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$68,000 in loans or try again?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gsmithers68, May 11, 2007.

  1. gsmithers68

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    Alright everyone. Here is the low down. I have been accepted to a school which has crap for fin aid. There package is bad. period. If I want to attend I am looking at taking out roughly $63,000 a year in loans coming to a total of $252,000 over the course of four years. Now am I just crazy or does this seems like an absolutely insane amount of money.

    I applied a year early period. I've done a lot over the last year to stay involved in medicine, my community, and I've written a journal article that will be published in July. Thus, I will be a much much stronger applicant if I were to apply next year.

    So, my question to my fellow SDNers is the following:

    Should I attend a school which isn't bad by all means but have to sign away over $250,000. Or reapply and hope to get into a better school or at least get some fin aid awards?

    Now, I have read all the posts on how adcoms can see this information on a year to year basis and can see that you were accepted and withdrew, but still... I feel like having to take out a quarter of a million dollars to get an education is what I would call a realistic issue with attending a school. Does anybody else feel that I'm not completely out of my mind for pondering whether to reapply again and try for a better outcome? Anybody? Buller?

    And if you are one of those people that is going to bust my balls for posting this and tell me to withdraw so someone who is grateful can have my spot you can shove your future posts up your ***. I am very grateful I just am a realist and this is a huge amount of money to be taking out.
     
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  3. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance
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    You should be able to work and make at least 10,000-15,000 a year just from having a simple part time job that requires you to show up for 15 hours a week, max. You just saved 40k-60k right there in four years. 200k isn't really unheard of to be getting out of med school. Manage your money well and you shouldn't have too much of a problem afterward. What are you looking for? 100k? Doubtful you'll get that. An extra 50k isn't even above 2 standard deviations above the curve.
     
  4. DoctorPLASTIC

    DoctorPLASTIC Membership Revoked
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    Wow. You should withdraw and give you position to somebody who would be grateful. Most people dont even get one acceptacne and you are going to just give it up like its nothing.:laugh:

    Now all kiddin aside, what school is it? I am going to a school that costs 69k a year. But I love the city, the curriculum etc and plus it is a private school. If you dont like the school or if it isnt worth it to pay that much then withdraw and reaply. It isnt that hard to reaply after withdrawing an acceptance. Two of my friends did, because they wanted to get into harvard. Well they didnt get in but the school they withdrew from the year before offered them a full scholarship. so it payed off!:thumbup:
     
  5. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    you must factor in that if you wait an extra year you will be forgoing 150k+ in physician income.

    also consider that it won't look good at all to re-apply after getting accepted. especially when you explain it was b/c of fin aid (the school you interview at that asks you may not be able to offer better, and so they'll reject you).

    suck it up and go in debt.
     
  6. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member
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    That would be a tremendous risk. $100,000+ scholarships are pretty hard to come by. I doubt what you did in one year could make you that much more desirable of a candidate that you would suddently get huge scholarships (unless you improved your MCAT by a bajillion or so points). What if you try again and don't get in the next time around? What a waste.

    Also, guessing that you'd work for <$50,000 in your year off, you're actually losing big in opportunity cost, because you could spend that one year of your life earning a doctor's salary if you go to med school now.
     
  7. lilnoelle

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    Unless you've got an instate school that you think you are likely to get into next year, I doubt your gonna get a much better deal.
     
  8. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane
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    There are several reasons turning down this acceptance is a bad idea:
    1) You lower your life time earning potential by taking a year off (if money is your major concern)
    2) Not taking an acceptance looks bad for applying next year, and I don't know if "too expensive" is the best reason for not attending the only school you were accepted too
    3) Unless you have a glaring weakness in your app that is easily corrected in one year you'll likely not do any better as lilnoelle points out. Such a weakness might be having only applied to 5 schools, or no clinical experience.
    4) 250-300k in debt is a lot, but certainly isn't unheard of, and something you can overcome with the salary you'll eventually be making.
     
  9. TheGalvaniFrog

    TheGalvaniFrog Dissected & Electrocuted
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    Isn't a $200,000 debt pretty much the standard for med students who don't have rich parents?
     
  10. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    heck no!!! nowadays it's about 240k.
     
