for those of you taking out massive amounts of loans

Discussion in 'Dental' started by r0entgen, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    hey guys, i'm having a hard time deciding if i should go to upenn, or baylor. if money was not a factor, i would definitely go to upenn with no doubts. but now, i have to make a decision based on pay 72K a year at upenn v. 36K at baylor.

    at first, it seemed like it wasn't that much money. but after i did a calculation, it doesn't seem financially viable.

    so assuming i go to upenn, i'll have to pay 72K every year for 4 years. i will just assume that if i specialise, in say ortho, it will cost me the same amount. so essentially 72K for 6 years. i will also assume a constant interest rate of 5% each year. after the 6 years, i will owe 514224.61. if i attempt to start paying after these 6 years, it will cost me about $5500 every month ($66K every year) for TEN years to pay off all of my debt.

    this does not even include the loans i will need to take out for private practice (how much does it cost to start one? about 300K?).

    how do you guys (those who go to private schools, which probably cost more or less the same...) afford this? cuz if i work as an associate, i will probably make at most 150K right? after taxes, i'll only have about 100K. after paying off the 66K, i'll only have 34K left for living expenses. i just don't see how this is enough if i will have a family going by then...and this will be carried on for many years...

    sorry for the long post...i just wanted to get some advice on how some of you intend on managing this massive debt afterwards...hoping that there will be a reasonable approach to this debt problem so that i can actually afford upenn...

    thanks for any advice that can be given!
     
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  2. Gurl21

    Gurl21 Senior Member
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    I am also curious about this. Any input is appreciated :)
     
  3. phremius

    phremius Dentist
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    1) don't count on specializing until you can actually pull that off. you have no idea how many kids come into school thinking of specializing, only to realize that frankly, they lack the ability/smarts to actually do so. You see, dental school is not like undergrad, where how well you did is directly correlated to how much time you were willing to spend studying, you have a set amount of time to devote to each class, and so does everyone else without really much of a leeway, so the range of the class ranking you can fall into is largely pre-determined by 1) how proficient you are w/ your time and 2) how much "school skills" you hav. The ones that can and want to will be able to specialize, the ones that can't and want to will not be able to. After a semester you can easily discern which percentile of the class someone will fall into.

    2) however much debt you accumulate, you'll be able to easily pay it off unless you're a ******ed dentist.

    3) your described scenario of 34k a year for living expense... OH No! 34k ! gee that's about what the average american makes, and yet somehow they manage. I think you and your family can handle living off of 34k for that year you do an associatship.

    4) stop making all these plans years down the road as they're useless. Plans change, events out of your control occur, and um, LIFE happens, so just make your decisions based on the best info(unless your name is George W. Bush) at hand and roll with it.
     
  4. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    ok. i appreciate that you have taken the time to write all this, but your responses are simply not very constructive.

    in response to point #1: i do realise that not everyone will be able to specialise. i do have so intentions, and if these intentions exist, i am going to aim to achieve them. you don't need to worry about whether i'm smart enough to achieve this or not. obviously, i am going to account for the POSSIBILITY of attending a specialty school when i decide on whether i should go to an expensive private school or a cheaper public school.

    #3: yes, many people are able to live off 34K. but why should i live off this amount if i have OPTIONS. obviously, i can choose baylor...and it is by no means a bad school. in fact, i think it's a very good school. i am inclined to go to upenn because of the ample opportunities they offer there. and here i am, trying to make a decision, on whether it is worth the extra amounts of money i will be paying just to go to upenn for these additional opportunities. maybe 34K a year isn't the quality of life i want to live. and who is going to tell me that i should live that way? just because the average person lives that way doesn't mean i have to be average.

    #4: why can't i plan for my future? we obviously have different values, and you don't care to think about how your future will look. but if my future looks miserable (to me), why would i want to sacrifice my happiness in the future for only 4 years of happiness in my #1 choice of school? what isn't important to you does not mean it is not important to everyone else. if you don't value planning for your future, that's fine. but don't tell me that i should not plan for my future because it is a waste of time. just because plans could POSSIBLY change doesn't mean i should just sit here and not worry about the future. plans could change, or they could stay the same. obviously whether plans will change in the future is unpredictable...so why would you predict that they will necessarily change?

    anyway, the point of this thread was not to get in this discussion with you. it was to ask the dental students if they have a more feasible method of payment, or a strategy to pay the loans off in a non-miserable manner. if you don't have any suggestions to offer, then please don't bother responding to this post because i do not want to get into a discussion about irrelevant topics with you.
     
