Oct 7, 2019
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Hello all. I am STRUGGLING. My current situation stands that I'm debating between CWRU and UNC-Chapel Hill. I am WL'ed at Pittsburgh and will 100% pick that one over the other two if accepted. However, I can only assume I will need to choose between CWRU and UNC. For reference, I am highly considering derm and think residency placement and debt upon graduation are my top two priorities. And I also want to match back into my home state, Michigan, really aspiring for Umich.

UNC

Pros:
-Low cost of tuition, qualify as IS in 1 year (36k)
-Beautiful town/area and definitely my favorite place I visited while on a road trip visiting schools
-Majority of the class goes into primary care/non-competitive specialties so less competition for resources in those areas while in school
-Ranked ahead of CWRU consistently for both PC and Research (although I am not even really taking this into consideration since they are so similar)
-Don't cancel me for this but I feel confident coming into the class feeling that I could get great marks in M3/M4 in reference to others just due to the overall class composition in terms of scores/ECs etc and being a more competitive applicant (OOS).
-Super safe town


Cons:
-Farthest away from family
-Still $100k for CoA for year 1 and potentially 70k for 3 years if no scholarship offered
-Unsure about my chances of matching out of NC- lots of people staying in state but this is likely due to them accepted majority IS students anyway and people wanting to stay
-Unsure about the research opportunities there specifically for derm
-Not very powerful match lists for competitive specialties but again this may be due to many people choosing UNC specifically to do PC. I have no idea. They don't publish the numbers of what proportion of students going into X specialty actually get it or what the residency was ranked on their preferences
-Unsure if given they are so highly ranked for PC, they support students in their endeavors to do competitive residencies
-Chapel Hill itself has a very non-diverse patient pop. This may be solved in M3/M4 at the various campuses they have
-Have yet to offer ANY financial aid. Assuming 0 scholarships = 380k in debt and I would 100% choose CWRU. However, they may offer a generous scholarship, idk yet


CWRU

Pros:
-Closest to home
-Consistently good matching into competitive specialties
-Very research-focused institution, which I am 100% looking to do during med school
-My best friend is in their dental school :p
-Diverse patient pop
-$37K Scholarship and a 6K need-based loan with no interest
-Even if I matched back into CC etc, hello, that would still be amazing. I can't say the same for anywhere in NC.
-I like the admissions team far bette than any school I interview with/was accepted to. I like the vibe of CWRU students/staff.

Cons:
-Literally so damn expensive, even with the scholarship
-I didn't enjoy being in Cleveland
-Unsafe town
-Significantly poorer quality of life (no hiking, outdoorsy activities I could get in NC)


This is just what I thought up on the spot, maybe I will add more as it comes. I would really appreciate everyone's insight, opinions, etc. Just tell me what you think. As a disclaimer, I am incredibly thankful to be in this position with multiple acceptances, even if it is tough. As I said before, I am still waiting on if I received a scholarship or not from UNC. If the scholarship is >70% tuition I will likely call it and just choose that school, due to low cost and still have decent potential to match derm.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Nov 15, 2019
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What's the difference in COA?

Take prestige/matching entirely out of the equation. Both schools will get you where you want to go. That being said, if the COA is significantly lower at Case I would take that money and run. There are outdoor opportunities in Cleveland. If you decide to come, PM me and keep an open mind.
 
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First-year CoA for UNC is 100k. From there it goes to 70K per year once you are marked as IS (which nearly every OOS student gets after 1st year). But also, they allotted 21k a year for rent and food, which I know I could come under.

Case's CoA was estimated 95k/year. So that minus 37k, It's guaranteed 58k in loans per year from them. Which I guess isn't terrible, but there are talks that UNC gives full rides for merit and so naturally that would make UNC cheaper. It's a stretch though, I feel like my hands are tied right now because I can't make an informed decision about financials. I've emailed UNC FA office in the hopes they can provide some info about scholarships/a timeline
 
Nov 15, 2019
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I'd prioritize money followed by gut feeling/personal preference.

Assuming UNC gives no financial aid, that comes out to 40k+(10k)x3 = 70k more expensive. Not an insane difference, but you might also want to think about it in terms of 310k debt at UNC vs 240k of debt at Case.
 
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Yes, if UNC gives 0 dollars I will very quickly go to Case. I know that it is an excellent option and in the absence of any financial incentive for UNC, I will pick it.
 
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Cuyahoga national park is actually pretty sweet and there’s a ton of places to go hiking and do outdoorsy stuff so I would not discount Cleveland for it’s outdoor activities whatsoever
 
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Banco

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With that pricing scheme, Case is about 80k cheaper overall no?

You have no guaranteed scholarship from UNC.
 
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Interviewed at both schools last year in person (withdrew from both pre-decision for full disclosure). IMO, CWRU was far more impressive in nearly every aspect - facilities, research opportunities, clinical opportunities, camaraderie among classmates, etc. You don't seem nearly as excited about UNC as you do about CWRU.

The two things that I personally was not a huge fan of at CWRU that you didn't mention so I'm assuming you don't mind are the many required morning group sessions and the essay-style exams.

Based on your pros and cons, especially the cheaper COA (as of now), best friend attending school in the same building, and proximity to home, I feel as though this is an easy choice for you.
 
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Guys. There have been some new developments and it sounds like UNC will match my $37K scholarship from Case, which makes it like $100k less. The issue with this is I really want to go to Case. I like basically everything about the actual program and facilities 100 times better. Would I be foolish to choose a medical school that is $100k more? I also feel like my chances of matching derm at a competitive program coming out of CWRU are so much higher, based on the last 5 years or so of match lists.

