Which school?

  • Baylor

    Votes: 43 53.1%
  • UT Houston ($10K scholarship x 4 years)

    Votes: 19 23.5%
  • UT Southwestern

    Votes: 19 23.5%

  • Total voters
    81

Dbate

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So I find myself in the very fortunate position of being accepted to two top choice schools (Baylor and UT-Southwestern).

And I was recently notified by UT-Houston that I was awarded a $40K scholarship ($10K over four years).

Texas schools are dirt cheap as it is, so that represents a significant fraction of the costs . Since the average Debt levels at the schools is:

Baylor: $95K
UT-SW: $107K
UT-Houston: $112K
(according to the MSAR)

My parents can't help at all, so I will be taking out all loans for medical school.

If you were in my shoes, do you think a $4oK difference is enough to justify giving up Baylor and UTSW for UT-Houston?
 

solitarius

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Luckily, you can quantify this. Imagine you have to pay $80,000 back in interest and principal payments to retire that original $40,000. Is $80,000 in current and future after-tax earnings worth it?

How important is debt vs. other factors to you?

I didn't interview at UT-Houston, but I flat-out do not like their curriculum at all. It is not block, their weekly schedule is full days, and their exam block scheduling seem rather hellish.
 
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Apr 23, 2013
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So I find myself in the very fortunate position of being accepted to two top choice schools (Baylor and UT-Southwestern).

And I was recently notified by UT-Houston that I was awarded a $40K scholarship ($10K over four years).

Texas schools are dirt cheap as it is, so that represents a significant fraction of the costs . Since the average Debt levels at the schools is:

Baylor: $95K
UT-SW: $107K
UT-Houston: $112K
(according to the MSAR)

My parents can't help at all, so I will be taking out all loans for medical school.

If you were in my shoes, do you think a $4oK difference is enough to justify giving up Baylor and UTSW for UT-Houston?
Isn't it too early to be asking this question? You don't know yet if Baylor or UTSW are going to offer you anything. And the average debt loads aren't really relevant; what's relevant is what you will pay (including cost of living) and you haven't provided that.

I know Texas does things differently but I'm pretty sure it's waaaay too early for the schools down there to have handed out all their scholarship money.
 
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It's funny, because although I am going to a TX school, I am originally from a NH, a state with no instate medical school. If I did not have residency in TX I would be paying loans out of my ears for many, many years after medical school, so I have really learned to appreciate what I have here in TX. At this point, I think the money doesn't matter as much as where you want to go and which school/curriculum/clinical years you really want for yourself. You will be able to pay back the loans MUCH more easily than the majority of med students by just attending school in TX, regardless of where you go, and probably including scholarships as well.

* Go to the school you want to go to.
 
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histidine

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You need to think where you will thrive and excel. If you think Houston offers you all you need for your career goals and it's a school you really liked, then go for it. But if you think UTSW or Baylor offers something unique that will enhance your 4 med school years and possibly your career, then 10k premium may be worth it.

Personally, I'd go for UTSW or Baylor.
 

baboxxyun

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pick the cheaper school.
all medical schools, more or less, teach the same exact material.
 

histidine

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Will you regret the 40k (80k after interest) less debt 10 years from now when you will be making 150-400k/yr? Probably not.

Will you regret not going to UTSW or Baylor? Possibly.

I say go with your gut instinct on which school you'd enjoy attending the most.
 

solitarius

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pick the cheaper school.
all medical schools, more or less, teach the same exact material.
Yeah, but he's not choosing between UTH ($7000 after scholarship excl. living costs) and some absurdly expensive school ($48,000 excl. living costs). He's choosing between UTH vs. Baylor (in-state) vs. UTSW (in-state).

I would choose which school you like the best and see yourself doing the best based on whichever factors matter most to you (e.g., location, curriculum, specific programs, student vibe, school culture).
 
