuition scholarship. So the moral of the story is nothing is guaranteed but there is plenty of opportunity to apply for the various scholarships Scholl offers to its students.

    I'm also impressed with your initial post. Finally a pre-pod who uses the search function and reads what the older students posts.
  9. subadoob

    subadoob

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    Thanks for the reply AMA: I knew about the 25% at DMU but I couldn't find anything regarding Scholl. I even called Scholl several times but I couldn't get a hold of Ms. Young at the Admissions Office, thanks for your time.
    Ankle Breaker+Dtrack: Thanks for your input, I know you guys have a good hold on what goes on at Scholl and DMU, respectively, I really appreciate the help.
    It seems like no matter where I go, I'll have to try my best if I want any scholarships. The whole 2nd-year finals/part-1 boards scheduling thing is something I'll just have to deal with although it seems DMU students are a little less stressed out around that time but I wouldn't know. I have to choose Monday morning, I'll let guys know the outcome, thanks again and any other input is much appreciated.
  10. bobdolerson

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    It's tough to even imagine the competition you'll face for those scholarships.

    Best bet would be to assume you won't get them past the first year, and go from there. Last thing you want to do is be specifically attending a school for the scholarship only to find out you won't get it.

    I was pretty consistently a top performer in undergrad, and an equal amount of effort here would have likely put me in the bottom 5% of students. When I dominate an exam here (ie, grade of 95+), it generally has correlated to a period of time when I didn't get to ever see my wife or do anything but study.

    Passing a class isn't hard, getting a B takes considerably more effort, but the effort required to absolutely know enough material to consistently be in the top 25% of the students can be pretty substantial. All it takes is that one stupid day before an exam where you get a migraine and can't study, and BAM...5 points below the class average.

    You'll have to decide for yourself how much free time you want, but no matter what, there /will/ be a trade-off. There will not be a point at which you know every detail that can be tested over, and probably rarely a time where you can say "there's really nothing else to study, I'ma grab a beer". It's tougher because I'm married and I have to maintain a home life as well, so being single I thing would be quite an advantage, grade wise.
  11. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Very true. Top 25% requirement is pretty much telling most recipients they won't be getting renewed. It's also very ingenious by the school. :laugh:
  12. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    It's better than law school that puts GPA requirements on it. Almost no students get their scholarships renewed.
  13. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Law school scholarships are different, because even if they say 3.0+ gpa requirement, sometimes if law school happens to grade on a curve, you can get 80% on a test and still not get a B if class average was higher. There was actually a NY Times article about this situation.

    As far as I'm aware, most pod schools don't curve their tests. A 3.0+ gpa requirement is a 3.0+ gpa requirement.
  14. MaxillofacialMN

    MaxillofacialMN Osteopathic Foot Dentist

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    That's what I mean! Law schools tricks the heck out of their students!
  15. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Nah, that's just how they teach the students to be good lawyers :laugh:
  16. bobdolerson

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    My dad used to tell me about that. He said he had a prof that, in a class of 150 students, gave out 15 As to the top grades, 45 Bs, and some other distribution for the rest. Doesn't matter if you get a 97.5 if 15 students get 100s...

    What made it worse was he said the class was easier than other classes as far as scoring high on a test, but still ended up being most students worst grade that quarter. I don't really think that's a fair system, as it does little to describe how well a student performed in a class, and doesn't translate well to overall GPA unless every single class worked that way (and then it would actually be a pretty magnificent way to grade...the difference in professors and how hard they test would disappear, and your GPA would be a close representation of how you /compared/ to other students).

    GPAs have always been a touchy subject for me, as i recall going to a class in undergrad that required a ridiculous amount of studying only to walk away with a B, and had a friend take the class with an easy prof, studied minimally, and got an A. I suppose that's why I always just kind of nod and say, "yeah, okay *wink*" when someone talks up their GPA. Too easy to manipulate, too hard to get a good reading of how much work they put into it.

    It is a pretty good move by the schools. It's not unfair, though the difficulty in maintaining it sure seems that way. It's not really the school's fault or problem, it's just a problem in explaining to students how much more effort grad school is, and I don't think that's something someone can really understand till they get here.

    It sucks. All it takes is one class (for me it was anatomy, 6.5 hours) that drops you out of scholarship range, and it's not easy to get back into it.
  17. Madura

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    If you are really concerned about money and want to be the only pod student to leave school without spending or borrowing a dime, DMU is offering a new opportunity this year similar to what the federal government gives MD and DO students. This is complete loan forgiveness (they pay for your school) if you agree to work 4 years in an underserved Iowa city after residency. I personally don't want to be told where to work, but it is an unbelievable opportunity if you don't mind that. Many people leave school with big dreams of a big practice in a big city and end up finding those cities saturated and make bank in smaller midwest towns anyway ... something to think about.
  18. subadoob

    subadoob

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    Yeah, I know about that scholarship; serve in an area in Iowa with less than 20k people. I like Iowa, just not that much. I'm expecting to accumulate debt like most students, I just hope to keep everything as far under $180k as possible (During an interview, one student told me some borrow as much as $220k).
  19. Madura

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    Did these posts help answer your question? It looks like you wanted info to help you decide where to go, but so far we only addressed the financial component. Was that your only concern or do you want more info about DMU such as the technology, the free laptop and ipad, cost of living, etc? It may be easier to just search some of my recent posts b/c I have talked a lot about it recently.
  20. bobdolerson

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    As far as loan forgiveness programs go, be sure to find out all applicable information before you sign anything or agree to anything. I don't think there are unlimited positions available, and sometimes the fine print will get you good.

