Significant others and multiple acceptances - what factors should affect my decision?

Jul 1, 2013
109
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Pre-Medical
I have questions for those of you who had serious significant others while deciding on a medical school.

I am incredibly fortunate to have been accepted at three schools so far - two private OOS allopathic and my state school. I'm trying to figure out whether I should hold on to my acceptances at the two OOS schools in hopes of receiving substantial financial aid packages. I was really dumb when applying to colleges - I applied early decision and never got the chance to compare financial aid offers, and it cost me. My plan for medical school was always to be smart and wait to see what schools offered me before making a decision.

However...

My SO and I are really serious (we're talking about getting engaged within the next few months). He's a lawyer who's only licensed in our state, and he'd have to retake the bar in any other state - if I went out of state, we'd have to be long distance for a while, and though he'd move eventually, it would probably set his career back substantially. If I go to my state school, we don't have to move, period. Also, I wasn't really enamored with either OOS school. My in-state school is amazing, I absolutely loved it when I interviewed there, and not sure how much this matters, but it's ranked considerably higher than the other two schools. It's also ideal for my particular career aspirations.

So my question for you is...is it really stupid to withdraw from these two OOS schools before I hear about the financial aid? I know it's easy to say "just wait to see their offers," but if I did get super lucky and get a substantial scholarship, I'd have a really hard time turning the money down - I think I'd feel obligated to minimize my debt, because I want to go into primary care. Trying to make the same decision about future interviews as well. I also feel guilty about keeping spots at schools where I'm unlikely to matriculate, so there's that too.

TL;DR:

Did anyone here turn down money or potential money (by withdrawing early or turning down interviews) to make their spouse's or family's life easier, or would you if you were put in that situation?
 
Sep 29, 2013
150
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I would go to your state school. It sounds like that's what you want to do too ... Just the way you wrote that sounds like you've already made your mind up. If you liked your state school best AND it keeps you with your SO, then I think that's a win-win. No matter what you're going to be in debt. What an extra few grand in possible scholarships? In my opinion, happiness is way more important than financial aid.
 
Apr 23, 2013
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You have many legitimate reasons for your state school to be a true top choice. In that case I don't think there's anything wrong with withdrawing from the others.
 

Captain Sisko

U.S.S. Defiant
Sep 30, 2012
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Stay at home, hold the acceptances until aid arrives, and use them as leverage to try and get aid at your home school. Worst case it doesn't work and you pay full price at home. Best case is a discount.
 

cabinbuilder

Urgent Care Physician
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Nov 21, 2005
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Scholarships in medical school? The financial aid should pretty much be the same wherever you go - loans. Go where it's most economical to attend and you will be happiest to do well.
 
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Davida
Jul 1, 2013
109
63
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Pre-Medical
Stay at home, hold the acceptances until aid arrives, and use them as leverage to try and get aid at your home school. Worst case it doesn't work and you pay full price at home. Best case is a discount.
Unfortunately, from what I understand, my state school gives very little in non-loan aid (a few thousand for need-based and that's it.) I'll try anyway, in case it happens in rare cases.

Scholarships in medical school? The financial aid should pretty much be the same wherever you go - loans. Go where it's most economical to attend and you will be happiest to do well.
That's definitely the most likely scenario, and I'm certainly not counting on scholarships. However, I fall into a category that most schools consider underrepresented, and one school specifically discussed multiple full tuition scholarships for students in that category during the interview day. So while it's pretty unlikely, it's not a total impossibility.
 
Apr 12, 2012
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Unfortunately, from what I understand, my state school gives very little in non-loan aid (a few thousand for need-based and that's it.) I'll try anyway, in case it happens in rare cases.



That's definitely the most likely scenario, and I'm certainly not counting on scholarships. However, I fall into a category that most schools consider underrepresented, and one school specifically discussed multiple full tuition scholarships for students in that category during the interview day. So while it's pretty unlikely, it's not a total impossibility.
Merit scholarships aren't give out that often by medical schools and the vast majority of the student body is academically strong. There are a few schools that do offer significant scholarships, but your stats must be through the roof and even then, that is no guarantee. You like your state school more, you wouldn't need to move and incur different experiences, and your husband has a stable job at a time when even top law firms are laying off associates and even partners. The answer should be obvious. Your husband could take a huge hit in pay or be left unemployed. It's not worth the gamble to me.
 
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Aug 12, 2013
355
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Medical Student
Too easy. Based on current information, I'd say go to your state school. You have all of these great reasons why remaining IS is ideal and only one possible (but not definite) reason why going OOS might be better. However, there is no harm in waiting until financial aid packages come out in the unlikely scenario that you'll get a full-ride to the OOS. I know these situations can be a little tricky as I am in a similar boat, with 4 IS acceptances and 1 OOS (which I loved and is significantly higher ranked than the IS schools) and a significant other who's career would be harmed if we went OOS. Also, are you pending decisions from any other schools - IS or otherwise? That could make things even more complicated. Wait until you have all of the information to make a final decision.
 
