"Now, if you are in this only for the money, then I highly suggest NOT joining the military" This is what I constantly hear from people in this forum. I don't understand why that is. I'm going to be honest with you guys. I'm entering the field of dentistry to get paid. I chose dentistry instead of other more profitable careers because I find helping people rewarding. But don't get me wrong. Money is more important to me than all my other reasons put together and at the end of the day, dentistry is stable and my chance of failure is slim. Everyone has their sob story and I have mine that I believe warrants my obsession with money. I would tell you guys but I don't want to bore you. Anyway, if you guys are not too put off, would you mind answering my question? Everyone probably has seen how the price of dental school has skyrocketed so high that figures from as early as 2004 are not valid anymore. The packet I got from the USC interview states that at the end of 4 years, I would owe 400k (450k with accrued interest). If I choose to pay off the loan over 10 years, I would owe 600k (which the school says some people are able to pull off if they live meagerly). So by joining the military, I am essentially giving up 4 years for 600K. I don't see why that is a bad deal. I figure when a dental student graduates he spends his first 2 years as an associate getting paid anywhere between 80k to 100k on average. Then he starts up his own practice and gets paid between 125k to 150k. So that's 500K for 4 years. On one hand you have made 500k with a 600k debt but a dental practice all set up....on the other hand you're fresh out of the military ready to set up a practice with no debt, plenty of experience, and around 125k in savings (whats remaining from 2k stipend during 4 years of school plus officers pay during 4 years in the military [2.5k first 2 years as O-1 and 3k last 2 years as O-2]). To me it seems like the military route is the way to go. The comparison gets even more skewed toward joining the military if one decides to enter a residency. If you take out a loan, you'll be in even more debt. But in the military, you get to finish your residency free of cost and without having to payback more years (so 4 years payback for dental school and still ONLY 4 years payback for dental school + residency) plus you get paid more during your 4 years of service. If I'm totally off the mark, please tell me, but it seems to me that those who are in it for the money should join the military, especially if they want to enter a residency.