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Discussion in 'Dental' started by emmy44, Dec 4, 2008.
in short, the state school....
as far as getting accepted into ortho, the school you attend isn't going to bear near as much weight, if any, as your grades, class rank, board scores, and extracurriculars. I chose Buffalo over Tufts and saved myself probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 150k to 200k, now that I am graduating in 6 months and my debt is staring me in the face, I know for sure I made the right choice. As far as the education goes, I'm sure any ADA accredited school is going to be similar, keep in mind all schools have their weak and strong points. Good luck with your decision.
Which schools are we talking about here? Is the Ivy school Harvard? Is the state school a tiny one like SIU or a large one like VCU? There is almost always only one answer to your question. Go to the cheaper school.
However, if that school is Harvard, it may (very slight emphasis on "may") open some doors when it comes to post-grad admissions. However, graduating at the top of your class from any other school or going to a P/F school with a good board score would give you the same post-grad opportuntities. It's all about how much effort you put in when you get to dental school, the name of your school means very little when applying to post-grad. When it comes to private practice, the school you graduate from will make no difference in achieving any kind of opportunities after you graduate. The only difference it will make is that you will write a smaller loan check each month.
Yes, you may end up having to take out more if you specialize. Lots of post-grad programs charge tuition, especially in ortho. If you match at one of the more expensive 3 year ortho programs, you're looking at another $250K on top of whatever you have from dental school. There are programs that have smaller tuitions or pay stipends.
I can't believe that going to even Harvard would increase your chances even the slightest bit. imo cheapest is best, as far as your friend, if I understand correctly he is no longer at the top of his class? and this is why he isn't going to get in he thinks??? I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly, but if he isn't at the top of his class at Illinois I'm not sure he would be at the top of his class at Harvard either, therefore if he isn't going to be able to specialize out of Illinois then I doubt his chances would be increased going to Harvard. Bottom line...go to the cheaper school, bust your butt, be at the top of your class, do well on the boards, do research, all that jazz, and you will be fine to specialize regardless of what school you went to.
Well, the reason I think I would have a better chance of specializing at Harvard is because over 90% of their students specialize. Last year, 12 out the the 34 ended up in ortho programs. To me this seems like a pretty convincing statistic.
Since the national board exam will become P/F in 2010 (is it official?), I am not so sure if going to Harvard would increase your chance for ortho. It is true that so many Harvard students specialize b/c most of them score 90+ on the board exam and there is no class rank (I think) at their school….the same is true at my dental school, UCLA. More than half my classmates (36 out of 70) got accepted to post grad programs (including GPR/AEGD)…many of them who did GPR/AEGD eventually got accepted to ortho, endo and OS.
Ortho is a great specialty. I think it is worth spending extra money, time, and effort.
Dental school is work regardless of where you attend. It sounds like you want to go to Harvard so take out the loans and go. If you don't go to Harvard and you don't get into whatever program you think you might want to do after several years of hell, then you'll wish you went to Harvard. Spend the money if you want to, but be ready for massive loan repayment.
If you don't want to specialize, either school is fine. If you do want to specialize, either school can get you there. If you want to attend an Ivy, UIC won't stamp the envelope.
No brainer....state school. This coming from someone who faced the same decision, went to my state school, saved a ton on loans, finished in top 10% and matched to my number 1 for pedo.
The reason so many people at places like Harvard match is because so many of them are 1. motivated, and 2. good students.
If you are smart and a hard worker, you can do well at any school, do well on boards, do research and you can match into ortho. I can tell you from interviewing incoming applicants into our specialty program, our directors, faculty etc really didn't care much for where the resident came from. I can say that it was like that across the board.
Good luck but to me the answer is obvious...save the money and go to your state school. Not to mention living costs at Boston vs about anywhere else.
Go to Harvard. 1)Boston is an awesome town...cooler people, more interesting things to do 2) anything midwest sucks ball 3) You generally enjoy yourself 35% more. 3) You will make enough money to pay it all back especially if you get into ortho.
Dental school is hard work but unless you are married with kids then you will have plenty of time to enjoy the town. Even if your intention is to have your head in the books 24/7 you'll soon realize that dental school does not preclude having a life.
