Nov 26, 2009
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Just like many of you, I am getting restless and hopeless with the financial aid offered by my universities. Johns Hopkins and Harvard are way to expensive but they are ranked first and second in the nation, respectively.

So, will you take loans worth $60K just to attend Harvard? Some people found it reasonable and said Harvard is once in a lifetime chance while others questioned my sanity.

Anybody else who has taken this much loan? What do you think? How much would you need to spend every month paying it off? I assumed my salary would linger around $80K after graduation.

I know students accepted to Columbia faced the same conflict, and it seems like our dreams are way too expensive.

Why do people rarely think thrice about taking mortgage but feel depressed when they plan to take student loans?

What say you?
 
Oct 15, 2009
572
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41
Tucson, AZ
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I think it's really a personal decision based on so many factors. If I was going into grad school with no undergrad loans I would have less issues with taking out large grad loans. Since I do have large undergrad loans I have looked more at cost/financing options. If Harvard/JH is your dream and you have no qualms about taking out loans then I don't think you should really worry too much about others opinions. In the end you're the one paying those loans back, not them. As for how much it will cost a month, that depends on interest rates, years of repayment etc. I have a friend that took out a 50k loan for undergrad and they pay close to 500 a month. It all really depends on the above mentioned factors. Good luck with your decision.
 
Nov 26, 2009
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Thanks JMM, I have never taken student loans ever, so that's why I have this great fear to take student loans.

I want to be a prof, so going to the best universities would help. But the starting pay for a prof is really not that much.
 

beebee0

10+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2009
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Thanks JMM, I have never taken student loans ever, so that's why I have this great fear to take student loans.

I want to be a prof, so going to the best universities would help. But the starting pay for a prof is really not that much.
Just to give you a reference since you never took any undergrad loans- I borrowed 20K during my undergrad, and right after I graduated, I had a job so I started paying it off. It has been a lot to me. Seeing a part of your bank account go is not fun. That said, it did make my undergraduate a little easier and I had some fun with that money:D I recommend you to use an online "student loan calculator" to estimate how much you would pay back each month after you graduate. If that amount is comfortable to you (be it $300 per month or $3000 per month), then go for it.
 

Stories

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Thanks JMM, I have never taken student loans ever, so that's why I have this great fear to take student loans.

I want to be a prof, so going to the best universities would help. But the starting pay for a prof is really not that much.
I would suggest you not take out too many loans then, simply because you will be in school a LONG time (particularly if you start with MPH right now) and you'll be accruing a ton of interest over that time where you're not able to make many payments, if at all, on your loans. And salaries as post-docs after we graduate our PhDs also isn't very much.

Basically, money sucks.

Also, I think you'd be surprised at what a university prof can make.
 
Dec 28, 2009
76
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41
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Other Health Professions Student
it's your decision but remember you have to pay it back with ALL the interest
 

sevogose

10+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2007
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I assumed my salary would linger around $80K after graduation.
I know the salaries of a number of MPH graduates and the salaries offered to a few currently graduating MPH students (including myself), and I have to warn you that this number is too high. Very few MPH graduates make 80K per year at anytime in their entire career, and no one I know scored that salary straight out of the program. The absolute highest salary of any MPH graduate I know is 70K and that is working as a data consultant for a large insurance company. The vast majority have positions in the 40K - 60K per year range, even after 3 or 4 years in the workforce. Hope I didn't just bum you out...but you should know what you are getting into.
 

beebee0

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Jan 5, 2009
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I know the salaries of a number of MPH graduates and the salaries offered to a few currently graduating MPH students (including myself), and I have to warn you that this number is too high. Very few MPH graduates make 80K per year at anytime in their entire career, and no one I know scored that salary straight out of the program. The absolute highest salary of any MPH graduate I know is 70K and that is working as a data consultant for a large insurance company. The vast majority have positions in the 40K - 60K per year range, even after 3 or 4 years in the workforce. Hope I didn't just bum you out...but you should know what you are getting into.
that sucks =( Are you talking about all public health concentrations/majors?
 
