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Financial view point: Three year HPSP vs 4 year HCSP vs Other?

Discussion in 'Military Dentistry' started by distressstudent, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Background: I am trying to join the Navy as a dentist. I am currently applying for 4 year HPSP, but I believe that because of medical issues my application will be pushed back significantly. Therefore, I am not confident I can get into the scholarship program for the four year scholarship

    However, I still want to join the Navy as a dentist eventually and I was wondering what would be the most financial sound thing for me to do?

    As it stands, I believe my option is to get on the OML for HPSP and hope to get a three year scholarship next year, or apply to the less competitive HCSP, or apply as a civilian dentists after dental school. These are the options I am considering to serve as a military dentist.

    Using estimates from this pdf: scholarship info.pdf

    Three year HPSP (in state - Cali) Value:
    2.2k stipend x 36 months = ~ 80k
    tuition/fee for three years = 150k
    three year salary as an O3 = ~ 220k
    Total: 450/3
    or 540/4 (with 20k sign on bonus)

    Three year HPSP (out of state) Value:
    2.2k stipend x 36 months = ~ 80k
    tuition/fee for three years = 210k
    three year salary as an O3= 220k
    Total: 510k/3
    or 600/ 4 (with 20k sign on bonus)

    Four year HCSP:
    Total: 200k~260k (I am not sure how to estimate this one?)
    4 year salary as an O3 = 275k
    Total: 475k~545k /4

    So as far as HPSP vs HCSP, it seems like unless I want to retire with the navy, a three year HPSP is still better than four year HCSP for me? Are my estimate reasonable?

    How about signing in on as a civilian dentist? I wasnt able to find much info on this, but as far as I know there is a sign on bonus and there is even a loan repayment program?
    I believe there is a 150/4 year sign on bonus, but do civilian dentists get paid as O1 or O3? And the loan repayment program I think is 50k for two years service? Can you stack the sign up bonus and the loan repayment? At most, I believe that's 150k sign on +50k loan repayment + 220k as an O3 = 440k for 4 years.

    If I am determined to join the Navy after dental school, it seems like enrolling in either a 3 year hpsp or 4 year hcsp beats out signing on as a civilian?

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  3. coolslugs

    coolslugs Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    HPSP is a better deal financially for expensive private schools, especially if you get a 4yr scholarship w/ sign-on bonus. For some private schools tuition + fees will be closer to 80k/yr. HCSP may be a better deal for cheap state schools, especially if you want to go career. You can also use Tricare as your health insurance if you are on HCSP during school Remember that HPSP also pays for NBDE Part 1 + 2, and reimbursement for selected textbooks and equipment. Either of these options will be better than signing on after graduation for loan repayment.
  4. Hedgy

    Hedgy 7+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    As a civilian, you are paid as a GS11 and then advance from there. I never discussed much with the GS dentists and most seemed to be retirees that were just hanging around for a few years on the amalgam line. If you are a new graduate, I don't think this would be the best option for you as far as gaining experience. IHS/Public Health would be a better route IMO if you don't want to deploy but want loan repayment, but even those may not give you experience past extractions, fillings, and removable. Personally, I would say take the HPSP, do an AEGD or GPR, and get out of it as much as you can. I did a 3-year HPSP, but my AEGD did not count as a neutral year. That being said, I probably would have done the AEGD and taken the bonus. Not much difference a year will make in a 30 year dental career, but the experience will be unique and invaluable whether you stay in the service or go into private practice.
  5. distressstudent

    distressstudent 2+ Year Member

    Sep 3, 2013
    Thanks for the help. I will rule out joining the military as a civilian dentist for now. It seems like my best option available is just to hope for a 3 year HPSP scholarship after all. But hoping to receive a 3 year scholarship next year would mean not applying for a 4 year HCSP this year either...
    Best case scenario: Receive 3 year HPSP next year (because 4 year seems to be impossible given my medical situation)
    Worst case scenario: not applying for HCSP this year. denied 3 year HPSP. apply for 3 year HCSP next year @[email protected]

    Alternatively, I can just not take the risk and apply for 4 year HCSP right now ( which isn't perfect because my cheapest instate school will still be 350k since I am from california)

    And actually doing a 3 year HPSP and a year of AEGD/GPR sounds pretty cool too. From what I have gathered, I won't get a sign on bonus unless I commit for five years because AEGD is neutral, but it still sounds like a good plan.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014

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