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Full ride at Pitt vs. family in San Diego?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by SarahL, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member

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    Hi everybody -- I was posting like mad until SDN went down and haven't been back for a few weeks. I was planning to send a letter of intent to UCSD to beg them to let me in, since my family is in San Diego and it's such an awesome school, and then I got a letter from Pitt telling me they're giving me a full ride!! Am I insane for even considering telling UCSD I'll matriculate there if they'll accept me?

    I have never lived on the East Coast and think I might like to do my residency in New York or somewhere in the northeast. My aspiration is to become an academic neurologist (maybe). What should I do? I trust the wisdom of my fellow SDNers to show me the way....
     
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  3. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    Hi, SarahL :) ,

    I think you should go to Pitt. I will likely be going to UCSD and we'll miss you -- and you already know how awesome UCSD is for rank/cost/quality/location, but i would not pass up a full ride. Think how comforting it'll be to come out of med school without debt. And Pitt is right up there in the rankings as well. If you can stand to leave your family for four years, I'd do it.

    Best of luck whichever one you choose!
     
  4. choker

    choker Senior Member

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    holy crap!!! full ride!!!

    is this the merit ride or need-based???

    i haven't been able to fill out my financial aid forms because my dad never did his tax return yet.
    (not gonna get any grants need-based anyway).

    congrats!!!
     
  5. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member

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    Thanks!! I am hoarse from all the screaming I did on Friday evening when I arrived home to find the letter from Pitt. It's merit-based, going to students who have good "stats" (I guess) and who have a desire to enter into academic medicine. The best part is that I didn't even apply so it was a total surprise!

    Matthew0126, I'm sure you'll have a great time in San Diego. They'll be lucky to have you. Thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll even bump into you down there at some point, since my brother-in-law is a professor there and I'm always hanging out with students there on my vacations....And I have heard that the UC's don't usually provide much financial aid since they're so cheap already, so I will almost probably go to Pitt.
     
  6. gel1

    gel1 Senior Member

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    Hi, SarahL. Congratulations. I just wanted to let you know that you should do what you feel is best for yourself, and determine how important money is for you in the overall equation. Don't be afraid to turn down a school that is giving you more money if you think you will be happier somewhere else. Personally, I just turned down a full scholarship (room&board, tuition, fees, everything practically) to a school that is ranked "better" by US News (whatever that means) and is in their top ten, to go to a school that I know will make me happier and that will allow me to stay close to my family. Am I saddened that I will now be in debt? Yes. Do I regret my decision? Absolutely not.
     
  7. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    I have lived in Pittsburgh. Not a bad place. I would definitely go back given the proper opportunity. It is certainly no San Diego, but with the money that you would save with the scholarship and cheaper cost of living, you could fly home OFTEN.
     
  8. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica

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    Go to Pitt. You will have no debts coming out of medical school. How sweet is that?
     
  9. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Everyone telling you to go to Pitt lives in the midwest. What you do is you keep trying to get on SD's nuts..then you get in there...but keep your Pitt stuff. Then make them duel to the death and try to get some money from SD.

    Then no matter what happens: Go to SD....
     
  10. Street Philosopher

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    Yeah wouldn't it be cool to have schools fight after you? Man that'd be sweet! :)
     
  11. you said family was important to you...ucsd isn't going to cost much either..it's going to be around 40K for the whole four years...

    so there isn't really a "debt" issue per se....if you value ur family, then UCSD is the place to go, but if you feel you want to move away and never see thema gain for the next four years except some holidays, then go ahead with pitt...

    you have a terrific offer, but which place did you fell in "love" with when u visited? have you ever lived in the northeast before? they don't have californian weather....besides..you could basically buy a house in SD (the real estate market is hot there) and then sell it off and make a $$$ after the four years....

    I think no one at SDN can really tell you wich school to pick...it really isn't a "debt" issue..cuz SD doesn't cost much anyway, and doesnt SD have a higher and better reputation than pitt anyway? if u really want to go into academic medicine,then UCSF, UCLA, and UCSD are top notch...

    they love physicians who do research, or teach...so the things u mentioned family and academic medicine seem to be more suited at SD than pitt....

    unless u decide and move ur whole family with u to pitt....but just know this..I've moved alot in my life and sometimes I didn't have a close family by....if forever god forbid, you can't into some kind of difficulty (whether it be financial, emotional, or social)....it's hard to substitute a phone call for a warm hug from a relative........

    if u value ur family more, then I think u've answered ur own question....I wish you the best, and I hope you will be happy wherever you go....
     