Nov 26, 2009
24
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0
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Non-Student
I know the salaries of a number of MPH graduates and the salaries offered to a few currently graduating MPH students (including myself), and I have to warn you that this number is too high. Very few MPH graduates make 80K per year at anytime in their entire career, and no one I know scored that salary straight out of the program. The absolute highest salary of any MPH graduate I know is 70K and that is working as a data consultant for a large insurance company. The vast majority have positions in the 40K - 60K per year range, even after 3 or 4 years in the workforce. Hope I didn't just bum you out...but you should know what you are getting into.
Hi Sevogose, thanks for the input. I will be in the PhD program and 80K is the salary I assumed I'll be making as a prof after two years as a post-doc. In 2016, that is.
 
Nov 26, 2009
24
0
0
Status
Non-Student
Just to give you a reference since you never took any undergrad loans- I borrowed 20K during my undergrad, and right after I graduated, I had a job so I started paying it off. It has been a lot to me. Seeing a part of your bank account go is not fun. That said, it did make my undergraduate a little easier and I had some fun with that money:D I recommend you to use an online "student loan calculator" to estimate how much you would pay back each month after you graduate. If that amount is comfortable to you (be it $300 per month or $3000 per month), then go for it.
Thanks beebee0, it's a whopping $500 for 60K
 

sevogose

10+ Year Member
Aug 20, 2007
30
0
0
Minneapolis
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Other Health Professions Student
that sucks =( Are you talking about all public health concentrations/majors?
yup. from what I have seen, the salary rankings tend to go in this order:

MHA>>BIOSTATS>EPI>>>MCH and CHE

MHA people who score jobs in giant hospitals might pull that salary (although probably not to start with). Biostats people who can code extremely well could make that in private industry or pharma. Epi people with stats skills can do pretty well (example: SAS programming). The people in community health education/maternal and child health/social epi/etc. hardly make a dime (not to imply they are not valuable). If you have a clinical degree as well, ignore all the above. You are correct that academia can have salaries in that range, I just don't know anyone who has gone that route.
 

Stories

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yup. from what I have seen, the salary rankings tend to go in this order:

MHA>>BIOSTATS>EPI>>>MCH and CHE

MHA people who score jobs in giant hospitals might pull that salary (although probably not to start with). Biostats people who can code extremely well could make that in private industry or pharma. Epi people with stats skills can do pretty well (example: SAS programming). The people in community health education/maternal and child health/social epi/etc. hardly make a dime (not to imply they are not valuable). If you have a clinical degree as well, ignore all the above. You are correct that academia can have salaries in that range, I just don't know anyone who has gone that route.
Academia requires a PhD. But if you're at a "well known" school, an expected starting low-rank (assistant) professor will be around $70k. Lesser known schools are less. Of course, you are on university funds for only a short time, soon after you have to pull your own weight in salary by grants.
 
Dec 9, 2009
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yup. from what I have seen, the salary rankings tend to go in this order:

MHA>>BIOSTATS>EPI>>>MCH and CHE

MHA people who score jobs in giant hospitals might pull that salary (although probably not to start with). Biostats people who can code extremely well could make that in private industry or pharma. Epi people with stats skills can do pretty well (example: SAS programming). The people in community health education/maternal and child health/social epi/etc. hardly make a dime (not to imply they are not valuable). If you have a clinical degree as well, ignore all the above. You are correct that academia can have salaries in that range, I just don't know anyone who has gone that route.
That's why it makes sense to try and DIVERSIFY your skills. It also depends on what you DO. If one plans to only be a health educator with their MPH, they definitely won't be making very much. However, you can obtain SAS and other skills on the side, as well as making sure to gain experience in program planning and other such things, you can make a place for yourself with a comfortable salary. Just something to think about.