kbear

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ok ive posted before about this, so sorry if its repetitive. to recap i've been offered a full scholarship at njms, but i wasn't a big fan of the school when i visited and am concerned about location/reputation. i WAS trying to decide between the scholarship and nyu, but now its between the scholarship and columbia, and in my opinion columbia is in a different league than nyu. p&s has always been my dream school for a variety of reasons, so now im choosing between my dream school and a free ride. anyone have any opinions? i am leaning towards columbia at this point...

anyway just thought i'd throw it out there.
 

elias514

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Questions of this sort are dumb. Go where you'll be happy.
 

kbear

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well you know...these boards ARE intended to be a way to help people make informed decisions. in my case it would be helpful to hear what people think about both of these schools and in comparison to each other. i am not the most informed person about this process and the last time i posted a similar question i got great responses that brought up a bunch of points i would not have thought about on my own. if you think its a dumb question thats fine with me, but i think its dumber to bother posting a response like that. basically...mind your own business.
 
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babinski bob

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go where the money is. Seriously. Schools don't make great students. Rather, the students are what make schools great. If you've been offered a free ride, chances are that you're a great student and you're going to do well no matter where you go. In fact, you'll probably have a better chance to stand out at njms compared to columbia where you'll be just another student. Remember, if you do well in school (at any school) chances are you're going to match at the residency of your choice. There's nothing like graduating med school w/o any debt. You'll actually be able to make an informed choice and go into any field you want without the "monkey" of debt hanging on your shoulders forcing you to pursue something just for the sake of $ and being able to pay off your loan. But I'm sure if you asked many residents (not med students and certainly NOT premeds) they'd tell you to go to a school where you'll graduate debt free. It's only in retrospect when you realize that your $200K+ loan + plus interest could have bought you a nice home... Just my opinion though..
 

lowbudget

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Go with Columbia. The worse thing in the world is for you to be all "gosh, I wish I had" especially if it's your dream school for whatever various reasons, even if you are a bazillion under. Plus it's in NYC... which is expensive to live anyways, so what is a bazillion plus a couple of zillions when you're having a crap load of fun during your (not so) free time!

Go to your dream school, get your dream residency in your dream job. You'll more than make up for the dollars lost in forgoing the scholarship. Just make sure you work hard and pick a high paying career to make all this crap worthwhile.

Personally, I'd go with the scholarship. But that's because I don't care. I don't care about going to a high powered school, only to repeat all this crap over again to find a high powered residency, to repeat all over again to find a high powered fellowship, to practice with a high powered group, in hopes of making lots of money (or not). For some, the madness never stops. For me, life's too short. And it's even better when someone pays you.

But everyone's different with different goals. Congrats though!
 

Sharkfan

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Unless you feel like you will regret never going to Columbia every day for the rest of your life or have pressing personal reasons to be in that area of the country, I would take the free money. Like other posters have said, odds are that you will have a decent time reaching the top tier of your class, which looks very nice when applying for residencies. Besides, who wants to be $200,000 in debt?

I think you have been given a real gift with that full ride; consider how you want to live the next ten years of your life- hopelessly in debt or without that burden?
 

Gleevec

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Originally posted by kbear
ok ive posted before about this, so sorry if its repetitive. to recap i've been offered a full scholarship at njms, but i wasn't a big fan of the school when i visited and am concerned about location/reputation. i WAS trying to decide between the scholarship and nyu, but now its between the scholarship and columbia, and in my opinion columbia is in a different league than nyu. p&s has always been my dream school for a variety of reasons, so now im choosing between my dream school and a free ride. anyone have any opinions? i am leaning towards columbia at this point...

anyway just thought i'd throw it out there.

it sounds like youve already decided on Columbia and that you hate njms.

and seriously, give elias514 a break, he's absolutely right about this. you havent mentioned money as an issue, meaning you must be OK in that regard, so you might as well go where you are happy. sounds to me like the decision has already been made.
 

Entei

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Actually, this is an excellent question to talk about. I wish there would have been more of a discussion about this last year when I had the exact same decision to make. Kbear, I can't tell you what to decide because you have to determine for yourself what's best for you. However, I can tell you what I decided to do. I chose Columbia over the NJMS full scholarship. I did it because I thought that I would have more opportunities at Columbia and because Columbia was my dream school. I am VERY happy with my decision. I have friends who attend NJMS, so I am familiar with many aspects of that school. NJMS is a great school, but Columbia is a much better fit for me.

I will caution you about picking NJMS over Columbia just because you think you'll have a better chance of "standing out" at NJMS. If you were able to get a full scholarship to NJMS, you'll have no problem doing well at Columbia. Also, because of the pass/fail grading (without hidden rankings) that Columbia has for the first year, there is lot less pressure about having to work hard to stand out. I think I would be a lot more pressured at NJMS because I know that class rank would be so much more important, whereas it's basically a non-issue at Columbia.

I know this is a really tough decision to make, and I struggled with it for a long time. If you have any questions that you think I can help you answer, feel free to PM me. Good luck.
 

quideam

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Columbia, Columbia, Columbia. Of course, I'm biased - I was told that I am "up" for a scholarship at NJMS, and withdrew anyway; I would rather go to RWJ than NJMS.... I really didn't like the school, money or no money. So... up to you, but I say Columbia. Good luck :)
 

jwin

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i have probably posted otherwise at some point on sdn, but now i believe that most people in this forum are not in a good position to give advice on this subject. medical school is a life changing monetary decision. you should talk to docs who have gone through repayment or are currently in repayment to get an idea of the impact or lack of impact it should have on your decision.

statements like: "i chose the school of my dream and i am happy" are of no help. of course you are going to happy with your decision if you picked the school that you wanted to go to and you do not have to think about repayment for years.

post in the residency forums or talk to practicing docs that you know. you need to find people with more perspective on the matter.
 

po' boy

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I faced the same decision three years ago, choosing between P&S and a full scholarship to U. of Michigan. I chose Columbia and have absolutely no regrets. I've gotten an amazing education, lived in an incredible city, and have made lifelong friends. And due to Columbia's excellent financial aid and other institutional scholarship opportunities you can apply for, I'm actually graduating with less debt than I would have at Michigan, taking living expenses into account.