  12. choker

    choker Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by WatchaMaCallit:
    <strong> and doesnt SD have a higher and better reputation than pitt anyway? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">not to be a super bitch or anything, but just to set the record straight, Pitt is ranked HIGHER than UCSD. now i know it's by just a few points, but my point is that pitt and ucsd are academically pretty much identical. i would see if ucsd would come close and if they didn't, i would go with the scholarship. in terms of your med school experience, you can't lose with pitt. the only thing you have to debate over is leaving your family. now, leaving the nest may be a great learning experience (i am trying to convince myself of that as i leave nyc for the first time in my life to move to pitt) but your situation may be different.

    go to the pitt weekend and see how it feels.

    i cant come; final and thesis and thesis defense all due the next day :mad: , but unless i get off a waitlist, i am definately going to pitt.

    let me know how the weekend goes!
     
  13. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member

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    Wow, thanks everybody for the advice. I am from the Midwest (don't like it much, no offense to anyone) and have lived in California the last few years. I have traveled a lot and don't have an abiding interest in being in a new or different place unless it is someplace very cool, although I figure as a med student I'll be too busy to care. :)

    What a tough decision! $40,000 difference is a lot of money and might make it easier to go into academia. UCSD probably has better research; they even require a research project for graduation. But where you do your residency is what matters, and Pitt has a great reputation among residency directors and amazing clinical opportunities. In 2001 in neurology Pitt graduates matched at Harvard, the University of Washington (very good in neurology) and some military place (Madsen?) I don't know anything about.

    People from UCSD match well, too, of course, but tend to stay on the West Coast. According to my interviewer at UCSD, they are less well known on the East Coast and tend not to match there as often (and probably don't want to most of the time). My impressions of both schools were very positive, maybe a bit better at Pitt.

    UCSD could make this a very easy decision, of course....But I need to decide very soon whether to go for the gold at UCSD for other reasons too complicated to go into here. Thanks again so much for the advice!
     
  14. ok then Sarah, I guess ur going with Pitt

    to be honest...u can't possibily lose..those are great choices!
     
  15. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    You say that your impression of Pitt was a bit better. What about your impressions of Pittsburgh? When you visited Pitt for the interview, did you like the city and its people? I've never lived in Pittsburgh, but I've heard it's surprising happening and cultured. Can you go visit again just to help you make up your mind?

    If you don't mind Pittsburgh and liked Pitt, then I guess I wouldn't hesitate to take that full ride at Pitt. I'm pretty sure the difference between UCSD and the full-ride Pitt would be &gt;40K over four years. La Jolla is an awfully expensive area to live in. Housing's very expensive, and there're virtually no cheap places to eat around the campus other than Rubio's Taco.
     
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  17. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    rubios'... baja grill! hah... now i got that slogan stuck in my head
     
  18. futrfysician

    futrfysician Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by WatchaMaCallit:
    [QB]you said family was important to you...ucsd isn't going to cost much either..it's going to be around 40K for the whole four years...</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">So there will be debt. 40 turns into $60k real quick while on deferments.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">so there isn't really a "debt" issue per se....if you value ur family, then UCSD is the place to go, but if you feel you want to move away and never see thema gain for the next four years except some holidays, then go ahead with pitt...</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Why don't you just tell her she is moving to Outer Mongolia? Your perspective is so inane it begs a call for one's IQ.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">you have a terrific offer, but which place did you fell in "love" with when u visited?</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">What exactly did you take for an English class at your HS?

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> have you ever lived in the northeast before? they don't have californian weather....besides..you could basically buy a house in SD (the real estate market is hot there) and then sell it off and make a $$$ after the four years....</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hey genius, ever filled out a loan form for a house? Ever put down a Down Payment on a house in the SoCal area? Do you ever stop and think before prattling on? DO you think she has $20 G's to put down on a house, let alone mommy and daddy, if she is just completing a Bachelors degree? SD is a hot housing market and if you did research on it at all you'de find that getting one below $175k in a decent area would be a miracle if not impossible.

    That adds up to a $2000 a month mortgage. Where the hell is she going to make up that cost? Charging her fellow UCSD med students $1000 a month rent? Ain't gonna happen genius.

    Next time you offer advise, call an attorney first and find out if they laugh at you beforehand.

    Sarah, do what you think will make you happy.

    End of story.
     