  11. ihatepaperwork

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    I'm surprised by responses against applying again next year. Honestly, if you think its too much to borrow, I would definitely try again. The only problem might be that schools will see that you applied somewhere (probably having an idea of the expense), and you decided not to go there. So next time, you may need to forgo applying to expensive schools and just explain that you didn't realize you would have financial constraints when you previously applied to expensive schools. I myself looked at applying to georgetown (i wanted to go to a jesuit school) and harvard and stanford, but after realizing their overall costs, i just applied in state. A name's not worth 200000 dollars to me, especially since people do great things with "lesser" schools all the time.

    But if you apply to harvard and stuff...its going to look like you wanted a better school, not a better price. Your behavior is going to need to be consistent with what you say.

    Finally, the only good reason to not wait a year is that you can make 100plus in that one year, if you attend med school this year. Be sure to consider that.
     
  12. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    1) I don't really agree with the whole opportunity cost lost thing. Yeah, technically if you really want to be picky you are losing some kind of "opportunity" to make an extra year salary way way way way down the road. But who says you'll even make it that far? Who says you can't work an extra year longer than planned to make up for it? The money that matters is now, not some technical opportunity cost money.

    2) More importantly, you're taking a huge risk of never being accepted to another medical school for the rest of your life by flat out turning down an acceptance for money purposes. If the money is THAT important to you, then sure, give it a shot.
     
  13. Darksmurf

    Darksmurf I'm the boy smurf
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    I would recommend that you just suck it up and go to school. You cannot predict that you'll get better financial aid the next year.

    But.

    It may look bad to turn down an acceptance, but the information we have from at least one adcom, LizzyM (see the post:http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=4700866#post4700866), says that they wouldn't know if a student had been previously accepted (previous matriculation is a different story, obviously). So they can't hold against you what they don't know.

    Here is another thread about it:
    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=366451
     
  14. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    This 100K plus you speak of. Is that money made in your year off, or in 2040?
     
  15. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    uh, no. assuming a four-year residency, the extra year of income that the o.p. will absolutely be missing out on will begin in the summer of 2015, not "way down the road." s/he can retire at sixty in both scenarios and still will have missed that extra year of doctor income in 2015-6.
     
  16. Darksmurf

    Darksmurf I'm the boy smurf
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    And anyway, at some point the apocalypse is going to destabilize our current financial system and wipe away your debt. So you won't even have to pay it all back if you wait long enough.
     
  17. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides
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    True. The only school that will know is the one you turned down (which I'm assuming you wouldn't have the balls to apply to again)
     
  18. chaldobruin

    chaldobruin Member
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    I have to disagree somewhat.. I think cost should be a low priority in choosing a medical school, although it should still be a factor. For example, in my case I'm comparing Georgetown and UC Irvine (although I'm only waitlisted there). Georgetown is very expensive.. overall I'll be spending about $65,000 a year there.. clearly UCI has the advantage in cost. But I was shocked to see that it wasn't as much of an advantage as I thought. I'd be spending $47,000 per year at Irvine... thats $18,000 less and $72,000 over 4 years which is still significant especially if you add interest. But this is money you don't have to pay back all at once. $150K is a lot to pay in one year, but over 20 years is a different story. The interest rates are low and you can set up a 10 or 20 year payment plan if you choose to do so. With a doctor's salary (e.g. 10-15K a month plus your spouse's salary if you have one), and wise spending habits, you should still have the freedom to save money and invest your money in other places, thus giving you a financial freedom rarely found in other professions.

    For me, UCI is 1 hour from my home in San Diego, and obviously cheaper than Gtown. Gtown has the name and all, and a more impressive match list.. but for me the big factor is the experience of moving to the east coast and experiencing a new culture, new people, new friends.. I think I'll mature and grow much more at Georgetown. Also, their program is a better fit for me. To me, thats worth the extra tuition.

    Also, you said that Stanford's overall fees are high.. you obviously didn't take a look and see that the average debt of a 2005 Stanford grad was $66,000 or so, 2nd lowest in the country. They have fantastic methods of reducing student debt.

    OP: Don't withdraw your acceptance because of the cost.. I don't see how you expect much better. From my state school I'll still be $180K in debt.. what do you expect at your schools? Withdraw if you think you'd be unhappy at the school only.
     
