Loans: How Much do Students Really Borrow for Private Schools?

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Bluemirage

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I was doing some research into the cost of attendin prestigous private schools like Washington University, Duke, Vanderbilt, Emory etc. They all have student tuition fees of $30,000 + (not including books and student stationary/computer supplies!) Each school claims that the average debt carried by students for 2003 was like $97,000....very difficult to believe!! Especially if you do not have rich parents to give you money for medical school, married and have to fund it yourself through loans and personal savings.

I would like to ask everyone who has had personal experience with this or knows someone who does to comment on how much they actually borrowed over the 4 years in medical school, at one of these private schools. I figured in order to live ok I would need to borrow between $160,000 to $180,000....that is an absurd amount of debt!
 

Adapt

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The budgets for most private schools now are about 50K a year. I plan on borrowing everything so if you figure 4 years plus interest, by the time I graduate I will be about $230K in debt and after residency $260K in debt. Welcome to medical school.
 

bokermmk

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Schools often give you "average debt". This is the average of everyone in the class including people whose parents pay, those that receive scholarships, and military folk. What you need to look at is "cumulative debt" which gives you a much more accurate estimate. For most private schools, you will come out with about 200K in debt.
 
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IrishOarsman

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LaurieB, thank you. Page 56 (11 on the pdf) is the most interesting page IMO. 27.2% of nonURM med grads with 100-150k debt. >150k between 5.5-6.3% for both groups.

Essentially, to address the original poster, it is very hard to calculate what your personal debt will be. Why? B/c your debt will be different at each school and you have a unique financial situation. Until the financial aid awards come in, there is no telling. Most med schools are pretty up front about it: if your estimated family contribution is low enough, grants can be found to reduce the total debt. If your dad can pay for all of it (accd. to the federal government) - and he won't - then you're SOL.
 

drlexygoat

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Originally posted by IrishOarsman
Most med schools are pretty up front about it: if your estimated family contribution is low enough, grants can be found to reduce the total debt. .

I don't know what private school you talked to, because I was never clued in on this. I'm looking at a private school with a 51k/yr budget and have a pretty low EFC. Their financial aid office never said anything (or their info) about the govt paying down my debt. I was just wondering where you got this info (not trying to be snotty)/
 

IrishOarsman

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Hey dr goat,

No, I totally understand. Actually, the schools I was/am most interested had standing programs where they would actively reduce your loan load above your EFC. Ie, if your EFC was 5k, costs 60k, leaving 55k for loans, they would offer to meet 10k of the loans (some %). Other plans I was told about during interviews included debt caps: once your academic loans for medical school exceed 120k (just an example), they would either offer no-interest, highly deferrable loans or straight out grants.

I'm sorry if I was misleading. I guess only my earlier point that it differs from school to school stands. I would make sure to ask straight out if there are any need-based funds(aside from federal loans) available at the schools you are interested in. Now that I think hard about it, not everyone mentioned them but those that did had them.
 

LaurieB

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Not all schools advertise this in their financial aid seminars, but most schools do have grant $ and special loans to soften the blow a bit. You should call the financial aid admin at schools you're interested in to find out what $ they have available.
 

turtlepower

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How is debt leftover from undergrad or other previouys education treated when medical schools are calculating financial aid? For example, if a student has substantial educational debt already, is that ignored and the new debt just added on top creating the potential for unmanageable debt, or, would more grants be given?

Is it possible to graduate with $300K+ in debt if you borrowed to pay for undergrad or a grad degree?
 

Amy B

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I don't know how they could graduate with only $97,000 for 4 years. I guess maybe for a public school.

I know I will be getting $29,000 for tuition and $23,000 to live on each year.
 
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