I have been reading SDN for quite a few years now as I've gone through the process of being accepted into medical school. I am excited to start medical school- MSUCOM- but have some important decisions I need to make I wasn't selected for different school scholarships and am now looking at the HUGE financial burden of MSUCOM as an OOS. According to the school average debt for OOS student for 2011 was $269k... but at 78k/year tuition + living... I'm imagining closer 400k not adding the interest it will accumulate and my current 20k from undergrad/masters. I've known for a while about the possible debt, but was led to believe that I would be given plenty of scholarships to make the tuition more realistic, I can reapply for them 2nd year however. I've picked all of my friends/family's brains and would love to hear the opinions of supportive SDN members. Please help! My options are listed below with the pros/cons for each. A bit of background about me (I know this isnt match.com haha)- single 27 years old- considering all residencies as of right now but have especially enjoyed shadowing the orthopedics and sports medicine Drs. I see myself choosing a specialty that's more hands on vs thinking. i.e. more surgery than anesthesiology. I also understand that residencies are competitive, that it isnt just a pick and receive process. Options: 1. Loans only: Pros: Freedom to choose all types of medical residencies. Cons: - 400k in debt at 6.8% with the uncertainty of medicines financial future. - Feeling of having to specialize in order to pay off debt - This is a frightening number that will effect/guilt my every purchase/decision - Living even cheaper than an undergrad until Im 40+ 2. Loans + plan of Loan forgiveness program: Pros: - Freedom to choose from all medical residencies - Pay off debt in 10 years Cons: - Uncertainty of government program lasting until 2026 - Many stipulations such as non-profit hospitals qualifications - May still have debt from non-federal loans if I need to take them 3. Service Corps Scholarship: Pros: - Tuition covered + stipend - Practice health care in a community that needs help Cons: - Only able to choose from primary care residencies - 4 year commitment to Health professional shortage area, possibly limiting career growth 4. HPSP: Been considering this for awhile now (Air Force)- best case scenario with this scholarship is amazing worst case is well the worst Pros: - No debt after graduating - All residencies available (in theory) - I really enjoyed my time volunteering at the VA hospital- I could see myself enjoying the military atmosphere Cons: - 4 years active duty service - Uncertainty of military demands (residency availability, war, stop-loss, etc) - Possibility of putting life in danger-- Id like to hear thoughts on this - Deployments- especially if I start a family - At 27- my life can change a lot- how will a possible wife/kid work into this plan - Lose my EU dual citizenship - Have to cut my shag 5. Year-off to gain In-State: Pros: - Tuition changes from 78k/year to 36k - Can work to pay off undergrad debt Cons: - Lose a professional year of salary (estimated 150k) - Will have to delay my dream an extra year - Finding work in Michigan These are the options as I see them. I can also wait and sign up for these different programs my second year of school, but will miss out on the first years tuition. Has anyone else faced this type of debt- any advice? Im used to living frugally (still in the parents basement- ha) but I dont know how it would be with this amount. I greatly appreciate your 2 cents! Best of luck to you all as well!