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I was in the same situation 2 years ago, except I was choosing between two fairly expensive Pennsylvania schools. Temple offered me a $10,000/year scholarship for 4 years, so the same $40,000 difference as you, but the COA is probably double that of Texas schools. People told me to go with the cheaper school, but ultimately it's about what you think is best for you and what school offers the best opportunities. IMO, the opportunities at Pitt far exceeded those at Temple and I don't regret my decision in the slightest. I know Baylor is a great school with a lot of opportunities, I don't know anything about UT Houston and what they offer. If Baylor or UTSW are really a step above UTHouston, I'd pay the extra money and go to the better school.
 

mcloaf

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I was in the same situation 2 years ago, except I was choosing between two fairly expensive Pennsylvania schools. Temple offered me a $10,000/year scholarship for 4 years, so the same $40,000 difference as you, but the COA is probably double that of Texas schools. People told me to go with the cheaper school, but ultimately it's about what you think is best for you and what school offers the best opportunities. IMO, the opportunities at Pitt far exceeded those at Temple and I don't regret my decision in the slightest. I know Baylor is a great school with a lot of opportunities, I don't know anything about UT Houston and what they offer. If Baylor or UTSW are really a step above UTHouston, I'd pay the extra money and go to the better school.
:thumbup:
 
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Dbate

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Will you regret the 40k (80k after interest) less debt 10 years from now when you will be making 150-400k/yr? Probably not.

Will you regret not going to UTSW or Baylor? Possibly.

I say go with your gut instinct on which school you'd enjoy attending the most.
My gut instinct tells me to go to UTSW. Although I think Baylor has a better name. I would chose Baylor over UTSW in a minute, except for the fact that it is in Houston and i grew up in Houston.

I really don't like the week of exams at UT Houston, though. That sounds awful and there's no justification for it considering Baylor teaches the curriculum just fine with far fewer tests.
 

mvenus929

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pick the cheaper school.
all medical schools, more or less, teach the same exact material.
Yes, they teach the same material, ultimately. But that doesn't mean the experience will be the same over the next 4 years. Life doesn't stop with med school, and you should go where you will have the best experience. What that means is up to you--it may mean somewhere closer to family, or somewhere that has theater, or somewhere that has an extended 4th year, or somewhere you just click.

But, OP, we cannot tell you which school you should choose. Take a look at the financial aid packages (not the average debt, because that really doesn't matter, what matters is how much YOU take out), and weigh the increased costs at one school to the qualities of the school, and decide which is more important to you.
 

GandalfTheWhite

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My gut instinct tells me to go to UTSW. Although I think Baylor has a better name. I would chose Baylor over UTSW in a minute, except for the fact that it is in Houston and i grew up in Houston.

I really don't like the week of exams at UT Houston, though. That sounds awful and there's no justification for it considering Baylor teaches the curriculum just fine with far fewer tests.
Is being a native Houstonian the only reason you are picking UTSW over BCM?

I agree with everyone in that you should follow where you feel you will be happy and successful. However, you should actually research the reasons why you would be happy at one school over another. You shouldnt decide the next 4 years of your life based on only a 'gut feeling.'

Maybe make a pros/cons list about why you would be happier at UTSW/UTH over BCM or vice versa. It might help make the choice easier.


Keep in mind that this 40K is just a merit scholarship. If you were to receive a need based scholarship and possibly a grant once you file the FAFSA, it would be almost equal a full ride.
 

baboxxyun

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To expand on my post of "pick the cheaper school" earlier...
I guess i saw the OPs question as more of a black and white subject
The potential 80k isn't a small amount of money. You can use that money to help pay for living expenses, study material, bills, etc.
Sure, you can pay it off when you actually start getting paid. But you'll be a resident. Eliminating potential debt only helps you in the long run. You'll be 80k richer.