So my vote is to go where you'll be happy. If you're happy, things will fall into place -- med school won't seem like such a struggle, and you'll thrive.

Good luck-
 
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indianboy

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Entei, I thought you had "buyers' remorse"...

Haven't you read the first 2 rules for P&S club?:
1)Don't Ever Speak ill about P&S no matter the reality.
2)Don't Ever Speak ill about P&S no matter the reality.

And don't you ever, ever raise your voice to me in front of the kids again.

Hope that Helps

P 'Motive: Self-Affirmment. Case Closed.' ShankOut
 

chef

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sounds like u already made up your mind to go to P&S, and just wanna hear SDNers say "yeah u made the right call"
 

kbear

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thanks everyone for the advice, especially entei--you brought up the exact concerns that i have right now. yes i am leaning towards columbia but no i have definitely not decided yet. it IS very hard to turn down the money to NJMS, but im also not sure its such a good idea to pick a school based on monetary issues alone either. i am aware that debt is going to be a huge factor for the foreseeable future...but if i were that concerned about debt i honestly wouldn't be going into medicine to begin with. im going to talk to both deans and see if they can shed some light on the issue for me, specially the NJMS dean since i don't even know what the requirements to take this scholarship are (its part of a new humanism program they're starting up). thanks again you guys for taking the time to respond to me!
 

kbear

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and entei could you tell me why exactly columbia is a better fit for you over njms? pm me if you want to. thanks.
 

jakstat33

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it depends on how much confidence you have in your abilities, your future goals, establish networks:

go to colombia if you are looking to enter a competitive specialty and you can hang with the country's best and finish near the top, otherwise go to njms where you will do less work to finish higher on the ranking-- BUT don't have the gold plated school rep that colombia has

i'd go to colombia, no doubt... $ is a moot point in this discussion
 

punjabiMD

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go for the free ride. Trust me, you will be more than happy with your decision. Any discrepancies between the schools can very easily be made up for by your own personal ambitions (i.e. not waiting for the "advisors" to tell you what to do and what not to do). Work and play hard, do a lot of extra stuff (where you can get some real clinical experience), and MOST importantly, build a network both within your institution and outside (esp. where you want to go for residency). Nothing can make up for those qualities.

THAT's what counts.
 

punjabiMD

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Originally posted by po' boy
I faced the same decision three years ago, choosing between P&S and a full scholarship to U. of Michigan. I chose Columbia and have absolutely no regrets. I've gotten an amazing education, lived in an incredible city, and have made lifelong friends. And due to Columbia's excellent financial aid and other institutional scholarship opportunities you can apply for, I'm actually graduating with less debt than I would have at Michigan, taking living expenses into account.

So my vote is to go where you'll be happy. If you're happy, things will fall into place -- med school won't seem like such a struggle, and you'll thrive.

Good luck-

:confused:
:confused:
how are you graduating with less debt at Columbia then at Michigan when you were offered a full scholarship at Michigan?
:confused:
 

po' boy

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The full ride to Michigan only covers tuition and fees, not living expenses, which would have had to be covered by loans and family contribution. Financial aid at Columbia was generous, and the need-based aid I got from them was essentially equivalent to the Michigan offer dollar-for-dollar. Even for middle-income families, financial aid is ample here. As for living expenses, I applied for two institutional scholarships that covered the remaining gap in tuition, and I also became a Resident Advisor for Bard Hall and the Georgian Residence (the dental student equivalent of Bard), making my rent free.

I am sure that similar opportunities to reduce debt exist at Michigan and many other schools, but I am only familiar with Columbia, obviously. That's why I said to go where you'll be happy, as you can seek out the money wherever you go, whereas happiness is harder to come by. But I will say that I think Columbia might have more of these opportunities, being a relatively prestigious school with a significant alumni giving rate, but that is only a guess.

Hope this answers your question.
 

MedStudent2004

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Goto Columbia. In four years when you are trying to match at a first rate residency, you'll thank yourself. TRUST ME. The money will work itself out later (everyone graduates with debt, and still pays it off all-the-while living a great life).
 

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I'd have to agree - Columbia is the way to go. For a number of reasons..

1) compare the two school's match lists...there probably really is no comparison, especially look at the competitive surgical specialties, derm, optho, rads, etc. Going to a school like P&S virtually assures you that you will go into the specialty of your choice, even though the quality of the program that you end up will largely depend on your own merit. Schools with lesser reputations can not say that. Rankings aside, there a number of schools that are old-boys clubs, and P&S, along with Hopkins, Harvard, Penn, Stanford, WashU, Duke, and UCSF are pretty much it. .

2) Living in NYC is a huge bonus. How can you put a price tag on experience?

Dont worry too much about the money. If you are so money conscious, then it iwll be no problem paying the loans back. Just go into a high paying specialty and an extra 100K in debt will look like peanuts when you are pulling in 500K + as a spine surgeon or interventional radiologist, or whatever you go into.
 
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