If you are married with kids then the best choice is IUC
I'm confused... if you are saying that Chicago is not an awesome town, then I think you need to visit. Chicago is a great city to live, play, and study. It is cheaper than Boston, NYC, LA and other major US cities and if I was in the same boat as the OP I would choose UIC in a heartbeat.
Like other posters, I was faced with IVY vs. state school, chose Buffalo, worked very hard, matched into a great ortho program (even pays a stipend), and was happy as a clam when comparing my debt to my colleagues at this point in my life. Now, you can't take our opinions and make them your own, but take it from someone who has been on interview committees for my dental school and Ortho program and I can tell you that you will most likely enjoy the people you are around and the atmosphere in a state dental school more than IVY's and also ortho programs for the most part are looking for individuals who are charismatic and can fit into the mold of the program, not where their diploma was stamped....
My 2 cents.
Cost isn't everything. The price difference between the 2 schools isn't great. With the choice of the 2, you can afford to go to Harvard.
The difference of $70k is huge. Thats an extra year of tuition + living expenses. I borrowed about the same amount for my entire 4 years at UCLA (when the tuition was only $8k/year). With an average salary of $120k/year, it probably would take you about 4-5 years to save $70k.
go to harvard. how can you turn down harvard for a mere $70,000? The chances of you of specializing and networking after graduating from harvard will open doors to many opportunities that will help you earn MUCH more money in the future...
it's harvard...HARVARD! the best/well known educational institution on earth. with money, you can always make more money as a dentist in the future to make up for that $70,000...but the school you attended will stick with your name forever.
Thank you for the advice, everyone. I feel like the more opinions I get the better, because then I can really evaluate both sides of the argument. Some people say $70,000 is a lot and some don't. Obviously it seems like a lot to me now... but when I'm working as a dentist will it significantly affect my lifestyle? I used a loan calculator to figure out that the monthly payments would only be about $350 more per month. Significant?
p.s. Whlee, just got into Penn, and also got the Dean's scholarship! This makes things much more complicated.
If you would have responded in the same way as this poster did to your post, Harvard is all you.
Just a note for whlee; when you're done, the school name has zero impact on anything.
Its more like $850-900/month for a $70k loan if you plan to pay it back in 10 years. This is a significant amount if you only make $10k/month. Keep in mind that the tuition increases every year. The more student loans you have to borrow the longer it will take for you to setup your own practice. Ive been an orthodontist for 7 years but I only have my own private practice for 3 years.
When the board changes to P/F in 2010, I think Harvard may have to rank its students
if this happens it would be harder to be the top student at Harvard and harder to get accepted to ortho.
The plan for the boards being P/F has been pushed back to November of 2011. But the class of 2013 will take the boards in the Summer of 2011. So we will be the last class to take the regular boards. And if i know correctly, they dont rank their students at Harvard.
just wondering, where did you get this information from? if this were true, i'd be sooo happy!!!
Good point, but not 100% true. If you were a patient looking up dentists online, would you go to a doctor who graduated from Harvard or from Howard?
I'm not saying Harvard graduates are necessarily BETTER dentists than Howard graduates, but all I'm saying is that the school NAME and REPUTATION definitely matters in the real world. For a mere $70,000, it's definitely worth it to attend Harvard.
congrats! Dean scholarship is half the tuition, so the money issue is no longer an issue there! haha hope to see you at Penn!
If this is true, then Harvard (or another P/F school that has had high postgrad acceptance rate) would be a very good choice.
But even if Boards will be P/F, dont you guys think that then the name of the school will play some role? Schools like Harvard, UConn, UCSF and Columbia have a reputation of high board scores and thus high specialization rate. The fact will not change that the quality of students and the curriculum will still be the same at those school no matter the boards are p/f.
But once the boards go P/F, there will be no way to compare those students with applicants from other schools. Let's say a program gets 50 applications from the P/F schools and 50 applications from candidates with GPA's and class rankings and they can only interview 20. How are they going to differentiate between those 50 from true P/F schools? Research? Everyone applying to ortho does research. Extracurriculars? Everyone applying has some of those too. They are going to select those who have good GPA's and good class rankings. There is no other quantifiable way to differentiate between candidates on paper - in the interview it's a whole different story.
1. You don't yet know if you want to do ortho, but it is best to keep your options open.
2. If you are good enough to get into an ivy league school then you are good enough to be at the top of your class at your state school.
