ZeaL6

Class of 2018
Dec 31, 2012
301
74
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello everyone,

I have been fortunate enough to get accepted to medical school at an OOS university that I feel I would really excel at. I withdrew from about 20 schools after this, but I have 3 left on my list (2 of which are in state). Everyone on this site talks about how much fit matters, but on the other side of the coin everyone also says best school= cheapest school that accepts me. My question is though, is it worth it to go to an out of state school that you fit at vs. an in state school that obviously has better tuition? I have not been accepted to any in state schools yet so I'm not exactly in the predicament but the schools in question are about 35k/yr vs 47k/yr. is 12k per year enough difference to go to a school you would thrive at?

I also understand that this is completely "up to me" and that financial packages may swing things one way or another, but I would really like some input. Thanks!
 

rain4venus

5+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2013
475
146
Status
Non-Student
Remember that there's more to cost than just tuition. How does cost of living compare between the two (three?) cities? You might have to borrow more or less in living expenses at the OOS school, which should also be taken into account (though it won't be as much as the 12k/yr difference in tuition). Will you be able to afford to live on your own at any of the schools or will you need roommates? Does that matter to you?

Also remember that the 50k you originally borrowed will end up costing way more than that over the 10-20 years you're paying it back
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Fit will be worth the money to me. The setting/style of my education was worth my undergraduate debt, and it will be worth my medical school debt as well. Plenty of medical students take out massive loans and manage the rest of their lives just fine. Chances are, I will be one of them.

I am lucky to be interested in a lucrative career (I believe this to be a true statement regardless of recent threads about how doctors don't make "that much") and part of the benefit of looking forward to a comfortable paycheck is that I have the financial freedom to make a decision based on what would make me happy. I have sent many years working every free hour I have, saving every dollar, and not being able to afford things I want like flight tickets to visit family...like for Thanksgiving :( Medical training will take a long time. I don't want to continue telling myself "no" on the things that matter to me since half my life will have passed by the time I finish training.
 

DokterMom

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2013
5,223
11,558
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Non-Student
Just to make the difference explicit, you're comparing 'fit' for four years while you're in school against approximately $575 per month for ten years after you graduate.

Personal values absolutely come into play here, but do give your two IS schools a chance. Try to determine if you're making a good vs. bad choice or a good vs. better choice.
 
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mcloaf

7+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2012
5,176
4,648
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Resident [Any Field]
I'm paying more like 20k/yr for fit, but I'm also borrowing most of my tuition at much lower interest than the going grad school loan rates (if I couldn't I probably wouldn't be going to school where I am, and it helps that I'm in school somewhere with low COL). I realize it's probably a financially unsound decision but it was better for my relationship and personal happiness. SDN will always say go cheaper, and I often agree, but you also have to know what's most important to you and make your decisions accordingly. I'm loving medical school this year and I know I made the right decision.
 

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
May 26, 2007
8,062
3,975
Status
Attending Physician
Hello everyone,

I have been fortunate enough to get accepted to medical school at an OOS university that I feel I would really excel at. I withdrew from about 20 schools after this, but I have 3 left on my list (2 of which are in state). Everyone on this site talks about how much fit matters, but on the other side of the coin everyone also says best school= cheapest school that accepts me. My question is though, is it worth it to go to an out of state school that you fit at vs. an in state school that obviously has better tuition? I have not been accepted to any in state schools yet so I'm not exactly in the predicament but the schools in question are about 35k/yr vs 47k/yr. is 12k per year enough difference to go to a school you would thrive at?

I also understand that this is completely "up to me" and that financial packages may swing things one way or another, but I would really like some input. Thanks!
Remember that whatever you borrow, you should expect to pay back 3-4 times that amount. The interest on these loans add up during medical school and residency, so the extra 48 K you borrow will be 80K before you have a chance to even begin paying it back even if you only do a 3 year residency and no fellowship. Then you pay it down over (best case) 10 years with the interest still adding up, likely kicking the cost up to 150K. So don't think of it as 12K/year, think of it as 150K.

The OOS school could still be the right choice, of course, but be aware what you're getting in to.
 

IlDestriero

Ether Man
10+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2007
7,555
7,045
The ivory tower.
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If you interview at all your options and find that the more expensive school is only 50k more over the 4 years and is a MUCH better fit, than I would encourage you to do it. You have to live there for 4 years, you won't be escaping for weekends, long vacations, etc. If it is a poor fit in an area you don't want to live at all, it is a no brainer. If one is really not clearly better than the other, you really should go with the cheaper one. That 50k will cost you 100-150 in payback. That's not insignificant.
 
Jul 14, 2012
2,073
187
Status
Psychology Student
Go to the school you would feel most comfortable at. I'm in a similar situation myself and I've resounded that the money is worth it.
Remember that whatever you borrow, you should expect to pay back 3-4 times that amount. The interest on these loans add up during medical school and residency, so the extra 48 K you borrow will be 80K before you have a chance to even begin paying it back even if you only do a 3 year residency and no fellowship. Then you pay it down over (best case) 10 years with the interest still adding up, likely kicking the cost up to 150K. So don't think of it as 12K/year, think of it as 150K.

The OOS school could still be the right choice, of course, but be aware what you're getting in to.
How in the hell did you add that up lol...
 

Perrotfish

Has an MD in Horribleness
10+ Year Member
May 26, 2007
8,062
3,975
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Attending Physician
How in the hell did you add that up lol...
You're right, I overestimated a little. The debt is compounding at 6.8 % and the interest starts the day you take out the loan. For an extra 48K of loans, at the end of a 7 years of medical school and residency you will therefore (doing the math) owe 70K (69.1 to be exact) in loans. If you do a 3 year fellowship at the end of that you'll owe 85K in loans. On an (optimistic) 10 year repayment plan that means you'll pay a total of 100K if you did just a 3 year residency and 120K if you did 6 years of residency + fellowship.
 

mvenus929

10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2006
6,856
1,630
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Fellow [Any Field]
I'd say give your IS schools a chance first. That said, I went to a school that was a lot more than 50k extra in expenses (a lot of that has to do with the fact that I would've had absolutely minimal living expenses at one school) and I can tell you that I am much, much happier. The area is better, the clinical training is better, and the support is better.

If it comes down to just the money, then yeah, go with the cheaper option. But if there are multiple things better at the OOS program, then the money might be just one hit you have to take for a better education.
 

solitarius

7+ Year Member
May 20, 2010
1,344
923
Status
Medical Student
$12K / yr seems reasonable for a better experience (although what that means is subjective).

So much of this training is grueling. We should do a few positive things for ourselves along the way.
 
Jun 7, 2012
750
302
This is something I'm wondering as well, and would love to hear from some of those that have already been through the process and are now in repayment. I know those people may be more difficult to find on SDN, but their perspective would certainly be worth hearing. 100-120K is a lot of money...that's a down payment on a house we're taking about.