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Loans or defer?

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aak02007

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I am super confused and sad and would really apprecıate any advıce or help I can get. I am one of those people who cant fully decıde whether medıcıne ıs for me. I got ınterested ın publıc health durıng college and thought of gıvıng an MPH a try. If I lıke global health to an extent that I would work ın ıt for lıfe, then I wont go to medıcal school. Thıs past admıssıon cycle, I applıed to 5 places ıncludıng Hopkıns, Columbıa, Emory, BU and Unı of Mınnesota. I got ınto all except UMN. I receıved merıt scholarshıp from Emory and BU and decıded to go to Emory.

Beıng an ınternatıonal student, I dont qualıfy for a ton of thıngs. External fundıng ıs the only place of hope but I mıssed the deadlınes sınce they were ın Dec-Jan tıme perıod. I am hopeful that I would be able to get some assıstance vıa these external fundıng sources ıf I were to apply thıs comıng fundıng cycle. In other words, I thınk I mıght be able to support myself durıng the second year at Emory but not the fırst.

What I am confused about ıs whether I should defer the decısıon for a year and try to get a job. Job ın the US wıll help me get some money but not ın my home country. I may or may not be able to secure a job ın the US sınce I wıll be applyıng for an H1B vısa whıch makes thıngs a lot more complıcated. The other alternatıve ıs I take loans for fırst year. Consıderıng that I mıght be goıng to medıcal school after MPH, we are talkıng about a lot of loans (33k for the fırst year at Emory takıng ınto account the scholarshıp ı got plus x amount ın med school).

To make thıngs a wee bıt more ınterestıng, I wıll start gettıng some pressure from famıly to consıder marrıage ın a few years tıme. So tıme ıs ımportant especıally ıf I decıde to do medıcıne.

What would you do? Should I take loans and start my MPH or should I try for fundıng durıng thıs comıng cycle whıle havıng a job or not. The year I wıll defer may be a waste of tıme ıf I dont secure funds.

Your help wıll be apprecıated!
 

enox0485

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If you've decided to attend Emory and have received a merit scholarship it would not be fiscally advantageous for you to defer admissions. To my understanding while a deferral would preserve your spot within the following year's class, it would not guarantee retention of the merit scholarship. Since scholarship funding at Emory is so hard to come by, I would suggest taking it if it's offered to you.

With that said, a lot of the questions/concerns you asked are personal ones which I think are difficult to gauge from an outside perspective. If you're set on going to medical school and worried about the loans you need to ask yourself a few questions. For instance, do you want to be a doctor more than being a public health professional? If the answer is yes, I would suggest just going to medical school and then looking at your options at that point. Another question is what is the return on investment that you're trying to get out of Emory? A lot of medical schools have a +1 option where you just add in an extra year to your medical school education and get an MPH. I have a friend at UNC Chapel Hill who is going to medical school and exercised that option. Better yet, since he was a medical student it was practically free for him to get the MPH portion. A lot of students believe that an MPH will bolster their applications for medical school. However this has been such a common practice that medical school admissions boards have caught on and while having a degree certainly isn't going to hurt your CV, it also isn't going to make or break your med school admissions.

I sincerely hope you find the path which is the most fulfilling for you and take some time to reflect on your options. Since you received a merit scholarship from Emory as an international student I'm sure you have a lot of choices at your disposal. Familial pressures can be daunting at times, so try to set that outside of the equation if you can and just think about what will make you happiest. Look on where you want to be in a few years and then actively look for incremental steps to get there. I wouldn't suggest taking long detours since you only live once. However if you feel public health is the foundation of what you would like to do then go for it. If an MPH is a stepping stone to medical school I would personally pursue medical school and then look into public health if you wanted to differentiate yourself down the line. Hope that helps! :)
 

aak02007

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Hı enox0485.

Thank you for your ınput. It ıs good to know before I made my decısıon that my merıt scholarshıp would not be waıtıng for me should I choose to defer.

I dont thınk I was ever lookıng at an MPH as a booster for my med school applıcatıon. I am quıte passıonate about health on an ınternatıonal scale and realıze wıth the passage of tıme that I would need both the MPH and a solıd understandıng of medıcıne to be where I want to be. It ıs hard for me to descrıbe ıt ınto words what I want to be and I guess ıt wıll become clearer wıth tıme. As for med school, my resume seems strong as ıs (far from perfect but good enough).

What I was hopıng to get from my MPH was that fınal answer of whether med school would get me where I want to be or would further exploratıon ın global health would.
 

Porcupine

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Hı enox0485.