3. People at the top of their class at state schools have no trouble getting into specialty programs.
4. If you plan on staying in your home state, then going to your state school will help you establish a network in the dental world there. This is important for someone who plans to make money off referrals.
Conclusion: GO TO YOUR STATE SCHOOL. Save yourself $160,000 ($105K difference with seven years of compound interest) and a huge loan payment.
Also, use your ivy league acceptance as leverage and get your state school to commit to the scholarship now. You will need to do this in a polite and tactful way, but you can probably succeed.
99.9% of patients don't know and don't care where the doc went to school
You obviously seem attached to the idea of being able to pimp out the ivy name...maybe because of the fact that you are attending penn. What are you going to do...introduce yourself to people and say "Hi my name is John, and I went to Harvard". Give me a break, get a life. And no it's not jealously I got into Harvard in undergrad and was able to look at more than 'how cool will it make me feel'.
This is true for most people, but not necessarily for me personally.
If you are Asian, the name of school means EVERYTHING. In the Asian community, word gets around quick about where you went to school. Word of mouth referrals and the building a network of Asian patients would earn me way more than $70,000 that I would be saving by going to a state school.
When you are advertising for your new practice, it sure will look good if it says "Harvard" next to your name, than any other school. Patients don't know anything dental schools, so they will obviously be attracted to the famous/familiar name. Just my opinion.
I'm Asian, so I see where you're coming from here, and although I agree that it might be a factor when you initially set up your practice and you're trying to tap into the patient pool, as soon as you get a few patients, I think those patient referrals carry a hell of a lot more weight than where you went to school. Yes, Asians do care (moreso than others) about prestige, but at the end of the day, every patient wants the same thing - high quality, competent care, preferably from a doctor who isn't socially inept. If you came from Harvard and you suck (which you might claim is impossible, but there are stories out there and there are exceptions to everything), I think that "Harvard" name might actually come back to bite you in the ass, particularly if you're a specialist and you wave that Harvard degree around like a billboard. Not only will you lose all your patients, but as you alluded to above, word travels quickly in Asian communities, so you'll be struggling to gain any more. And you'll likely be alienated by referring doctors who are turned off by your "ivy" arrogance.
Basically what I'm trying to say is don't let these three letters, I-V-Y, cloud your judgement. With the EXCEPTION of Harvard, I really don't believe that the high cost of the Ivies is worth it for dental schools. Do I think that they're good schools? Absolutely. Do I think that the quality of the education that I'm going to get at an Ivy is so much better than what I'll get at a state school that it justifies the enormous price discrepancy? Hellllll no. Like I've said multiple times before, I just don't believe the benefits (quality of education, chances for specialization and/or career options) of attending a "prestigious" school are nearly as significant as in other professions like law or business.
To the OP - All that said, however, gaining an acceptance to Harvard at any level is no easy task. Furthermore, since you said you LIKED what you saw while you were there, I think there will always be a "what if" in your mind, if you pass up this opportunity. If you're really curious about the scholarship at your state school, be bold and use the weight of that Harvard acceptance to see if you can get them to commit to a scholarship offer earlier. What's the worst they could do? Say no? They certainly won't revoke your acceptance...
Good luck with your decision.
1. go to the school you liked the most
2. go to the cheapest school
3. UIC is actually a very competitive school to get into. If you go there, you will definitely be with classmates that, too, turned down Ivys. Many of the Ivys and state schools are competing for the same student pool.
4. Harvard grads are not necessarily making any more money or have better business sense than UIC grads.... might want to keep that in mind when you are thinking about paying back your loans.
5. think about the fact that you just spent about 2-5k on dat/applications/interview expenses.... not multiply that by 100-200! That's how much you are going to owe.
UIC is suppose to be an excellent school. If you need the Harvard name to make you feel superior, or really liked Harvard a lot more, or you don't care about the 70k difference (which is really much higher after 3% originations fees + 8% interest) then go to Harvard. Unless, there is some reason that you really prefer Boston to Chicago (say family lives in Boston).... then I'd go to UIC.
Pull out the phonebook and other mags and show me how many of the dental ads show were the doc went to school. Probably close to none. Good luck You'll figure it out in 6 years or so once you're in private practice.
