msdr2014

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I've been accepted to several med schools for the upcoming year- including the one at my undergrad university that I love and the one an hour away that my boyfriend of ~4 years is currently a med student at. We've already been apart this year and it has been doable (though not enjoyable), but I'm worried that it will be harder in medical school and we have been talking about living together. I know that either way we will stay together and we are planning to get married once we finish med school, but traveling back and forth, seeing each other less, etc might make me enjoy the other school less. Additionally, we are a year off but he is thinking about doing a dual degree so that we can couples match eventually.

To further complicate things, his medical school gave me a merit scholarship for $12000/yr for all 4 years, and is $10000 cheaper than my university's med school to begin with.

My question is- after having been in med school, how would you weigh reputation/ranking vs. financial aid vs. proximity to significant other?

(Note: the schools are UVA and VCU if anyone has specific opinions on them)
 

alibai3ah

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I've been accepted to several med schools for the upcoming year- including the one at my undergrad university that I love and the one an hour away that my boyfriend of ~4 years is currently a med student at. We've already been apart this year and it has been doable (though not enjoyable), but I'm worried that it will be harder in medical school and we have been talking about living together. I know that either way we will stay together and we are planning to get married once we finish med school, but traveling back and forth, seeing each other less, etc might make me enjoy the other school less. Additionally, we are a year off but he is thinking about doing a dual degree so that we can couples match eventually.

To further complicate things, his medical school gave me a merit scholarship for $12000/yr for all 4 years, and is $10000 cheaper than my university's med school to begin with.

My question is- after having been in med school, how would you weigh reputation/ranking vs. financial aid vs. proximity to significant other?

(Note: the schools are UVA and VCU if anyone has specific opinions on them)
Hmm...both schools are not that far away. At least you are not going out of state. I would say go with the school you love more (even if that's UVA). The distance is not that far, you can still see each other. If both of you want to match into a Virginia residency then VCU should be good enough.
 

TexasPhysician

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1. Cost
2. Happiness
3. Reputation

My unranked state school matched someone into Dermatology at Cornell. If state school's can do that.....I think they can get you anywhere.
 

thesauce

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Bartelby

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I go to UVa. It's a great place, but I have friends over at MCV and it seems like an awesome school as well. I think it comes down to how competitive of a residency you are going for and how much staying with your boyfriend matters to you (a four year relationship even only living as far away as Charlottesville and Richmond would be really tough). And for the couple of MCV friends that I know well, I am confident they will get to go into what they want (their board scores are great).

I would also recommend waiting for UVa's financial aid offer before you decide if it hasn't already been sent. The financial aid office is amazing here and UVa might be cheaper than you think.

All that said, if I was in your shoes with VCU being ~$20k/year cheaper and the love of my life going there, I would pick VCU.
 

thesauce

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I've been accepted to several med schools for the upcoming year- including the one at my undergrad university that I love and the one an hour away that my boyfriend of ~4 years is currently a med student at. We've already been apart this year and it has been doable (though not enjoyable), but I'm worried that it will be harder in medical school and we have been talking about living together. I know that either way we will stay together and we are planning to get married once we finish med school, but traveling back and forth, seeing each other less, etc might make me enjoy the other school less. Additionally, we are a year off but he is thinking about doing a dual degree so that we can couples match eventually.

To further complicate things, his medical school gave me a merit scholarship for $12000/yr for all 4 years, and is $10000 cheaper than my university's med school to begin with.

My question is- after having been in med school, how would you weigh reputation/ranking vs. financial aid vs. proximity to significant other?

(Note: the schools are UVA and VCU if anyone has specific opinions on them)
Some thoughts on this:

A $90k difference is substantial and the shared living expenses when going to the same school make the financial aspects even harder to ignore. As a resident, you will thank yourself for the lower debt.

Although UVA is a bit more respected, it's not going to matter too much in the residency game. This usually comes up more with top 10 schools vs. bottom 10 schools. If you went to UVA, you'd probably wish there was more benefit to the prestige.

I'm 95% sure you can couples match from different schools.
 

Jorski

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I would go to the school with the lower cost and scholarship. I believe you could probably make up for your schools lack of reputation by doing things that could enhance your CV. Loans and interest add up quickly.
 