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  5. Rube

    Rube Member
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    You're absolutely right to take this seriously. We're not talking about a small sum of money. People in our profession mistakenly think that every general dentist is going to make 350k or that every student will specialize in ortho or endo. The truth is those programs are extremely competitive, so don't count on getting in. Heck you may not even like ortho, you may like general dentistry better! I know I do. Still, it would be a huge mistake to finance an ultra expensive education like that and pigeon hole yourself to a speciality you may not like or may not get into. No one can predict the future, you could get injured or you could hate dentistry as a whole. Many things can happen in life.

    The truth is most every dental school is ABOUT the same. There are a few exceptions to this but mostly Baylor is like U Penn. Do you understand this? I don't care what any Ra-Ra pre-dent or DS1 says on this board. For almost everything that matters, almost ALL DENTAL SCHOOLS ARE THE SAME. Dentistry is dentistry. Ortho is ortho and what you learn in school is not nearly as important as what you learn when you graduate or do a post graduate residency. You will get this your first 6 months into school.

    My advice, save yourself a bundle, give yourself the options and freedom to specialize or not specialize and go to Baylor. Take those hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings and buy a second home, start a practice, give it to charity or help someone.
     
  6. Rube

    Rube Member
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    And one more thing, you can always stretch your UPenn loans out to 30 years so you won't be living on 34k. In this way your exact same education is even more expensive. Go to Baylor.
     
  7. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Baylor is a great school...save the money and make the move to Dallas.
     
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  8. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    thanks for your comments. i appreciate your candidness. but i don't think i want to go to upenn because of its name. i visited the school during my interview, and really liked their curriculum and what they had to offer (i.e. the required externships during d4). also, i really liked the location. i have lived in dallas almost all my life, so it's pretty boring there as it is. i prefer to obtain a new experience. i was telling my friends: if baylor was also in pennsylvania, i would definitely go to baylor because it is cheaper. what is holding me back THE MOST is really dallas i guess. of course i also like the other aspects of penn more than baylor too. i guess i really value the experience that i will get at penn more than anything else. i realise that whether i grad from penn or baylor won't make much a difference in whether or not i get into specialty, or in my income. it's the experience that i'm looking for.

    as for spreading the loans over 30 years, i think i'm too practical of a person to not want to pay interest for that long. i don't want to still be paying off my loans when i'm 60 lol.
     
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  9. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    lol...thanks for your advice. i actually LIVE in dallas...this is why i no longer want to live there (though i'm in st. louis for undergrad...but i still don't want to go back.) but yeah, i know what you mean.
     
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  10. 1FutureDDS

    1FutureDDS Dani California
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    Realize, Specialize.
     
  11. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    wow..some people think they are so smart don't they? :laugh:

    anyone want to call him out on it?
     
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  12. Rube

    Rube Member
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    Sounds like you've got your mind made up. Maybe when you graduate you'll get hired on by a Baylor alum with small student loans and a kick ass practice. You can tell him all about the "experience" you found at UPenn.

    haha. congrats on both.
     
  13. DDSSlave

    DDSSlave Senior Member
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    So why not go to Houston or San Antonio if you're bored with Dallas? $500k is way too much to pay even if you do get into ortho.
     
  14. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    cuz i did not apply to houston, and overall, i was more impressed with baylor than utsa. plus, i didn't think sa was that much better than dallas....maybe if it was in austin, that'd be a different story. :)
     
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  15. pibozh

    pibozh Member
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    I am in the same boat as you are. Remmember you don't have to stay in Dallas for the rest of your life, you can go wherever you want to after you finish dental school. You sound very reasonable and smart person, so I am pretty sure you will make a good decision.

    Good Luck
     
  16. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    thanks for your comments :)

    which schools are you trying to decide between?
     
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  17. pibozh

    pibozh Member
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    Byalor, Tufts, Buffalo, San Antonio

    To be honest, I'm not thinking about Tufts anymore because its very expensive, Although Boston is a really nice city.

    Tuition in Buffalo is not that bad..you will be paying In-State Tuition after first year and its like 14K. and Baylor is a really good school which you know everything about it.
     