If you're going to choose a school, you better be sure its worth your investment. Yes, I do agree with other people saying the possible opportunities lost because of choosing the cheaper school. but those opportunities better be worth the time and money. and in the case of the OP, its the 40k (potential 80k) vs the "better" school.
Do the other schools really have something lacking that you ABSOLUTELY can not find elsewhere?
If you think you'll be miserable and regret your decision, by all means pick baylor or UTSW. But just make sure it's worth the 40k + compounding interest.
 

darkjedi

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I agree with RogueUnicorn, 40k is not a lot of money in the long run in the career of a physician. If it means anything to you Baylor's average step scores are some of the highest in the country, partly due to the fact that they are on an accelerated 1.5 year curriculum and take the Steps after they do their core rotations, making them very well prepared for Step 1.

Go to 2nd look for both schools and get a feel of each school. Although I am not you, if hypothetically I were you, I would go with Baylor.
 

DokterMom

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My gut instinct tells me to go to UTSW. Although I think Baylor has a better name. I would chose Baylor over UTSW in a minute, except for the fact that it is in Houston and i grew up in Houston.

I really don't like the week of exams at UT Houston, though. That sounds awful and there's no justification for it considering Baylor teaches the curriculum just fine with far fewer tests.
Have you spent any real time in Dallas yet Dbate? While UTSW is an outstanding school, without a doubt, most of the area surrounding the medical school is not the best. Much of that area is pretty run-down; the parts that aren't run down are very nice but hideously expensive (by Texas standards). I've already mentioned my take on the city's racial culture.

If the real disadvantage to Baylor is being in your old home town, remember just how big Houston really is. It's diverse, friendly, great restaurants and bars, Rice Village - the Texas Medical Center! Wherever you go to school, you'll be too busy to spend much time with your family -- or will certainly have that excuse. The disadvantages are nothing that some healthy boundaries can't fix.

If you're not thrilled with UTH's curriculum and testing schedule, I don't think $40K is enough to turn down a school like Baylor, with it's outstanding reputation and the opportunities it will present you.
 
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Dbate

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I emailed the admissions offices at both schools and UTSW matched my scholarship :)

Baylor never responded, so it looks like I will be matriculating at UTSW in the fall!!!
 

Lucca

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I emailed the admissions offices at both schools and UTSW matched my scholarship :)

Baylor never responded, so it looks like I will be matriculating at UTSW in the fall!!!
Wow! Congratulations! :D That's awesome! I'm legitimately happy that you got to have your cake and eat it too.
 
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Dbate

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Wow! Congratulations! :D That's awesome! I'm legitimately happy that you got to have your cake and eat it too.
Thanks! I wanted to provide the update to encourage others who might be in a similar situation to shoot the admissions office of their top choice schools an email.

One email could make a world of difference!
 
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Euxox

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I emailed the admissions offices at both schools and UTSW matched my scholarship :)

Baylor never responded, so it looks like I will be matriculating at UTSW in the fall!!!
Congratutations, but I still don't think you should choose UTSW over Baylor just because of the scholarship money.

First, you don't know what your need based aid will be. Baylor could end up offering you much more than UTSW. And even if it doesn't, keep in mind that the 40k merit scholarship that you got at UTSW will be subtracted from your need based aid. So if you were originally going to qualify for 40k or more of need based scholarship, the total amount of your scholarship won't have changed at all.

Second, 40k is a drop in the bucket when you consider the fact that the total cost of attendance at most private med schools is pushing 300k. Besides, once you are an attending, you will easily be making 150 - 250k per year. You could pay off that extra 40k of debt in a single year. It's not a burden that will stick with you for years. Attending a school that isn't a good fit for you is.
 
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Congratutations, but I still don't think you should choose UTSW over Baylor just because of the scholarship money.

First, you don't know what your need based aid will be. Baylor could end up offering you much more than UTSW. And even if it doesn't, keep in mind that the 40k merit scholarship that you got at UTSW will be subtracted from your need based aid. So if you were originally going to qualify for 40k or more of need based scholarship, the total amount of your scholarship won't have changed at all.