How much should debt really matter to me? I feel like it's most important to me that I choose the school I want and the one I perceive as a more secure path to a great derm residence. Is this silly? Should I just go to the cheaper school? With 9 days left, I am kind of panicking.

Please let me know your thoughts. What would you do?
 

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I would bring this update back to Case and essentially say "Hey, I really really want to come here. However, I just found out about my scholarship that makes this other school $100k cheaper. Any chance you can up my scholarship?". Obviously say it more eloquently that that though. They might say no but it doesn't hurt to ask.
 
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Banco

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Lol hang on.

You had a scholarship from Case that made it cheaper. And you vastly prefer Case.

You had no scholarship from UNC.

Why did you even reach out to UNC to match Case's offer? Now you're in a pickle because a school you don't want to go to is 100k cheaper.

Try to see if Case can somehow mach UNC's financial aid - I doubt it though.
 
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Lol hang on.

You had a scholarship from Case that made it cheaper. And you vastly prefer Case.

You had no scholarship from UNC.

Why did you even reach out to UNC to match Case's offer? Now you're in a pickle because a school you don't want to go to is 100k cheaper.

Try to see if Case can somehow mach UNC's financial aid - I doubt it though.
Interesting commentary, I don't think asking for more money from ANY school is ever a thing you shouldn't do. Circumstances can change at any moment, it is important to keep one's options open. I will shoot Case an email but unfortunately, they stated earlier this season that the 37k is their largest offer they do for anyone.
 
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Banco

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Interesting commentary, I don't think asking for more money from ANY school is ever a thing you shouldn't do. Circumstances can change at any moment, it is important to keep one's options open. I will shoot Case an email but unfortunately, they stated earlier this season that the 37k is their largest offer they do for anyone.

I get that, it just seemed that you were 100% set on Case and it was cheaper. Now you have a 100k advantage for UNC, but that still isn't enough to want to go there?

What are the overall costs now?
 
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I get that, it just seemed that you were 100% set on Case and it was cheaper. Now you have a 100k advantage for UNC, but that still isn't enough to want to go there?

What are the overall costs now?
Well I emailed the Dean a while back because my parental income changed to under 15k due to job loss, and then we started talking and I told her that financials are a large consideration, at which point I brought up my scholarship from Case :/ so it was already in the works when I made this post.

Based on their CoA, I would be about 170k under coming out, but that's not realistic. UNC does a bunch of over-estimates but an example is 22k for living expenses. Talking to students, that is just not accurate. So realistically, I would expect around 140k there, 240k at Case.
 
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While 100k is a lot, my biggest gripe with UNC is my potential to match in a location of my choosing, preferably at a high-ranking residency program. Yes, UNC could get me placed, but I am concerned about where the placement is and through what program. So few students place out of state, and it's never in the locations my partner and I are looking to be 4 years from now. Case offers that security and has proved year in and year out that students come out matching all across the US to highly competitive programs.
 
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I would wager that most of the folks staying in state from UNC vs out of state for Case is selection bias. I don't think Case confers any magical bump in competitiveness when it comes to the match. This is coming from a Case student btw.
 
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Sorry, I am multitasking to the extreme this morning. My last comment is supposed to say students don't match out of state in the locations/into the programs that I am looking for. Which yes, take that with a grain of salt bc of preferences/a slurry of other factors but the 15 years of match lists and only 1 or 2 people taking even a similar direction I would like to go has me slightly concerned
 
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If this is a silly thing to worry about- say that! I have literally no idea. I am a first-gen student with zero guidance or experience. I am just trying to not make a major mistake at this point.
 
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Banco

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If this is a silly thing to worry about- say that! I have literally no idea. I am a first-gen student with zero guidance or experience. I am just trying to not make a major mistake at this point.

It just depends on your values and how much the money will matter to you. 240k is payable as an attending, especially if you go for a high paying specialty. 140k is just easier. You can only evaluate that yourself.

If there is any one region you want to match into, you can maximize that from both schools by 1) Applying to programs in that region 2) Doing away rotations in specific hospitals you like 3) Having an overall strong application. If you want to match dermatology at a specific place or specific geographical area, you need to have a very strong application regardless of where you go.

Looking at the UNC match lists, there are usually 2-6 dermatology matches every year. There have been a few in Michigan, and one specifically at UMichigan in 2017: https://www.med.unc.edu/ome/student...s/903/2018/11/2017-placement-by-specialty.pdf

The geographic bias you see is likely do you student preference from both schools. Also keep in mind there may be class size differences when assessing raw number of matches.


All that being said, it really seems like your heart is set on Case and it's closer to your family and in the region you ultimately want to be in. You can make the argument for going there over UNC even if it's more expensive. You don't need to justify it to us or get our approval, just to yourself and your personal situation. I don't think you can make a "major mistake" in the grand scheme at this point - you've done very well and should be proud to have these options.
 
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I think there’s lots of things to consider but in specifically looking at the match lists I wouldn’t use that as a deciding factor. The majority of UNC students match OOS and seem to match in relatively competitive programs from what I’ve seen. Most schools will have some sort of regional bias (I was considering USC and even as a private school most of their folks stayed in Cali; many of the Vandy folks stay at Vandy/in the south and east coast) but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be prepared or competitive enough to go wherever you want. I think going to any top medical school will give you the chance to get you where you go. So I would consider things other than match specifically in the final choice
 
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