    Going back to the OP, don't go to a school because you think the GPA will be easier to keep up. I don't think DMU will make it any easier for you to get a solid GPA, and the schools calculate them differently (ie, DMU is staggered, so a student may have an identical "out of 100" grade and a lower GPA by several tenths (ie, 92 at DMU is a 3.7, I believe, and a 4.0 at many other schools).

    GPA isn't nearly as important as class rank, and as far as getting a residency goes, DMU has 100% placement and has for years. I like the school, though I won't tell you it's the best for /you/, it was just my best choice and I feel I made the right one.

    They gave me the maximum scholarship ($4k), renewable each year by being in the top 25% (basically meaning it's a one year scholarship. I've got a wife at home, and the work required to be in the top 25% is /substantially/ different than it was in undergrad, and I would rather pay a few thousand more a year and have a home-life, so that's something to consider)

    The cost of living here is pretty low, no problem living within the loans (my wife also works, so money isn't a huge issue for me, but i got along fine for a few months before she moved up, never went over my monthly allotment) and the city is very family-oriented. There are no beaches, there's a small downtown with 2-3 bars (that anyone seems to go to, anyway), but there's a lot in the way of parks, bike trails, etc.

    Des Moines is a nice enough place to live, but after coming from San Antonio, and going to Texas A&M, the city is tiny and the night life is non-existent. It was a rude wake up call going out at 1am trying to find some place for some munchies, and even most of the gas stations were closed...that's just lame.

    The school, though, is fantastic and I'll spout it's merits to anyone who will listen. The people are incredibly friendly, the interprofessional relationships between practices (ie, DO, DPM, DPT, etc) are solid and mutually respectful. There has only been one time when I was talked down to for being a DPM, but it wasn't really intentionally disrespectful as much as it was just kind of a dumb DO that didn't know what our education was.

    I'm not sure if you wanted this, or what other info you were looking for, but if you have any more questions regarding DMU or any aspects of the school/city, please let me know here or in a PM and I'll be more than happy to answer them.
  21. dtrack22

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    ....
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  22. bobdolerson

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    oop, guess I wasn't so awesome :)
  23. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    I believe this thread has become redundant. I'd love to re-write everything about Scholl but I've done that 2 million times already. I will make this one point though...

    I think people need to realize that our board exams test minimal competency. MINIMAL! That's very different from getting a score and then being compared to every student currently in podiatry school like what occurs in medical school. Historically, does DMU and AZPOD have a really high first-time pass rate? Absolutely. Yes, they have the most MINIMALLY competent students attending their respective schools...congrats.

    Oh and the point about the grading scale is pointless. A 92% avg would give you a 4.0 for that class at Scholl but a 89% avg in a class would give you a 3.0. There is no +/- system here. Every school might have a different grading scale but it all evens out in the end.

    Rank rules all but then again graduating with honors doesn't hurt your cause...even if you are not within the top 10% of your class.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  24. amaprez

    amaprez

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    Oh boy. Here we go. Just when this thread was winding down too :scared:
  25. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    I'm not taking away anything from DMU, AZPOD, and Western. They are outstanding schools. Parts of their curriculum are def more favorable (even superior) compared to Scholl. I'll admit it. This isn't a Scholl vs. DMU conversation.

    This is a clarification to all the pre-pods out there who get caught up with statistics. Who cares if a school has a high board pass rate? It shouldn't be a "carrot" to lure students in. It doesn't mean anything. All it means you are minimally competent. You can be a lazy student, you can be a mediocre-below average student and still pass the APMLE.

    Match rate (DMU's match rate is very good) and match lists should be what's important. If a school is continually having their students match at awesome programs that demonstrates that curriculum is really preparing their students to succeed.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  26. bobdolerson

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    Hmm....the thing about GPA is, at least here, it's not staggered for each class, just overall.

    So say you get 4 As, a 92 in each class.

    At Scholl you walk out with a 4.0

    At DMU you walk out with a 3.7

    So no...it's not really comparable. I'm not saying one is better or worse than the other, I'm simply saying that this is why you can't really lend a whole lot of credence to a GPA, especially considering you aren't taking our exams, and neither are we taking yours, so you're comparing apples to bananas.

    I don't really know where this came from, I wasn't trying to compare my school to any, I was just providing information about why I chose it, and why GPA isn't as important as class rank. It's a better comparison, I would think, to look at class rank, as a person in the top x% of a class is likely similar in knowledge and motivation as a person from another school with a similar rank, regardless of whether or not their GPAs match up.
  27. flyhi

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    AB and Dtrack, do most students move closer to downtown when rotations start? If so, OP, the cost of living may be significantly different for your comparison of Scholl v DMU based on that alone.
  28. dtrack22

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  29. Ankle Breaker

    Ankle Breaker Senior Member

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    At Scholl the majority of the students move closer to the city during the 3rd and 4th years simply because our core rotations are located downtown at various hospitals. Some move directly into several of the mini-neighborhoods of Chicago while others move closer to the city, in general, but live in the suburbs at the outskirts of the city. That's an individual choice. If you do your due dilligence in searching for a place to live one can find housing for about 550-700 a month. Maybe even less if you are living with 2-3 other people.

    Cost of education/ living, receiving free computers, etc should have minimal influence on your choice of school IMO. Go where you will be most comfortable and where you see yourself succeeding. If you attend a podiatry school to cut costs but end up hating it then you can seriously jeopardize your grades, family life, and overall mental health. School is already stressful...go where you really want to be and where you see yourself fitting in.

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