  19. mag master

    mag master Junior Member

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    Mr. futrfysician, although you offer a good perspective, WatchaMaCallit is doing her best, too! Be polite, no?
     
  20. mag master

    mag master Junior Member

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    Hi Sarah,
    Many others have posted good advice in family and money issue. I just want to add another info here.

    One of my lab's brightest and the best postdocs has lots of interview invitations for her academic position this current year. (Harvard Med, bright, articulate, thoughtful, ask tons of good questions during lab meeting, kind to others, publish in nature and science&#8230;etc, you get the picture?)

    She went to places like Caltech, UCs and many other reputable academic institutions for interview and talks and she thinks highly of Pitts. The environment is supportive, intellectual and she is thinking to take the offer from there.

    See if you want talk to some physician scientists or even physicians who teach in the academic setting. See what they suggest about the two schools' strength and weakness in guiding their graduates for this type of career. What I post here is only one person's opinion&#8230; I only want to say a good academic researcher in my lab does have a good opinion about Pitt's research environment. Good luck.
     
  21. tonem

    tonem Senior Member

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    Hey Sarah,

    I just had to add my opinion to the debate. I'm from the SF Bay Area (lived in Mission Beach too for awhile) and I'm a Pitt student. First off, It's hard to beat a full ride. Although during the second look weekend (3 years ago), I was on the wait-list at UCSF and several Pitt students told me that if I got in to UCSF to go there hands down. I have to admit that if that had been the case I would be in SF right now but...

    One of the nice things about Pitt's curriculum is that you can miss a lot of class. My wife and daughter were spending half of each year in California so I was flying back at least twice a month. I'd usually leave the Thursday after a test and come back on Tues.

    Another nice thing about Pittsburgh is that it is pretty much a small town with a good deal of big city amenities.

    I could go on and on but most of this has been covered before. If you (or anyone else) have questions about Pitt feel free to send me one of those PMs.

    Good luck on your decision. You really can't lose with either choice.
     
  22. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member

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    Hmmm....all so very attractive! You are all spectacular human beings for taking the time to offer me advice. Since I am very focused on my career and need to think about my long-term plans, I'll try to find out from physician scientists I know how going to either school would affect my future options....and I'll let you know what I decide!
     
  23. smc927

    smc927 El Flaquito

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    I would think you can still be in regular contact and even visits with your family while at Pitt. And a full ride? That's hard to pass up.

    At the same time, if you can't survive without your family then do what is best for you. Just remember, you'll part with them someday.

    Good luck. Pray hard!
     
  24. Drako

    Drako Senior Member

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    Just out of curiosity, how do you guys get the full-ride at Pittsburgh? Are you guys MSTP? or heading into primary care and declared it? It looks to me now that I will be at PittMed in the fall too and still haven't received a financial aid package. I would love to have the full ride offered to me. Still sitting here wondering whether or not I will get any grant or will it be just loans and loans and more loans!?

    Congrats to you all with that full-ride scholarship! That rocks! Now, I am thinking whether or not I should regret a decision I made a month back. Dang! blah! :)
     
  25. SarahL

    SarahL Senior Member

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    It was a merit scholarship for people who have expressed an interest in going into academia. I am not MSTP, just MD. My interview was on 2/25, after getting an invitation to interview before sending in my secondary (I sent in my AMCAS application on December 1 -- 20 minutes before the deadline! -- because I was sick and had numerous job responsibilities that prevented me from completing my application earlier.)
     
  26. Wahoo

    Wahoo Senior Member

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    Hi Sarah,
    Congratulations on your scholarship! I too was offered the full tuition scholarship at Pitt, and there are a few things you should keep in mind while making your decision.

    The overall budget for out-of-state Pitt Students is a little over $51,000 per year. Our full scholarship only covers tuition and fees ($33,000) leaving about $18,000 per year. I haven't gotten my financial aid statement from Pitt yet, but I'm assuming that most of that $18k will have to come from loans, leaving me with a debt after 4 years of $72,000.

    I face a similar situation at Case Western as well. Although I received their big merit scholarship (which is about 2/3 of tuition), I'd still wind up with $130,000 debt going there (I've gotten the official financial aid statement from them).

    On the other hand, even though I only got a relatively small merit scholarship from UCSF of $5,000 per year, my debt there after 4 years will only be about $50,000.

    Go with your gut feeling about the two schools and the importance of being near your family. While it feels awesome to be offered a "full ride," in the end you'll probably be in a similar financial situation at either school.

    Good luck with your decision!
     

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