Would you guys finish dental school with 140K or a four year commitment to public health service?
Those are both very good points.
140K is not a lot in terms of dental school. But I have friends who are going to business and law schools and it helps me to keep things in perspective. In business and law schooling 140K is as big as it usually gets and they are fretting about it.
Seeing how I feel at the end of D school is a great idea.
Having dealt with student loans myself, I would avoid any debt if possible and would definitely go for public health. While comparing 140k to 300k may make it seem like 140k is small potatoes, I assure you that it is still a large sum of money.
Besides, public health is NOT the military. You can easily do it for a short amount of time as well, in which they'll pay back a portion of your loans, should you feel it's something you can't deal with any longer, you just move on and pay the loans back yourself.
Kahr, what public health programs are you considering? Are you aware of any public health scholarships that provide a stipend in school for those who are Caucasian?
What is wrong with public health? You'll see a smattering of cases.
I am not considering public health, as I have taken a Navy scholarship, however I am interested in it, and have considered working in a community clinic or in federal/state service after my military obligation.
Your ethnic background shouldn't be an issue, at least to my knowledge, feel free to provide evidence to the contrary if you've seen it. The only public health scholarship that provides a stipend during school is under the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, as far as I know. Unfortunately the USPHS scholarship is ridiculously competitive, so I didn't even bother looking into it as an option.
The IHS provides a scholarship to those students who are Alaskan Natives and Native Americans where a 2K monthly stipend is provided in exchange for 4 years of service on Indian Reservations or to Alaska Native populations. The scholarship taker has some control over what part of the country they will end up serving. It is a good deal for those who might qualify, as loan forgiveness is part of the program as well.
Look at page 7: http://www.ihs.gov/scholarship/handbooks/student_handbook.pdf
Good information for those eligible. While I had heard of this scholarship, it didn't cross my mind in light of the question you initially asked.
I'd like to point out that there are plenty of caucasians who hold native American ancestry and/or are Alaskan natives and could still be possibly eligible for that IHS scholarship. I'm guessing based on your initial question this isn't you though?