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Einstein vs. Hackensack Meridian (full tuition)

Gabgab

Full Member
Jun 8, 2019
13
19
11
  1. Pre-Medical
Hello all,

I was all set to attend Einstein, and I notified Hackensack to withdraw my acceptance when they offered me a full tuition scholarship renewable for four years. I saw there were some similar posts, but I was hoping to get some advice regarding my interests. Here's some of my pros and cons:

Einstein:
Pros:
- In my interview it seemed like I would have lots of access to amazing mentors
- community housing where everyone lives in 3 apartment buildings seems to foster great collaboration/ community (also rent is only 500/mo)
-every student/ alumn I spoke to said they "would not have gone anywhere else" regardless of the money
- they have a lot of research in areas I'm interested in / passionate about
- amazing match lists
- I am interested in teaching and working on clinical trials at some point in my career and the experiences/reputation here would probably help.
- The community seemed like a good fit for me
- I would be working with under-served populations
- I liked the location

Cons:
- I would need to pay full COA, which I think would add to stress. I would feel guilty knowing I had the option to go to med school w/o debt. I've been doing a lot of reading, and it seems like any differences in medical school prestige even out after 10 years, so the extra $180,000+ in debt might not be worth it.

Hackensack:
Pros:
- I would not incur any debt during medical school
- I have the option to finish after 3 years with a guaranteed residency in their health system (however, they don't offer some competitive specialties and some specialties have a limited number of spots) There's some unknowns here.
- Reduced stress of attending med school between guaranteed residency and no debt
- If I work hard here, do a 4th year, and get a good residency, I could probably accomplish the same things in the long run

Cons:
- They don't really have anyone doing research in areas of interest to me. I would have to hypothetically get someone to agree to set something up just for me...
- not fully accredited yet, no established reputation, no match lists
- I don't think I would be as motivated to challenge myself here (I think the environment of Einstein would encourage more intellectual curiosity/drive)
- I might be closing doors for certain competitive specialties or academic medicine (although I am not currently interested in derm/plastics/ENT)
- Step 1 switched to pass/fail, which makes the reputation of the school matter more for residencies. However, this might not matter if I decide to go into their health system after my third year
- No community housing
- I did not feel like the community was as good a fit here
 
Last edited:

iluvmedicine528

Full Member
Nov 7, 2019
654
730
66
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey! I was actually in a very similar position where I was choosing my last two schools (Einstein vs. Hackensack) and for various reasons chose Einstein mainly because it was close to home and the COA was not as significant (Hackensack gave me half tuition). However, when I withdrew from Hackensack, they called to see if finances were a factor for me when choosing a school (but also received an Einstein scholarship that same day). I had a strong feeling that if I was to move forward with Hackensack and they would've given me full tuition, I felt like I would've taken that over Einstein. However, based on your personal cons, it sounds like you would prefer Einstein despite the COA/debt. Up to you but if I was in your position, I would chose Hackensack.
 
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medicineisforme

Full Member
Jun 7, 2020
66
23
11
  1. Pre-Medical
I think that in terms of future it probably won't change all that much which school you go to in the long run, it seems from what you are saying that you much prefer Einstein over Hackensack. I think that it really comes down to knowing yourself, are you going to be more irratable and do more poorly if you go to Hackensack, and are you going to flourish in Einstein? If the answer is yes then maybe that will be worth it to you. It depends a lot on your personality, how much you'll be bothered by the finances and what burden it'll put on you, are you likely to start a family during med school or residency, if so you need to take financials into consideration potentially for that, are you going likely (although this may change) into a well paid or lower paying speciality because that will influence how long it'll take to pay off loans etc. What it comes down to I think more than anything else, or what anyone can help you decide is it's a personal decision that you need to make based on what you think is best for yourself, and not what you should or shouldn't do. Have a little faith in yourself, trust yourself to make decisions - you'll be doing a lot of that soon enough ;)

Let us know where you decide to go and good luck!
 

proudofmykids

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 10, 2019
958
765
116
Realize, which ever you choose, it will feel like it was a little bit of the wrong decision since both have valid reasons.
$250K difference is nothing to treat lightly. If you believe Hackensack can help you successfully get you into a residency program in the specialty area you want, I’d choose it.
 
Last edited:

Zen Arcade

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2015
372
813
166
  1. Medical Student
Ultimately, Hackensack is the lowest risk option here. You can still get into those competitive specialties if you want and if you go for a less competitive specialty that pays less you dont have the burden of debt hanging over you. Plus you could possibly finish med school in 3 years - seems like a deal to me.
 

7331poas

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2015
2,990
3,945
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  1. Medical Student
Ultimately, Hackensack is the lowest risk option here. You can still get into those competitive specialties if you want and if you go for a less competitive specialty that pays less you dont have the burden of debt hanging over you. Plus you could possibly finish med school in 3 years - seems like a deal to me.

Getting into those specialties will be hard.
 
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