  19. zeff

    zeff Kikey McGuido
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    I was about to say something sarcastic asking if you are brain-damaged, Eric Lindros, but then I remembered you actually did have like 50 concussions in your career and I didn't want to be mean... :)
     
  20. SoCuteMD

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    Uh, just FYI - there are questions on AMCAS re: whether you've ever applied before, been accepted before, and matriculated before. They will know.
     
  21. Darksmurf

    Darksmurf I'm the boy smurf
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    Uh, just FYI - AMCAS only inquires as to whether you have matriculated, not whether you have applied before or been accepted before. Have you even filled out an AMCAS application? If so, it was apparently not recent.
     
  22. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane
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    The problem is he is giving up the acceptance to the only school that accepted him. Next cycle that school who he is turning down this year will know he was accepted and decided not to go. Being that, this school is the only one that accepted him, it is unlikely they'll accept him again. Especially given his only reason for not going is that the school was too expensive, and that school will surely not reduce their tuition in a year.
     
  23. SoCuteMD

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    No, you are correct. I last filled out AMCAS in August 2004. At that point you had to answer all three questions. Apparently that has changed since that point.
     
  24. Darksmurf

    Darksmurf I'm the boy smurf
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    True dat. But none too pertinent to my (or your) original point(in item #2). No one will know he was accepted previously unless he lets on. And if he opted out of the school this year because it was too expensive, he would be an idiot to apply there again.
     
  25. Critical Mass

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    Well your location says Oregon, and unfortunately OHSU is one of those places trying to improve its national ranking by taking substantial amounts of oos students. I guess docs must want to live/practice in Oregon since they don't feel a need to grow their own. Moral of the story, if you wanna be a doc, don't live in Oregon, Washington, or Cali.

    I would need more info, but this is my feeling...

    If you got into a state school and are an oos student, I would probably ask to defer or sit out, especially if you were taken early in the cycle. Move there and establish state residency to slash the tuition bill upon matriculation. Keep in mind that this theory probably wouldn't work if you'd be considering a move to an entirely different state because you'd still be applying oos regardless.

    Don't tax yourself by working during med school. Only idiots like me do that stuff. There's plenty to keep you busy, and you don't want any unnecessary handicaps. Your first two years of medical school will affect the rest of your life significantly because there is no re-taking step 1 if you pass.

    I don't buy the whole "giving up X salary for a year" thing.

    1. We don't know what docs will make 8 years from now.
    2. We don't know what specialty we'll be interested in.
    3. We don't know how competative our boards will be.
    4. We often don't know where we want to live/practice.
    5. You may have to dip into the private loan market to cover your costs. That could mean substantial interest throughout residency.

    If you are talking about a foreign school or osteopathic and you really want to be a U.S. M.D., sit out.

    Keep in mind that I wouldn't assume a substantial difference in MCAT or GPA, the primary indicators (probably 70-90%) of application success, should you reapply.

    If you got into a private school such as SLU, Drexel, Tulane, BU, etc., I'd be inclined to take it. If it was a really poorly-renowned private school or located someplace you don't wanna be, sit out. That would be like paying 50 large for compact Hyundai under the premise that it would get you from point A to point B just like any other car.
     
  26. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    And adding to the Oregon info, last I checked instate tuition at OHSU was around $30k, and they don't have a ton of scholarships. So even if you get into your state school, you're looking at $50k/year at a minimum and probably more because the col in Portland ain't cheap. So unless you can live with your parents or something coupled with the slightly lower tuition, it doesn't seem like you have strong odds of coming out that much ahead by waiting.
     
  27. Old ortho

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    Can you name this med school, so maybe we can help with more info?
     
  28. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this
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    Since the OP isn't even sure that he can get into a significantly cheaper medical school, we have to multiply how much he'd likely save if he did get into a school (perhaps a state school) versus his chances of actually getting in.

    The majority of private medical schools are not going to be much cheaper than this school. Cheaper? Sure, there are cheaper schools but not by much.

    Even worse, if he doesn't get into a cheaper school next year he would have pissed away that extra year of physician income.

    Basically what I'm saying OP, is that it makes no friggin' sense financially to reapply. Unless you have some unbelievably high paying job you can do in your year off, all you'll end up with is acceptances at schools that cost almost the same as this school (unless you have a really cheap state option that you get into next time around), and you'll probably end up borrowing almost the same amount in loans anyway (yes you'll likely save a little bit, but probably more like 30K in loans). Worse yet, you're risking not being accepted anywhere next year lol.

