Is it even a option, with >70,000$ in debt before entering medical school?

Aug 10, 2010
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In undergrad, I accumulated ~ 30,000$ in debt. Unable to get into medical school from a poor MCAT, I settled and decided to go to graduate school. They offered a stipend, but after the first semester I decided to take a option in the program that didn't offer a stipend. So I only was supported for one semester. I had to pay my bills, so I started taking out loans. ~ 20,000 for two years.

I am going to have around 70,000$ in student loan debt before I even have a chance at entering medical school.

Some of that isn't as bad as it seems for me. My father, who took most of the 30,000 from undergrad, is paying it back. That's not on my back.

But I still have the 70k mark.

I noticed student aid.ed.gov says the max for a professional student in stafford loans is 138k..

Looking at out of state tuition (I will try to get into a state medical school, but chances are I will end up having to go to a DO school, or a more easy out of state school MD (if that is even possible). Chances are, my only shot at medical school is DO, if that is even possible given I am pretty slow.

Is it even an option given I am going to be 70k in debt by time I enroll from student loans?

I heard some schools reject you based on how much debt you have.

Am I SOL??
 
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chrisoc13

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In undergrad, I accumulated ~ 30,000$ in debt. Unable to get into medical school from a poor MCAT, I settled and decided to go to graduate school. They offered a stipend, but after the first semester I decided to take a option in the program that didn't offer a stipend. So I only was supported for one semester. I had to pay my bills, so I started taking out loans. ~ 20,000 for two years.

I am going to have around 70,000$ in student loan debt before I even have a chance at entering medical school.

Some of that isn't as bad as it seems for me. My father, who took most of the 30,000 from undergrad, is paying it back. That's not on my back.

But I still have the 70k mark.

I noticed student aid.ed.gov says the max for a professional student in stafford loans is 138k..

Looking at out of state tuition (I will try to get into a state medical school, but chances are I will end up having to go to a DO school, or a more easy out of state school MD (if that is even possible). Chances are, my only shot at medical school is DO, if that is even possible given I am pretty slow.

Is it even an option given I am going to be 70k in debt by time I enroll from student loans?

I heard some schools reject you based on how much debt you have.

Am I SOL??

Stafford loans are just one of the loans. Many medical students also have to take out Grad Plus loans. They are a little different and not as good as Stafford loans but to my knowledge there isn't really a limit for them other than the level of money needed to attend school. Unlike stafford loans however, Grad Plus loans require good credit.
 

Avoidthetiger

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I have $80,000 in debt all from undergrad (I made a poor monetary decision to attend a private school. But I love the school and the education I received). $60,000 is from sallie mae and the other $20,000 is government loans. I am not too worried. I do have parental support to eventually help me pay back my undergrad loans and also to help me with non-tuition costs while in medical school.

There is enough options out there to go to medical school. I would recommend getting in first and then discussing your options with the financial aid office.
 

morning

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If you max out on Stafford, you start taking out Grad Plus loans instead, so it's not like you will have zero loan options.

What's more concerning is your lackadaisical attitude towards your past academic career and the fact that your father is paying off $30,000 worth of your mistakes.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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What's more concerning is your lackadaisical attitude towards your past academic career and the fact that your father is paying off $30,000 worth of your mistakes.

How is getting an undergraduate degree a mistake? I was under the impression that it was almost a requirement for admission into a US medical school. And many people's parents help pay for undergraduate degrees.

OP: don't worry too much about it. Lots of people carry large debt loads when starting med school. One poor soul of my acquaintance started over $150k in the hole after paying for a private school.
 

Avoidthetiger

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If you max out on Stafford, you start taking out Grad Plus loans instead, so it's not like you will have zero loan options.

What's more concerning is your lackadaisical attitude towards your past academic career and the fact that your father is paying off $30,000 worth of your mistakes.
Agree with above poster about your issue about OP taking out loans for undergrad and having help paying it off by his/her family. Regardless of the school I attended, my family would be helping me pay back my undergraduate loans. My parents did not see the point of saving up for my college education like some parents, hence the need to take out loans from the get-go. Of course, they haven't helped to start paying off my undergrad loans yet(apparently my younger brother has higher interest rate loans that he got to pay for school that needs to be payed off first)... so who knows, I might not get any help at all.
 