I think Whlee touches on an important point. It may not matter where you go to school, your potential is equal at any school--academically speaking. But there is a social benefit to going to an ivy league that I think many people overlook. Yes, it opens one or two doors in your career. No, it is not listed in the phonebook. Yes, you might get one or two more referrals with an ivy degree (or maybe not!). But in social situations, at a party, on a date, etc., people do make judgements . . . especially here in NYC, but other places too.
Yes, this sounds really snobby to say (I completely understand how this makes me sound), but it is true and simply the way the world works. But every time I tell someone I go to Columbia they are instantly impressed. They think I am smarter. And it is just Columbia . . . let alone Harvard.
Now, none of this may matter to you at all. If not, great! you are a very good person. But my experience has shown me how much people actually do care about stuff like this.
It sounds like you are choosing to go to Harvard for the name only, what a waste of money and ignorant decision....go somewhere you feel that you will receive the best education to do the best job you can to treat your patients. I would venture to say that almost no one will ever ask you where you went to school, patients want to know how much you care about them before they care how much you know or where you learned it from.
Just go to a school. If you want to save a buck, go to your state school. If you want the lasting record of Harvard, then go to Harvard. You may have a hard time deciding whether to go to harvard, but the next person in line won't spend more than a split second to decide.
Harvard's schools are relatively bad in more than a few areas. Undergrad's okay. Their med school's not spectacular, their law school doesn't even teach law, their dental school doesn't even have a pre-clinic and they don't drill until later in their training... People go to Harvard for the name and nothing else. But it's the Harvard name that's enough. It's the name that tells people you're one of the brightest in the field.
It's name association and not much more. A Harvard undergrad with a 1360 SAT will forever be considered among the smartest in the country for the rest of his life, while a University of West San Antonio student with a 1590 SAT will just be normal. The amount of truth in the statement is not the point. If you want the name recognition, you have to pay for it.
Love your signature. lol.
If I really wanted to do ortho I would go to Harvard. With P/F grades all that matters is your boards, and everyone at Harvard does well on those. I heard the average is 93-94! Average at Harvard gives you ortho. Average at dental school X gives you GP.
Sure, you could do ortho at your run of the mill state school but it's far from guaranteed. You might wind up wanting to do GP with a s*&%load of loans. It's a gamble either way.
Harvard, Penn, and Columbia may not be all that, but enough program directors disagree. Just look at their specialty rates.
Hey OP, have you decided yet? I have a feeling you (and 99% of people) will pick Harvard, but if you even need to ask this question I think you should just go to your state school. To reiterate, if I were you I'd be Harvard-bound by now.
Hi everyone, thanks for all the advice! No... I haven't decided yet. It might take a bit longer, since I want to talk to some dentists and students over break. I'm starting to think that UPenn might be a good middle ground. I got the Dean's Scholarship so it would be cheap(er), and I would still have a competitive edge at specializing.
A lot depends on whether the boards will actually be P/F our year! I wonder how we could find out for sure?
Do some searching. Penn has grades and rank just like all the other schools. It's Harvard that is P/F. Also, the boards will be graded for the class of 2013 (your class). http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showpost.php?p=7460895&postcount=7 There are better posts, but that is some proof. You will take your boards summer (June or July) of 2011 and the boards are scheduled to go P/F November 2011. Even if the boards do go pass fail there will likely be some kind of standardized test to replace it. And when that happens, you can bet Columbia, Harvard, Penn, UCLA, UConn, and UCSF will be ahead of the curve.
IMO, Harvard is the only private school worth paying for that might give you that competitive edge in specializing. Someone earlier mentioned why - if their average on the boards is 93 - 94, then average at Harvard combined with no reported class rank already puts you in the average to above-average league of those across the nation applying to specialize. This is the advantage to Harvard & specializing more so than the name, and this is not the case at UPenn. I doubt Penn's board average is that high given their large class size, and they rank their top 10 based on GPA so it isn't too hard to figure out what the rest of the students are compared to their peers. However, I've met students from all 3 Ivies who have not gotten into their chosen specialties on their first or second tries, so having an Ivy on your diploma is not a golden ticket to specialty acceptance. This year, our program didn't even invite any students from the 3 ivies to interview because the director preferred enough competitive people at other schools he would rather invite. If you want to go to UIC and work just as hard and not let yourself get distracted from your goals, it is possible to be a superstar there too and get into whatever specialty you want.
