hopefulvet21

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Hello,
I am hopefully going to be entering vet school next year. I have received an interview from RVC and awaiting to hear from other schools I've applied to. My question is financially related. I am lucky enough that my father has helped me a great deal with paying for undergrad. But I know I have to pay for vet school on my own. I will definitely need to take out loans and such, but I was reading on finaid.com that your loan debt (if its going to be well managed) should not exceed your starting salary. I really don't see how that's possible for veterinary or medical school....RVC charges US students about $37,000 per year tuition, and I'm guessing housing and other costs will add another $10,000 per year. So in about a year and a half, I will already exceed my starting salary probably. I also read blogs and stuff online about new vet students graduating with 65,000 dollars in loan debt, which is still a lot I suppose, but how is it that their debt is this low?? I figured mine would be around 110,000 or something. And the calculator on finaid.com for loan debt and repayment told me it would take me 30 years to pay back my debt and that I would be near the poverty line!! I'm sure I didn't enter the parameters correctly...or did I?? And I know it's all about "doing what you love" despite the monetary drawbacks, but I'm sure I could be happy doing something else too if it meant I wouldn't be living in poverty! I'm sure these are exaggerations, are there things I'm not factoring in..like a salary increase after 5 years or increased earnings after a residency and such? I thought it took most people 10 years to pay off med and vet school debt...please tell me I'm missing something!
 

Nexx

2 weeks and counting
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I haven't run my numbers... but I'll probably have close to $300k in debt by the time I'm done. (Joy!)

Let's say that over the life of the loan(s), I'm looking at paying $600k in total...

A friend of mine recently entered the workforce near Tampa, making $70k/year in her first year out of UF. Assuming no salary increases and no 'extra' income from a spouse, if you lived off of $35k/year you could pay off $600k in debt in 16-17 years.

I maintain that debt of that level is manageable provided you make sound choices. Don't look for the penthouse apartment to rent... don't buy yourself a brand new car for your new job. Live within your means and educational debt doesn't have to hang around your head forever.

Just my thoughts... we'll see what happens when I finish :)

$65,000 loan debt comes courtesy of in-state schools.
 

twelvetigers

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That's right - if I go to OKstate as an OK resident, I'm looking at about $12k a year. It's a nice option to have.

I think loans are manageable if you strive to make the right decisions... maybe a little sacrifice... that's about all the help I can offer there. I'll be worried about the same things next year.
 
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sumstorm

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Nexx, I actually decided to go out of state to a private liberal arts school because the scholarships I could get there made it significantly cheaper than in-state public school tuition. I also worked full time through undergrad, took a year off of paying loans for a fellowship post graduation, and have been paying back my loans for 6 years. I could wipe them out with one check now, but the tax deduction on interest is worth more than paying it off. How odd that is!

I hope to go in state, I plan to work part time (my current boss has some connections to help me find some work), try to do some intense work over the holidays (us postal service distribution centers), and keep costs down as much as possible.

We can afford for me to go out of pocket now, which is why I waited to apply to vet school (the delays brings its own problems) but I don't want to waste money either way.
 

tastrophe

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Nexx, I actually decided to go out of state to a private liberal arts school because the scholarships I could get there made it significantly cheaper than in-state public school tuition. I also worked full time through undergrad, took a year off of paying loans for a fellowship post graduation, and have been paying back my loans for 6 years. I could wipe them out with one check now, but the tax deduction on interest is worth more than paying it off. How odd that is!

Woah, wait, what, tax deduction on loans? How does that work?
 

stinyexoticvet

VSNA.com Murdoch 2009
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Holy $^^*&$ Nexx, I knew you had alot of loans but did not know you had that much.

I just checked mine today and thought $197,765 was bad and almost fell out of the chair. Do we dare to convert that to Aussie dollars :laugh:
 

frozen_canadian

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I think it is time for a reality check hopefulvet21. If you attend RVC, you are probably looking at about $55,000/year if you factor in living costs, flights etc. 55,000*5 = $275,000 total. If you are doing this completely with loans, then you will definitely struggle after graduation. If you have a 30 year repayment and the interest rate is about 7% your payment is $1800/month for 30 years.. Your starting salary is going to give a takehome pay of about $4000/month. This leaves you with $2200/month to live on, pay rent, save for retirement, etc. Some people can justify the sacrifices; I would not be able to. It is a very individual decision and a lifelong commitment if you decide to go for it. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