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Davida
Jul 1, 2013
109
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Pre-Medical
Too easy. Based on current information, I'd say go to your state school. You have all of these great reasons why remaining IS is ideal and only one possible (but not definite) reason why going OOS might be better. However, there is no harm in waiting until financial aid packages come out in the unlikely scenario that you'll get a full-ride to the OOS. I know these situations can be a little tricky as I am in a similar boat, with 4 IS acceptances and 1 OOS (which I loved and is significantly higher ranked than the IS schools) and a significant other who's career would be harmed if we went OOS. Also, are you pending decisions from any other schools - IS or otherwise? That could make things even more complicated. Wait until you have all of the information to make a final decision.
Your situation sounds much more difficult than mine - I am SO lucky that my IS school is the school I liked the best. I'm curious what you're thinking about your situation, since I'd appreciate hearing the thought process of someone who's trying to balance their partner's needs with their own when deciding on medical schools.

I am waiting on three more decisions currently - one of which is at the school in my neighboring state, which ALSO offers quite a few significant scholarships (and a National Health Service Corps type program that you can apply to). Getting into this OOS school would make the decision significantly harder, since I love the school and the area, and since I could actually apply for some of their full tuition scholarships. It's also the only other medical school that's even remotely close to my IS school, which is a regional school. But I'm not going to worry about it until I hear back from the school, since it may not even be an option.

I guess I wanted to withdraw from the other schools so they're not even an option that I have to consider, but I suppose the chances are so minimal that they'd be cheaper than my IS school that it probably won't ever be an issue. Might as well wait and see.
 

theseeker4

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Apr 20, 2011
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Your situation sounds much more difficult than mine - I am SO lucky that my IS school is the school I liked the best. I'm curious what you're thinking about your situation, since I'd appreciate hearing the thought process of someone who's trying to balance their partner's needs with their own when deciding on medical schools.

I am waiting on three more decisions currently - one of which is at the school in my neighboring state, which ALSO offers quite a few significant scholarships (and a National Health Service Corps type program that you can apply to). Getting into this OOS school would make the decision significantly harder, since I love the school and the area, and since I could actually apply for some of their full tuition scholarships. It's also the only other medical school that's even remotely close to my IS school, which is a regional school. But I'm not going to worry about it until I hear back from the school, since it may not even be an option.

I guess I wanted to withdraw from the other schools so they're not even an option that I have to consider, but I suppose the chances are so minimal that they'd be cheaper than my IS school that it probably won't ever be an issue. Might as well wait and see.
s
I would definitely take the IS school over the OOS schools. More debt is worth all the points you bring up regarding the IS school. Starting med school is hard enough on any relationship, asking your SO to put up with being in a LDR for a while, then move, backtrack his career, re-take the bar, etc. at the same time is just asking for failure. Keeping the OOS schools open as a bargaining tool for the IS school is a good idea, but honestly considering them based on the points you mention seems like the wrong move. Good luck!
 
Aug 12, 2013
355
124
Status
Medical Student
Your situation sounds much more difficult than mine - I am SO lucky that my IS school is the school I liked the best. I'm curious what you're thinking about your situation, since I'd appreciate hearing the thought process of someone who's trying to balance their partner's needs with their own when deciding on medical schools.

I am waiting on three more decisions currently - one of which is at the school in my neighboring state, which ALSO offers quite a few significant scholarships (and a National Health Service Corps type program that you can apply to). Getting into this OOS school would make the decision significantly harder, since I love the school and the area, and since I could actually apply for some of their full tuition scholarships. It's also the only other medical school that's even remotely close to my IS school, which is a regional school. But I'm not going to worry about it until I hear back from the school, since it may not even be an option.

I guess I wanted to withdraw from the other schools so they're not even an option that I have to consider, but I suppose the chances are so minimal that they'd be cheaper than my IS school that it probably won't ever be an issue. Might as well wait and see.
There are so many factors that will play into my decision. I'm still waiting to hear back from 3 schools (post-interview), all of which are higher ranked than my current acceptances but with their own pros and cons. As a result, nothing is a "top choice" for me come the May decision deadline and I'll probably end up using location, "feel", and financial aid to make the determination. In terms of my partner, I moved down South for him and his previous career after we graduated from college together and lived there for nearly 3 years before high-tailing it back up to the East Coast AGAIN for his career (but I was pretty eager to leave as well). So in terms of who owes what, he'll go anywhere I go for medical school and residency. But of course, with him being the bread-winner for the next foreseeable future, I can't go nuts in terms of location. It just has to be in a major metropolitan area. Multiple acceptances is a good problem to have (whoooo, go nontrads!)
 
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Davida
Jul 1, 2013
109
63
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Pre-Medical
There are so many factors that will play into my decision. I'm still waiting to hear back from 3 schools (post-interview), all of which are higher ranked than my current acceptances but with their own pros and cons. As a result, nothing is a "top choice" for me come the May decision deadline and I'll probably end up using location, "feel", and financial aid to make the determination. In terms of my partner, I moved down South for him and his previous career after we graduated from college together and lived there for nearly 3 years before high-tailing it back up to the East Coast AGAIN for his career (but I was pretty eager to leave as well). So in terms of who owes what, he'll go anywhere I go for medical school and residency. But of course, with him being the bread-winner for the next foreseeable future, I can't go nuts in terms of location. It just has to be in a major metropolitan area. Multiple acceptances is a good problem to have (whoooo, go nontrads!)
Thank you for taking the time to write this - it's very helpful to hear how others are navigating this decision with a partner. And you're absolutely right that multiple acceptances is an AWESOME problem to have. Best of luck to you, and congratulations on all of your acceptances!