Jun 11, 2009
81
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0
New York
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Other Health Professions Student
I know there are already threads on this. I also know that it's probably on the minds of most of the folks here. How does one justify $100,000 in loans (including living expenses) to obtain a degree which leads to starting salaries of $40,000? I really, really want to go to Michigan, but unless I get the GSI position I applied for, I'm screwed. And I know those positions are VERY competitive.

Why is the MPH so over-priced? Is it worth it? Do I need to re-think my whole graduate education? Do I need a master's to achieve what I want to achieve in life?

Seriously. I'm freaking out about this. How is everyone else dealing?
 

beebee0

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Jan 5, 2009
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It depends, but IMHO $100000 is way too much in loans. I borrowed $20000 in undergrad, and now make more than $40000/yr, and still think that I borrowed too much:D
 

LiteBear2011

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Dec 2, 2008
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I heard that a lot of GSI positions have already been filled. They typically fill the term before the one you wish to GSI in. I am also in the same boat :(
 
Jun 11, 2009
81
0
0
New York
Status
Other Health Professions Student
I heard that a lot of GSI positions have already been filled. They typically fill the term before the one you wish to GSI in. I am also in the same boat :(
Yeah, it is tricky to get one it seems, and very competitive. I applied at the end of February and interviewed last Monday. The instructor said she thought I'd be a great addition to the teaching staff, but the final decision isn't hers. There are also 20 other competitive applicants, I guess. They'll be emailing final decisions in 10 days. I'm holding my breath until then!
 
Feb 3, 2010
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I mean "worth it" is a relative thing no?

I may be entering debt but I legitimately feel like for what I want to do, not having the MPH would be a hinderance to my career.
 
Oct 15, 2009
572
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41
Tucson, AZ
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Other Health Professions Student
Almost every job that I find that I want wants an MPH. I was in the running for a great position a few months back and ended up not getting it because the candidate they went with had a MPH. I was told after the decision the position wouldve been mine if I had the advanced degree. Its a lot of money but being able to do what I want and being happy with a career is worth it to me.
 

Music333

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Nov 17, 2007
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Yes, it freaks me out. :eek: I'm going to be spending about $100k to earn about $40k! Is it worth it? I don't know; I wonder about it. But I don't want to be stuck where I am today (in regards to job and location).

I really wish PH schools were much more of a help with finances, especially some of the top schools b/c you know they have money (I'm looking at you, Emory and UMich).

(And yeah, those GSI positions are tough to get. It really doesn't add that much to UMich on my pro/con list just b/c of how competitive it is.)
 
Dec 9, 2009
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You know, if you guys research now, you could probably position yourself to be making above $40,000. I too am afraid of entering debt, however, I already plan to live as frugally as possible both during and after school. I know loans payments are based on around 8% of one's gross income though I want to pay back much more than that -- I don't like owing people money.

Anyhoo, before I digress, I believe that if you use your time wisely during your program, you can get some good paying jobs off the bat. Not 100,000 dollars jobs, but more than 40,000. However, it's based on experience, the skill set one has, and maybe just as if not more importantly, the connections you make at school and the places where you volunteer, do research, do your practicum, etc.

It's good to be optimistic. Start looking up all the various kinds of jobs for the degree and concentration you want to pursue. I've noticed some jobs like students to know SAS or have some epi experience. Even if you only want to do community health or something not related, a lot of schools have seminar programs on advances stats programs (without paying extra!!) and you can maybe use one or two electives for epi classes. It's all about having a broad range of skills and being the best one for those jobs that you potentially want.

If you know you want to work abroad or work for a certain company that wants international experience or wants you to know a second language. Now and during school is the time to make sure you're learning that other language and looking for opportunities that helps to set up a practicum that will take you abroad.

Anyway, I've rambled and said my thoughts on the matter. I know that for what I want to do an MPH is absolutely necessary, not even just because of what I'm going to learn, but the opportunities the school I attend will afford me to go the extra step.
 
Nov 26, 2009
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Non-Student
same boat here. Thinking twice and thrice to take a loan of $50,000 for four years PhD program (received huge chunk of tuition scholarships). Spoke to a few people and all recommended me to attend a brand name university than attending a free ride lower ranked university.

glad to know that I am not alone. Most people who attend Columbia and Harvard took crazy amount of loan too and many see loans as an investment (like buying a house for $100,000). They might end up paying back the loan with the yearly bonus they might earn while working.
 