    Oh and keep in mind that tuitions go up year after year, so if the same school is the only one that accepts you next time around your tuition would just be more expensive, which would be pretty bitter irony.

    The ONLY situation here in which you could justify turning this down is if you simply despise this school, like you went and the students there were total jerks to you and your interviewer punched you in the face then yelled racial slurs at you for half an hour. But there's no financially justifiable reason for this, it's not like you're going to win the Nobel in the year you take off.
     
  29. PEN15

    PEN15 Member
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    Suck it up and take the offer... also thank your lucky stars that you're not borrowing that kind of money to attend a Caribbean school.
     
  30. Dr2Bee

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    Medical School debts above 200K are becoming more common nowadays. If you have an acceptance already, you should definitely go. It looks bad to turn down such an opportunity to go to school. Unless you can defer and attempt to reapply, but I think you still have to notify the school or sign something saying you wont reapply.

    In addition, the pain to go through another application cycle and the uncertainties will drive you insane. If you only hold one acceptance this year, i feel that it will be hard to make dramatic changes in your qualifications and you might end up with no acceptances. As many have seen, this application process can really be a crap-shoot. Even with spectacular qualifications, there are some that end up with no acceptances at all.

    I say just take the acceptance and be happy with that. At least, you have the opportunity to fulfill your dream, even if it cost a crapload of money.
    You'll know, at least, you're gonna be a doctor and be able to manage the debt. The medical degree will open many doors, and if you're money-savvy enough, you find a way to pay it off sooner. So just go and have yourself some fun before med school starts.
     
  31. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    If you have a guaranteed acceptance (which looks like the case), you KNOW that you will be attending medical school. If you turn down that offer, then you may not get into another school next year. Acceptance this year does not equal acceptance next year. There are plenty of people out there with NO acceptances.

    Other options:

    You can take this offer; do extremely well and qualify for scholarship next year which will offset some of your loans.

    You can look into an Armed Forces scholarship if you qualify.

    You can look at taking jobs after residency that offer loan repayment as part of your contract. I have been offered four jobs that offer loan repayment on a year for year basis (General Surgeon here) if I sign a contract. I am sure that other specialties have similiar offers as one of my classmates signed a contract that paid all four years of medical school costs (he's an anesthesiologist).

    You can transfer, after completion of second year, to a cheaper school which will lower some of your borrowing costs.

    In the world of medical school admissions, there are no guarantees. You could easily find yourself sitting there next year with no acceptances if you turn down this one.
     
  32. gsmithers68

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    Thanks everyone.

    Ya, I did more thinking last night, calculated more numbers of what I'll be paying back, etc. Even if I do get in off the waitlist at OHSU it is still 45-50k with living expenses which is still 200k of loans. Not that big of a difference. I've decided to take it for sure. 50-70k more over 10 years of repayment isn't that big of a deal. It isn't like I'd be going to school for free elsewhere.
     
  33. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    yup. smart choice.
     
  34. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    you have the same exact amount of debt in both scenarios, except in the other scenario you are starting a year later. In the end, you always start out in residency with huge debt. Starting a year earlier is not going to erase that. So it absolutely does not matter at all. I get what you're syaing, but it's pointless.
     
  35. Old ortho

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    I agreed.
     
  36. kyneuromania

    kyneuromania Neurosurgeon
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    While I agree with you in almost everything, i have to point out that lots of people who attend stanford have rich parents. Of course its not as bad as undergrad and of course stanford, columbia and cornell are few schools known to have excellent fin aid. Personally i don't think that avg debt means much, especially with those prestigious private schools.

    But your point is very good. I am moving to the east coast as well for the same reason. :thumbup:
     
  37. senioritaelena

    senioritaelena Let's go
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    Hey, I'm kind of in the same sit as the OP. i am Canadaina who has been accepted to three US med schools, but can only afford one and I am not sure if I really want to go therre. There aren't many funding options for Canadians studying medicine in US and I don't have a US cosigner and my parents can not cosign for me cause they had credit trouble. I am still waiting on one other relatively cheap school to come through, but otherwise think I will just suck it up and go to the one that i was a little unsure of.

    I guess, either way i'll be a doc and if I can come out with less debt, it's all good!!!
     