Once you account for the tuition difference, the scholarship money, and the interest that accrues during dental school and residency, you are looking at a $160,000 difference. This is a $1,900 / month loan payment with the standard 10 year repayment period. The principle portion of those payments will be made with after-tax dollars; so you would really need (on average) something like $2,400 additional gross income per month. Also, this is only the difference in payments between the two choices. It is not the total payment. Don't forget you will also have a practice loan payment. Trust me you will miss $2,400 per month even if you are making the big ortho bucks. It will be a big deal.
Also, you said you had a friend who went to UIC over Harvard and regrets it because he is no longer at the top of his clas, and thinks he can't specialize. It sounds like his problem is that he is not at the top of his class. It is not where he went to school. You will have to excel wherever you go. At Harvard there may be no grades but there is still competition. There is competition to do more and better research projects, to get better board scores, etc.
haha- keep telling yourself that. Great personality and Howard trumps lame personality and Harvard. We have a professor at our school who went to Harvard and brings it up every time you deal with him. TOOL.
No grade, No Ranking = No competition. You still have very good chance for ortho even if you are in the bottom of your Harvard class.....just need to score 90+ on the board.
Harvard has grades. Everyone acts like they don't, but they do. They have three grades (honors, pass, fail).
Most other schools have four (A, B, C, F). That's not much of a difference (other than the names). This system even lead to rankings at Harvard. The distribution is a little tighter because of only three versus four grades, but there will be a distribution because everyone will get a different number of "honors" and some people will fail some classes.
The first 2 pre-clin years at Harvard are P/F. The last 2 clinical years are H/P/F. I would disagree that there isn't much of a difference between ABC/F and H/P/F. You could say H = A and P = B, but even then Harvard students can't get a C. Plus, they don't rank and have no GPA. Not to mention if one fails an exam at Harvard they get to make-up the SAME EXACT EXAM and will get a P nonetheless. You just can't compare this system to your ABC/F schools. One could count the number of H's, but there is no class rank so how would you know if the number of H's a student has is average or above average. People at H/P/F schools can get all P's and go on to a competitive specialty but all B's will put you in the bottom half of your class and raise serious eyebrows to program directors.
When you apply for a specialty you have to send your transcript. The school will see how many H's you got. They will also see how many H's your competing classmates got that apply to the same programs. Many people will apply to the same programs because specialty admission is a bit finicky and wide application is highly recommended.
So no they won't know your absolute class rank, but they will know how you rank compared to all other applicants from HPF schools.
thats one of the dumbest things ive ever heard.
I dont think they do. If they do, why so many Harvard students (not just the top 10) get the interviews? It is easier to look at 1 GPA in a ABCDF transcript than to look at so many Hs and Ps in a P/F transcript. If you fail a class, you take a makeup exam and get a P grade
.but at a A/B/D/F school, if you fail a class (ie a preclinical class b/c you dont have good hand skills), your GPA is significantly affected.
Ou_jay, you really have to attend a P/F school and apply for post grad specialty to understand why there is a huge the advantage of going to a P/F dental school.
I am going to agree with CharlesTweed OU_Jay. On ortho interviews this year, I met at least 6 1st year residents from Harvard at different programs - and I only interviewed at 7 programs. They really are a P/F school with no rank. In addition, they also get the whole summer off to study for the boards which I am sure contributes to being able to do so well on the boards.
I still think you can specialize from any school you want if you are motivated enough, but I think it is probably easier to do at Harvard given that there are no grades or class rankings, and you get plenty of time to study for the boards which results in a 94 class average on the boards.
To the OP - it will come down to are you confident enough in your abilities to specialize from a state school or do you feel you the advantages of no grades and more time to study for the boards are worth the $70k price difference?
So if they are H/P/F just the third and fourth years, then when most Harvard students are applying to specialty, there is only one year's worth of H/P/F's on their transcripts. When an ortho program has a huge stack of applications to go through, I doubt they'll start counting the number of Hs applicant A has versus applicant B for just one year of dental school when the rest of the application is probably outstanding. Because the first two years are only P/F, this is still a large advantage over the student attending the A/B/C school since there is no class rank distinguishing the top students from the bottom ones at Harvard.