Stories

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same boat here. Thinking twice and thrice to take a loan of $50,000 for four years PhD program (received huge chunk of tuition scholarships). Spoke to a few people and all recommended me to attend a brand name university than attending a free ride lower ranked university.

glad to know that I am not alone. Most people who attend Columbia and Harvard took crazy amount of loan too and many see loans as an investment (like buying a house for $100,000). They might end up paying back the loan with the yearly bonus they might earn while working.
I'm going to have to disagree with taking loans out for a PhD. There's no reason you should take out loans to do your doctoral work because there's some school out there that's willing to pay you to do your work. The name of the school matters if you're trying to enter into a super competitive work force (eg. humanities professors), but as long as the quality of research you can do at the big name school is the same as the small school, that's all that matters in the end because the work you put out is more important than who gave you the degree.

And have you seen what post-doctoral salaries are? We'll be poor for 4+ years after we graduate (ie. first year post-doc salaries set by NIH is $37k).
 
Oct 14, 2009
33
0
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Non-Student
I know there are already threads on this. I also know that it's probably on the minds of most of the folks here. How does one justify $100,000 in loans (including living expenses) to obtain a degree which leads to starting salaries of $40,000? I really, really want to go to Michigan, but unless I get the GSI position I applied for, I'm screwed. And I know those positions are VERY competitive.

Why is the MPH so over-priced? Is it worth it? Do I need to re-think my whole graduate education? Do I need a master's to achieve what I want to achieve in life?

Seriously. I'm freaking out about this. How is everyone else dealing?



I just want to comment on Michigan's financial aid and cost. And how to be debt free.

People have this misleading concept about loan. Let me just clarify some of the fogs.

At least for Michigan public health, most of the loans are from federal; state usually grants little aid for graduate school due to the fact that they have to support undergrad first.

I received "50,000" some "financial aid" package. basically loans. At first i thought it is pretty bad, but then i closely examined the package and felt i was confident i will not be in the debt situation.

First of all master degree is only 2 years (half if u count summer intern and stuff like that). so the it won't be as bad as undergrad (over the 4 years i have about 28000 of loan to pay off, i split the loan with my parents. so not too shabby on my end).

Second, the 50000 loan considers every cost you have during u r study. (living, food, books etc etc.) so no matter where you go that’s an equal sunk cost. (roughly estimated about 20000 over 2 years). So this leaves you about 80000. Of those loans, about 6000 is work-study loan. basically you find a school related job and work to earn those 6000 (2 semesters) yourself. (there are plenty of jobs on campus. couple of my friends did a "computer consultant" job; basically they sat at computer lab to "help" others with computer problem". Most time they just sat there and do their own stuff.) of course you can work over the 6000 limit and earn more.

Third, (we have about 70000 left) when comes to the real loan. what i received are sub and un-subsidized loan. Main difference is that sub loan won't accumulate interest during years you’re in school and unsubsidized does. So if you are smart and have that insight, start saving some money now and pay that subsidized loan little by little while you are in school.

I know everyone has different situation, but the main difference between those who are in debt and those who are debt free (or at least debt without worry) are those who plan and save for the future.

I worked for two years since undergrad and saved lot money (roughly in the 30k - 40 k range). How did i do it you might ask? While simple. Save save save. I dont have a car (walk and bike are the best). i don’t have a tv (reading and internet is much better). i don’t have a sofa (don’t want to be a couch potato). I cook most of the time. I pretty much don’t have excessive stuff at my place. Simple the better. Also I do have some family support (food only, I pay my own rent, gas, internet, gym and everything else).

So after graduate from PH, even though I might not have the high flying I banker job like most of my peers, but I know I could just as affluent as they are.

One last notes. You do know that Michigan give 75% of the incoming PH student some kind scholarship right. And you do know that with the new healthcare reform there are lots of benefits for public health workers right. (tax breaks, love them love them, those are the real savings). From now till start of the school year work your butt of to get some money and save. And start a roth IRA account in case you haven’t.
 
Jun 11, 2009
81
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0
New York
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Other Health Professions Student
@nbku - Thanks for the insight. I'm wondering, where did you get the 75% statistic regarding Michigan scholarships? I've received only loans and work-study. No scholarships.
 

Stories

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Why is the MPH so over-priced? Is it worth it? Do I need to re-think my whole graduate education? Do I need a master's to achieve what I want to achieve in life?
Just wanted to point out, it's not just MPH that's expensive: ANY graduate degree is. If the school you're consider also has a school of education, social work, or theology, they'll all cost roughly the same amount with little payout in the future.
 
Oct 14, 2009
33
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0
Status
Non-Student
@nbku - Thanks for the insight. I'm wondering, where did you get the 75% statistic regarding Michigan scholarships? I've received only loans and work-study. No scholarships.

heard it during the interview day. it might be a embellished number.
 
Apr 13, 2010
5
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0
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Umich offer 75% to their incoming MPH students? are you sure? I got in the Epi/Int health track back in Jan, every time i call, the epi department always says scholarships are very limited, it's only the dean's award.
 