Second, 40k is a drop in the bucket when you consider the fact that the total cost of attendance at most private med schools is pushing 300k. Besides, once you are an attending, you will easily be making 150 - 250k per year. You could pay off that extra 40k of debt in a single year. It's not a burden that will stick with you for years. Attending a school that isn't a good fit for you is.
Way to bring down the mood lol.
 

Lucca

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Congratutations, but I still don't think you should choose UTSW over Baylor just because of the scholarship money.

First, you don't know what your need based aid will be. Baylor could end up offering you much more than UTSW. And even if it doesn't, keep in mind that the 40k merit scholarship that you got at UTSW will be subtracted from your need based aid. So if you were originally going to qualify for 40k or more of need based scholarship, the total amount of your scholarship won't have changed at all.

Second, 40k is a drop in the bucket when you consider the fact that the total cost of attendance at most private med schools is pushing 300k. Besides, once you are an attending, you will easily be making 150 - 250k per year. You could pay off that extra 40k of debt in a single year. It's not a burden that will stick with you for years. Attending a school that isn't a good fit for you is.
That 40K would grow under interest though and increase. OP's home state is Texas so that would put the total cost of tuition at UTSW over 4 yrs at around 60-80k (about 16K today, probably a lil more with inflation by time OP graduates) so 40K is 50-67% of total tuition cost. That is NOT a drop in the bucket.
 

DokterMom

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I emailed the admissions offices at both schools and UTSW matched my scholarship :)

Baylor never responded, so it looks like I will be matriculating at UTSW in the fall!!!
Sounds like that's where you wanted to go anyway -- Congratulations!
 

Espadaleader

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UTSW is a great school. I think you made the right choice if you like UTSW
 
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I agree with RogueUnicorn, 40k is not a lot of money in the long run in the career of a physician. If it means anything to you Baylor's average step scores are some of the highest in the country, partly due to the fact that they are on an accelerated 1.5 year curriculum and take the Steps after they do their core rotations, making them very well prepared for Step 1.

Go to 2nd look for both schools and get a feel of each school. Although I am not you, if hypothetically I were you, I would go with Baylor.
+1
 

Euxox

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That 40K would grow under interest though and increase. OP's home state is Texas so that would put the total cost of tuition at UTSW over 4 yrs at around 60-80k (about 16K today, probably a lil more with inflation by time OP graduates) so 40K is 50-67% of total tuition cost. That is NOT a drop in the bucket.
So taking this to the logical extreme: if UTSW tuition was one dollar per year and Baylor's was five, you would choose UTSW over Baylor because you save 80%? That's just silly. Raw numbers are what matter, not percentages.

Any Texas school is dirt cheap if you are in state. That gives Texas students the flexibility to worry about fit more than cost. And as I said, UTSW will probably just subtract that 40k from Dbate's need based scholarship anyway. It's better to wait for the financial aid packages to be announced before making any decisions based on money.

UTSW and Baylor are both great schools, so I don't think there is a wrong decision here. But I wouldn't choose one over the other because of a 40k scholarship.

Way to bring down the mood lol.
Well, I'm sorry if I ruined the mood, but Dbate has two top notch med schools to choose from and they will both be very affordable with or without the merit scholarship. Still plenty to be happy about.
 
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Lucca

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So taking this to the logical extreme: if UTSW tuition was one dollar per year and Baylor's was five, you would choose UTSW over Baylor because you save 80%? That's just silly. Raw numbers are what matter, not percentages.

Any Texas school is dirt cheap if you are in state. That gives Texas students the flexibility to worry about fit more than cost. And as I said, UTSW will probably just subtract that 40k from Dbate's need based scholarship anyway. It's better to wait for the financial aid packages to be announced before making any decisions based on money.

UTSW and Baylor are both great schools, so I don't think there is a wrong decision here. But I wouldn't choose one over the other because of a 40k scholarship.


