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Average indebtedness Financial Aid question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ryanpahler, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. ryanpahler

    ryanpahler New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    Hey guys,

    Got my estimate from UCLA. Qualified for $5000 transitional scholarship and $13,700 need-based scholarship (which should be on the high end considering that my parents don't make that much). That leaves $30,000 left that I need to take out in loans. In subsequent years, I won't get the transitional scholarship so I'll need to take out $35,000. This means I'll be in debt $135,000 over 4 years. I'm somewhat confused about this. The MSAR says average indebtedness for UCLA is 98,000. I would think that I would have less than average debt, not $40,000 more than average. My estimate at Stanford also put me in debt 130,000 even though MSAR lists the average to be 70,000. How do you explain this discrepancy? Are there things you do in medical school to reduce your debt?
    Thanks for the help.
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  3. Sunshine1025

    Sunshine1025 10+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2007
    Detroit, MI
    There are always the students whose parents are doctors and pay their way.

    That could be a factor along with those who have money in the bank and can pay for maybe two years of medschool and take loans out for the rest.

    Just guesses.. I'm not sure though.
  4. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Carrboro, NC
    The average debt is usually calculated as the average of debt of students who had to borrow money. I'm pretty sure it excludes free rides (scholarships, MSTP), but will always include those who only borrow a small amount of money because they're getting a large family contribution.

    I always wondered why the average debt can be so much lower than the actual total cost of attendance. I thought that would be a good thing for me, but it turns out that I'm one of those people who's going to be covering the entire cost in loans.
  5. bbabul01

    bbabul01 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    The budget set by the school is the maximum amount you are allowed to take out. That doesn't mean that you have to spend all of that. You might live cheap and take out a lot less than that. Or you could get some help from your parents and thus not have to take out as many loans. It's all estimates until you actually graduate with that big number over your head.

    My advice, don't stress. You'll be able to pay it off.
  6. DMac84

    DMac84 7+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Same thing happened to me at UCLA. My indebtedness will be around $165,000. I have no idea where they get the $98,000 statistic. Doesn't make sense to me. Can any other med students comment on this?
  7. Dr2Bee

    Dr2Bee 2+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2006
    If these are numbers for public in-state medical schools. Imagine what the numbers are for private schools. YIKES!!:eek:

    Are there any medical students out there at private schools experiencing even higher debt loads after completing medical school?
  8. lost101

    lost101 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Averages are just that the average. You need to look at the cost of attendance and then consider how many people are really going to get any substantial scholarships. The fact is that private schools often offset their cost through scholarships that few state school offer. The other thing is that schools often underestimate their cost of attendance so more people apply, but this can leave you scrambling to find private loans instead of the lower interest Stafford loans (although they are ridiculously high at 6.8%). If you want some intense discussion on debt and finance find the thread on "do doctors really make too much" or something like that from today.
  9. lost101

    lost101 New Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    You are also forgetting accumulated interest while in school (on $120,000 it is about 30,000 by fourth year).
  10. dbhvt

    dbhvt Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 9, 2005
    Avg debt includes everyone. Free rides, parents paying and students borrowing zilch, lingerie models borrowing zilch. This is why it is a really dumb statistic for guessing how much YOUR average debt is going to be. It is a really good statistic for guessing how many lingerie models will be in your class, though.

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