Is $14,000/year difference enough to justify one Med school over another?

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7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2014
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So I am in a bit of a pickle. Was just accepted into 2 medical schools. Both are mid-tier, different styles of education but I feel that I would be fine in either but I do like one over the other. The total cost of attendance to both schools is similar at ~$53,000.

School A:
  • offering me $14,000/year in scholarship money that they told me was renewable as long as I made satisfactory progress on my MD journey. If i did the math right, would save me about (~$80,000, loan and interest combined) when compared to school B.
  • Great clinical opportunities, or so I am told (never really know until you are doing it I suppose)
  • Would have to move to a new city about 2 hours away from my current place. Girlfriend(3 years) would either have to move with me or it becomes a long distance relationship.
  • Atmosphere does seem a bit more cut throat.
  • Larger school, might be harder to stand out.

School B:
  • Great curriculum
  • Doesn't seem cut throat
  • Girlfriend does not have to move and she could keep her job, we could keep living together.

  • usual loans (Stafford/Direct(~$40,000) & Grad Plus(~$13,000)).
  • Seems a bit more geared toward primary care
Before I got the financial aid packages, I was definitely leaning towards school B, but now I am not sure.

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what are the schools?
School A is Wayne state
School B is Michigan state
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I wouldn't let that amount of money be a significant factor in your choice. On the other hand, the issues of the relationship, which school will be more comfortable for you, which is more aligned with your goals, those are all more important. The money difference should be a tie-breaker in your decision, nothing else.
No one can really help you determine the weight of the 2 hour move away from your girlfriend, and a lot depends on how serious you are about the relationship and how much resistance she communicates about the move. However, if my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I had been making this decision, I would ask him to move with me to the cheaper and somewhat more reputable school. You could potentially live an hour away from school halfway between the two cities during the preclinical years, depending on whether your school does recorded lectures or not. 14k a year is not insignificant over 4 years. But also consider the cost of living in the two cities in case it makes the financial difference somewhat less stark. Ultimately this decision will probably not be life-defining when you look back on it :)