Aug 10, 2010
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If you max out on Stafford, you start taking out Grad Plus loans instead, so it's not like you will have zero loan options.

What's more concerning is your lackadaisical attitude towards your past academic career and the fact that your father is paying off $30,000 worth of your mistakes.

As it should be concerning. I enjoyed undergrad, did terribly on the MCAT and "settled" for graduate school. I really liked taking classes. I enjoyed learning new things. I found it a challenge to learn new things. I know right... ****ing weird kid.

I had severe ADHD all throughout college, and, as you pointed out, I was lazy and never went in for a diagnosis. I did terribly on some tests. It's actually a rather fitting copout, because if you look at my grades, you will see a specific cluster of grades.
I ended up with (I acutally spent 5 years in undergrad getting two degrees because after my 4th year I didn't want to leave accumulating ~ 177 credit hours).
I had
23 A's
3 A-'s
8 B+'s
14 B's
3 B-'s
2 C+'s
1 C

There was a very specific paramater that seperated low grades (B's) from high grades (A's). That was whether or not the teacher threw small curveballs intended to trick us. Usually on the multiple choice tests, they would ask something like .... "BLAH BLAH BLAH NOT BLAH BLAH ?" I would constantly miss crap like that (symptom of ADHD). It was a big problem in classes that were dependent on multiple choice tests. Things that normal students, even if they didn't study, wouldn't get tripped up on. I would constantly answer questions without reading the entire question (another symptom).

The classes that I got A's in, where usually the classes that had fill in the blank questions or short answer questions. Teachers didn't try to trick (or even if the other teachers wernt trying to do that, their questions didn't exploit my ADHD symptoms of reading too quickly, making careless mistakes (big in Calculus which I got a C in and Physics).


It's funny. College Physics 1 and 2... B+ both times. I constantly made careless mistakes on tests. The teacher was big on tricking people. I get into Biomedical Physics, and pull 1st in class A's in both the first and second section of the class. They ended up giving me a minor in Physics. Why? College physics exams were filled with math problems that required dozens of steps to get to the answer. I knew the material, but I constantly made mistakes. Biomedical physics, was based on understanding of the concepts.

I finally got diagnosed and treated for ADHD a couple months into graduate school (they supplied health insurance so =/).

As much as I wish I could just walk into a medical school (the path I was planning on taking since I started college as a Biology major and never waivered) and saying.... I have a valid explenation for my grades, where is my seat, I know that isn't going to happen.

Regardless, I have to take the MCAT and perform well. After some shortend practice tests (doing 45 minute sections and scoring in the 11-12 range for both science sections) I think I can pull it off now that I am medicated.

When I got into graduate school it was fine.

I quickly realized while there, that, that was not for me. The research was driving me ape****. I wish I could change what happened, but I can't. Had just dropping out at that point not been like taking a metaphorical shotgun and blasting myself in the knee, I would have just cut my ties. I felt I needed to finish what I started without running away.

My father is paying back the 30,000$ because he is the one who got that money. He hit hard times, almost lost his business because of intreset on debt, so I took out some loans and loaned it to him. Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but =/.

I really enjoyed my "past academic career". I hated the research, and the journal clubs. My god I have never encournted somethign so psycholgically devestating. Weeks of "here is 5 articles, read them by monday, so we can talk about them for 4 hours", just so you can work even harder to make up for that lost time in the lab on another day.

Stupid move going to graduate school, yeah probably. It felt right when I settled and took the seat (really didn't take much to get it... =/). I learned what I wanted to do, and got out with as much of my soul as possible. That required forfeiting my stipend and avoiding research and just taking classes (which mind you I really enjoyed). When reading a couple articles is that weeks asignment, I am straight. After reading 3 times as many articles because the PI wants us to "stay sharp", it becomes a stomach turning nightmare.