Bartelby

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Although UVA is a bit more respected, it's not going to matter too much in the residency game. This usually comes up more with top 10 schools vs. bottom 10 schools. If you went to UVA, you'd probably wish there was more benefit to the prestige.
Where do insights like these come from? Our match list was outstanding this year. How much of that is hard working/high scoring students and how much is perceived school prestige is up for debate. It just seems odd for someone to categorically decide that going to University of Washington (ranked 6) puts your foot in the door while going to Vanderbilt (#15) means you might as well have gone anywhere.

It seems much more likely to me that it is a continuum and that there is no magic to the top ten ranking, but in the end I think the board scores, clinical grades, and other activities like research matter a lot more than school prestige.
 

thesauce

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Where do insights like these come from? Our match list was outstanding this year. How much of that is hard working/high scoring students and how much is perceived school prestige is up for debate. It just seems odd for someone to categorically decide that going to University of Washington (ranked 6) puts your foot in the door while going to Vanderbilt (#15) means you might as well have gone anywhere.

It seems much more likely to me that it is a continuum and that there is no magic to the top ten ranking, but in the end I think the board scores, clinical grades, and other activities like research matter a lot more than school prestige.
You actually managed to take this too literally and not literally enough at the same time. When I said "top 10 vs. bottom 10," the take home message was that PDs aren't scrutinizing school rank that closely (only if there's an incredibly large difference). Then you proceed to compare a top 10 school to Vandy, which by your own admission, is not a bottom 10 school.
 

Bartelby

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You actually managed to take this too literally and not literally enough at the same time. When I said "top 10 vs. bottom 10," the take home message was that PDs aren't scrutinizing school rank that closely (only if there's an incredibly large difference). Then you proceed to compare a top 10 school to Vandy, which by your own admission, is not a bottom 10 school.
Ah, true. I'm scanning these things on my step study breaks and I pretty much zone out completely.
 

organdonor

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For me it wouldn't even be a question. One school is going to give you a boatload of money, the other one isn't.
 

ChiDO

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This is really a no brainer for me. Not only is one school cheaper per year, but they offered you more $$ on top of that. Furthermore, you would probably be living with your BF (right?), thus no need to pay 2 rents and bills. (even more $$$ saved).

$10k/yr cheaper ($40k)
$12k/yr $$$ ($48k)
$12k/yr rent + bills ($48k)

~$140k savings = substantial. If you don't feel that this is worth it, please PM me so I can provide my mailing address and you can forward me the $$ instead.
 

Green Grass

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This is really a no brainer for me. Not only is one school cheaper per year, but they offered you more $$ on top of that. Furthermore, you would probably be living with your BF (right?), thus no need to pay 2 rents and bills. (even more $$$ saved).

$10k/yr cheaper ($40k)
$12k/yr $$$ ($48k)
$12k/yr rent + bills ($48k)

~$140k savings = substantial. If you don't feel that this is worth it, please PM me so I can provide my mailing address and you can forward me the $$ instead.
It took awhile to get here, but FINALLY! I couldn't agree more - it's actually crazy that you are considering NOT taking this deal. Board scores, M3 grades, class rank, and LOR are the big 4 things that matter for residency. Don't worry about reputation so much because you have far more control over your residency situation than just the name of your school.
 

Geekchick921

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This is really a no brainer for me. Not only is one school cheaper per year, but they offered you more $$ on top of that. Furthermore, you would probably be living with your BF (right?), thus no need to pay 2 rents and bills. (even more $$$ saved).

$10k/yr cheaper ($40k)
$12k/yr $$$ ($48k)
$12k/yr rent + bills ($48k)

~$140k savings = substantial. If you don't feel that this is worth it, please PM me so I can provide my mailing address and you can forward me the $$ instead.
:thumbup: :thumbup:

IMO, $100k+ and living with serious boyfriend >>>>> reputation.
 

thesauce

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It took awhile to get here, but FINALLY! I couldn't agree more - it's actually crazy that you are considering NOT taking this deal. Board scores, M3 grades, class rank, and LOR are the big 4 things that matter for residency. Don't worry about reputation so much because you have far more control over your residency situation than just the name of your school.
:confused: It was mentioned in posts 5 and 6.