Oct 14, 2009
33
0
0
Status
Non-Student
Umich offer 75% to their incoming MPH students? are you sure? I got in the Epi/Int health track back in Jan, every time i call, the epi department always says scholarships are very limited, it's only the dean's award.
I was in MSHA. it might be 75 percent of that. like i said i wasnt too sure nither.
 
Dec 30, 2009
191
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Pre-Medical
I know how you all feel about the subject. I was accepted into a MPH program at Pitt last year but had to decline the position, despite the fact I loved the school and program because it would have been about $90k dollars in loans for the two years. They were charging a year what most medical schools do but at least eventually with med school, you'll be make a high 6 figure salary. I could not justify taking that kind of loan amount out for an MPH when I was lucky if the jobs I were looking for would pay 50-60k at best. Plus, I still might go to med school or PA school so I had to wait.

I applied to every scholarship and grant program at Pitt and with the Gov't and couldn't get anything.

I understand the MPH is considered a professional degree but I think many of these schools, especially the private ones are a little bit ridiculous in their tuition amounts for a two year degree.
 
Dec 9, 2009
121
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0
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I know how you all feel about the subject. I was accepted into a MPH program at Pitt last year but had to decline the position, despite the fact I loved the school and program because it would have been about $90k dollars in loans for the two years. They were charging a year what most medical schools do but at least eventually with med school, you'll be make a high 6 figure salary. I could not justify taking that kind of loan amount out for an MPH when I was lucky if the jobs I were looking for would pay 50-60k at best. Plus, I still might go to med school or PA school so I had to wait.

I applied to every scholarship and grant program at Pitt and with the Gov't and couldn't get anything.

I understand the MPH is considered a professional degree but I think many of these schools, especially the private ones are a little bit ridiculous in their tuition amounts for a two year degree.
Yeah I didn't even arrange to visit Pitt because I realized it was actually more expensive than Tulane. Tulane had a lower tuition and the coursework can be done in 18 months (3 semesters and a summer) but regardless, it's still cheaper if I take the two years and from the looks of it, Pitt gives nothing in terms of money :( At least Tulane offers a little work study and the chance for other things here and there.
 
Jun 4, 2009
99
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MD
Status
Pre-Psychology
Agreed. I didn't look at Pitt either, because Hopkins offers 75% tuition coverage for the second year, which brings total tuition for the two years (ScM program) down to $51k. I definitely didn't expect Hopkins to be my cheapest option! I can't seem to justify almost 6 figures in loans either... it's not like I'd make that money back as quickly as I would as a doctor.
 
Apr 16, 2009
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I'm only going to say this once, so read carefully:

Research the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program

The way it works is: After you have your MPH, work in the public service sector. This means a non-profit organization, government, academia, and any other qualifying position specified in the program.

Under this program, you consolidate your federal student loans taken out after Oct. 2007. You work for 10 years and pay a percent of your income for that whole 10 years. You pay percent of your income, not a percent of your loan. The rest is forgiven after 10 years under the program. Essentially, this makes the difference between $20,000 of loans and $200,000 amount of loans negligible, as you will have payed in a percent of your income for 10 years. The rest will vanish, whether it is a balance of $1000 or a balance of $180,000. Check it out.

http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml
 
Dec 9, 2009
121
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0
Status
I'm only going to say this once, so read carefully:

Research the Federal Loan Forgiveness Program

The way it works is: After you have your MPH, work in the public service sector. This means a non-profit organization, government, academia, and any other qualifying position specified in the program.

Under this program, you consolidate your federal student loans taken out after Oct. 2007. You work for 10 years and pay a percent of your income for that whole 10 years. You pay percent of your income, not a percent of your loan. The rest is forgiven after 10 years under the program. Essentially, this makes the difference between $20,000 of loans and $200,000 amount of loans negligible, as you will have payed in a percent of your income for 10 years. The rest will vanish, whether it is a balance of $1000 or a balance of $180,000. Check it out.

http://www.finaid.org/loans/publicservice.phtml
I understand that and have seen your posts in the past Vayu but to be honest if I can help it, I don't want loans over my head for 10 years. So I'm going to do what I can to see if I don't have to suffer through that, but if not the Loan forgiveness program is always an option.

Also, the reason I'm reserved about the program is that it limits in which capacity you can work for next few years right (perhaps even the whole 10 years)? Government positions can be good (and perhaps competitive), however, that eliminates the possibility of working in private sector jobs which sometimes pay way better than the non-profit =/.

Anyway different strokes for different folks and I'm sure we'll all figure it out :)
 
Apr 16, 2009
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I understand what you are saying. That sounds pretty good. As for me, 1 year into the program and I've already taken more than i'll be required to pay off in 10 years! Also, it is ideal for those of us looking for government type jobs, as you submitted. However, many non profits apply... anything that can be considered public service. I have no other way to pay for school and need the money to live, therefore I am grateful I don't have to pay it all back!