  18. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    oh...how are you going to decide between baylor and utsa? i'm still not entirely sure.
     
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  19. pibozh

    pibozh Member
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    Me neither. I still have time to decide and I guess you do too. I'm hoping I will be able to make a decision soon, But I agree it's a tough call. I wish I knew more about these schools...
     
  20. speedy3816

    speedy3816 reality pwns
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    very good point, i would probably choose Baylor over UPenn just based on tuition... but then again dont take me very seriously, as i have not been to either school :D
     
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  21. OMFSCardsFan

    OMFSCardsFan Senior Member
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    25 years from now, you won't care what you paid for your education, but you may regret not going to UPenn (based on what you've said). Forget the money. Start out paying your loans on a 30-year plan, so you'll have more early income, and then increase the amount you pay as your income increases. You could pay them off in, say, 12-15 years. Most investing gurus recommend stretching loans to 30 years anyway. That way, you can invest the difference--probably making more than the 5% that you're paying on your loans.
     
  22. SeaBass

    SeaBass Member
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    I'd strongly recommend considering the cheaper of the two schools. I've been out a couple years, my tuition was probably equivalent to a state school (I'm in Canada). I cannot imagine paying those private school tuitions. Now that I'm done school living in an apartment etc gets old fast, just want to get rid of the loans and get on with other things. If you would be unhappy due to location, well, guess that's a factor you need to weigh. Just don't think that extra 100k will make you a better dentist. Putting 100k into continuing ed when you're done...now that will make you a better dentist (IMO).

    As far as specializing, I went with the reasoning of "how do you know you want to specialize when you haven't even learned/experienced GP". Well now that I have some experience I'd like to go back to school but I'm likely s*$# out of luck, no research, avg grades etc. Go for it at first, worst case you change your mind. It's all a silly game.

    Best wishes in your future.
     
  23. DDSSlave

    DDSSlave Senior Member
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    Well there's your answer - Baylor. If you end up going to UPenn, just make sure they don't make their students do a crap load of lab work. The only thing that sucks worse than paying 70 grand/yr is having to do all your own denture and model & die work.
     
  24. TucsonDDS

    TucsonDDS Senior Member
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    Go to the cheapest place you can. If you want to specialize you won't have anytime to worry about the city you are living in and if you decide against specializing you won't be half a millions dollars in debt. Some schools are really nice but the education that you get isn't necessarily any better. I go to Buffalo and so far I am surprised at how much I like it. I bought a house for 95K so my mortgage is cheaper than most peoples rent. You can't do that in many places. And anyways, a library is a library no matter where you are.
     
  25. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    thanks for everyone's advices. if any more can be offered, please do.

    from what i know, you don't have to do your own lab work at upenn. i asked my interviewer and he said it was a waste of time and it was unnecessary. but at baylor, students have to do their own labwork...so i'm not sure what you're talking about exactly...
     
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  26. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Where do you go to undergrad in St. Louis?

    I see your point about Dallas, if you already live there. Regardless, its still pretty tough to give up that extra tuition money. Plus, if you want to practice in Texas, Baylor may open up some additional doors for you.
     
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  27. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    i go to washington university in st. louis.

    but yeah, i'm not sure that i want to practise in texas. when i visited columbia and upenn, i really liked what i saw in ny and philly...in general, i kinda felt like people were a bit more open-minded in the east coast. so if i do attend upenn, and i do like that area, i might decide to open up my practise there. but yeah, dallas is a shi.thole, and i don't really want to be there if there was a manageable way of repaying these loans...

    sigh...such a headache. i kinda wish only one school accepted me. then i won't have this trouble, cuz i'll be forced to go to the only one i got accepted into. :(
     
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  28. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Im a Wash U grad :thumbup:

    Youve still got time to decide, so dont rush things. However, keep in mind that having that additional money when you come out can make your life much easier. You can start a practice, buy a home, etc...things that will cause me to go even further in debt.

    Im surprised you think Dallas is a ****hole. I have some friends that live there and they dont mind it too much (Im from Houston). In any case, at least you have some good options. Good luck.
     
