Dec 14, 2009
22
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm fortunate enough to have been accepted to a couple of schools. Now the hard part is choosing one! I wanted to know how you all made this huge decision.

The school I really love is UCSF, but one of its best qualities is also its downfall - living in San Francisco is so expensive! I'm not sure if I could get in-state tuition there after the first year. I also really like Colorado, but it'll also be expensive since I'm out of state. I could go to the private school close to home. I wouldn't have to worry about living costs, but I don't think I want to stay in my home state to start a practice.

I'm really at a loss here. If any of you made a decision based on money, do you regret it? Is it even a good idea to go to California what with its oversaturation of dentists? What do you think of UCSF vs Colorado?

I'd appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you for your time :)
 

newyorkblork

10+ Year Member
Jun 3, 2008
241
3
New York
Status
Dental Student
I'm really at a loss here. If any of you made a decision based on money, do you regret it? Is it even a good idea to go to California what with its oversaturation of dentists? What do you think of UCSF vs Colorado?

I'd appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you for your time :)
I am a lowly first year, but in my opinion, money trumps all. Had I gotten into Buffalo, for instance, it would have taken me about 5 minutes of tears and anguish to make the decision to start telling my friends in NYC (I was an NYU undergraduate) goodbye. Four years of suffering through cold winters and a diminished social life is not as significant, in my eyes, as suffering through an additional ... I think 240,000 debt after CoL? The stress of money can make you [me] think funny things, like oh my god how am i ever going to crawl out of a 300,000 hole? I know there's "good debt" and "bad debt" but with the economy sinking, and with people talking about "the changing face of dentistry", the smartest thing you can do for yourself and your practice right now [and always?] is to follow the huge amount of money you can save by heading to the cheaper school. I'm looking at the ~38,000$ i just shelled out for my first semester at NYU (does not include living costs, which are paid down by my scholarship), and I'm thinking... what a joke.

Although personally, partying hard is not really important to me (I'm one of the quieter types who goes out to clubs only for special events; most of my hanging out is not really 'big city' hanging out), so I guess I care less about living in a big city like NYC. If it's REALLY important to you to have the opportunity to city-party, then I guess you have to decide for yourself whether it's like... 240,000 important :p

As far as practicing in oversaturated areas... it can be done, but I think you will work 10x as hard for considerably less money as a guy in a less saturated area, constantly freaking out about how you're going to pay this month's 4 million dollar rent, or you can move out and create yourself a higher-paying practice somewhere else, pay down your debts faster, and have a nicer quality of life somewhere near a city, instead of smack inside of one. There are places that people love living that are not big cities :)

Use the money you save to invest, or take a nice pre-dental school vacation, buy yourself a 200$ bottle of wine and get a steak dinner with your boy/girlfriend every month, get a car, make payments on a small house and rent it out... Actually, with 40,000 a year, you could do all of those things except the house, and have the average annual salary of a working woman in America (I think it's 35,000?) saved as well :)

There's a long list of things you can do with an extra 20-40,000$ a year. Don't believe the hype about "you're gonna be a dentist, you'll pay it down real quick", because at the end of the day, if your dental school investment doesn't turn out to be the wonderland of 150k-out-of-school-salaries that people are promising you, the only thing those people can say is "sorry".

It ultimately comes down to just how important it is to you, to live in an oversaturated area :\ Some of us don't mind the thought of working somewhere peripheral to a nicer place, or moving out to smaller towns. I plan on making a few road trips in my third and fourth years to start jobhunting and checking out my list places I wouldn't mind living - California and Florida aren't on that list, because I've heard the horror stories, and I don't plan on being a slave to overhead my whole life.

Good luck with your decision :) As a last statement... If there isn't a huge money differential between two places, go with the place you think will be nicer to live in :p
 

UCSF2012

Tooth Rehab Student
10+ Year Member
Nov 28, 2007
864
7
Status
Rehab Sci Student
I'm fortunate enough to have been accepted to a couple of schools. Now the hard part is choosing one! I wanted to know how you all made this huge decision.

The school I really love is UCSF, but one of its best qualities is also its downfall - living in San Francisco is so expensive! I'm not sure if I could get in-state tuition there after the first year. I also really like Colorado, but it'll also be expensive since I'm out of state. I could go to the private school close to home. I wouldn't have to worry about living costs, but I don't think I want to stay in my home state to start a practice.

I'm really at a loss here. If any of you made a decision based on money, do you regret it? Is it even a good idea to go to California what with its oversaturation of dentists? What do you think of UCSF vs Colorado?

I'd appreciate any help in this matter. Thank you for your time :)
Everyone gets to become a Cali resident after 1st year. This came from FinAid (I remember them saying 96% of all students in the Univ). I spend less now in SF than I did in Atlanta. Housing is expensive, but food is cheap. No car = no gas, no car insurance. If the hippies can live in SF off nothing, so can you.