Clearly I didn't want to be there. I got a good LOR from my PI, as I worked hard as I could for him while I was with him. I left the program in good standings, with a nice story of "none of this research interests me". I am sure it will bite me in the ass to some degree, but who really expects somebody to stay in a program when none of the research there intrests them.

I got to the end of this reply, and forgot what I was responding too =/. Hopefully it fits... I am not sure I deserve such a stinging insult from you but, what ever. I am just the dumb kid, with a 3.4 GPA, and two wasted years in a program that served no purpose but to build debt, put me through 6 months of hell, before I bowed out and took the confered degree realizing this wasn't what I wanted.

Hopefully now that I am properly medicated, I can do something a lot of people seem to take advantage of... FOCUS =D
 

gravitywave

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whoa tl;dr

anyway, I'd like to point out that the lifetime aggregate maximum for Stafford loans is increased to $224k for students in health professions. This includes med/dent/MPH/possibly others....

$70k in the hole when you start is not ideal, and you may end up running into some tough choices down the line as debt could constrict your future career options in medicine. but it's not unheard of. a friend of mine had $100k in undergrad debt (she transferred and got hosed on financial aid) and then went to her state school for medicine, another $100k.
 
Aug 30, 2009
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I have $100,000 in loans from undergrad. I went to a private school and my parents ended up not contributing at all though they looked like they had lots of money on paper.

You're better off than me! I just try not to stress to much. Plus, if you assume you can make at least $150,000/year (I think this is about average for primary care), even you end up with $200,000 in loans, you can pay those off pretty quickly if you try. If you could contribute $50,000/year you could get rid of them in 4 years... which doesn't seem that bad to me.
 

MCAT guy

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As it should be concerning. I enjoyed undergrad, did terribly on the MCAT and "settled" for graduate school. I really liked taking classes. I enjoyed learning new things. I found it a challenge to learn new things. I know right... ****ing weird kid.

I had severe ADHD all throughout college, and, as you pointed out, I was lazy and never went in for a diagnosis. I did terribly on some tests. It's actually a rather fitting copout, because if you look at my grades, you will see a specific cluster of grades.

I ended up with (I acutally spent 5 years in undergrad getting two degrees because after my 4th year I didn't want to leave accumulating ~ 177 credit hours).
I had
23 A's
3 A-'s
8 B+'s
14 B's
3 B-'s
2 C+'s
1 C

There was a very specific paramater that seperated low grades (B's) from high grades (A's). That was whether or not the teacher threw small curveballs intended to trick us. Usually on the multiple choice tests, they would ask something like .... "BLAH BLAH BLAH
NOT BLAH BLAH ?" I would constantly miss crap like that (symptom of ADHD). It was a big problem in classes that were dependent on multiple choice tests. Things that normal students, even if they didn't study, wouldn't get tripped up on. I would constantly answer questions without reading the entire question (another symptom).

The classes that I got A's in, where usually the classes that had fill in the blank questions or short answer questions. Teachers didn't try to trick (or even if the other teachers wernt trying to do that, their questions didn't exploit my ADHD symptoms of reading too quickly, making careless mistakes (big in Calculus which I got a C in and Physics).



It's funny. College Physics 1 and 2... B+ both times. I constantly made careless mistakes on tests. The teacher was big on tricking people. I get into Biomedical Physics, and pull 1st in class A's in both the first and second section of the class. They ended up giving me a minor in Physics. Why? College physics exams were filled with math problems that required dozens of steps to get to the answer. I knew the material, but I constantly made mistakes. Biomedical physics, was based on understanding of the concepts.


I finally got diagnosed and treated for ADHD a couple months into graduate school (they supplied health insurance so =/).


As much as I wish I could just walk into a medical school (the path I was planning on taking since I started college as a Biology major and never waivered) and saying.... I have a valid explenation for my grades, where is my seat, I know that isn't going to happen.


Regardless, I have to take the MCAT and perform well. After some shortend practice tests (doing 45 minute sections and scoring in the 11-12 range for both science sections) I think I can pull it off now that I am medicated.


