Meharry or USC?

  • Meharry

    Votes: 28 63.6%
  • USC

    Votes: 16 36.4%

  • Total voters
    44
Jul 11, 2018
20
36
Hey guys, I need help fully deciding which school I should go to. I’m currently leaning towards USC, but the cost of attendance is extremely high which has made it a tough choice.

USC:

Pros:
- Great facility
- Larger networking opportunity
- Location

Cons:
- Cost of attendance ($144,000/year - I did receive a $20,000/year scholarship however)

Meharry:

Pros:
- Smaller class size
- Students seem to have a family vibe
- Cost of attendance ($80,000/yr)

Cons:
- Location
- Older facility, doesn’t seem up to date


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

AppalachianDentalBoy

2+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2017
994
1,281
Status
Pre-Dental
Save the $44,000 each year ( $174,000 difference before interest) and go to Meharry. With 174k you could buy so much CE and bridge any difference in clinical education within the first year and still have a house in the midwest money.
 
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Apr 21, 2020
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First off congrats on the Scholarship at USC.

I would definitely choose USC. Most of the responses above only talk about the finances as an expense but this isn't an expense this is an investment. Everyone's financial circumstances are different so it's hard to compare that metric across people.

USC is a prestigious school - I currently attend Stanford undergrad and USC was my second choice school. California is a great place to study because you benefit from a better lifestyle, diverse range of people, and California public/private health system is vast.

They have also given you a scholarship which could increase so they are keen on having you in their program as you probably demonstrated having qualities that are above and beyond a lot of their applicants.

USC is expensive because it is a top educator- A house made from better quality will be more expensive then a cheaply made house. The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit. Schools that cost more will be able to invest more into the students, staff, facilities, program, and community- Overall providing a much better experience (which you have identified in your post). I have had family and friends that went to USC and they absolutely loved it- USC also has a close family feel from what they have advised me. They were also highly employable and found high paying jobs across the entire US- which they were prepared for because a lot of the curriculum you are dealing with real patients.

Sounds like you are already on the right track because you are leaning towards USC. Go Trojans!! Let us know when you make your decision.

Goodluck!!!!
 
Last edited:
Oct 1, 2018
29
53
Status
Resident [Any Field]
First off congrats on the Scholarship at USC.

I would definitely choose USC. Most of the responses above only talk about the finances as an expense but this isn't an expense this is an investment. Everyone's financial circumstances are different so it's hard to compare that metric across people.

USC is a prestigious school - I currently attend Stanford undergrad and USC was my second choice school. California is a great place to study because you benefit from a better lifestyle, diverse range of people, and California public/private health system is vast.

They have also given you a scholarship which could increase so they are keen on having you in their program as you probably demonstrated having qualities that are above and beyond a lot of their applicants.

USC is expensive because it is a top educator- A house made from better quality will be more expensive then a cheaply made house. The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit. Schools that cost more will be able to invest more into the students, staff, facilities, program, and community- Overall providing a much better experience (which you have identified in your post). I have had family and friends that went to USC and they absolutely loved it- USC also has a close family feel from what they have advised me. They were also highly employable and found high paying jobs across the entire US- which they were prepared for because a lot of the curriculum you are dealing with real patients.

Sounds like you are already on the right track because you are leaning towards USC. Go Trojans!! Let us know when you make your decision.

Goodluck!!!!
lol :rofl:
 
Nov 19, 2018
161
236
First off congrats on the Scholarship at USC.

I would definitely choose USC. Most of the responses above only talk about the finances as an expense but this isn't an expense this is an investment. Everyone's financial circumstances are different so it's hard to compare that metric across people.

USC is a prestigious school - I currently attend Stanford undergrad and USC was my second choice school. California is a great place to study because you benefit from a better lifestyle, diverse range of people, and California public/private health system is vast.

They have also given you a scholarship which could increase so they are keen on having you in their program as you probably demonstrated having qualities that are above and beyond a lot of their applicants.

USC is expensive because it is a top educator- A house made from better quality will be more expensive then a cheaply made house. The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit. Schools that cost more will be able to invest more into the students, staff, facilities, program, and community- Overall providing a much better experience (which you have identified in your post). I have had family and friends that went to USC and they absolutely loved it- USC also has a close family feel from what they have advised me. They were also highly employable and found high paying jobs across the entire US- which they were prepared for because a lot of the curriculum you are dealing with real patients.

Sounds like you are already on the right track because you are leaning towards USC. Go Trojans!! Let us know when you make your decision.

Goodluck!!!!
Can't tell if joking, flexing, or just from California...

To the OP, go to the cheaper school. Your scholarship from USC doesn't mean anything until it reaches about 60k per year since that is the difference in cost between the two schools.
 
