How are the student debts so darn high?

Discussion in 'Financial Aid' started by MeltingPoint, Sep 21, 2014.

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  1. MeltingPoint


    Feb 2, 2014
    Is the average debt really 200k-300k? Does that count scholarships? How much do scholarships help? That's terrifying.
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    $250k is low average. When you look at average debt for med students, you have to leave out the students who aren't taking on debt, such as parents are paying their way. That's about 35% of the pie. (I lost my link to a recent report showing this - it was between 30% and 40%.) I'd guess out of a class of 150 students, you'll have maybe 20 who get a free ride scholarship. Others want to take a guess at this?

    Scholarships totally depend on the school and your CV. If you're at an Ivy, there are more scholarships offered. If you're from a rural area or you're URM, there are more scholarships. The vast majority of scholarships are small.

    At my school there is a long list of merit-based and need-based scholarships, most of which are for around $3k per year. That's against $60k instate and $80k out of state cost of attendance.

    Make sure you really want to be a doctor, and if you do, then you have to just learn how to not think about this too much. Maybe 2x/yr look through what's new with the federal repayment programs. And good lord don't consider private loans with their shiny short-term rates, because these are not subject to the repayment programs for federal loans.

    Best of luck to you.
  4. freaker

    freaker Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    The Medscape survey (not scientific, mind you) noted that among 5th year residents, 36% had a debt over 200k and 23% had a debt between 100k and 200k. 9% had between 50 and 100k and 9% had less than 50k. 23% had none.

    My experience is that very few med students get scholarships. Some get generous financial aid that others won't receive, but even that is rare.

    Keep in mind that med school tuition has gone up steadily over the past 5-years. I know that my school alone increased tuition by nearly 70% in the 5-years since I graduated.21 Tell me how that is sustainable?
  5. peanutsss


    Jun 25, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  6. USArmyHPSP

    USArmyHPSP 7+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    I am in a position where I see the cost of education and for these scholarships on a daily basis. 300K is definitely on the low side for medical and especially dental school. While the military is a consideration for financial aid. I would caution that the overwhelming consensus (spend some time in the military medicine forum) that if you are using the military strictly for the money you will be unhappy. Those who try to utilize it for a short term loan never really meaning to serve are really unhappy.

    I have spent many years working in the Army Medical Department. A portion of those years were in peacetime and there were those who utilized the scholarship with the mindset that I can pay back the time while standing on my head get out and start my practice – and pretty much did just that. In 1990/91 things changed, and since have evolved.

    I work with and for a Department full of men and women who provide the best care possible to a population that deserves nothing but the best. Some feel that the means to achieve the goal just wasn’t worth it because they did it for the money without researching exactly what the scholarship eventually entailed. The military scholarship is a big commitment and not just for the short term but, for years to come.
  7. cincincyreds

    cincincyreds 5+ Year Member

    May 9, 2010
    I'm seeing medical students with me with debts of $500,000 when they finish med school with 8% interest. If they do a five year residency they are looking at $750,000.

    I don't think it is finiancially worth it at that point. Plumbing looks a lot better.

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