When I got into graduate school it was fine.


I quickly realized while there, that, that was not for me. The research was driving me ape****. I wish I could change what happened, but I can't. Had just dropping out at that point not been like taking a metaphorical shotgun and blasting myself in the knee, I would have just cut my ties. I felt I needed to finish what I started without running away.


My father is paying back the 30,000$ because he is the one who got that money. He hit hard times, almost lost his business because of intreset on debt, so I took out some loans and loaned it to him. Probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, but =/.


I really enjoyed my "past academic career". I hated the research, and the journal clubs. My god I have never encournted somethign so psycholgically devestating. Weeks of "here is 5 articles, read them by monday, so we can talk about them for 4 hours", just so you can work even harder to make up for that lost time in the lab on another day.


Stupid move going to graduate school, yeah probably. It felt right when I settled and took the seat (really didn't take much to get it... =/). I learned what I wanted to do, and got out with as much of my soul as possible. That required forfeiting my stipend and avoiding research and just taking classes (which mind you I really enjoyed). When reading a couple articles is that weeks asignment, I am straight. After reading 3 times as many articles because the PI wants us to "stay sharp", it becomes a stomach turning nightmare.


Clearly I didn't want to be there. I got a good LOR from my PI, as I worked hard as I could for him while I was with him. I left the program in good standings, with a nice story of "none of this research interests me". I am sure it will bite me in the ass to some degree, but who really expects somebody to stay in a program when none of the research there intrests them.


I got to the end of this reply, and forgot what I was responding too =/. Hopefully it fits... I am not sure I deserve such a stinging insult from you but, what ever. I am just the dumb kid, with a 3.4 GPA, and two wasted years in a program that served no purpose but to build debt, put me through 6 months of hell, before I bowed out and took the confered degree realizing this wasn't what I wanted.


Hopefully now that I am properly medicated, I can do something a lot of people seem to take advantage of... FOCUS =D

 

RynoTheGuy

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dang...I thought my 9k of undergrad debt was high...I did Pell grants all through undergrad to pay for tuition and worked for living expenses...whew* I can't even imagine having around 100k for just undergrad...the thought makes me sick
 
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dang...I thought my 9k of undergrad debt was high...I did Pell grants all through undergrad to pay for tuition and worked for living expenses...whew* I can't even imagine having around 100k for just undergrad...the thought makes me sick

Not everyone has the government writing them checks every term. I'm going to a state school and will end up with more than $40k in loans, and I've worked the whole time too. There are a lot of people in the unfortunate position of having parents who make a lot on paper but can't or won't help with college expenses.

As for the original question, I've known people who went to med school with around that same amount of debt and lived to tell the tale. You just have to be prepared to hit the ground running and manage your finances well once you have an income.
 

Slack3r

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With the interest already accrued, I have about $72k from undergrad. And I went to a state school on scholarship.
 
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dang...I thought my 9k of undergrad debt was high...I did Pell grants all through undergrad to pay for tuition and worked for living expenses...whew* I can't even imagine having around 100k for just undergrad...the thought makes me sick

Yeah, well I definitely wasn't trying to imply that I'm chill about my debt. I freak out about it approximately once a month. Usually around the time that my entire bank account transfers itself over to Sallie Mae. One day I even worked out some crazy spreadsheet regarding retirement with and without the cost of kids and assuming a primary care salary. I decided I couldn't afford to procreate (Ahaha parents! No reproductive success for you!). Like Slack3r and Bananaz pointed out, interest rates and not having federal funding have a lot to do with high debt. For example, two of my loans have a 9% interest rate. That adds up really really fast, especially when they recapitalize your interest (so that you pay interest on your interest). Sidenote to others with ridic interest rates: Read the Inferno. If you're like me, you'll squeal with glee when you get to the 7th circle. :smuggrin:

But I agree with Bananaz, even with debt as high as mine plus med school debt, I think you can pay it off and be ok as long as you plan well and aren't going into medicine thinking you'll end up rolling in the dough.
 
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