Last edited:
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Aug 21, 2019
32
27
Status
Pre-Dental
The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit.
Sources? According to US News and World Report, the states with the highest mean salary are Delaware, Alaska, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. Forbes also states that California is one of the 10 states where dentists earn the least money, which is concerning because living/housing costs can be extremely high. You get the same degree with any dental school and $150k is a large chunk of change.
 
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HKSZYU

2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2017
90
150
Status
Dental Student
First off congrats on the Scholarship at USC.

I would definitely choose USC. Most of the responses above only talk about the finances as an expense but this isn't an expense this is an investment. Everyone's financial circumstances are different so it's hard to compare that metric across people.

USC is a prestigious school - I currently attend Stanford undergrad and USC was my second choice school. California is a great place to study because you benefit from a better lifestyle, diverse range of people, and California public/private health system is vast.

They have also given you a scholarship which could increase so they are keen on having you in their program as you probably demonstrated having qualities that are above and beyond a lot of their applicants.

USC is expensive because it is a top educator- A house made from better quality will be more expensive then a cheaply made house. The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit. Schools that cost more will be able to invest more into the students, staff, facilities, program, and community- Overall providing a much better experience (which you have identified in your post). I have had family and friends that went to USC and they absolutely loved it- USC also has a close family feel from what they have advised me. They were also highly employable and found high paying jobs across the entire US- which they were prepared for because a lot of the curriculum you are dealing with real patients.

Sounds like you are already on the right track because you are leaning towards USC. Go Trojans!! Let us know when you make your decision.

Goodluck!!!!
OP please do not take this advice. I'm going to assume the advice was well intentioned, but it is way off base.

When it comes to dental education, you should almost always go to the least expensive program. You're going to be a dentist regardless of where you come out of: you're going to have the same skills, know the same procedures, and have similar post-grad opportunities. Even if you want to specialize, people specialized from everywhere, and you can keep those doors open with the right grades and test scores.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt. Once you're out of school (assuming you don't specialize), you're either going to do corporate, become an associate, or become an owner. Becoming an owner is most people's long-term goal because your earning potential is higher. When it comes to ownership, your patients aren't going to ask you where you went to dental school. They're just going to want someone has good diagnostic & hand-skills and friendly disposition. Same with corp gigs and associateships when it comes to hiring.

Coming out of school with less debt will help get you to ownership faster. Moreover, it will give you more geographic flexibility. The post above mentions that California dentists are top earners in the field. I'm not sure where they got that information, but California, especially SoCal, is a very saturated dental market. Opening a practice there is very hard, and the competition is going to drive down your earnings unless you're a really top dentist. So even if you went to USC, the chances that you could stay in SoCal after school -- as a new-grad dentist with ~$500k debt accruing 7% interest each year -- is low.

When you factor in the interest your debt will be accruing while you're in school, there is nearly a $200k difference. Put that money towards your future practice. Save it. Heck, do anything else with it. But please, do not spend $200k additional so that you can graduate with the exact same degree, doing the same procedures, with the same future opportunities.
 
Last edited:
Apr 21, 2020
2
1
OP please do not take this advice. I'm going to assume the advice was well intentioned, but it is way off base.

When it comes to dental education, you should almost always go to the least expensive program. You're going to be a dentist regardless of where you come out of: you're going to have the same skills, know the same procedures, and have similar post-grad opportunities. Even if you want to specialize, people specialized from everywhere, and you can keep those doors open with the right grades and test scores.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt. Once you're out of school (assuming you don't specialize), you're either going to do corporate, become an associate, or become an owner. Becoming an owner is most people's long-term goal because your earning potential is higher. When it comes to ownership, your patients aren't going to ask you where you went to dental school. They're just going to want someone has good diagnostic & hand-skills and friendly disposition. Same with corp gigs and associateships when it comes to hiring.

Coming out of school with less debt will help get you to ownership faster. Moreover, it will give you more geographic flexibility. The post above mentions that California dentists are top earners in the field. I'm not sure where they got that information, but California, especially SoCal, is a very saturated dental market. Opening a practice there is very hard, and the competition is going to drive down your earnings unless you're a really top dentist. So even if you went to USC, the chances that you could stay in SoCal after school -- as a new-grad dentist with ~$500k debt accruing 7% interest each year -- is low.

When you factor in the interest your debt will be accruing while you're in school, there is nearly a $200k difference. Put that money towards your future practice. Save it. Heck, do anything else with it. But please, do not spend $200k additional so that you can graduate with the exact same degree, doing the same procedures, with the same future opportunities.
The point of my post was to highlight that you should go to an institution where you will enjoy and not be miserable for 4 years. They stated that they are leaning towards USC (clearly they visited both schools). On this basis they must have preferred USC for a lot of other reasons other than $$$. Technology, facilities, network all will be world class. This should be considered when giving advice.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt but there are different ways to manage this.