Thank you for your ınput. It ıs good to know before I made my decısıon that my merıt scholarshıp would not be waıtıng for me should I choose to defer.

I dont thınk I was ever lookıng at an MPH as a booster for my med school applıcatıon. I am quıte passıonate about health on an ınternatıonal scale and realıze wıth the passage of tıme that I would need both the MPH and a solıd understandıng of medıcıne to be where I want to be. It ıs hard for me to descrıbe ıt ınto words what I want to be and I guess ıt wıll become clearer wıth tıme. As for med school, my resume seems strong as ıs (far from perfect but good enough).

What I was hopıng to get from my MPH was that fınal answer of whether med school would get me where I want to be or would further exploratıon ın global health would.

enox0485 is right when saying that admission can be deferred but merit scholarship is not. Thus, it is risky to defer your admission, unless you are confident that you can get an excellent job which can boost your profile to the extent that you may get the scholarship again next year. However, if you doubt it, you may not want to risk losing your scholarship.

More important (I think) is your employability and job prospect? Are you confident that you can pay off your loan after you graduate from Emory? Are you confident that your investment will turn out to be a good job prospect (salary, job satisfaction, etc.)? If you say Yes, and if your personal issues can be settled, I would suggest you going to MPH right away.

Try to judge what means to you the most, weight different options and make decision. They are tough choices but I believe tough choices make we tougher :)
 

Porcupine

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by the way, once you get into Emory, you can apply for these scholarships:

1) American Association of University Women - International Fellowships
Scholarship type: Outside Scholarship & Fellowship 

Description: Both graduate and postgraduate study at accredited institutions are supported. Several fellowships are available for study outside of the U.S.
Eligibility: International Fellowships are awarded for full-time study or research in the United States to women who are not United States citizens or permanent residents
Address : American Association of University Women Educational Foundation,Dept. 60, 301 ACT Drive, Iowa City, IA 52243-4030
Phone: (319) 337-1716 Fax:
Award Amount ($): $18,000 to $20,000Approximate Deadline (month/day): 0/12
Website: http://www.aauw.org/education/fga/fellowships_grants/international.cfmEmail: [email protected]

2) OFID Scholarship Award
Scholarship type: Outside Scholarship & Fellowship 

Description: The OFID Scholarship will be awarded to support an undergraduate student from any developing country, to pursue higher education in a relevant field of development, in any recognized university/college in the world. Through its scholarship scheme, OFID aims to help highly motivated, highly driven individuals overcome one of the biggest challenges to their careers - the cost of advanced professional or graduate training.
Eligibility: 1. Must be between the ages of 23-32 at the time of submitting his/her application. 2. Must be a graduating student with a Baccalaureate from a four-year, accredited college/university, or its equivalent. 3. Must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 rating system, or its equivalent. 4. Must be matriculated at an accredited university for the upcoming academic year starting September 2009, and must maintain full-time status for the duration of the Masters Degree. 5. Must be a national of a developing country (please see list of eligible countries, available on website). 6. Must select a subject of study that pertains to OFID's core mission, such as: economics of development (poverty reduction, energy and sustainable development), environment (desertification), or other related science and technology fields.
Address : The OPEC Fund for International Development,The OPEC Fund for International Development, Vienna, AUSTRIA A-1010
Phone: (+43 1) 515 640 Fax: (+43) 515 92 38
Award Amount ($): up to $100,000Approximate Deadline (month/day): 6/30
Website: www.opecfund.orgEmail: [email protected]

Good luck :)
 

roger0770

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being an international student is expensive, period. i guess private schools don't make much difference since tuition is the same whether you're in / out state resident. thus i am looking at this purely base on that aspect. admission deferral is a good way to save money only if you can be granted in state status at a public school; you'd save tons of money while working. however, since you're an international student, that does not apply to you. you mentioned trying to get a job w/ h1b visa, to my knowledge, it is VERY complicated and difficult these days unless you're working huge corporation that has well funded resources in their hr / legal department. otherwise, it's unlikely. with that said, i don't see deferring your admission is going to help you save much money, but postponing 1 valuable year of your time.
 

124bbb

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I echo everyone else when I say the deferred admission could be quite a risk. I also feel for you about the marriage pressure from your family, it should be understood that this decision is lifelong and should not be impacted by timing in marriage. Keep us updated, I wish you luck.
 

snowbreeze8

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I would also consider what type of job you would be able to get in the US... Do you have job skills and connections that would get you something that pays a decent wage? Otherwise, you could end up looking for a job for a few months and then only making $8-10/hour. If you factor in living costs/food/travel expenses, you might save up a few thousand dollars. Yes it will help.... but how much?
 
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