  38. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    do you get it? whether one finishes residency at age x or x+1, one is still going to die at age y. so how many years of physician income (and maybe retirement on physician savings) would you rather have:

    1) y - x

    or

    2) (y - x) - 1

    i place the burden on you to explain just how this choice is "pointless", i.e. how option 1) isn't clearly better than option 2).
     
  39. gsmithers68

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    I agree this is a large issue, but in the grand scheme of things if you are pulling 400k a year as a specialist and you work for 30 years... that is 12 million over my entire career. That one extra year makes it 12.4 mill. Not that much of a difference when you put it in these terms.
     
  40. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    perhaps, only if one frames the issue in such relative rather than absolute terms. i don't think that's merited here, since 400k is 400k is a lot of money even if you're a millionaire. if 400k drops out of bill gates' wallet, he still leans over to pick it up. there's declining marginal utility to be sure, but that amount of money still provides a lot of utility to a doctor.

    but anyway, if the op were otherwise going to work in a well-paying job this next year or have some amazing life experience, it could very well be worth waiting another year. but that doesn't sound like the op's situation.

    i'd rather spend that year of my life working and getting paid as a doctor than putzing around as a lab tech (or some equivalent job), continuing to volunteer at a hospital, and going through the pain of re-applying to med school. i'll take my 400k please. i don't think i'm alone here.
     
  41. GreenShirt

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    I was under the impression that a majority of Med students have to take out the full amount in student loans to pay for med school. All these posts about people being shocked that they are going to have $200-300K of debt means that either I'm in the minority with this debt or people aren't aware of how graduate schools work.

    Am I missing something or is everybody else?
     
  42. Old ortho

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    Another way to look at this if money is not the issue is this:

    If you go to school this year instead of next year, you will be able to retire one year early with the same aggregate life time income. Instead of making 12 million and retire at 65, you will retire at 64 and enjoy life after making the same amount of 12 million.
     
  43. pennybridge

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    so 400k no big deal, but the original 250k for med school is a big deal? :confused:
     
  44. calcox

    7+ Year Member

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    GreenShirt, I totally agree with you. I think that a lot of the people complaining about debt are being incredibly naive.
     
  45. gsmithers68

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    At the age of 22 250k in loans is a huge huge deal. At 55, it may not be. Just depends on your perspective. Obviously I have already thought about this a lot more from my original post til now and look at it in a little more optimistic light taking out that much money considering the returns will cover the initial cost eventually.

    Oh and I'm not naive. I realize medical school costs a **** ton of money and thats just the way it is. But if you sit down and think about the kind of money you are taking out... is that naivety? Nope. Just sheer realism that you are about to become one of the most indebted people in the country with absolutely zero equity. Talk about a little bit of a pinch.
     
  46. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
    Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I think you're making the right decision for all the reasons given above. One other thing you might consider doing is talking to your fin aid office. Sometimes they will adjust your fin aid, especially if you have extenuating circumstances that came up since you filled out FAFSA. It can't hurt to ask, right? Best of luck to you in med school. :)
     
  47. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    again, you are thinking way too far down the road. most people don't think that far ahead nor do they care about it. I'm worried about now, not when I die. Both options are meaningless to me, period.
     
  48. MSKalltheway

    MSKalltheway I got the magic stick
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    :thumbup: You def are not!

    The fact is, you never know when interest rates will go up, when physician reimbursement will go down, when the cost-of-living will skyrocket, etc. There were many talks at the beginning of the school year where people sat us down and said "yeah, $150K a year is a great average, but when you have to pay $2,000/month until your kids are in college, thats stressful". Believe me, loans are nothing to joke about, even on a nice salary. Do you mean to tell me thousands a month in educational loans aren't a big deal? I agree that starting sooner than later is probably the more prudent option even on a big doctors check. Interest is not linear, more like exponential. The OP is making a smart decision, because a year off your life means a few more in debt, not just one. That dough is better spend on a college fund or a nice car...so I don't think seeing it in terms of earning potential for another year is illogical, all other things being equal.
     
  49. Doctor~Detroit

    Doctor~Detroit this poll sux!!!
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    now we're just going in circles. once again, i'm talking about what happens starting eight years from now, or 2015-6, not when you die. i'm talking about whether you're going to be a resident making 40k that year, or a doctor making 200k. and yes, you'll retire either a year earlier or 200k richer, and you'll die on the same day. i don't understand why you don't see that one is a better option than the other.
     

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