Dec 31, 2015
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If you could go back in time would you save money by going to a cheaper school or would you still the choose the school you went to? Assuming you had the chance to get into a cheaper school than you went to. I'm hoping someone who has the debt and is currently working would provide a fresh perspective. I don't wanna be a dentist and say to myself man I probably should have gone to the cheaper school and saved maybe 200k or whatever the # is.

Thanks
 
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845302

Given my financial situation and academic scholarships I was fortunate enough to qualify for, I'm looking at right around 355k in debt. Although it's bear bottom end of the COA students here face, it still scares me. However, I believe this investment will pay off, in my PERSONAL situation due to my estimated COA and professional goals. The only school which I would've been in-state at the time would have been UMN (To which I got accepted). Had I gone there, I would've been looking at around 230-250k in debt (maybe even lower). However, what I would be missing out on, is the irreplaceable research programs, volunteer programs and (most of all) the welcoming hands to specialization which Penn offered. As of now, I'm in the application process to Perio programs, and I believe that with my GPA and the fact that I went to UPenn, really increases my chances of getting into a program with a stipend, or no tuition. Because God Forbid, you don't get into a program with no tuition, and are matched with a school like USC, you're looking easily another 300k+ in debt! 300k!!!! UConn is one of my top choices as of now and I believe with my stats, it will be a much easier ride to hopefully get there than if I had gone to UMN for dental school. So would I have gone to UMN? No. In my situation, I would not, however, for many others, it may (and most probably would) be a better choice due to the COA.

PSA: This pertains to my situation and my situation only. I don't want anyone getting the notion that going to Penn (or other ivy schools) is the only way or most sound way to specialize. You can specialize from whatever school you go to. Just in my personal situation given the COA and such, I believe it was the better choice for me.
-Fyz
 
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Big Time Hoosier

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Is having to come up with an extra $27,500 a year for the next decade of your life worth it to you to pay off that extra $200,000? Remember, this is all to just have a different school name on your diploma. Seriously, this is the only difference. Your patients will not care where you went to school. In the 2.5 years I've been practicing, I've been asked exactly zero times where I went to school. If you are worried about specializing, you can specialize out of any school. Period. How many times do I need to say it's the WORK you put in that will get you into a residency, NOT the name of your school?! Go to the cheapest school you get into, especially since specializing may add another $200,000+ to your loans. I know these loans don't feel real to you now, but they are no joke! Your loans will limit your life choices down the road.

Big Hoss
 
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Vicviper

Michael De Coro, DMD - AKA Steve McAwesome
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Nov 19, 2008
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As long as the cheaper school isn't for some reason some place you'd absolutely hate being, I'd look at the cheaper school. If it will save you 100K, I would totally go to a cheaper school. If you are 100% dedicated to specializing, and would feel unfulfilled if you didn't, then it possibly may be worth going to a more expensive school that is more geared toward specialty, but people specialize from every school.

If you're concerned about the debt, I would strongly suggest looking into the military route - I wish I had, haha. Good luck!
 
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2TH MVR

Orthodontist
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Aug 3, 2017
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This has been discussed many times. Go to the least expensive school that will take you. I didn't say cheap. The least expensive schools (State/Univ. Schools) imho attract more applicants due to their lower tuition and therefore they accept the students with better qualifications than the more expensive private schools. I am not talking about IVY league schools. That's a different topic. I'm talking about State/Univ. Colleges vs Private for profit schools.

And seriously .... patients don't care where you graduated or what rank you ended up at. They care about being seen on time. That the procedure doesn't hurt and that you have decent bedside manners and some people skills.

As for specializing. Lets see? I went to Arizona State U. (aka party school central) for pre-dent. Univ. of Nebraska-College of Dentistry (I had the distinction of having the worst, lowest gpa of all my 1st year classmates. Seriously. Worked my tail off and had ONE orthodontic residency offer. As luck would have it .... it was a stipend type of program. 2 year certificate as compared to the more expensive 3 year programs.
 
8

845302

Is having to come up with an extra $27,500 a year for the next decade of your life worth it to you to pay off that extra $200,000? Remember, this is all to just have a different school name on your diploma. Seriously, this is the only difference. Your patients will not care where you went to school. In the 2.5 years I've been practicing, I've been asked exactly zero times where I went to school. If you are worried about specializing, you can specialize out of any school. Period. How many times do I need to say it's the WORK you put in that will get you into a residency, NOT the name of your school?! Go to the cheapest school you get into, especially since specializing may add another $200,000+ to your loans. I know these loans don't feel real to you now, but they are no joke! Your loans will limit your life choices down the road.

Big Hoss
I'm not here to argue or anything and I understand what you are saying about loans. But I believe 100k difference was worth it for going to Penn than a state school - the program for me was what I was exactly looking for. I know people here who are looking at 500+k debt already and in comparison, my COA is a bargain.

I'm just giving my story.

-Fyz
 

bigstix808

Mac Daddy Member
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Oct 10, 2007
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If you could go back in time would you save money by going to a cheaper school or would you still the choose the school you went to? Assuming you had the chance to get into a cheaper school than you went to. I'm hoping someone who has the debt and is currently working would provide a fresh perspective. I don't wanna be a dentist and say to myself man I probably should have gone to the cheaper school and saved maybe 200k or whatever the # is.

Thanks
go. to. the. cheapest. school. i went to my state school. it was "cheap". my 1st 4 yrs out of school i paid 55k in INTEREST alone on my loans. i have since refinanced for better terms and i make substantially more money so its a non issue but i cant even imagine the totals on 400+. my loans were in the 220k for what thats worth.
 

Screwtape

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Aug 25, 2008
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New grad here. I will also throw my two cents in and agree with all of the other new grads/ veteran dentists. Go to the cheapest school (unless we are talking small difference like <$20-30k total). I went to my second cheapest option (small difference) and I'm happy I made my decision. However confirmation bias is a huge problem when asking people if they would do what they did again. FYI My total debt is around $250k. Cheapest option would have put me around $225k.
 
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