Opening a practice is further down the line- the focus before this should be will there be opportunities - SoCal and NorCal have a lot of practices so this will be an advantage to find employment and continue experience. Working in a competitive market isn't a bad thing if anything it should be a benefit because you can develop better business skills work with other high level dentist (with mixed specialisms) etc for when you open your own practice (if you wish) (this practice doesn't have to be in Cali).

I don't know much about Meharry or Tennessee but I do know SoCal and NorCal are great places to live, work and study. Brown23 should take the non-financial matters into consideration and choose the place they will enjoy the most.

Being a dentist is a demanding career so why not do it somewhere you will enjoy , find happiness, and also enjoy life outside of work and study.
 
Oct 1, 2018
29
53
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The point of my post was to highlight that you should go to an institution where you will enjoy and not be miserable for 4 years. They stated that they are leaning towards USC (clearly they visited both schools). On this basis they must have preferred USC for a lot of other reasons other than $$$. Technology, facilities, network all will be world class. This should be considered when giving advice.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt but there are different ways to manage this.

Opening a practice is further down the line- the focus before this should be will there be opportunities - SoCal and NorCal have a lot of practices so this will be an advantage to find employment and continue experience. Working in a competitive market isn't a bad thing if anything it should be a benefit because you can develop better business skills work with other high level dentist (with mixed specialisms) etc for when you open your own practice (if you wish) (this practice doesn't have to be in Cali).

I don't know much about Meharry or Tennessee but I do know SoCal and NorCal are great places to live, work and study. Brown23 should take the non-financial matters into consideration and choose the place they will enjoy the most.

Being a dentist is a demanding career so why not do it somewhere you will enjoy , find happiness, and also enjoy life outside of work and study.
lol :rofl:
 

HKSZYU

2+ Year Member
Mar 26, 2017
90
150
Status
Dental Student
I'm sorry. I truly don't mean to be combative with you, but this is just not right.

The point of my post was to highlight that you should go to an institution where you will enjoy and not be miserable for 4 years. They stated that they are leaning towards USC (clearly they visited both schools). On this basis they must have preferred USC for a lot of other reasons other than $$$. Technology, facilities, network all will be world class. This should be considered when giving advice.
Every school has facilities and a network you can tap into. Schools will vary between technology, for sure, but at the end of the day, you will learn your procedures. I don't think fancy typodonts or a newer sim lab is worth $200k.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt but there are different ways to manage this.

Opening a practice is further down the line- the focus before this should be will there be opportunities - SoCal and NorCal have a lot of practices so this will be an advantage to find employment and continue experience. Working in a competitive market isn't a bad thing if anything it should be a benefit because you can develop better business skills work with other high level dentist (with mixed specialisms) etc for when you open your own practice (if you wish) (this practice doesn't have to be in Cali).
Dental schools are pumping out a lot of grads who are flocking to SF, LA, NYC and it's saturating the markets there. Can OP can find a corp gig or associateship there? Probably. But how much will it pay? If you are in a saturated California market, they can (and often do) pay you less because there's a large supply of dentists. If you're graduating with $500k in debt, you don't have the luxury of taking a low-paying corporate job. You basically need ownership at this point, because you're gonna have a rough time servicing a $500k loan on $140k pre-tax associate income.

I don't know much about Meharry or Tennessee but I do know SoCal and NorCal are great places to live, work and study. Brown23 should take the non-financial matters into consideration and choose the place they will enjoy the most.

Being a dentist is a demanding career so why not do it somewhere you will enjoy , find happiness, and also enjoy life outside of work and study.
Part of enjoying and finding happiness is the ability to be successful. To suggest to OP that they should go to the most expensive school in the country so that they can graduate into the most saturated market in the country with $500k in debt is not setting him/her up to be successful. It's also closing doors, because when you have that much debt, you have to take the opportunity that allows it to be serviced. This is often going to be in a rural, less saturated area, and will almost always require ownership or a PSLF-qualified position.

Obviously, I want OP to have a pleasant dental school experience, and it seems like they prefer the location and facilities of USC. But the reasons (location and new facilities) are weak and the happiness that those aspects would bring would be bought at the detriment of future happiness and opportunities.
 
Nov 19, 2018
161
236
The point of my post was to highlight that you should go to an institution where you will enjoy and not be miserable for 4 years. They stated that they are leaning towards USC (clearly they visited both schools). On this basis they must have preferred USC for a lot of other reasons other than $$$. Technology, facilities, network all will be world class. This should be considered when giving advice.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt but there are different ways to manage this.

