El Flaquito
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15+ Year Member
Feb 25, 2002
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I am still an undergraduate student at Penn State. I have a lovely wife and a wonderful baby girl. In addition to school I work (to pay the bills!).
It doesn't seem reasonable to go through medical school and work.
Am I insane to think I can afford to attend medical school with a family? Will student loans and grants cover basic living expenses for me & my little family?
The work of a mother is my wife's priority, and I would rather she didn't leave home to get a job.
Any experiences, help or suggestions? :confused: Thanks!


7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 8, 2002
Kirksville, MO
Rest assured, you aren't the only prospective medical student with a family! You just have more to consider when you are thinking about choosing a school. The financial aid office at whatever school you ultimately choose will have a budget that includes living expenses, and that budget will be adjusted for a family. The amount of loans you incur will be based on that budget. It may mean that you end up borrowing more than your single classmates. If I were you, I would look at schools in smaller towns that have a cheaper cost-of-living, rather than large cities where housing and everything else costs more. You should try to budget your money carefully, only borrowing what you need, and paying back what you don't use. You don't want to still be paying back your student loans while your daughter is choosing colleges! Your financial aid office at whatever school you choose will be a great resource for information and assistance. There are other programs available out there that will either pay a portion (or all) of your tuition, such as the military, as well as programs to forgive a portion of your loans for practicing in a rural area, for example. Check out your alternatives carefully, because knowledge is power! Remember, if you believe, you can achieve! Don't be afraid to follow your dreams if it's what you really want...just balance it with some common sense! :cool: (I work for NOWLoans, and we get asked these questions a lot.) Good luck to you and your lovely family!


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Jun 2, 2001
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A word of warning: some schools may allow you to borrow extra funds for dependents, others will not or only to a very limited extent. The financial aid system is set up mostly for young, single people with no dependents and some of them make it VERY tough to borrow extra money for anything other than maybe day care and family health insurance. Generally, if you have kids, they assume your spouse is working to support them, though it differs among schools. Bottom line: check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to attend before making a final decision.
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Hey, don't sweat it. I've got a wife and two little ones, and it can be done. (My wife is a stay-home mom, too, and does a great job.) And the funny thing is that financially we're doing much better than many of my single classmates. True, we don't drive a fancy car or live in a fancy home, but we get by all right.

You should also know that despite the horror stories you hear about how med school destroys marriages, the truth is that you can get through it with your marriage just fine. True, it has it's challenges, but that's just a part of life.

One last bit of advice; like the previous poster said, look into service scholarships and loan repayment plans (ie, Nat Health Service, Indian HS, military scholarships, etc.) And keep in mind the cost of living of the school you go to. But like I say, don't worry too much. Email me if you have any questions.
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