hopefulvet21

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thanks frozen canadian,
I see what you mean, but I didn't mention everything really. Right now I have about $100,000 to put towards my education, which I think might buy me out of 2 years. Also, I don't think flights will be a problem, because I probably wouldn't come home to the US often (I don't need to be home for the holidays or anything- plus RVC has you do EMS work over your breaks). Also, I've lived in London for a while, and living expenses don't seem as bad as I expected at all. Also, I could work up to 20 hours a week on my visa (would probably do less, but still a possibility) which might bring in some extra cash. If these things are considered it also works out to be much less, but still a lot. Also, if you only pay the minimum amount every month, it takes longer to pay back your loan obviously, but after a few years I might get a salary increase which would help me pay them back faster. I would definitely not be able to justify going to such an expensive school if I had an in state school, but I am not so lucky and the schools my state has contracts with don't even help you out much either. Also, you multiplied 55k by 5, but I am looking to get into their 4 year program and so far think I'm well qualified for it :)xf:). What would be your recommendation based on all this?
 

sumstorm

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tastrophe, for us, it is one of the few deductions and it isn't for the loan, it is for the interest. If you balance the payments correctly with the interest and deduction, it is useful. So, more info at www.irs.gov:

Topic 456 - Student Loan Interest Deduction
You may be able to deduct interest you pay on a qualified student loan. And, if your student loan is canceled, you may not have to include any amount in income.
The deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions on Schedule A Form 1040.

You can claim the deduction if all of the following apply:
  1. You paid interest on a qualified student loan in tax year 2007
  2. Your filing status is not married filing separately
  3. Your modified adjusted gross income is less than $65,000 ($135,000 if filing jointly)
  4. You and your spouse, if filing jointly, cannot be claimed as dependents on someone else's return
A qualified student loan is a loan you took out solely to pay qualified higher education expenses. See the instructions for Form 1040 to determine if your expenses qualify.
If you file a Form 2555, Form 2555EZ or Form 4563, use Publication 970 instead of the worksheet in the Form 1040 Instructions.
The deduction will start to phase out when the modified AGI exceeds certain amounts. To determine when the deduction is phased out, please refer to Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education. If you paid $600 or more of interest on a qualified student loan during the year, you will receive a Form 1098-E (PDF), Student Loan Interest Statement, from the entity to which you paid the student loan interest.
 

frozen_canadian

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What would be your recommendation based on all this?

This sounds a lot better in my honest opinion. Going $120,000 in debt vs $275,000 is going to make a world of difference. You may even get to live in a house instead of living on the poverty line ;) (post school)
 

HopefulAg

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Also if I understand correctly you can join the Army and they'll pay for 3 of your 4 vet school years. Of course you have to commit three years to them after you graduate (and some training while in school) but it's another way to pay for vet school. It's what I plan to do if I get accepted somewhere outside of Texas.
 

hopefulvet21

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HopefulAg,
that sounds like a good idea. Working in the army for 3 years as opposed to paying off debt for 10 sounds like a good deal. Do you know what it entails? I don't exactly want to be shipped off to war, haha, but I would be willing to treat animals for the army in the US...
 

HopefulAg

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From my understanding you're committed to 3 years of active duty. This means that you can be shipped off to a foreign local but the chances of you seeing actual combat are slim as you'd be stationed on base. The rationale is that they're not going to spend that much money to get you trained in vet med and just have you go off and get killed. But that may just be the recruiter painting things rosy. They're not exactly known for their honesty.


Anyhow you go through the same motions as a regular recruit (boot camp, etc) during the summer and then have some drills in the year. Nothing like target practice with an M16 to blow off some steam from tests lol.
 

pressmom

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HopefulAg,
that sounds like a good idea. Working in the army for 3 years as opposed to paying off debt for 10 sounds like a good deal. Do you know what it entails? I don't exactly want to be shipped off to war, haha, but I would be willing to treat animals for the army in the US...

You more than likely wouldn't be treating animals. My friend in my class grew up on military bases and she said, at the last one in Italy, 3 of the 4 vets did food inspection. Only 1 vet was involved in actual animal care. Just FYI.
 

hopefulvet21

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Huh? Like after the animal is already killed? Or do they have live animals there for slaughter? confused...
I don't think I would mind doing that terribly, but I don't think I can survive boot camp (although it might not be so hard compared to surviving vet school!). I think I may try to up my earnings by specializing instead...but I'll see what happens. So is being something in the $100,000 range in debt reasonable? I still don't see how finaid.com came up with me being on the poverty line...? How much would my monthly payments probably be?
 

HopefulAg

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I've a good friend who went through boot camp and is now in the Army for a career. From what he describes it wasn't that hard, just annoying having to get up so early and what not.

As for the meat inspection, I don't know. They never mentioned that. They just said I'd be treating animals but like I said, sometimes recruiters aren't the most honest people to deal with.
 
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