Opening a practice is further down the line- the focus before this should be will there be opportunities - SoCal and NorCal have a lot of practices so this will be an advantage to find employment and continue experience. Working in a competitive market isn't a bad thing if anything it should be a benefit because you can develop better business skills work with other high level dentist (with mixed specialisms) etc for when you open your own practice (if you wish) (this practice doesn't have to be in Cali).

I don't know much about Meharry or Tennessee but I do know SoCal and NorCal are great places to live, work and study. Brown23 should take the non-financial matters into consideration and choose the place they will enjoy the most.

Being a dentist is a demanding career so why not do it somewhere you will enjoy , find happiness, and also enjoy life outside of work and study.
Sounds like you are trying to justify it. Stanford is a pretty expensive undergrad too right? Unless you have parents or something paying for undergrad/dental school price should be taken into first account. I hope you choose the cheapest dental school you can when you get in.

My undergrad was basically free and my dental school will be about 200k including living. I know it sounds like I’m just flexing, but I am so glad I went with the cheapest options I could. OP go to the cheaper school and you'll thank yourself later especially once the pre-dental excitement and hype disappears. Trust me it will, dental school hits like a truck haha.
 
Jul 11, 2018
20
36
Thanks everyone! After a lot of consideration I definitely have thought about it a lot and I am now basically 95% leaning towards Meharry. The thrill of California and the nice facilities obviously was an attractive option. However after much consideration, I had to realize that those things aren’t necessarily worth the 200k difference. Meharry may be a smaller school, but they have great board passing rates as well as a high amount of students that end up matching for a speciality, which is my end goal. Thanks for all of the input!
 

Needmyphone

5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2014
187
142
Don’t listen to that undergrad. Go to the cheapest set up. Dental school is four years of bull****, politics, crazy workloads, so do yourself the favor of dealing with that the LEAST costly way.

I’m so grateful to be a D4 now. Whew.

Oh, congrats tho!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

anitadent

7+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2012
36
37
CA
Status
Dentist
First off congrats on the Scholarship at USC.

I would definitely choose USC. Most of the responses above only talk about the finances as an expense but this isn't an expense this is an investment. Everyone's financial circumstances are different so it's hard to compare that metric across people.

USC is a prestigious school - I currently attend Stanford undergrad and USC was my second choice school. California is a great place to study because you benefit from a better lifestyle, diverse range of people, and California public/private health system is vast.

They have also given you a scholarship which could increase so they are keen on having you in their program as you probably demonstrated having qualities that are above and beyond a lot of their applicants.

USC is expensive because it is a top educator- A house made from better quality will be more expensive then a cheaply made house. The top earners in dentistry either live in California or studied in California so you will also have that benefit. Schools that cost more will be able to invest more into the students, staff, facilities, program, and community- Overall providing a much better experience (which you have identified in your post). I have had family and friends that went to USC and they absolutely loved it- USC also has a close family feel from what they have advised me. They were also highly employable and found high paying jobs across the entire US- which they were prepared for because a lot of the curriculum you are dealing with real patients.

Sounds like you are already on the right track because you are leaning towards USC. Go Trojans!! Let us know when you make your decision.

Goodluck!!!!
wrong in every aspect. There is no such a thing as a top educator when it comes to USC. Faculties are good but definitely not worth 500k tuition. I don’t know where you got your info but definitely you had a wrong source:)
 

BeggarsCantBeChoosers

2+ Year Member
Nov 7, 2017
55
81
Status
Dental Student
The point of my post was to highlight that you should go to an institution where you will enjoy and not be miserable for 4 years. They stated that they are leaning towards USC (clearly they visited both schools). On this basis they must have preferred USC for a lot of other reasons other than $$$. Technology, facilities, network all will be world class. This should be considered when giving advice.

Dentistry is a profession with very high debt but there are different ways to manage this.

Opening a practice is further down the line- the focus before this should be will there be opportunities - SoCal and NorCal have a lot of practices so this will be an advantage to find employment and continue experience. Working in a competitive market isn't a bad thing if anything it should be a benefit because you can develop better business skills work with other high level dentist (with mixed specialisms) etc for when you open your own practice (if you wish) (this practice doesn't have to be in Cali).

I don't know much about Meharry or Tennessee but I do know SoCal and NorCal are great places to live, work and study. Brown23 should take the non-financial matters into consideration and choose the place they will enjoy the most.

Being a dentist is a demanding career so why not do it somewhere you will enjoy , find happiness, and also enjoy life outside of work and study.
I'd rather be miserable for 4 years than miserable for the rest of my life being stuck in a debt hole.
 

keep learning

2+ Year Member
Jul 12, 2016
145
51
Status
Pre-Dental
All the US dental schools are good in terms of dental education, just go cheaper so that you can save tuition within 4 years.
 
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