Well, I'm sorry if I ruined the mood, but Dbate has two top notch med schools to choose from and they will both be very affordable with or without the merit scholarship. Still plenty to be happy about.
Fair enough. I'd choose Baylor, personally, because of the TMC but 40k is still big as a raw number even though relative to most other medical schools its basically not that much.
 

GandalfTheWhite

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Baylor is prettier. I looked up UTSW and it's not as pretty
UTSW is getting two brand new hospitals. Much more modern and state of the art.

Besides, it's not about the prettiness of the campus but the city as a whole. And Dallas has Houston beat in that regard by a long shot.
 

chillaxbro

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I emailed the admissions offices at both schools and UTSW matched my scholarship :)

Baylor never responded, so it looks like I will be matriculating at UTSW in the fall!!!
Congrats
Were you a panic thread reapplicant from last year?
Glad to see you made it!
 

Gauss44

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So I find myself in the very fortunate position of being accepted to two top choice schools (Baylor and UT-Southwestern).

And I was recently notified by UT-Houston that I was awarded a $40K scholarship ($10K over four years).

Texas schools are dirt cheap as it is, so that represents a significant fraction of the costs . Since the average Debt levels at the schools is:

Baylor: $95K
UT-SW: $107K
UT-Houston: $112K
(according to the MSAR)

My parents can't help at all, so I will be taking out all loans for medical school.

If you were in my shoes, do you think a $4oK difference is enough to justify giving up Baylor and UTSW for UT-Houston?
IMO, you left out the most important part: What the differences are, in terms of real life consequences, of all 3 decisions. I see one consequence: +/- $40k. Why is your top choice, YOUR top choice? What would you gain by attending your top choice medical school over the other schools? You have to weigh that.

It would be helpful to you and to us to have the answers to those questions.
 

sliceofbread136

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Congratutations, but I still don't think you should choose UTSW over Baylor just because of the scholarship money.

First, you don't know what your need based aid will be. Baylor could end up offering you much more than UTSW. And even if it doesn't, keep in mind that the 40k merit scholarship that you got at UTSW will be subtracted from your need based aid. So if you were originally going to qualify for 40k or more of need based scholarship, the total amount of your scholarship won't have changed at all.

Second, 40k is a drop in the bucket when you consider the fact that the total cost of attendance at most private med schools is pushing 300k. Besides, once you are an attending, you will easily be making 150 - 250k per year. You could pay off that extra 40k of debt in a single year. It's not a burden that will stick with you for years. Attending a school that isn't a good fit for you is.
I just want to point out that this post is inaccurate. The 40k merit will NOT be subtracted from your need based aid at UTSW.

OP I was in your exact same position last year, and I chose UTSW. I did not want to live in Houston (where I grew up) and Baylor didn't seem 40k better to me than UTSW. Although you should also take into account that UTSW is strongly considering raising their tuition $750 next year and then $750 the year after.
 

Medstart108

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So I find myself in the very fortunate position of being accepted to two top choice schools (Baylor and UT-Southwestern).

And I was recently notified by UT-Houston that I was awarded a $40K scholarship ($10K over four years).

Texas schools are dirt cheap as it is, so that represents a significant fraction of the costs . Since the average Debt levels at the schools is:

Baylor: $95K
UT-SW: $107K
UT-Houston: $112K
(according to the MSAR)

My parents can't help at all, so I will be taking out all loans for medical school.

If you were in my shoes, do you think a $4oK difference is enough to justify giving up Baylor and UTSW for UT-Houston?
No. 40k isn't much. Go to Baylor.
 
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Thanks! I wanted to provide the update to encourage others who might be in a similar situation to shoot the admissions office of their top choice schools an email.

One email could make a world of difference!
Is there any way you could describe the email you sent the admissions office? I'm in the exact same situation and I'm not sure how to word the email without sounding desperate for money or impatient to hear back about a scholarship. Thanks