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  29. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    dude...we got some kinda connection going.. lol...

    i was born in houston, and lived there when i was a child...then moved to canada for a year, then back to dallas...

    anyway, i wish baylor was in houston with the med school...i like houston a lot more than dallas...

    the problem with baylor is that it's located in downtown...with all this massive construction going on...it's like a dump..
     
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  30. JessicaSimpson

    JessicaSimpson Senior Member
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    I haven't done any research on this other than looking at the ADEA at a glance fact sheet, so I hope I'm not saying something really dumb, but I don't think it costs 72K a year for post-doc programs. Most specialty programs give you a stipend. The average stipend for Ortho is less than the average tuition, but the difference is only about $2000. So you would pay that plus your living costs as a resident. Am I correct in thinking that a stipend is what they pay YOU to come to the program?
     
  31. DIRTIE

    DIRTIE Senior Member
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    I would go to Baylor without even thinking twice. You don't want to have to worry about all of those alt. loans. that you will be taking out at PENN
     
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  32. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    Yes. However, some programs dont offer stipends. Instead, you must pay tuition to attend.
     
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  33. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    i don't know about that. i've only looked at the program at penn, and it costs 77K a year including living expenses and equipment.

    http://www.dental.upenn.edu/academic/DADEprogram/ortho/fees.html

    maybe other schools do offer a stipend.
     
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  34. Dentoman

    Dentoman Senior Member
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    Well as almost all practising dentists will tell u, go to the cheaper school and when that happens to be a good school like Baylor guess what, problem solved . The name doesnt matter much, what matters is getting a dental degree and then u can learn, seriously all the things u need , u will learn AFTER dental school, dental school will just make sure u r MINIMALLY qualified to pracrtise safely. Dont put urself in a big debt hole just coz its UPenn, trust me it is NOT worth the extra debt. As far as dallas being boring, just take an expensive 2 week vacation dude and save some $$$!
     
  35. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    I think most of the private schools cost money to attend (BU, USC, PENN, etc...), whereas state or hospital based programs offer a stipend.

    Another good thing about Dallas is...TEXAS girls. No state can match that.
     
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  36. OMFSCardsFan

    OMFSCardsFan Senior Member
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    Were you converted to a Cardinals fan while you're there? I grew up there, and I'm planning on going back to STL after residency.
     
  37. Rezdawg

    Rezdawg 1K Member
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    I had the roughest time with that one...being from Houston, die-hard Astros fan...2005 playoffs were a good one :D
     
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  38. cuneatus2

    cuneatus2 Member
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    I met a lot of UPENN dental students during my ortho interviews this year. Many of them said their interview there was awesome, and really got them pumped about attending. It was a completely different story as 4th years, however. They all said it wasn't worth it, and many didn't like it.

    Am I correct in reading that you think Dallas is a worse city than Philadelphia? Maybe I just read wrong. I've heard Philly is an absolute dump....but I've never been there.
     
  39. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    All this advice is really, really helpful for me. It's funny, I just started assisting for a dentist from Penn, and he was telling me to just go for it since I'd love it there and people make huge investments all the time. He's with the whole "it's just money" thing and that it pays off enormously by having the help of the name and high specialty placement.

    But I'm a lot more convinced by the arguments that remind me that a specialty may not happen, and then....what next??? I'd be stuck with debt! I spent SO much stress and effort getting IN to dental school. I don't want to spend every moment freaking out that I won't get into a specialty! If I do, great...if not, meh! I have money to have babies and buy a baby grand piano! (oh right, a practice too.... :rolleyes: )

    I can imagine that even if I'd be on the 30-year, that is indeed 100. Thousand. Dollars. Every penny of it! I'll want to get on with my life, especially since I VERY much want balance and a family and to have lots of fun and a low-maintenance lifestyle. I can't see how that is NOT a big deal!

    And I agree that most dental schools are the same! At least, I'm used to extracting what I need from a program....I go to a big state university, and you have to wipe your own ass all the time. I was somewhat looking forward to being spoiled a little in grad school, but I imagine I could deal.....it'll certainly be a step up from UMass!
     
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  40. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    If you do graduate in Ortho, as you suggested, you'll be making $5,000 a week over time (and perhaps not much time).

    Also, if you can get a good rate on your federal loans, then you ought to pay them off over 30 years, not the 10 as you suggested. That's assuming you can get a good rate and invest the excess monies that would have gone towards the 10-year repayment plan.
     
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